I am in the market to get a set of nice, comfortable headphones, and probably a DAC to go with it. I have owned several pairs of headphones over the years, mostly sub-$100 Sennheisers. I'm not married to that brand, they just happened to be the ones I picked at the time. I have also ordered a couple of sets from Amazon in the $100-$200 range that I have had to return because they just weren't comfortable. The issue is that I have a rather large noggin, and either my ears get pinned down and start to ache, or the clamping force on my skull/neck around my ears gives me a headache after a few minutes.
I have a pair of UE TripleFi 10's that I am quite fond of, and are nice for on the go (especially after that noisy-ass stock cable fell apart), but I want something that I can listen to at my desk at work, or at my desk at home. They don't have to be portable, since I have the UEs, but it'd be nice if they were sturdy enough for me to carry home on the bus for weekend use (probably wouldn't transport them every day).
I'm not sure whether I want open or closed. Ideally, I'd want open, since I hear they give superior sound stage, and I already get a very closed sound with my UEs. I do sit near other people at work, so I am concerned about driving other people crazy with any noise bleed through. I don't typically listen all that loud, but I am sensitive to annoying environmental noise, like other people's loud-ass earphones, so I don't want to be that guy to other people when I get super annoyed with that guy myself.
So, comfort is key, but obviously I don't want to drop nearly a grand on a set of headphones and DAC that sound like tin cans just because they are comfortable. I listen to music from acoustic, folky, bluegrassy stuff to electronic, ambient, sort of poppy stuff. I like stuff with a lot of dynamic range and rhythms, but not stuff with over-powering bass (no dubstep, Daft Punk is too pounding for me, etc). Some of the stuff I have been listening to a lot lately is Punch Brothers (anything by Chris Thile), Radical Face, The Civil Wars, The Head and the Heart, The Goat Rodeo Sessions (the more acoustic end) to Dawn of Midi, Electric President, The Shins, Cloud Cult, Vampire Weekend, Explosions in the Sky, etc.
So, nothing too fast, nothing with a lot of distortion. I do love rhythms and the bass (as an instrument), so the low end is important, but like I said, I am susceptible to being over-powered by bass (I think my ears are especially sensitive to pressure changes, which tons of bass causes).
So, go hog wild with recommendations. I'm open to anything up to $900, but that is a pretty hard upper limit. If I can get great sound and comfort for less, I'm open to that as well.
edit: I should probably add a note about the DAC or amp situation. I have tried using my UEs directly connected to my computer's tower at work and the output was atrocious (I usually use my cellphone to listen to music at work, considering). It is a Dell tower with probably the lowest end sound card possible. I have a MBP at home that I would probably use mainly for these things. I'm not sure what the best setup would be (DAC only, AMP only, both, neither, other, additional superfluous list item).
Edited by realityinabox - 2/22/14 at 6:47am