Pros: Good mid AND sub bass, sparkle to the high's, warm clear mid's.
Cons: No mic or controls, ZERO accessories
NOTE: THIS MAY ALSO BE REFERRED TO AS THE KICKER PHENOM. THE PART NUMBER SHOWN FOR THE KICKER PHENOM PHONES I HAVE IS EB92S
As I contemplated giving these a go, I became aware that there was one thing that I wasn't too thrilled about. No mic or controls. I am a person constantly on the go, so most of my listening doesn't get done off of my Fiio amp, but just straight off my iPhone. Many of the great headphones do not have a mic or controls, so I have adapted and realized that this deficiency isn't the biggest of deals, really. In addition, I purchased a pebble watch, and with that, I get full control of the music. I've found that even with headphones that DO have controls, I prefer using my Pebble watch to control the music anyway!
The packaging on this is lacking a good marketer. nothing sticks out on these except for the Kicker brand name. I assumed that the brand name of kicker, these would have bass and that would be all. I struggled with the packaging that, although had perforated parts, was still a pain to open and eventually I tore into it like a kid at Christmas.
After opening, I discovered that the accessories were horribly deficient. I don't expect a carrying case for anything under $30, but over that, I tend to expect a cheap little bag or something. This had nothing. There were four sized of ear buds to chose from that were taped onto the plastic. They were all silicone and felt flimsy and cheap. So far, the Kickers weren't looking too great. However, the ear buds were a standard size fitting, and I have practically a crate full of different earbuds to chose from anyways, and they would all fit. I ended up putting some Copper Pro black silicone large size tips on them. I thought to myself, I would be happier if a company spent less money on accessories and marketing and put all of it into the sound. This seems to be truly the case with these Kickers.
A seal was easily accomplished as these are, what Kicker has dubbed, "micro-fit." The buds are very small, they are almost equal to the total mass of Klipsch's x10's.
At first listen, I was immediately impressed. The bass did certainly stick out, but it was not in an overwhelming way, and it did not seem to have much effect on the other frequencies. The highs did have a sparkle to them. It wasn't a painful sparkle. It wasn't a sparkle that you would get from, say the FXZ-200's from JVC, but it was as good of an immitation of them from a lower tier set that I've heard so far. After little burn in, the sparkle toned down and sounds even more natural. The mids are not recessed badly. There is good instrument seperation, as I am able to pick out all of the instruments of all the songs I've listened to so far.
The sound of these are very smooth, comfortable, exciting, and I listen to them quite often. I am so impressed by these, that I had to do my first real write up on Head-Fi. I would absolutely use these over the Thinksound TS02's. These have enough bass to be a good basshead pick, but a well-balanced enough tonality that it could be a pick of any in the spectrum.
In-Ear head. These are as good as the MEElectronics Duo's, but are warmed with less punch and sharpness in the highs. I hope to see more from Kicker, and would be all over it if they put something in the $100+ tier. As it is, I am keeping these for frequent listening.
Headphones I've owned: UE900, IE80, IE8, Westone 4r, Westone 3, Westone um3x, PFE232, FXZ-200, JVC Victor, MEElectronics DUO, JVR HA-101 & 40, Able Planet dual drivers, Sony XB30, EX-800, XBA40ip (on the way).
On/Over Ear: HE-400 and many more.
I'm presently listening to tunes going back and forth with my um3x, pfe232, fxz200, and these kickers. I got distracted with work and I went quite some time not realizing that I had taken my pfe232's out and put these kickers in. I'm not saying that they are equal to those phones, but they are indeed as fun and pleasant to listen to as them.
You can find these on Amazon for $25. At that price, just go ahead and try them! Seriously.