In my search for headphones (before my ATH-M50's) I tried A700, AD700, senn's 555 and 595 and from from my experience as far as gaming/music, there was no contest ATH-M50. I was lucky enough to get my hands on the blue and white box version of the M50 and the new white box definitely tightens the bass and eliminates some of the muddiness people reported with the older blue box ones.
The bass of the M50's, compared to the other headphones, makes the poor Senn's and AD700 seem almost nonexistent and A700 just weak.If the choice was pure gaming I would say Senn 555's get my vote since the foam mode makes a nice difference when amped properly. Unfortunately I like bass and isolation and though the A700 have nice isolation and some bass, it feels inept in comparison to the M50's. And the senn's/AD700 have, again, nonexistent lows, though I am planning to buy the 555 in a couple of months because they sounded fantastic as a second pair.
My opinion on the M50's is pretty much the common one and I might have not said enough about A700/AD700 but they are awesome headphones. Unfortunately based on my tastes (Rock/Metal/Gaming/Movies) the M50's pros were quite overwhelming based on prices at the time. At the current *shipped* prices of $85 for 555, $90.95 for AD700, $110-120ish for ATH-A700 and $109 for ATH-M50 still
, my vote still falls on ATH-M50/Senn 555 + Zalman clip for gaming.
Based on current prices there is no way I don't get the 555's at $85 from amazon and then foam mod them to turn them into 595's, whose value at amazon is at $148.50 currently, though I already have M50's.
In parting, sound is so incredibly subjective that honestly it makes it impossible for you to know what you'll like unless you try them out yourself with at least your own music.*take an mp3/ipod/sansa/Cowon/CL Zen player or phone with you to a store for demo* Don't
take isolation for granted in headphones, but know you will sacrifice some sound stage which is quite helpful in FPS. For me my choice was sound stage vs bass AND isolation........sound stage lost
but I'll remedy that probably next month since BD got pushed.
but at the same time
AGAIN though sound is soooooooooooooo subjective
the best thing to do is go somewhere if you can and try them out. My long 2 cents