Her poison is a lot of female Jazz vocal (Diana Krall, Melody Gardot, Madeleine Peyroux, Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simon, etc.), also Tom Waits, C.W. Stoneking, Leonard Cohen, Amy Winehouse, Ute Lemper, Joan Baez, Fado and Flamenco, and Operas. I'm sure she'll appreciate clean, detailed, spacious with good separation and balanced sound without overpowering and tiring bass and highs.
She feels and understands her music deeply but unfortunately when it comes to sound quality the only things she knows are Apple's iPhone buds and a Bose kitchen system. From my own experience I know what an amazing shock it is for the first time to listen to a familiar music using decent phones.She doesn't know what she is missing! I want to amaze her with what a difference good gear makes and I know she'll appreciate it. She listened once to my AKGs running from Marantz and headamp and was smitten but said that she would never put on her head such big and heavy things that cover her ears. My budget is up to $500.
I don't think that there are good buds. Maybe Phiaton's 210? I never listened to them, how do they compare to my Westone 4? If not buds then what is left are over the ear phones according to the criteria from the title and what I said above.
Edited by albau - 12/27/13 at 3:34pm