Ok guys, I've been researching headphones for my tastes for the past 2 weeks. I've read the headphone buyer's guide, and looked at lots of reviews. I have sort of an idea of what I'm looking for, but new headphones keep coming into view that seem like they would be good for what I'm into. I feel like there is such a huge selection that I finally just need to give a good summary of myself (in a musical sense), and hope that a few good people in the community stumble across this thread.
Musical tastes: I really enjoy J-Rock, J-Pop, and a bit of J-Rap, the majority of my music archives are filled with Supercell, Anime OSTs, and Random Vocaloid singles. I do listen to a variety of western music, but only in short bursts. I'll give the top 40 a listen now and again, maybe throw a song I enjoyed on the radio to my player. A lot of female vocals here, folks.
Headphone History: As a teen I owned a few pairs of headphones, including a pair of Beats... (don't freak out, they were a gift).
I also had a relatively well off friend in high school that let me borrow quite a few pairs of Sennheiser and Audio-Technica headphones (there were a few other brand names I don't remember, it's been 6 years), I don't know what models, but early in the borrowing he did tell me a ball park price (I assume to guarantee their safe return) it was usually around 600~900USD. He would sell the old (after a few weeks), and get a new pair, all along the way letting me use them just as long as he had. At the time, I just thought he was a really cool friend, now I see him as... well he sparked my love of Japanese music, made me appreciate good sounding audio, I don't mean to get sappy, I just can't write this without giving him the proper respect. Done.
Sound signature: I have since then formed a list of "sound features" that I really like. I really like good instrument separation, it's pretty high on my list of loves in a pair of headphones. I also like decent bass, I like it to be 'tight' and 'punchy', I prefer that it has a solid presence but doesn't muddy up my mids and highs too much. I like my mids slightly forward, again a lot of female vocals. I like my highs pretty clear, but slightly relaxed, as I'm very sensitive to sibilance, so harsh 'S' sounds and symbols hurt a lot on the wrong set of headphones, as reference, I own a pair of Vsonic VC02 IEMs and the sibilance on some of my songs is almost enough to make me vomit, leading me to make a special playlist just for them.
Type and Pricing: I'm looking for a pair of 'over the ear' headphones (could be on-ear, if comfort is good), in the 100~150USD price range. Portability is a plus. I don't mind getting them second hand, so sales and bargains will be hunted (if amazon or a good ebay seller has a pair of 300 'new' headphones, available 'used' within my range, I'll go for it). So if you have a recommendation that is a little out of my range but could be found somewhere within it, I appreciate the suggestion. Also, the closer I can stay to 100USD the better.
On my radar so far:
Sennheiser HD 558
Grado SR80i (a little bit afraid of possible sibilance)
Setup: FLAC, 320k MP3s > Sansa Clip Zip > Headphones. (I know that I might get some flack for that, but I like the way it sounds, even with high end cans.) I do have an amp if necessary.
Thank you for stopping by, any help is greatly appreciated. I'll be checking back often, so I'll likely respond and engage with anyone with an idea in a prompt manner. If you need any more information don't hesitate to ask.