So I did pick up a pair of the Audio Technica ATH-ADR700s and I must say they are decent headphones, they kind of remind me of the Koss A-250s. My daughter thinks they're more comfortable than the SR225s and she likes the pink/purple color.
I suspect that higher end Beyer and Sennheiser headpones might be more to my liking, although I still haven't heard anything headphone-wise to rival 2.1 speakers, so I have Audiobytes on my list before any further headphones excursions. Audiobytes may seem a bit pricy but I'm not so sure: I've had two 2.1 systems die on me in the past few years, so cheap stuff can be expensive too.
I've had some home repairs recently crop up (e.g., the kitchen tile had to suddenly be replaced) that has slowed down my home electronic acquisition process, otherwise I would already have Audiobytes. This process has led to some observations though, as well as computer issues to work through.
For example, my computer died a couple of months ago and I bought a new computer that was so much better it was unbelievable, upgraded from a Dell Dimennsion 5150 to a Dell Inspiron I580, cheap at $799 from Best Buy, but with an i5 650, win7 64 bit, and 8 GB of RAM. They say that you don't need all that RAM for word processing and surfing the internet but all I can tell you is that everything is so much faster, even with relatively slow DSL (2.5 Mbit download), so I wish I had something like this long ago, it's the best technological advance since streaming audio or GPS.
Anyway the reason for the digression is that since the computer upgrade I'm now having problems with the uber finicky Rhapsody program, you gotta love it, when it works it works, if not you're SOL, I've been a subscriber since 2004. Just before th Audio Technica headphones came I went in and played with the equalizer on Rhapsody, which I"ve never done before, and the SR225s sounded quite nice. It made sense to me that headphones might benefit from EQ since they are placed directly on/in your ears, and I checked out this web site, http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/hearing.html
, and deduced that my high frequency hearing is somewhat deficient (from years of playing electric guitar). The interesting thing was that by boosting the high frequencies on the SR225s I got what I perceived to be a much better sound, especially at low volumes, which was surprising to me since initially I thought the SR225s sounded too bright.
The next turn in the road was that with the new computer Rhapsody was slightly skipping about 4-5 times per song, just enough to ruin any sense of musicality, so I popped the Creative Xfi Extreme Music sound card out of the Dimension 5150 and installed it in the Inspiron 580. I didn't notice any sonic improvement but the equalizer in Rhapsody stopped working, and removing the sound card did not restore the EQ. Rhapsody has a Preferences checkbox setting that states: "Use DirectSound output (recommended). Deselecting DirectSound may resolve some rare playback issues. The equalizer may not work if this option is deselected."
I don't know what DirectSound is, but it's usually pretty clear when Real programmers make such statements that program bugs/glitches are involved that they do not entirely understand and have not been able to resolve. I suspect that there may be a connection to DirectSound playback issues, whatever those might be, but the result is that I am left with no EQ for Rhapsody. I suspect that if I did have EQ I would be able to set up the Audio Technica headphones more to my liking.
Finally I decided well why not listen to a CD, then I won't have to listen to Rhapsody skipping and ruining my musically rhapsodic reveries. Except there's a problem: I still have the skipping even with CDs, and it sounds almost like a "pop" or static click in the music stream.
So musically one of my most frequent pastimes (listening at the computer) is stymied and I'm clueless how to resolve the skipping problem or where to look for technical support/clues. All I know is I've upgraded both the hardware and software (Operating System), and the problem seems to be internal to the computer rather than stemming from somewhere in the external internet stream.
On the bright side I played with my auto music and got a better sound. I find the music in the car to be too bright, but it only has an 8 frequency graphic EQ which does nothing to clean up the sound. To me it's a similar situation to headphones, i.e., a small room or environment with funky speaker enclosures that would seem to benefit from EQ. My head unit is a JVC KD-HR1, which leaves a lot to be desired. But I did discover that by changing the subwoofer setting, the sound is a lot more balanced and realistic. The head unit has a subwoofer volume setting that ranges from 00 to 08, when I first had the system installed I liked to run the sub a little hot and had it set to 04, then I tired of that and shifted it to 02, but I also seemed to need to crank up the music real loud to get a realistic sound. Now I've shifted the subwoofer volume setting to 03 and it sounds great even at low volumes. I believe that with proper EQ it would sound much better but until I can afford to upgrade the head unit at least it's an acceptable sound, however crudely it may have been obtained.
Well enough of chronicling my journeys through the electronic weeds and ditches . . .