I want to try another set of closed headphones. The best I owned so far are the Shure 840s. The major weakness in them for me is that there isn't enough bass and turning up the bass in the EQ leaves a bass that isn't precise enough to find out what's going on. I say "the best I owned" because my brother made me bring him the Denon D7000s when they came out and I really liked them. However I couldn't compare them to mine at that time. I only have the standalone impression and it didn't make me fork out the cash. So, I dunno whether they are the best I heard, ever.
I care most about how the mids are drawn. Think about voices, really hearing the phrasing. Loreena McKennitt and similar singers in high-quality recordings. However, I play bass and need to do something about the problem above. I would say that I spend significant time in mastering now, and I offer services for voice processing (to be used in other people's mixes). Mind you I didn't say "successfully" but hey :)
So I plan to go with the 1540s, because I believe:
- different manufacturers stay with the same basic sound for the same kind of phones (closed, open etc)
- better headphone cost more money to make, I'm not enthusiastic about another $200 pair
- the big driver sounds very appealing to me given what I think the cheaper Shures are missing for me
My major contender was the K550 based on theorycrafting because my 1980s K240 monitors are still like new and they draw mids... well, awesome. However, I hated the guts out of the K271 II I owned and I figured the K550s are probably more like the 271s than the K240s.
For reference I always include my "history" when asking for headphone recommendations. This isn't about "wall of text", just if you are interested.
- Sennheiser 250 HD linear. Not bad but fell apart. Not happy with quality. Good bass. Overall a bit cheap and not quite up to the standards of this set
- AKG K 240 monitor. Draws mids very nice but overall doesn't have bass or power. It's really a bit too value priced I guess
- AKG 271 Mk 2 (ETA: corrected, not 272): hated everything about them. Claustrophobia class closed-in sound, no air to it
- Beyerdynamic DT 770 2x 80 ohm: These have too much bass and at loud volumes they change sound. I use them for gaming now. Too bad I don't game anymore.
- Ultrasone Proline 650: nothing special. Just didn't like. They also don't properly close around the ears
- Shure SRH840: perfect except for lack of bass (see above). Maybe not open enough soundstage
I would be willing to try a manufacturer I never tried.
I was also looking into using this opportunity to get some in-ear monitoring-class pieces such as the Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10 since I need some for mobile anyway. However, I figured that I can't wait for a whole new research project to finish and overall it isn't likely to work out in making a "better SRH840". Or is there is a chance it would?
Edited by uOpt - 12/2/14 at 3:36pm