I'm new to this community and I was hoing to get a few recommendations to steer my thoughts on buying a new pair of headphones. I'll give you a bit of history and facts to give you an idea of my listener profile.
Here is a link to my Last.FM profile, so you can have an idea of my musical tastes. I enjoy rock (classic rock, for the most part), electronic music, jazz and classical, mostly, with regular incursions into metal, pop and j.pop. Iconic bands/artists include Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Nine Inch Nails, Miles Davis, Bach, Tom Waits, Massive Attack, Air, Bjork, Opeth, Porcupine Tree, nothing too out of the ordinary.
Years ago, I bought a pair of Sennheiser HD570, which I liked quite a lot back then. I don't remember how they sounded exactly, but these were my first pair of quality headphones.
I did some home studio recording for a couple of years and bought myself Mackie HR824 studio monitors, which I still have. I still enjoy those a lot, though I rarely sit in front of this computer anymore. Those are my go-to speakers when I want to have a good listening session anyway.
In the living room, I use Energy CF-30s, their CC-10 center speaker and their CSW-C8 subwoofer. Pretty decent, for the price. I use that for my home cinema as well as with my turntable. Not the ideal setup, but it'll do for now. I hope to make a listening room someday, in the basement, where I'd really love a vintage sound system, perhaps with 70s Tannoys or Celestion. Long term project.
Right now, when I listen to music, it's 80 % of the time at the office, while working, often streaming from my own Shoutcast server. I got a pair of Klipsch Image S4, plugged in my HTC Desire HD (probably going to replace soon). I was satisfied at first, but now, I find it really unconfortable after an hour or so. I'd like to use those only on the bus/airplane.
Recently, I had a chance to listen to a pair of Grado S325i. I was really impressed... they were tested directly from my HTC Desire HD, with no amp. I played a couple of 320 kpbs mp3 files (I tried the APX double-blind test and was never able to differentiate mp3s from FLACs - so I still use MP3).
So now, I'm looking to get a new pair of headphones. Good ones. I'd like something confortable, since I'm going to wear this hours everyday. My budget is more or less 300$. Could go a bit higher if it's really worth it. I work in a closed, silent office. I will play mp3 files from a portable phone. I own the HTC Desire HD, but will be looking for a replacement in the coming weeks. I was hoping to get a few suggestions from the Head-Fi community :
- Any phone better than the others for music playback?
- Considering my ears won't make any difference between a flac file and a properly ripped mp3, do I need to consider buying a DAC?
- Headphone amplifiers? If this is needed: I'd like to spend most of the budget on the cans. Is there a cheap but efficient solution?
- Models that comes to mind?
- Any good reads to suggest?