Pros: Bass extension and texture, timbre, mids to die for, soundstage
Cons: shelved treble may be problematic for some, heavy cable, portability
I've come from a fair amount of "treble happy" headphones (Grado sr125i, Beyerdynamic dt880 pro, heir audio 3.a1), and some that are a little in between (Hifiman He400, Fostex Te-05).
I listen to a large amount of classic rock, some blues, and a lot of EDM, with a smattering of orchestral and vocally-focused music thrown in.
I purchased these to get some experience with headphones of a decidedly "darker" nature to see how I would like it, even though I have listened to a few dark headphones a few times (one of my buddies has an LCD-2 Pre-Fazor), and I was never really floored.
Listening was done with an Emotiva XDA-1 source into a Schiit Asgard 1 for stationary testing, and a Motorola Moto X for portable listening (working on getting a portable dac/amp for the future).
On to the actual earphones!
These are built very well, and the housings make a very deadened click not unlike that of two billiard balls clicking together.
The cable is also built very nicely, but it is heavy especially for earphones, and has a tendency towards stiffness.
The standard white tips fit quite well in my ears with just a bit of wiggling, and the housings just fit so well in my ears that i can tolerate them for more than 2 hours at a time.
*Disclaimer* I have not tried out the comply tips with these, so all further judgements are with the one-size-fits-all white tips
This will be the big make-or-break area for most people. The treble is quite obviously shelved. This is most likely not the earphone for lovers of strong or sparkly treble.
That being said, the treble is very, very smooth, and not lacking in detail. There is just not as much "air" as there is with my Fostex Te-05's.
These do not necessarily sound muffled past the first 10 or so hours, once the drivers loosen up a little (I listened for 30 minutes out of the box and then proceeded to burn-in for 10 hours),
rather, they just sound more mid and bass centric.
This is the most engaging mid-range I have heard on any of MY headphones to date. It flatters both male and female vocals quite a lot, and yet retains the ability to really give electric guitars
that serious crunch and rip they require to bring the music to life. The mids are very lifelike, and are able to accurately portray reverb present in a song. They are natural to lush in nature, not necessarily inaccurate, but definitely a little bit euphonic.
These have deeeeep bass. They extend at least as far as my HE400's in the deep bass, but are a little bit slower. The bass is best suited for slightly slower bass, rather than some of the quick paced and explosive bass present in EDM songs (they do keep up rather well though). The earphones really retain a great sense of texture in the bass, so most notes are easy enough to discern from each other.
For earphones, the soundstage is quite large and realistic, even extending out in front of my head for most songs. Spacious music really shines here (such as orchestral).
To sum up the sound of these earphones, they are a bit treble shy, with beautiful mids and deep, textured bass. They are really for sitting back and enjoying music, more than anything else. They are, to me, earphones to just jam on. They are that engaging. period. amen. Those looking for perfect flat frequency response would be advised to look elsewhere, but as usual, YMMV.
As for portability...
They are portable, but the heavy cable swinging can be a pain in the a** while walking, but one can get used to it. Use of the supplied shirt clip is advised.
They have decent isolation, and are suitable for public areas, where the elevated mids and bass can be an advantage.
So, yeah that's it.
If you like something to really get your groove on with a euphonic sound signature, or just want to-die-for mids, this is it right here.