My headphone journey began last January when a pair of cheapie earbuds I owned bit the dust. Living in an apartment, I can really only enjoy my media with headphones so off to the local K-mart I went to pick up a new pair. I set an initial budget of $15, as I really didn't see the point in getting anything worth more. As I was rummaging through the headphone aisle I stumbled across the clearance section. There they were, the Koss UR-55 circumaural headphones, slashed from $50 to $8. As 8 dollars was well within my budget I decided to take a chance on a brand I was unfamiliar with (oh how ignorant I was back then) because if they were originally $50, they've got to sound at least as good as those JVC earbuds I was thinking of buying. Oh if only I knew...
I returned home and opened the box. Plugged those suckers into my computer and turned on some dubstep (specifically Bangarang by Skrillex). "Whoa, the vocal track doesn't sound as cheap and tinny like it normally does!" Was my first thought. "And those high notes don't hurt my ears so much.". Then came the drop. I was floored! The bass presence was so visceral! No longer fuzzy thumps or a series of machine-like clicks, this bass was tight, controlled yet earthshattering compared to any other way I listened to this song before. I played some of my other tracks, just to see if I could hear any difference with them.
Switching to listen to some America, the intro riff of Ventura Highway trickled over my ears like a gently cascading waterfall. Listening to Wish you were here I could hear David Gilmore cough before starting the oh so famous guitar solo. Everything I listened to had a new details and an overall more realistic sound than with anything I had heard before. I was hooked.
Since then I have acquired 4 more pairs of headphones.including the JVC HA-M55x and HA-FX101b (going through my awkward basshead phase. I still like listening them when I want my head kicked in listening to rap/hip-hop but I regret having paid full MSRP for the more expensive of the two), Sennheiser PX360 (which I bought because I wanted to sample the Sennheiser sound and they were 80% off a price that would normally be out of my price range) and Koss ProDJ200 (which, despite being wildly mismarketed, are the pearl of my collection). I'm already comparison shopping for a portable amp and DAC.
I'm finding I prefer a neutral sound signature, one that is slightly warm with a small preference given toward bass and slightly rolled off highs. I have a pretty eclectic taste in music genres ranging from metal to R&B to rock to folk music, though after listening to other genres with actual good cans I have a newfound appreciation for all types of Jazz and country (is it me or do these genres have higher production values than more mainstream stuff?).
Anyway, that's my little story. I look forward to many fun an insightful conversations on these forums!