Pros: Great entry level audiophile- quality headphone, cool looks (imo),
Cons: Comfort after using for long periods of time (2hrs+)! Price outside of the US, HEAPS of sound leakage (both in and out)
After using my Sony MDR-XB40EX for a year, I was looking for a pair of high quality on ear headphones for my computer and home use which would be fairly portable as well. However, after testing headphones for a long time and settling on the SR80i's, that last criteria went out of the window. THESE HEADPHONES LEAK COLLOSAL AMOUNTS OF SOUND AND IS DEVOID OF ANY SOUND ISOLATION!
However, to the lucky owner of these headphones, these cans sound AWESOME (especially in rock and metal)! After breaking the in, I can say without a doubt, that these headphones are better than my Sennheiser CX300ii (although it isn't exactly fair to compare an in ear with an on ear). Although the soundstage seems small compared to my other in ears, the MDR-XB40EX, the advantage is that you feel as if your in the first row of a concert, vocals are pushed up and the essential electric guitar feels like it's shredding away just in front of you. The thump of the drums and bass guitar are also detailed and taut, although people used to headphones such as Monster and Soul by Ludacris may think that it lacks some of that overwhelming boom.
The detailed and taut bass along with sharp and clear mids and highs lead to a thoroughly enjoying sonic experience.
The SR80i's do have some faults (other than the rather detailed sound leakage), though. Some would argue that the aesthetics, while retro, are distasteful (although I quite like the 50's look of them). The comfort can also suffer after long listening periods (usually after an hour or two) with the rather spartan headband and its clamping force (although many reviewers state that this improves over time). The price can be a bit high out of the US as well (I bought my pair in Singapore and I live in Australia).
Overall, I would highly recommend these headphones to the up and coming audiophile or someone who enjoys high quality music. Quite possibly the best headphones in it's price range, a very deserving five stars.