My question: are there headphones that don't sacrifice comfort for good isolation and low leakage? I have an issue with headphones that have good isolation/low leakage in that the clamping force is usually too strong and the part where the cups press on my jaw gets very uncomfortable after less than 10 minutes of use.
I bought and tried the following:
NVZ XPT100 - great comfort. good isolation. wife could hear everything playing at 50% volume on my ipod. Didn't like that they didn't fold for increased portability. Also wasn't a fan of input cables going through both cups. Loved the sound signature
M-Audio Q40 - great isolation and low leakage. Could play songs around 70% before wife complained. replaced the stock ear pads with shure 840 pads. Been stretching them for 3 days, clamp force is still too strong. Cable seems like it isn't very durable. LOVED how these sounded.
Shure 440 - comfortable, similar level of isolation/leakage as the XPT100s. Didn't love the sound signature.
ATH m50s - Same issue as with the q40s comfort-wise. Definitely less clamp force after stretching for a couple days. But seemed to leak a lot more afterwards. Sound was good at first, but then I noticed the muddiness a lot of people complain about.
I guess when all is said and done, the comfort is slightly more important to me than the sound. I can't enjoy the sound if I can't keep the headphones on. I can't stand IEMs, which I know is the obvious solution. And I know that over the ear cans won't have 0% leakage, but I just was wondering if you guys have any suggestions on what I should try next. I heard a lot of good things comfort-wise about the CAL!s but I am looking for a set that can fold for portability (unless some of you who bring your cans with you everywhere can provide insight on long term convenience of foldable/unfoldable cans?). I just started my journey into the world of hifi (ignorance is bliss in terms of my wallet...), so I'm trying to keep my budget under $150 on my first pair (returned all the ones mentioned above).
Edit for clarity: I know I can't get the perfect headset to meet all my needs, so here is the list of traits I am looking for in descending order of priority:
2. Minimal Leakage
Edited by Dubear - 2/1/14 at 11:29am