Pros: Tight base, sweet mids, good at faking tonal balance
Cons: Not the most extended highs or detailed lows, fragile cable
I'm an Audio Technica fanboy, and I love their sound.
Compared to the AD2000 headphone with a Gilmore Lite and Bel Canto DAC3, I actually didn't miss it when I only had my ES7.
Just a nice headphone to have for fun listening. I used the 'phat pad' mod for both.
The ES7 and the AD2000 share a more similar sound signature than the other ATH cans.
Some of AudioTechnica's headphones can be be tedious, the W5000, M50, and AD2000 come to mind. Technically proficient with detailed, balanced frequency response and PRaT but not as much about 'fun'.
Because of the trademark Audio-Technica sweet mids they are all all are indeed 'musical' to a certain degree.
These are two extremes that the various Audio-Technica headphones seem to try to balance, 1) musical coloured mids and 2) balanced frequency response and PRaT.
The happy medium would be considered a 'fun' headphone.
The W11jpn is the closest I've heard to bridging the gap between the two extremes of having sweet, musical mids while maintaining balanced frequency response/detail/PRaT.
That particular rare headphone aside, the ES7 hit the 'fun' nail on the head. It has a balanced frequency response and the ATH musical midrange, what more could you ask for?
Neutral enough to be considered an all-rounder for most genres of music, sweet enough sounding to specialise in certain genres.
I owned these and the Senn HD25-1 concurrently and it was hard to decide which to reach for a lot of days.
The HD25-1 (with HD650 cable) is technically more advanced & more neutral, but the ES7 was a specialist with the genres I was listening to at the time.
These were psy-breaks, psy-trance, hip-hop.
I reached for the Senn HD25-1 more for jazz and downtempo.
For some reason I'm more sentimentally drawn to the ES7 than the HD25-1, maybe it's the mirror finish which indeed inspires pride in ownership.