I spent like 6 hours yesterday night doing my own research, looking through other head-fi threads and reading amazon reviews. So I'm looking to buy my first pair of "premium" grade headphones. And the reason I quote premium is because my budget is less than $200. I realize you cannot get a product at that low of a price that will impress you audiophiles but I am simply trying to get into your world. I'm no authority on the nuances of sound. I think even a $170 pair of phones would be impressive. I'm currently using a pair of cheap Phillips.
The two biggest buying factors for me are comfort and obviously, how the phones sound. Comfort is key since I have a huge head. I was looking at the VModa phones and initially thought they looked pretty damn cool. Then I read a review and discovered that they don't fit big noggins. Looked at the Grado line as well since they are consistently recommended for people who listen to rock but those look painfully small as well. This goes into the style of music I listen to. Rock is the staple. Simply put, the majority of what I listen to is band music. Not always guitar heavy but the formula is there. Favorite bands are Modest Mouse, Floyd, Wilco, Pavement, Arcade Fire, Radiohead, GYBE... Tons of indie obviously. Of lately I've been getting more into hip hop and electronic music. Been listening to Kanye pretty heavily for the past year.
I had an intention to get the Beyerdynamic DT770s but apparently they are bass heavy, not suitable for the bulk of the music I listen to. They do look incredibly comfortable though. I also took a look at the COPs but I'm not sure if that's an appropriate fit either. Sennheiser 558s were on my radar for quite a while. I keep hearing good things about the 598s. I've checked out A900X and A700X. I've gone in circles, re-examining reviews and threads. Still, I'm lost.
One thing to note, I plan on getting a USB DAC/amp, the NuForce Icon 2 specifically. That runs for almost $100. I'm budgeting here to get a quality DAC since my laptop is my main source (terrible sound card). Unless of course I settle for a lower impedance model. But I know for something like the DT770s, it needs proper driving.
If you guys can chime in on my dilemma, it'd be much appreciated.