This is a follow-up to my previous post regarding choosing in between AKG K550 and Vmoda M100. I bought both and was hoping to choose one to conclude my research for a semi-portable headphone. Unfortunately, I returned both. My requirements were:
- Best sound quality I can get at the expense of portability (but still be portable) at the price range around $300 to $500
- Decent sound stage / clarity / airy
- Something that will utilize my E17
Here is my experience with them (source FLAC, Iphone 4s, used Equ in addition to E17 to play around):
AKG K550 (120 hours burn in, made sure I got a good fit as it makes a big difference, had to increase bass on E17 to +6~, increase treble +2)
- Pros: Great sound stage, great clarity, very comfortable (you forget it is there), good build quality
- Cons: Very low bass (it improved after burn in a little or I got used to its signature), not really portable but the only portability I need was using it at the airport, hotel and at home, so it worked out fine
I really wanted to like these headphones, At the end, I gave up because it is just not good enough to be OK with the problems with portability. It just didn't sound fun (lack of a better term). When I listened to Rock and rock-jazz (e.g. Niacin or some of Victor Wooten stuff), it was not giving the impact...
VMODA M100 (50 hours burn in, didn't make any difference, had to reduce bass on E17 to -4/-6~, increase teble +4)
- Pros: PORTABLE, looks amazing, bass is impactful
- Cons: Holy death grip batman (my head is not big any my ears are relatively small), it sounds too close and the music is slightly congested/not airy (not very much familiar with terminologies, so excuse me if I'm referring to something completely wrong), wasn't impressed with sound quality for $300
After attempts to reduce the death grip, I still couldn't keep it on my head longer than 20-30 minutes. If I kept adjusting the fit, I would survive around 45 but at that point I was focusing on the comfort issue more than the music. When I reduce the bass to -6 and slightly boost treble, I felt like the music was loosing its clarity a little more ( it might be me).
I was hoping you guys could help me to find a solution to my problem (maybe there is no solution for $500) :) Here are the options I found after long research on this website:
- HD650 - don't worry about portability, use it at home, at the hotel and get almost all of the items I'm looking for (would this be a good option?)
- Get an IEM instead of over the head... Would IEMs be able to provide what I'm looking for at $500 price range? Here are the contenders I identified Westone 4, Shure SE535, Sony MDR EX100, Anything else?
I'm hoping to have airy sound, clarity, large sound stage, impactful/punchy bass but not overwhelming
I would REALLY appreciate any feedback.
Thank you in advance!!!!