I recently purchased XBA-30s (IEMs) imported from Japan and they were my first mid-high end iem. I enjoyed their sound a lot (minus slightly metallic highs). Unfortunately, a wire came loose inside the right earpiece after just about a week, and I am looking for a new on the go solution (note, I don't mind if it is a bigger headphone, just as long as it is closed back; for exercising I use cheap on ears). At the moment, I pretty much only have my he-500s I use for home listening and want a solution asap because I am away from home for very long periods of time during the week, but have time to listen to music while studying. Before the xba-30as, I solely used my ath-m50s for portable use, but I sold them to a friend after buying the iems. Also, the m50s sound signature did not quite do it for me; the xbas more or less out shined them in all sonic aspects.
Anyway, I am done with iems... I didn't even put them in pockets without a case and was very careful with them, but they still broke. I feel safer just having a pair of headphones that are not liable to break as easily as iems. Headphones I've been looking into include:
-Audio Technica ATH-ES700
-Obviously open to suggestions
I just generally like a balanced, clear, and smooth sound. For reference, the HE-500s to my ears are more or less perfect, I can't think of anything negative to say about them after the ~1800 hours of head time in the past year (I use velour pads). On the other hand, the M50s bass was not controlled enough for me and I did not like the slightly scratchy frequencies some of the highs had, but for the most part were good, especially with female vocals. Really deep and controlled, but neutral bass extension is important to me for listening to genres of music like Hardstyle, and was something the XBA-30s did amazingly well. Despite the fact that I like the traits that the HE-500s have as an open back high end headphone, I don't expect more portable, closed back headphones to replicate this, and thus spaciousness/soundstage is not a very big concern to me. One last thing to note is that i strongly prefer the more forward mids of the HE-500 to the slightly recessed mids of both the m50s and xba-30s.
Another requirement for the headphones is to be able to be driven sufficiently using only an iphone 4s (rather powerful for a phone), and possibly a very small portable amp such an a fiio e6(the only portable amp I have right now).
My price limit is right around 600$; however I do not expect to spend that much and if I can be fine with a 150-200$ set of headphones, I am more than happy to do so.
Thanks for reading and any feedback I get!