Pros: Good Soundstage (wider than deep), Great bass without bleeding off into mids, decent clarity, surprisingly 'durable', lots of accessories, Entry-level
Cons: Not the most agile/articulate sounding, cheap looking build, thin cable, memory cable
I'll start of by saying these are a pair of really respectable headphones and these are my subjective opinion on them. At their price point, I think you'll be hard pressed to find anything better without going higher in pricing They perform well for their price. All in all, a good pair of headphones just for casual everyday listening of music. Audiophiles will not be impressed however. These are also the version 2 I believe as they came with the memory cable and stem/nozzle filter
Some things to note - I have mine for well over 6 months now, all I can say is as long as you take good care of them, they'll take good care of you. Make sure you have a good fit in your ears and that your source has enough juice to drive them. Despite a rated impedance of 16 Ω, if your source is weak they will sounded anemic. Also if you get the mic version, make sure your device supports TRRS 3.5mm. I read quite a few review on Mp4nation and elsewhere where someone complained it sounded like it was underwater. No they don't... their device simply aren't made for TRRS but TRS (ie. 3 bands across the jack instead of 2 bands). I know. I tested it with my old nokia phone and that's exactly how it sounded. Easy fix? Just hold down the mic button and you're green. Though given that most devices these days supports TRRS, it's really a non-issue.
Build - Build wise they look and feel cheap. Probably the biggest downside for the R1. Thin cables, horrifyingly lack of strain relief above the Y-split, plastic housing where I can still see where the stem break from the mold is filed away and the seams between the housing are painfully obvious but hey, they're fairly cheap headphones. That said, while they look flimsy and cheap they won't be breaking from regular handling, as long as you don't subject the cables to unnecessary stresses - leave them in your pocket with keys or wrap them around sharp angle devices the R1 should have a good service life.
Aesthetics - They're not too bad really. Poor build aside the blood red color and black works well. Doesn't look too flashy when worn since the red faces the inside of your ear. Despite the shape they fit well in the ears, just need to turn it around a little to find your spot though people with tiny ears might find it a little difficult, compared to the ATH-IM70, the R1 disappear in the ear. The worst part about the aesthetics is the so called "memory cable" which is essentially some broad metallic wire (probably copper based) that gets "taped" over the end part of the headphones by a polymer sheath. Well good news is they work... if you like that sort of thing, and that I think they're supposedly an improvement over the strain relief the first version had. Bad news is they're "memory cables" and it looks horrible being "taped" onto the end like some after thought and they do not lose their shape easily enough. Amusingly I think the memory cables are to blame for the cables tangling most of the time. I think ear hooks are a better way to go, but at least these end bits act as a make shift strain relief.
Isolation and comfort - They sound great with the comply tips as well as the double flange tips although are most comfortable with the comply. With the Comply, I hardly feel them even after 3-4 hours of continuous wear. I have since switched to the double flange once the stock comply wore out and while the double flange sounds better with the deeper insertion and solid isolation, unfortunately they aren't as comfy as the comply and one tends to notice it after a while.
Isolation with either of the mentioned tips is good enough to block out noisy neighbors and leafblowers are barely a hum so I would say it's good. Some users argue that vented/ported IEMs have poor isolation but that never bothered me. They have about the same degree of isolation as my old Sennheiser CX-300 II which has no vent, and better isolation compared to my housemate's Philips SHE 3500 which also have no port/vent either. If anything, based on this, having a vent is probably better than not having one.
They don't weigh much (16g for the whole thing + mic whereas my stock ATH-IM70 cable alone weighs 17g it's another 6g for the driver+ear tips) and I have worn them out to run. While they don't "disappear" into your ears like some other headphones do, but they're close to negligible.
Day to day use- I find that the R1 requires a bit of care in handling, simply from the thinness of the cables, but one should always exercise proper care with their gear regardless. They also require a decent amount of power to drive despite the 16ohm rating - They sound muted when driven by my old nokia 300 and Sony PRS T1 reader relative to my macbook (2008). Hopefully you won't have that issue as my source gears are dated. Anyone with a DAP or a decent smart phone should have no problem driving them though. Works well with my Samsung Galaxy A7. On a side note, I accidentally left my R1s in the washing machine and they survived it like a pro despite being tangled up in my laundry.
Okay, I'm no audiophile, just someone who likes music so I won't use too many fancy terms here nor am I trying to use the most "correct" term.
Soundstage - It sounds pretty good. Listening to Amber Rubarth's Tundra demonstrated it's capability quite well. Pretty wide I'd say, though compared to more expensive IEMs like the ATH-70 it lacks depth. So more 2D than 3D?
Bass - As long as you're not a basshead I don't think you'll complain about the bass. It plays well - Almost as good as my old pair of Sennheiser CX-300 II, just not retardedly bassy and does not suffer from the bass bleed off problems as the CX-300 II. Overall, good extension and range, not the best control/tightness as they call it but it's not bad either. I call it respectably serviceable.
Mids - I think you'll hear a great many people complaining about it sounding 'veiled'. I guess when compared to something like the ATH-IM70 you would notice it, but for the most part, I don't really pick up on that. They're not that 'veiled' or 'recessed' to my ears anyway and I can only notice it if I switch around listening to one IEM then another. In fact I would say they sound just right but it's rather the lack of agility of the headphones that causes this "veiled" or "recessed" sound.
Trebles - Not really much to say here except they're not overwhelmingly bright that they overshadow the rest so that's good, no distortions or sibilant sounding.
Across the board - To my untrained ears (just regular person listening) it sounds pretty clear for the most part. I can hone in on almost every instruments in all the songs I've played so far - Pretty much every artist that made it on Triple J hottest 100s over the past 5 years or so and then some.
Instruments have good separation unless it's a ridiculously busy track but even then I think it's more to do with me unable to keep up rather than the headphones performing poorly. They're far from the most agile or articulate sounding IEMs though. You might hear a bit of a bluntness in the percussion side of things but again they're not too noticeable or bad unless you keep reaching for a pair of better sounding headphones. That's my thought on the matter anyway.
TL;DR - I rate it a rough 6/10 for sound - Good range and clarity but soundstage could use a bit more depth and height. Drivers could benefit from being a bit more agile.
Comparisons (These are just phones I have used or have around)
Sennheiser CX-300 II - 4.5/10 Bassy and accurate for the most part but bass bloat muddies the midrange.
Philips SHE3500 - 2/10 Anemic and thin sounding. Lousy isolation. Not the most responsive driver.
So to sums things up, it gets points for
+good price, plentiful of accessories and - the hard case is great and enough tips to probably outlast the headphones, I'll even go as far as to say that it's packaging is better than the ATH-IM70 and Sennheiser CX-300 II, good soundstage, decent clarity and overall sound quality.
-Points deducted for delicate and cheap build, ugly looking memory cable end, and less than agile performance, takes a little bit more juice to drive on some portable devices that's not dedicated for audio.
All in all, as long as you paid less than $40 for it I think it's not a bad buy considering it trumps many of the mainstream brands in the $50-$100 range. (depends on where you live and what's available)