Pros: Comfort Comfort Comfort
Cons: Price, of course!
This is my 3rd full day auditioning these phones and the longest session had been a four hour Apple Lossless loop of various styles.
First, the unit arrived in near museum condition. "Near" because of some extra adhesives on top of the butterfly pattern in the right side. Everything else was polish and gleaming under redundant packaging. Not unlike how the Sennheiser HD800 was presented. Serial is 688, so this should have none of those pads issues people had been discussing.
Right off the bat, I connected the ED10 to my Grace M903 at level 60 and listened to Bach: Toccata & Fugue In D Minor, BWV 565 by Michael Murray at the First Congregational Church in LA. I used the Grado GS1000i as well as the Sennheiser HD800 to compare. The organs were illustrated differently with the ED10 than with the HD800, not as tight, but relaxed. In fact, from my memory at the Church, siting some 3/4 down from the pipes, about center from the 2 naves, the intimacy of the winds is more like that from the ED10. I got more facial tingling from the ED10 with the stronger passages and can recognize more of Bach's subtle timbres than with the HD800. That is quite amazing as my HD800 had been my reference for Bach for some time. Let's say the presentation from the ED10 is quite different and less congested. It is now open for analysis. Could I discern the organs from the opposite ends through the ED10? No, not really. Though opened, the imaging is still not out of my head. Perhaps when I have the Smyth SVS Realiser set up I can start counting the feet distance between the naves, but for now, nadda. The GS1000i is bright with the Toccata & Fugue, sounds exciting but not true. I now have listened to this piece some two dozen times, the ED10 rendition is superior.
Next, I ran through the 500 tracks of Rolling Stone Magazine's Greatest of All Time. With certain tracks like Stairway to Heaven, I switched to the HD800 and GS1000i for immediate comparison. Vocals are not overbearing and isolated well from the instruments or electronics. Very smooth in fact with the ED10. I must have listened to Jimmy Page's guitar masterpiece a zillion times and the first pass with the ED10 was not revolutionary. It was relaxed with the staging not unlike that from my studio Genelec 8050A speakers. Very accurately placed without drama.
After about 100+ greatest tracks, I did not feel claustrophobic or hot with these exotic leather pads. They did disappear even on my size 7.75 sized head. They are as comfortable and forgettable as my GS1000i.
Then I listened to some bad sources, ranging from old RCA Horozitz monos to current RAP. Ouch! These recordings were bad alright but the ED10 did not pour oil on fire, almost making the tracks bearable.
I am letting the cans run 24/7 for a few days more, than I will compare with my other cans and sources.