I'm Vijay, from Australia. I'm 28, and I moved to Australia from Maine when I was 19. Pardon the forthcoming ramble.
I never had a huge fascination with headphones until recently (1-2 years ago). I had always bought headphones when I needed them. When I had a Walkman I was more than happy to use the Walkman headphones, and thought they were great. I slowly got more and more into hi-fi as I got into my later teen years but only sought to find a solution to my 'noise' problem, and as such, I bought some Sennheiser HD212s as me splurging on an expensive and good pair of headphones when I was 18 and first visiting Australia. I bought my girlfriend the HD 202s at the same time.
When I left university I started working, and at one time or another my latest in a long line of budget headphones died. I'd had some JVC white foldables that I bought at David Jones, and then some TDK supra-aural closed headphones (I think maybe the ST-350?) that I had quite liked - I had never really had closed headphones, and especially not padded ear cup type headphones - since I had found that the HD 212s hurt my head and my ears with glasses. I can't really wear earbuds or IEMs because the cartilege in my ear tends to hurt a lot when I do that. I really quite liked the TDK set but they had broken a bit quicker than I wanted and I decided to investigate further. I went back to the same store I'd gotten the HD 212s from and looked for work appropriate headphones. JB Hi-Fi mainly now sells Skullcandy, Beats by Dre, Sennheiser and Bowers & Wilkins, and Sony with a few odds and bods thrown in. They had had a small range of AKG headphones. I liked the look of some of those, but had no idea about the brand or anything about it. Further investigation brought me to review and sales sites such as HeadRoom and headphones.com.au and also to here to find anything I could. Thus began my use of Head-Fi as a resource of information and popular consenus, but only as a lurker. I eventually did buy the AKG K420s and I still like them and am still very fond of them. They have a couple of splits in the cabling now, so are probably on their last legs unless I get better at repairing or just taping them up. I use them everyday at work.
This foray of expense and the entire new world of headphone consumption that I had stumbled into was eye-opening, and from thence onwards I looked and looked into finding other pairs of headphones. My close friends and colleagues at work got sucked into this as well - one of them had a pair of Sennheiser PX-100s and then bought the PX-200s.I bought some Koss PortaPros to compare to the PX-100s (and they are still my bedside headphone). We endlessly compared and researched. We all found the Portables Shoot-Around of immeasurable value and even made a weighted scale based on the ratings to what suited our needs. I eventually settled on getting the AT M50s from the Audio Technica lounge at Syndey Centrepoint (Westfield Sydney now, I suppose). I went down there and I guess by pure luck (or not, some might find) I ended up coming home with the AT A900x at a very good price because the M50s weren't in stock. I really enjoyed the ability to look and listen to a lot of different sets, though, and I knew that I would want to do that sort of thing again. The A900x are my favourite headphones that I own (or have listened to), and though they look awfully goofy at work - and my bald, oily head is a worry, I am very fond of them even if I don't use them much at the moment.
I found out about PeachBudz in West Des Moines when I was scheduled to go to Iowa for a thanksgiving gathering of friends who we had known in Australia. I was very excited to go there and the staff and owner there were very kind to me. Because my 'first love' was the AKGs, I really wanted to get some K550s. I hemmed and hawed for all 9 days we were there and eventually bought them basically just before leaving. I didn't NEED them, as I already had headphones I loved. This was breaking new ground in the way I buy things.. buying 'redundant' things simply because I liked or admired them yet may not actually get the 'value' out of them. But I wanted them and couldn't beat the price in Australia - and wanted to help support the shop that had been so good to me - so I came home with them. As Tyll said in his review, the seal issues do seem to be a problem for bass hearing, but boy they are fun to listen to all the same. I love them too, but not quite as much.
While there I had listened to the Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro and the T50p. I had been interested in the smallish on-ear nature of the T50p but wasn't in the market for that sort of thing at the time, and certainly not at the price to compete with the K550s. I thought that the Custom One Pro would be good for my friends who prefer the PX-100 and the heavy bass sounds of the Skullcandy headphones and also have a rugged sort of styling. My next trip to America had me purchasing them from Peachbudz, with the aim to let my friends listen to them and play witth the nifty gimmicky bass modulator. They seem to be more detailed and spacious than the PX-100s and skullcandies but having a sound signature that suits those people as well, especially with the 3rd and 4th bass levels. They aren't great and I don't know if I like them or want to sell them or give them away, but since they are the least crazy huge looking, I use them at work a lot when not needing open hearing.
I finally signed up here to respond to an Australian saying they had some DT1350s for sale, and signed up - even though I hate signing up for things. But now I'm here and hopefully I'll post and be part of the community inasmuch as I can be. I haven't been interested in spending enough to buy into the 'upper echelons' of this product type, and I don't know if I am smart enough to know the difference anway, but I love hearing about it all. I ended up buying some DT1350s on ebay, and coming full circle, I liked them because they seem to be the 'serious' portable of the T50p and also are the highest ranked on the shoot around, which I guess means a lot to me. :) So they'll be coming soon, hopefully. I also just bought a friend the Panasonic RP-HTF600-S because he was doing some favours for me. He said he likes them, but I haven't gotten any real detailed analysis out of him yet.
So I'm excited, yet restrained, in my headphone love. Thanks for being here.. this place is great and a wealth of seemingly good-spirited people AND information.
Edited by chocolatewol - 10/2/13 at 7:06am