Hey there, complete audio newbie here. Going to do the cliché thing and ask for some recommendations on headphones.
I've been using FL Studio since 2007 and decided I finally need to get some reference-class headphones to help with my hobby. I don't have the means to make a studio at the moment so the sound from any standalone monitors would just bounce all around the walls. I primarily compose orchestral pieces and the strings and piano are more prominent for me than the brass. Might be a different case if I had a better sound library for the brass sections, but I can't complain too much about it. I wouldn't mind having a pair of headphones I could use both for creating and listening, but if one has to compromise the other I'd rather favor the referencing quality. In the listening department I have a wide range of music I like to listen to; Vocal, Progressive, Electro-Jazz, Rock, etc. You name it and I'll listen to at least a little of it from time to time, with the exception of Country (sorry fellow Texans, just not my thing).
I had been originally looking at the Shure SRH840/940's, but this was well before I did any proper research on the subject. I just knew from word-of-mouth that Shure made good audio products and that I had gotten a mic from them. What I didn't know at the time was the difference between closed and open headphone setups. Seeing as though most of Shure's headphones are closed, I'm somewhat reluctant to try them now.
That being said, I've never owned a "high-end" pair of headphones so I don't honestly know much of what I would need. Probably the highest end earpieces I've owned have been a pair of Sennheiser CX300 Mk II earbuds and an older pair of BOSE earbuds. Therefore my opinion on what I might need is kind of uninformed and based solely on reviews I've seen and articles I've read. Unfortunately many reviews I've come upon have been somewhat biased and it doesn't help that everyone has different audio preferences as well. After stumbling upon this forum I thought about going to one of the meet-ups to try out some equipment and have some of my questions answered only to find that I just missed the Dallas area meet-up a few weeks ago. Therefore I'm limited to a forum post and no actual in-person testing :( sad day.
Other pairs I'm currently looking at include:
Sennheiser HD 598
Audio-Technica ATH-AD900X (somewhat not sure about these... saw a review that talked about the gap between the upper part of the earcups and the side of the head that seems to be common for a lot of people)
I've also taken a look at the buying guide thread: http://www.head-fi.org/a/headphone-buying-guide So opinions on those are welcome as well as any other suggestions.
Hell, I'm not even sure if a pair of open headphones would be the best option. Should I still be looking into pairs of closed headphones like the Shure's? I understand that open configurations give you a "wider soundstage" and an overall more natural sound instead of it seeming to come from inside your head, but I've never had the chance to try them so I have no idea personally what would be best for my needs. I also understand that open headphones have no isolation, but don't worry I'm not concerned about that in the slightest. These would be headphones I would use at-home exclusively. I am by no means a "bass-head", but there is something to be said about an absolute absence of the lower frequencies I've seen being talked about in some open headphones.
I'm looking for a good pair of cans for no more than $350 that can sufficiently cover the needs I've mentioned. I have no brand preference as I've no experience in higher end audio.
My onboard audio solution has a bundled 300-ohm headphone amp (advertised signal-to-noise ratio of 110dB). Currently don't have to funds to purchase a dedicated amp if I'm going to be spending this much on the headphones. Could probably get on in the next few months though. Would my onboard audio solution's bundled headphone amp be sufficient to drive these headphones?
Thank you greatly for your time, opinions, and suggestions.
PS: Sorry if I misuse any lingo.