I was looking for another pair of headphones for my studio. I have used the AKG 240's for a while for listening to mixes and listening to customers when tracking. Yes I have the original ones, not the Mark II's.
With so many newer headphones coming out, I decided to check out some of the more popular ones that are now available. I narrowed my search to the Audio Technica M50's and the Shure SRH 840's. I also had the chance to compare them against one of my favorite headphones I own; the Beyerdyanmic 770's.
First off, the 840's are comfortable to wear which of course is very important. This is very critical when working on a session for several hours. There was two things I was also very pleased to see included in the box. The first was that it included a nice bag to put your headphones in. This can help protect them from damage. Second, it included a second pair of covers for the headphones. So perhaps in a couple of years, if they start to get a little funky, you could replace the covers on the headphones. It also has an adjustable, collapsible headband. The cable also comes out of the headphones in case they get worn or no longer work.
These Shure's are close backed headphones. I found the Shure's to have a mid range that was a little forward compared to the 770's. This can be helpful in hearing the detail in the mid range. I found the low and high's also sounded very nice too. The 770's were flatter sounding compared to the Shure's. Both are good and comfortable. The AT's were a little tighter on the ears and some have claimed this tends to cause your ears to perspire a little. Both the AT and Shure have neodymium dynamic drivers in them. However the AT's have more bass and are not as even sounding as the Shures' with mid's and high end.
I have to say I really like the 8040's headphones. They are under $200 and they are worth putting on your short list.