After doing some research, it looks like I may want to replace my 940s to achieve the change in sound I'm looking for. These were my first "serious" headphone, and while I like a lot about them, I think to get closer to my "ideal" sound would require replacing them, so I am open to suggestions. Here's some basic information
- Price: Up to/around $300
- Closed-back headphones (will be used at work primarily)
- Music tastes: Primarily alternative/hard rock (Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, 311, Megadeth, Smashing Pumpkins) with some dalliances into jazz and classical music.
- Desired sound signature: The Shures come across a little bright/hard in the treble on less-than-stellar recordings, and I feel as though the bass is not very well-defined or taut...somewhat loose. I think the Shures are relatively well balanced, but just come across a little etched-sounding at times. I'd like a headphone that is still very well balanced (no over-emphasis in the bass, please!) with very well controlled, tight bass that is in balance with the rest of the frequency spectrum.
I have considered/looked at:
- NAD HP50
- AKG 550/551
From the reviews/measurements, the AKG seems to have a bit more treble presence than the NADs. The NAD seem to measure extremely well (according to Tyll at InnerFidelity), but I wonder from his descriptions if the NAD would seem "too withdrawn" in the treble...but then there are reviews describing the AKG as too excitable in the treble? The AKG and Shure measure similarly in the impulse response (implying ringing) but the AKG 30Hz response seems more controlled, with a little more bass presence than the Shures. The NAD seems to ring less on impulse response/300Hz square wave, and 30Hz seems even more well controlled if a little more bassy?
Looking at the frequency response for these three headphones, the NAD seems to be the most "rolled off" in the treble but overall balanced, but I would just be slightly concerned about going "too far" in the opposite direction from the Shures. The AKG seems to offer more bass presence than the Shures, but would that be overruled by what seems to be a similar treble signature? Which of the AKG or NAD is most neutral and balanced, thus meeting my goals?
It is very hard to balance these reviews against my goals of having a balanced, controlled bass with neutrality in the treble region as well- overall a balanced signature.
Any comments/comparisons on the above, or any other suggestions to look into?