Pros: Great build quality, comfortable design, balanced and articulate sound, better genre bandwidth than the EX1000, longer cable
Cons: No isolation, wind noise issues restrict portable use, slight grain to the treble
Along with the summary below, I have a review thread comparing the Sony 7550, EX1000, XBA-4 and XBA-40 here:
I also have a comparison review on youtube of the 7550 vs EX1000. If you like the video check out my channel for more reviews :)
Note: In the review I state that the EX1000 is made in Thailand, this is incorrect. It is made in Japan.
The 7550 has a nice build, though it is plastic compared to the EX1000's magnesium alloy. The unusual ear hanger design is very comfortable but offers very little environmental isolation and cause a great deal of wind noise, making these somewhat awkwardly positioned as a portable earphone with restricted portable applications. However for home and studio use they are excellent, especially as the longer cable makes connection to an amplifier a little less awkward.
The 7550 has a warmish sound with deeply extended bass and articulate mids. They also have a wide sound-stage thanks to the unusual design and low isolation. Compared to the EX1000 the 7550 has a tamed treble section, meaning that they do not quite have the EX1000's tremendous sense of space and sparkle. They sound more intimate than the EX1000 because of the subdued treble. They still sound very articulate and still have traces of the characteristic grain of the EX1000's treble; however it is never a nuisance. They are balanced and sound great with a wide variety of music.
I think of the 7550 as the everyman's EX1000, and this is no slight against them. They are more flexible in terms of genre bandwidth, better value, and I really like the longer cable. They might lack the magic of the EX1000 at its best but overall I consider them easier to live with. Compared to their closest competitor, the VSonic GR07, the 7550 offers a wider soundstage and a slightly drier sound, but have a very similar level of performance. The GR07 is much more practical in terms of isolation and fit.