ATH M50 vs V-MODA M80 vs Ultrasone Pro 550 vs Suggestions?
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Kiyoflame

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Hello, Head Fi Community!
Please help, because I'm in quite the predicament most first posters have: buying a new set of cans.

Now, first of all, you see me asking about the M50s. Just bear with me please, I have read the reviews here, and I have scoured the interwebs and the YouTubes for some semi-accurate reviews. I have also seen/read the reviews on the M80s, though they have a lot less information on them. And finally, the Ultrasone Pro 550s. I have seen very little about these headphones, so I would like to learn a bit more about them.
I am currently using those $20 Sony ZX100. They're not bad, but they don't really clamp onto my head, as well as they have kinda bad leakage and noise isloation, not to mention that even though my ears aren't fine-tuned to sound, the music sounds kinda muffled.
For my types of music, I prefer the trance/electro/chillstep/dubstep (electronic) music, as well as some classic rock or anything else you could throw at me. Personally, I would like a pair of headphones that could serve almost any genre, but emphasize on the electronic genre. I will most likely be using them for on-the-go/gaming/laying-back-and-relaxing headphones. Also, keep in mind that I'm no audiophile, which means I probably won't be getting an amp anytime soon (mainly because of research and monetary issues). So, I'll try to make a little criteria list. I would like, but not limited to:
•Something portable
•Under $200
•Not extremely heavy, so has to be somewhat portable
•Balanced between mids, crisp highs, with a bass that's punchy, but not overpowering

I'll also give my listings on why I would like to buy each set, and why I wouldn't.
M50s:
Pros:
•Balanced?
•Comfortable, since it's an circum-somethin' (over-ear)
•Cheap
•Sleek design
•Pretty good noise cancellation and little leakage
Cons:
•Too heavy?
•Cord too long?
•Recessed mids?
Biggest turnoff:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1045054/ultrasone-pro-550-ath-m50s-review
This guys says it has terrible soundstage. Is it true?

M80s:
Pros:
•Sexy
•Some say better sounding than the M50s
•Lightweight and smaller
Cons:
•Aarsa-somethin' (On-Ear) Is it going to be too uncomfortable?
•Cable-microsound. How noisy is it when it rubs?
•How much leakage?
•(Not really a con) How much noise isolation?

Pro 550s:
Pros:
•Over ear, right?
•More bass than M50?
Cons:
•Extremely short cord?
•Burn-in time: 500 Hours?
•IMHO, design is minda meh

So, those are my reasons.
EDIT: I forgot to mention, the only pair I could find that I could try out are the M50s. I'm not sure if I'll be able to test the M80s or the Pro 550s anywhere.
Also, another question. I think that I have fairly large ears, which makes me worry about using the over-ear headphones. So, odd question of the day, would my ears fit inside comortably? From other people's reviews, I see the most mixed ones on the M50s and the M80s, which are the two of which I would personally possibly choose from over the Pro 550s. Some love the comfort of the M50s, while they say the sound from the M80s are better. Then, some say they weren't impressed with the M80s' sound and thought the M50s were more balanced. I just got more and more confused the more I read. There was someone who said M50s are one of the best for the price. There was a thread here asking about why M50s are so recommended, and then in another post there was one review/poll which asked about the M50 vs M80, with the M80 winning in the end. I wasn't satisfied with the information I was left with in the end, though. There were quite a bit of unjustified answers from my perspective of reading unless I had no understanding of the different terms.

So, I'll put yet another list for the order of importance in the qualities in the headphones I would want, and also in my personal opinion where I think each one stands, unless it's strictly my opinion:

Sound:
1.?
2.?
3.?

Design:
1. M80
2. M50
3. Pro 550

Isolation:
1/2. M50
1/2. Pro 550?
3. M80?

Leakage:
1.?
2.?
3.?

Value:
1. M50
2. Pro 550
3. M80

Any input would be greatly appreciated, and thanks in advance!
-Kiyo
 
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Kiyoflame

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Bumping. Sorry, I am just really curious about all of this.
 
