Pros: Great dynamic range. Great bass extension. High sense of clarity. Stat like speed & detail. Angled drivers. solid comfort. Excellent transparency
Cons: Very hot treble. Clinical sounding. Can sound harsh to some with pericing highs. Can be perceived as bass light. Awful cable desgin. Polarizing.
The SA5000 are a great technical achievement in many regards. Speed. Clarity. Detail. All 3 shine through greatly. Extreme high detail in the upper frequencies due to the treble emphasis. This headphone is for treble lovers. Can sound harsh to others.. Treble isn't the smoothest & can be offensive. to some.
Detail & transparency is 2nd only to the DT48 out of the headphones I owned. The SA5000 does a magnificent job at spot lighting detail, maybe in a un natural way. The DT880 has almost the same type of detail, but doesn't derail the music just to show you it. It can be a hinders to some & a blessing to others. They are very good at being the chameleon, & upgrade nicely to better components.
I would label them 'neutral', but feel the DT880/DT48/K1000 are more worthy of that title.. Tonality is really a hit or miss with the SA5000. I find them too lean in general, which is un realistic, & some instruments sound synthetic. But IMO they get the bass, impact, & weight of the kick drum just right. If you think these lacking in bass you probably are a bass head.. The bass is fine & extends deep with pretty good texture, better with tubes..
Their sound sig is pretty cold & sterile with a wonky mid range that reminds me of a old car that you need to kick to start.. Someone they are on, other times the mids are not.. In any case, the mids are far from the worst I heard, & are more then adequate.
Speed is controversial. Some claim it's due to the 'lite bass' & leanness.. To my ears they are fast, but a bit artificially fast compared to my reference DT48..
Sound stage is small compared to other open Audiophile headphones in their price range.. But I find them fine. Stereo imaging is very good, but won't make you forget about the CD3000 in that regard. Separation of instruments is very crisp & clean.. No blurring or smearing.. For dynamics, they are exceptional in that regard.
The cabling is utterly worthless.. & worst out of any headphone priced at 700.. In a yr or two one channel will go dead due to the faulty wiring.. This is a fact..
In the end this is a great headphone for those looking for technical achievement over a fun & forgiving headphone.