I had another long listen to the Philips L1 last night and I am still convinced it's far better than the HD-650 or anything else below $1000 USD. But sadly, no more than a handful of people on Earth will ever experience that because:
1) Very few people will try it.
2) Those who do will refuse to turn the bass down per my suggestion, and will therefore experience the same thing Innerfidelity reported.
Final Audio Pandora VI, Beyer T51p, Harman/Kardon Soho, Thinksound ON1, v-moda M80, Bose OE2i, Audioengine D3/Microstreamer/FiiO E07k DAC/amps.
i decided to go with the hd650 in the end. i think they are better purely because they are open headphones: their massive soundstage gives them a '3D' sound (almost like listening to a pair of speakers), whilst the k550 had a more closed-off sound which was tiresome to listen to. still the k550s are a good pair of headphones - they had a better bass extension than the hd650s (and perhaps more 'presence' too) - at first i found it difficult to decide.... basically the two headphones are just completely different.
anyway quadpatch you wanted to know about the isolation of the k550s - sorry this reply is so late. i didnt really have another pair of closed headphones to compare them too, but i would say their isolation was good. this review seems to compare their isolation with the denon ah-d series, and from my research before many seem to agree: http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/wonderfully-competent-akg-k550-sealed-headphone-page-2
Thanks for coming back and letting me know wilfred . It sounds like the K550s are a great closed headphone but very interesting that you picked the HD650 over it. I can certainly testify that the Denon D7000 sucks at sound isolation. For my next high end headphone I am going completely open for sure but I am looking for a closed one for work. The VModa sounds great but it's uncomfortable as hell!!
Hifi: Audiolab M-DAC > Audiolab 8200P > Tannoy DC6T SE ●
Headphone: Q701, HP100, HE500, M80, TH900, Mad Dog, D7000, DT880, M100, K550, TH600 ●
DAC: E7, U100, rPAC, Modi/Magni, 120Ds, HP-A8, DAC2 HGC, BDP 105EU, EHP 02D, iDAC ●
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