Pros: open, warm sound; quite balanced
Cons: weird issues with too much bass in the left ear in the first few minutes of use; may just be a nuance of my particular product
The Gemini HSR1000 Studio Reference Headphones are my first foray into high-quality sound. They are quite easy to drive; so far I have tried them using my laptop, a desktop computer with a dedicated Creative sound card, my bookshelf stereo, and a portable music player. All gave equally impressive results, though the portable music player was not able to push the volume as high (but high enough for even those who like their music loud). I initially had an odd problem where they was way too much bass in the left ear during about the first half hour of use, but everything seems to have balanced out now (that, or I've gotten used to it). Having been exposed to the headphone's exaggerated bass, I can say that although it is not as noticeable at a lower volume, the bass is quite impactful ("punchy;" I am just now listening to a track with some prominent hits of the bass drum and I can not only hear it, but feel it) and wide-sounding. The mids are clear but not as detailed as I would have liked, and the highs are about the same as the mids with perhaps a little bit more detail.
The overall sound is very open, warm, and full-bodied. The balance is quite good. I can't really say anything about whether or not they should be considered reference headphones as I lack the experience to, but each range of pitches seems to fit into is proper place in volume, power and presentation.
I highly, highly recommend these to anyone seeking a good pair of headphones under $100, especially if they are to be your first taste of audiophile-grade sound.