Hey head-fi newcomer here.
Primary use is about 60/40 in favor of music, then gaming. So that is why I need atleast a bit of a soundstage, not just plain stereo headphones.
Music - metal, with some rock but mostly just really heavy/fast/melodic metal. Inflames/dark tranquility/disarmonia mundi etc
I tried the creative aruvana lives(CALS!) and loved the sound signature, it was amazing for someone just starting like me. They were so lively and fun, and sounded great in gaming as they had a decent sound stage aswell.
The comfort of these were terrible for me, I understand it's either a love or hate with them and I hated the comfort. They were to small and crushed my ears.
So I sent them back and ordered the beyer DT990 250 pro's, as a bit of research shown me that they are supposed to be beyers "fun" model. With great bass, and amazing soundstage. Though I have no intention of amping, so they sadly sound awful to me.
I got them for there comfort recommendations and they are amazingly comfortable, they really are and very well made. My plan was so buy them first then amp them later down the line, but the sound is so bad imo unamped compared to the CALS at half the price, so I am returning them. They have high sibilance that hurt my ears, and without the amp to tighten the bass they are very boomy and drown everything else out.
Budget = $160 max.
Easy to drive
Decent punchy bass
open or closed but prefer closed, as I share a room with a significant other.
warm sounding and great for metal, no other music genre matters to me.
Decent sound stage, doesn't have to be amazing or even great, just decent enough for gaming.
Are there any headphones out there that tick all those boxes, or am I being to picky specific within my budget?
Ones I am looking at:
Brainwavz hm5, though I don't know if they are going to be to natural and laid back for metal.
Audio tech ah-m50 - Only due to the overwhelming number of recommendations everywhere. Though they have no soundstage.
Ultransone hifi-50 They were my top pic but after googling some threads in here, people are saying they are bad for metal but good for dance/rap/hip hop/rnb etc
Grado sr80i - tempted, but I need comfortable headphones and these have no soundstage