Hey guys, long time lurker on headfi, this is my first post. So I've been looking to snag a new pair of headphones since my old ones (Klipsch Image Ones I got for $35 used) broke. I'm setting my budget around $200 for the whole setup, preferably less, would maybe go a tad over for a significant sound improvement.
In terms of first pair headphones recommendations, I hear ATH M50's thrown around a TON. Even 2 of my friends recommended them, however, I have also read occasionally that "ATH M50 is the most overrated headphone of the century". I might reconsider though, because I saw a refurb deal for only $75.
The other headphones I'm consider are the Sennheiser HD558, which are supposed to be excellent, cheap open headphones. I also am considering the AKG K550 if I can find a sale on it. I also saw AKG Q701 on sale used for ~$125. I would have instantly snagged these, but they supposedly do strongly require amping, and a DAC, and the amp setup itself would cost me more than the headphones and put me a chunk over budget.
What I'm looking for:
My number one consideration is cost-efficiency because I am a college student. I am willing to go towards $200 and maybe a bit higher, but only if the increase in quality is actually significant. I would like to hover around the $100 range.
I want a pair of headphones with really good soundstage; I'm tired of having that "inside your head" sound and I would like a pair with really broad soundstage. (AKG K550 is supposed to have on of the best closed soundstage, and since HD558 is open, naturally that also has a good soundstage).
Comfort is also important because I wear headphones for several hours a day while doing homework.
I would ideally like a closed set because I live in a dorm and have a roommate, but if the leakage isn't bad, that'd be okay too.
I listen to a pretty wide range of music: I like a lot of acoustic music, Tommy Emmanuel, Jack Johnson, Taylor Swift. I also listen to a lot of pop, and some rap like Macklemore. The Klipsch Image Ones I have right now are pretty bass heavy, and I kind of enjoy that sound signature because it's fun, but I think I would also enjoy a pair of flat, nuanced headphones where I can pick out more detail.
So, out of these picks, ATH M50, AKG Q701, Senn HD558, and AKG K 550 or any other headphones, what would you guys recommend? I know it's kind of broad, but I'd like to hear some opinions and recommendations.
Thanks a bunch!