Last week I lost my pair of ATH-M50 (so choked) and I need to replace them. Having owned them for probably five years, I'm very familiar with their sound - it's very resolving with a lot of top end air and deep, powerful bass. But to me their upper bass and midrange are too recessed for me to call balanced so I won't be getting another pair. They were nice for what they were but I've simply had my fill with their sound
I used to own Sennheiser 202s a long time ago and really didn't love them... I don't want headphones that rest on my ear and they also didn't have the resolution I was looking for.
I'm also very familiar with the Denon DN-HP1000 which I consider a lot more balanced than the Audio Technicas. However I also find them to be a bit less comfortable (enough to matter) and their sound still isn't natural - it's too forward at times leading to an ear-piercing upper midrange.
I know I'm looking for closed back, because my use for headphones is generally in cases where my hi fi speakers can't be used (IE at a library or on a train) and I can't say I'm very enthusiastic about active noise cancelling.
One of my favorite sounding headphones was my pair off Sennheiser 415HDs but not only were they open back, but they weren't very durable, their on-ear fit wasn't my thing, and also a step below the above two in resolution, especially IIRC in treble (don't quote me on this, as I can't really listen to them anymore) since they went and broke.. I definitely can't complain about their balance from what i recall.
What I'm buying definitely needs to be 32 ohm or something along those lines, as my sources are pretty mundane IE laptops and cell phones. I'm not a "snobby critical listener" with headphones on, but I'm still quick to pick up on issues.
Based on these factors I'm looking for a new pair. Since it wasn't ever in my current budget, I can't afford to shell out $350 for some of the appealing looking options(Beyerdynamic 880, Sennheiser Momentum), and the options that are there I just don't know enough about. Am I asking for too much? A balanced, resolving pair of sensitive closed back cans that doesn't cost too much?
So far i've looked at:
Sennheiser HD-449 - The lower cost just makes me skeptical. I don't want to step down from my ATH-M50s in any real respect - I only want to go up without paying much more than I paid for those.
AKG Q701 - this seems to be slightly over my budget, but probably what I will go for if you guy's can't help me find something else!