I've been using my ATH M50s as an all-rounder (and I know they aren't the best for that) and am looking at buying new headphones with a better budget. I mostly listen to Spotify played from my laptop as my source, so I'm not looking for headphones that are too revealing of the source but still give me details.
What I am looking for in an upgrade:
Must not require an AMP. Again, budget is around $250 for the phones.
ATH M50s just don't have the "presence" I am looking for, especially in the treble to make it full and immersive and less like just sound. I'm almost wanting to call the M50s distant sounding. Similarly there isn't a lot of "oomph" in the treble (or in the bass, but I don't want that to be viewed as wanting "thumpier" bass), and dynamics aren't very impactful as a result. The treble of the M50s is slightly to sibilant for me, and hi-hats can sound a little piercing giving headaches.
Bass is pretty close to what I want in quantity, but the quality could be improved. The timbre should be smoother and much better. Additionally, it feels like just a mid bass hump rather than extensive. I would like the bass to extend further up to the mids to make them feel more full for classical music, and have more sub-bass for listening to bass heavy genres. Better timbre and more spread out bass is what I am looking for, not less bass or more bass overall. I also don't like thumping bass (thumping kick drum hits can give me a headache), but more tonal bass (though I suspect that recordings are more responsible for that than headphones).
I don't care a whole lot about sound stage. Closed headphones are preferred, but I'll settle for open if it improves the sound beyond just positioning ability. Or am I wrong and it is open phones that will make everything sound more lush and have more presence?
I do like the clarity, balance and slight V shape of the M50s. Again I want better quality bass that is more extended, NOT more or less of it overall and not to thumpy. And I am looking for a bit more presence of sound to make it more full and immersive as more impactful dynamics.
Sound quality is what is really important, but I don't want anything too uncomfortable because I plan on wearing these for extended periods. My M50s are fine, but anything worse might be too much. The clamping is fine after I stretched it out some, and the pads definitely could be softer but are just good enough to be fine with and I don't mind the pleather.
Appreciate any suggestions.