In my search for my first real headphones, I spent a long, long time browsing through Head-Fi reviews and settled on the Audio-Technica ATH-M50. I wanted good headphones for sound editing. Now that I'm beginning a new search for headphones, I remember the great reviews and I find myself back here. This time I thought I'd finally register and drop a "vs" post for a few models I'm now considering.
I'm looking for some good bass-oriented headphones that don't kill mids and highs. I listen to a lot of dubstep/house and the M50's, while great with controlled, punchy bass, don't give me the deep, rolling rumble that I'm looking for even though they're great for editing. To a lesser extent I'm also looking for good gaming headphones.
I've narrowed my choices down to a solid two models, with a soft third: the Phiaton MS 400, the M-Audio Q40, and a tentative Audio-Technica ATH-PRO700MK2.
I've had a great experience with the M50's, so I immediately took notice of the PRO700's, but they are slightly more expensive than I'd like - even more so when the replacement M50 pads that many replace the stock pads with are factored in. Depending on feedback though, I might just bump my budget a little higher up and buy them.
Now for some specifics that might affect any of the suggestions I get:
MS 400: I have read that the ear cups on the MS 400's are over-ear for some and on-ear for others due to an "in-the-middle" size. I have smaller ears and can say with confidence that the MS 400's would be over-ears for me. My main concern for these aside from bass is the quality of highs and if the mids are overrepresented.
Q40: Q40 users pair their cans with DT770 ear pads everywhere I look. I don't plan to buy replacement pads for the Q40's, so I'm wondering what their sound quality is like with the stock pads (and then vs the MS 400/PRO700MK2). Also how heavy are they compared to the M50's?
PRO700MK2: If these turn out to be the right choice based on feedback, I wouldn't mind buying some M50 pads for them. Aside from bass, for these I'm concerned most with weight. I find that personally the M50's are a bit too heavy for me to use for an extended period of time (3 hours or more) and (whether right or wrong) I naturally wonder about the weight of these as they look to have the exact same form factor and are made by the same company.
Portability is a good thing to factor in, but I'm not overly worried about it. I don't mind the y-cable on the MS 400 or the screw-in cable of the Q40/PRO700MK2 . The main factors for me would be overall sound quality with bass emphasis and comfort/weight.
Edited by LeMonarque - 3/30/13 at 9:30pm