Originally Posted by syn010110
It seems all but impossible to find a pair of portable circumaural headphones that don't either sound awful or destroy my ears with pain.
Isn't that the truth? I decided to take a gamble on the Sony MDR10RDC (same as the MDR10RNC but without the iPhone-friendly mic cable). Bought it via an eBay open-box special for about $75 plus shipping.
As far as keeping the noise out? Great! Very quiet and very comfortable. It fulfills its main purpose.
Sound quality? Just OK. Kind of murky and distant out of my iPhone. Highs and mids lack clarity but an external amp may help... haven't tried this yet. Also keep in mind I'm coming from a Decware HD800 setup so I'm extra judgmental. ;)
Noise cancelling circuit is a little quirky. You'll hear some quiet squealing when the sound is at near silence, but it's not a dealbreaker unless it's also picking up radio signals (some people report issues with this). So far, no issues there.
Value for money? Unbeatable at $75. Retail price I don't think I'd want to go much over $120-ish for these. Certainly not worth the $250 MSRP.
Final verdict? Recommended for somewhat un-fussy listeners who want a cheap, comfortable, reasonably-portable pair of closed cans for noisy environments.