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money4me247

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hey dood,
 
the M50 & Pro 550 are not the most balanced headphones out there. I believe they both are characterized by a v-shaped sound signature. it's been a while since I heard the M50 & I haven't heard the 550 tho (just the pro900).
 
if you want isolation, I would recommend going for closed OVER-ears instead of on-ears as over-ears generally isolate better & are more comfy, esp for ppl w/ large ears.
 
My recommendations would be the closed portable AKG k545 which has really good sound stage (not as good as its big brother AKG K550 apparently, but portable!) on sale at $200 from razerdogaudio. On their appreciation thread, people have compared it favorably against the pricier $300-400 Momentum/HP50/P7. earcups are also pretty large, so you shouldn't run into any comfort issues.
 
Second recommendation would be the Sony MDR-1R (extremely comfortable closed over-ears - the most comfortable I've tried!) at sub-$200. If you have any worries about comfort, these should be great for you. drivers are slanted to give your ears more clearance. colored sound sig - warm rich lush midcentric sound w/ a nice consumer-friendly mid bass bump.
 
Both these headphones are suitable for a variety of genres & have great sound quality, and sound like they will work well for you at the $200 price point. both have pretty sexy designs.
 
that's all i have to say about that. note I haven't personally heard the k545, so I can't really comment on their sound. hope this was helpful!
 
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Kiyoflame

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All right, I'll look into those, thanks!

The $200 budget was pretty much as high as I would go, probably not a penny more.

EDIT: All right, I just watched a review on the k545s, and the person said the highs were great, but it lacked in the mids and bass (read some people had that problem with the k550s.) Is that true? EDIT: Just read the end of your post. Disregard this part. Also, they look pretty nice.
 
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money4me247

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this is a good review by a knowledgeable who has a lot of experience with headphones:
http://www.head-fi.org/products/akg-k545-portable-over-ear-headphone/reviews/9861
 
edit: if you are talking about the youtube review by Chris Voss, I personally don't agree with most of his opinions. He seems to prefer a Beats-like sound signature, very heavy bass. I don't think he is a good critical listener as he does not mention anything about the headphone's sound stage, clarity, detail, resolution, speed... etc. Just keep in mind when reading random reviews that listener's always have their own biases & sound signature preferences. Really you just need to listen for yourself to make the judgement call or read a review of someone with a lot of experience in headphones with similar music preferences as you. hahah.
 
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Kiyoflame

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Wow. Good judgement. So, this is just are just a few more questions: How long can you stand wearing on-ear headphones in one sitting? Do you have an opinion on the M80s regarding sound quality? So, to paraphrase, what are your opinions on the M80s?
 
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money4me247

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Wow. Good judgement. So, this is just are just a few more questions: How long can you stand wearing on-ear headphones in one sitting? Do you have an opinion on the M80s regarding sound quality? So, to paraphrase, what are your opinions on the M80s?
hey, for on-ears maybe less than 1-2hrs generally before it gets uncomfy for me personally. i'm definitely not a fan of on-ears. i like to be able to wear my headphones indefinitely lol. i'm pretty sensitive too discomfort to tho.
 
for the m80s, i'm prob not the best person to judge em. i briefly demoed them at a radio shack, but didn't really spend too much time with them, and I didn't have any other pairs of headphones w/ me at the time to do a comparison. sound-wise, i don't remember noticing anything really particularly wrong with them or anything particularly striking. however, i don't really like on-ears anyway (aka biased lol), so I'm probably not the best person to ask about them.
 
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money4me247

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hey! btw: i just remembered. you know that V-Moda is going to be releasing the new XS headphones (basically the M80 with cliqfold hinges)... if you are interested in that pair of headphones, I would advise waiting b/c the M80 will drop in price after the XS are released
 
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Kiyoflame

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Cool! I might actually look into the XS ones if they ever drop under $200. So now, I'm pretty much choosing the AKG or the V-Modas, the AKG because they would be more comfortable, and the V-Modas because I personally like the looks better. Thanks for the help!
 
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money4me247

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  Cool! I might actually look into the XS ones if they ever drop under $200. So now, I'm pretty much choosing the AKG or the V-Modas, the AKG because they would be more comfortable, and the V-Modas because I personally like the looks better. Thanks for the help!
heh... gotto be rocking in style! =P
 
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