Pros: High sensitivity, build and sound quality, balance
Cons: Microfonics, not cheap
Just bought the Ortofon e-Q7 in-ear phones after quite a bit of research on the net. Have used Sennheiser 565 Ovation for many years, which are open full size headphones, but now I wanted closed ones and no nagging on top of the head ... I usually listen to music via my high end stereo set, but I now need ear phones for meditations and on the road use.
Just out of the box I am quite disapointed with the bass level. After an hour with loud rock music they deliver a tight and transparent bass.
If you are looking for in-ears with a heavy, pronounced bass - these are not for you. If you on the other hand are looking for a balanced sound with a good overall transparency, voice rendition, tight bass, top mid- and high frequencies - this could be the one for you. Bass is robust, but not dominant. Acustic music and voices are rendered VERY naturally. Rock music is presented with attack and balance and true to the recording (not overemphasizing bass).
Compared to a high end stereo set no headphone will have the same audiophile qualities. Given the price difference - no wonder. Compared to a good full size headphone an in-ear monitor/phone is playing more inside your head than the over-the-ear models since the speaker is placed outside the ear and not inside the ear canal.
e-Q7 is very sensitive (117dB/mW) which is an advantage with good players, but with mediocre players as mobile phones that are not music-phones there may be some hiss from the amp of the device.
The cable is easy and sturdy in use but unfortunately produces microphonics (physical touch transports as sound into the monitor). This is probably the biggest (and only?) downside of the e-Q7, but is only a problem if used while in activity like walking, running etc.