Hi all, my first post, so here goes:
I own a Sennheiser HD 202 and really enjoyed my Sennheiser CX 485s before they broke after some fairly light usage. This would be my first set of nicer, audiophile-level headphones. I've always wanted to get a nicer set of headphones, and after using Apple earbuds and cheap $10 Skullcandy in-ears for years, I think now's the time.
I read through the recommendation threads here, and I've got a handful of potential headphones I wanted some help whittling down, though I'm certainly open to other suggestions as well: I figure it'd be better to ask the experts to get a better feel for what fits well. The Shure HD840, Shure HD940, Audio Technica ATH-M50, Sony MDR-1R, and Sennheiser HD380 are what I'm looking at right now. I also like the Sennheiser HD 598, but the fact that it's open slightly concerns me. All of them are in my price range, though obviously the cheaper, the better. I picked these out by scouring some sound and comfort descriptions, but again, I'm very open to suggestions. I don't own an amp (it sounds like I might want to pick one up at some point, but that's for another time, I guess), and I predict I'll be using this mostly in my dorm room, and occasionally out and about, hence my preference for closed. I don't have any sound card other than the default on my laptop (Sound Blaster X-FI MB 3), though I would plan to switch over to my desktop eventually (also doesn't have a sound card; probably will purchase one at some point).
As for what I listen to to give you an idea of what might be a good sound fit, I listen mostly to metal (progressive, death, metalcore, experimental) and rock (alternative, progressive), though I'm trying to get into jazz and classical, and have found myself listening to a lot of Asian pop (Korean, Japanese, Chinese) recently. A lot of distorted/downtuned, guitar-heavy stuff, and most of it is in the more experimental/proggy vein (DIR EN GREY, Meshuggah, Devin Townsend, Kayo Dot, King Crimson, Karnivool). Pretty much all my music is v0 mp3.
I like being able to hear my bass (especially in rock/metal and electronic), and I prefer sharp, snappy, tight sounding drums, and a fairly balanced sound overall (I think), where no instrument is really overwhelming, though perhaps with guitars a bit at the forefront. I guess that means I like distinguishable bass, clean mids, and not too squeaky treble? Unfortunately, I don't know what this really translates to what I should be looking for in a pair of headphones, so that's why I'm here to ask you experts!
I'd be really grateful for any help at all you can give. I'm excited to finally be buying my first pair of good headphones!
Edited by 5thEagle - 10/10/13 at 11:03am