I would appreciate the forum members opinions of the best sounding High-End for Over-the-Ear Closed Headphones ($1,700 and over is ok).
It would help if you let us know your music preferences, and perhaps your associated equipment - source and amp.
There are many high end headphones, with various proponents and detractors here. I usually don't comment on items for folks that listen to other kinds of music than I do. I don't feel I can really tell someone how certain gear works with music styles that I don't listen to, or truly appreciate.
There are also different "flavors" available with "warm" sound, "bright" sound, "detailed" sound, and "lush" sound. All of these are changeable to some degree by the electronics that go with the system.
I personally like detail, but not brightness, and just a tad of warmness and lushness. I do tend to listen to jazz, some classic rock, and really like bluegrass, and solo guitar. While I listen occasionally to most of the other genres, most the time I default to my favorites.
My office and home system is listed in my signature. The office system is complete, the home system is primarily speaker based, but that will change once my BHSE and SR009 show up. (pending BHSE construction) The office system is well balanced, both detailed, and a little laid back. It was really improved nicely with the Wyred4Sound DAC2se upgrade. My home system will have the slightly warmish tubed dac with the highly detailed Stax headphone.
Put your preferences out there, and you will attract people with your preferences to put the gear that they like listening to.
Since you sound like you are new to this,
I would recommend you start with Hifiman HE500s as a low-risk in terms of money spent or risk of painful sound (but still give you a definite high end resolving sound).
If you want to spend more, try Fostex TH900s which can be arguably the top sound overall (this is a loaded statement, but I have trouble saying anything is "better" without question, just different).
Both have no obvious comfort issues or some intense part of the sound signature that needs to be tamed.
Neither require a super-tailored or expensive amp or source to sound fine (but they do scale up).
I like these on all types of music ( I tend to like mainstream popular music -pop, rock,vocals, non-audiophile music, some classical.)
All of the other phones I can think of need more care in setting up or getting the comfort right.
I own both of these (for over a year) and have tried them on several amps/sources.
LOL, I always find it funny when someone specifically ask for "closed" headphone recommendation and someone comes along and recommend an "open" headphone. Finding a good closed headphone can be a little troublesome. There have been some great closed cans made at one time or another, but many of them are no longer in production.
With the budget you have, the fostex th900 is a very easy and safe recommendation. If you want to save a grand, the th600 have many fans and has been reported to compete with many cans in the 1000.00 range. If you want a little more isolation and willing to be a little patient the audio technica w3000 is an excellent can and the second best closed headphone I've ever listened to. But they are no longer in production, but do show up a lot in the used market. Those would be my top two recommendations as far as closed cans go.
Why is the Stax SR-009 so expensive and is there any reliable source for getting a lower price (I know it's an open headphone)? What is the best (without needing any mods) over-the-ear closed headphone? You can use any amount over $1,700 & that way I can compare the different headphones. I know this is very subjective, but your help would be helpful. I listen to symphonies & classical music, country & western, and oldies (I realize their sonics aren't going to be as good as newer recordings
bob, i dont think there is a good source for lower priced sr009, i think getting used is best best if your looking to save some coin. And yes the SR009 are opened also you will need a special kind of amp for it to work most setups I have seen with it run close to 10K for a great amp for it. And for your music choice Im not sure if the fostex th900 is likely not something your looking for it not exactly very neutral and tends to be bass heavy, Also if your looking into those rarer closed hp such as R10, L3000 keep in mind replacement parts are hard to find so be careful on the condition. However given the meets i have been to and some private listening sessions I can say is the R10 and L3000 are good, but they each are far from color free and from what your telling me it seem you may consider something more depth and greater resolution.
This is really difficult because from my experience there are not too many choices and that is the reason many go open if they can. I would like to suggest the sony CD3000 as well I had a pair for sometime and are simular to the R10 in ways but much easier to find but its also discontinued now.
May I suggest looking into custom IEM instead they are closed if that is a must, greater practical use & give some of those other closed hp a run for there money!