Thanks all for this wonderful forum -- I learned a lot in the past few weeks just by browsing around.
Had been using crappy earphone/buds for years until 2 years ago I got a pair of Shure SRH750DJ at half price, then I learned how I have been mistreating my ears for ages. Dispute how I loved this can, the build was terrible -- despite treating them with care the 1st pair broke at the adjuster piece merely 3 months after purchase (seems to be a common problem according to Amazon reviews), and then my 2nd pair malfunctioned after 1 yr and 9 months.
Still under (2 yr) warranty, I got Sennheiser HD439 by paying $50 more. For some time I was wondering why some songs sounded "muddy". Thanks to Head-Fi I figured out that I needed an amp to drive this high impedance headphone. Borrowed a portable one from a friend and now my HD439 is light years better than before.
Long story short, I'm craving for more. Here are my criteria and notes:
- Signature -- a bit more bass heavy, but not overpowering the Mids. I listen to mostly pop, R&B and soft rock.
- Build -- due to the Shure experience I am looking for something more sturdy
(I hope Shure fans will pardon me but my experience I was tainted by this single incident, as I generally take good care of my possessions)
- Closed, over the ear -- my wife cannot stand sound leakages, as she sleeps before I do and she is very sensitive to noises.
- Portable -- travel quite often for work
- Source -- My music are played from laptop/smartphone, and I will likely get a portable amp/DAC (e.g. FiiO E17) as my laptop only has a built-in soundcard.
- Price -- $300-400 for the headphone, ~$150 for the portable amp/DAC
Tried the following:
- Beats Studio -- a little too much bass. I'm too lazy to handle the batteries for the noise cancellation.
- Sennheiser Momemtum -- a bit too natural for my taste. Great can.
- Sennheiser HD 598 -- same as above
- Denon D600 -- loved this pair. At the upper limit of my budget range. Not too portable though.
- Grados -- basically I ruled out this brand (sorry Grado fans ...) as they feel awkward on my ears. I guess I'm too used to full size over ear models.
- AKG Q701 -- too natural for my taste
V-Moda M-100, on paper, appears to meet all my requirements, but I can't find a local store where I can try it out.
I do really like Denon D600, but the price difference may allow me to get a better amp/DAC.
Must admit that I find M-100's look a lot more stylish than the D600.
Many thanks for reading this and all suggestions are welcome!