Pros: Wonderful sound, good price!
Cons: Simply silly design with Many flaws.
I think it is fair to say a quite a few of us have watched a ZeosPantera review and immediately emptied our wallets. This is one of those times.
When I first received these I was prepared with HM5 velour pads in hand and am glad i was. The first thing i noticed was how useless the stock pads are. They are too thin to be of any use, and mine smelled foul as well. I will not recommend these stock for this reason. With the stock pads it was like wearing on-ear headphones that were way too big. I then had to stretch the HM5 pads around these, which is not as easy as it is on most other headphones, but it is worth it. They are now not only bearable, but quite comfortable as well.
For looks, most people will likely find them quite ugly. I don't mind the look. I find them unique, which is good.
The build is quite odd, and honestly unfortunate in multiple ways.
1. The dual plastic arches are quite far apart (roughly 2 inches), making them annoying to hang from a wall mount, and the headband is not an alternative to hang from.
2. the headband is unstable, cheap, and just sub-par in general. getting the headband to not tilt back or forward, or become too loose and sags. It is a struggle. I cannot simply put the headphones on my head without bothering with the headband to make sure it aligns. It is held on either side by a ribbon about a third the width of the headband, and they twist, turning the headband upside-down.
3. The cable is of very good quality, but once again.... a non-removable....6 meter long........ who made that design decision??? At that length i would rather have an to use an extension and have the option to use a much shorter cable.
4. already mentioned is the pitiful pads, so that's a thing.
5. The earcups have springs inside to help combat slide downward, but they make twanging noises when you adjust them on your herd, or even just move a tiny bit.
6. round earcups. Not a fan of round earcups. shape them like ears maybe?
Overall, this is a poor design with many large faults. These are like a lego creation. They creak, and sag, but look just close enough that it can pass as a set of headphones.
Now for the good part. Sound.
These immediately remind me of the HD558. They are warm, bassy, and still clean enough. I would say cleaner than the HD558, better instrument separation, stronger bass, and generally objectively better. There is not a terrible amount to say. They are just warm, and bassy, and sound like they should cost more.
I waited to write this review until i had received all the headphones I recently purchased to arrive. This includes the Pioneer SE-A1000, HD558, SHP9500, Fidelio x2, and the AKG k7xx.
I will put these in order of cleanliness.
5. Fidelio X2
The thing to note here is that cleanliness is not all there is to sound. I get the most resolve out of the SHP9500, but that does not mean they have the best overall sound quality.
Recommended song for Pioneer SE-A1000:
Electric Love - BØRNS
Where the SE-A1000 shine is the price-performance. If someone wants clean, bassy, warm sound for a decent price, I recommend these. I do not think they are as good as the SHP9500 for overall quality and neutrality, but the Pioneer are much less likely to make you bored. They have more edge, warmth, and bass. In fact, my neighbor across the hall prefers the Pioneer to the Fidelio X2, his 668b, and my SHP9500 (hasn't heard the k7xx yet to tell).
In my opinion, I find the sound comparable to my other headphones. I like each for a different reason. I find myself using the SHP9500 the most because of comfort, but also for use in CS:GO. The less bassy signature of the 9500 helps differentiate positional ques, and has a pretty accurate soundstage. I grab the SE-A1000 when I want a warm hug from my music, or/and a very non-fatiguing experience. The Pioneer are very capable for CS:GO as well, so don't let that sway you too much.
I have read that some people think these trade blows, or at least get close to the K7XX. I will be honest. I think the K7XX is superior. I would say the SE-A1000 is 65-70% of what the K7XX is in terms of sound quality, and not even close in design. If you do the math, this makes the SE-A1000 a pretty good buy. (also, I think the K7XX have quite a bit more analytic sound, so apples/oranges?)
In conclusion: For the price these sound wonderful. For any price, they are poorly designed. Do I recommend them? Yes, as long as you can put up with the design, and paying extra for pads that are actually useful. Warm huggy sound is abundant. These are some lovely headphones!