When I bought my iMac, a year ago, I also bought a new iPod Nano with it. The Nano comes with headphones, but they are really uncomfortable in your ear. So new headphones were required.
I have a pair of Sony MDREX71s. I had the MDREX70s before, and was happy with them, but the wire came loose making one headphone crackly, so I got the 71s as a present, thinking they’d be better. They’re not. The sound is muddy, and the mini plug on the wire is at a really annoying length (too short to go in your pocket, and with it out of your pocket the weight pulls the headphone out of your ear if your ear is sweaty and at an odd angle (you’ve never had your iPod on when washing your car on a hot day?). On the plus side the 71s are comfy.
I also have a pair of Grado SR60 headphones that I got a few years ago. Sound quality blows the Sonys away, and they’re very comfy to wear. The cord is made for listening to home hifi though, as it’s about 6 feet long. They also make you look like a WW2 radio operator. Since I moved house (a year ago) I haven’t got round to connecting up my CD player and amp, but every time I switch from the Sonys to the SR60s, it reminds me that I should, as the SR60s let you hear every bit of noise from a less-than-perfect MP3.
6 weeks ago I bought a pair of Grado iGrado headphones, as a compromise between the two. They look really cheap and horrible, with nasty shiny black plastic, and a really thin, weak looking cable, but the sound quality (and clarity) is almost as good as the SR60s. There’s a bit less bass though, and they don’t look as good as you’d think from the pictures. The cable length is just right to have the iPod in your pocket. The biggest downside is that they squeeze your head fairly tightly, and if you wear glasses, the headphones might interfere with them more than normal. After an hour or two’s listening you want to take them off to stop your head being squeezed. As far as the fit is concerned, it’s pretty good, but there’s no adjustment at all, so your mileage may vary.
Now, who wants to buy me a pair of GS1000s to review?