The jump from $500 to $900 is pretty significant. However, the current crop of under $500 binoculars is so good that you have to increase the price quite a bit to get something better. To me, in this price range, Meopta Meostar and Vortex Razor are the ones to beat.
Meopta Meostar 7×42. This is my favourite allround configuration with great stability and low light performance.
Meopta Meostar 8×32 and 8×42. If I am making an impression that I REALLY like Meopta binoculars, it is totally intentional. They are superb.
Vortex Razor 8.5×50. This is a very steady and substantial binocular with eyecups that have enough detents for any face shape. This is easily my favourite binocular in the whole Razor line-up.
I am not big of high magnificaiton binoculars, but Docter Nobilem 10×50 binos are worth mentioning. The resolution on these somewhat old-tech porros is absolutely world-class.
I honestly think that 10x binoculars deserve objective lenses of 50mm or larger, so you will not see a whole lot of 10×42 recommendations from me.
Special mention: long distance observation
For looking at the stars and very distant objects it is hard to beat Fujinon’s big porro binoculars at any price. Their image quality is absolutely world class:
Fujinon FMTR-SX 10×70 and 16×70.