Pros: very airy sound, isolation, decent bass,portability, design, built quality
Cons: lack details, microphonics, minimal accessories
When I tried the eph-100 for the first time , I can't say there was a "wow factor" ; however they just sounded "fine".
From my cowon player s9, I tried to play with the different jeteffects to "enhance" the sound, but none of the DSP really made an interesting difference .Hence , if you don't have any good eq, or DSP on your mp3 player, you won't miss this with the eph-100.
There's one thing that becomes slowly addicting while listening to the eph-100 :
it's their exceptional airy sound. They sound as open, as open headphones, if not more. At the same they offer great isolation , thing that open headphones can't offer.
To my ears, I can't say that the eph-100 are very detailed, and I would say that through the whole frequency range. To put things in perspective, I would add that the sen IE7 is the only other IEM I'm familiar with, and I'm more used to full sized headphones. I find that the eph-100 are the opposite of an analytical headphone. They don't provide a feeling of "high resolution": sometimes it's boring, but it can suits well some musics too. For instance, I can't really say that I missed my more detailed full sized headphone, while listening to the box of bruckner symphonies, conducted by maazel.
The eph-100 have an excellent bass: it extends well, and offers impact. But my previous IEM , the sennheiser IE7, still had a better bass (more texture especially). Despite sounding overall neutral , you realize after some listening that there's a hole in the treble. One result, is that the treble is never fatiguing, and perhaps too laid back. But I can't say that the treble is completely smooth too. On my computer, boosting the highs with an eq near 4khz helps to get a more engaging sound.
I would think with their great bass, and non fatiguing highs that the eph-100 would have the main ingredients to seduce mainstream users. I don't find them very detailed, but their great "open" sound make them attractive.
I love their isolation, much better than for my senn IE7. Walking with them near roads can be dangerous, there's even a warning in their manual.
I didn't find the ear tips of eph-100 comfy. If I wear the eph-100 for an extended period of time, this begin to hurt. Often it's more painful for me to remove the eph-100 than to insert them on my ear.
The eph-100 have microphonics, you need to put the cable around the ears , if you want to move while wearing them.
Built quality & accessories:
The eph-100 are tiny, but their aluminum body looks quite solid. The cable is a bit stiff , but seems robust (it use some elastomer coating). If the cable was less stiff, there would be less microphonics, but the advantage is that it helps to prevent tangling.The accessories are quite minimal: five ear tips for different size, and a pouch.
Finally there's really not much fuss regarding the portability of the eph-100, they are not bulky, and since they are robust, you can put them with their pouch on your pocket without problems.
The eph-100 are not perfect, but a combination of factors make them attractive. I like , that I can enjoy a very open sound , while getting isolation at same time. The bass is enough decent for bass heads. And the eph-100 offers great portability too.