I have the EM9D which I believe are almost identical to the EM9R but a little more open thanks to all the little holes (so besides the sound they should be identical). They're about an inch and a half in diameter for the headphone itself not including the ear hanger. The main headphone part is made of silver aluminum with one raised portion higher than the rest of the disc. The ear hanger is composed of metal painted black with rubber for the part that actually rests on your ear. It pivots on a mount made of part metal, part plastic that also raises and lowers to allow it to fit ears of all sizes.
Personally I don't like the ear hanger that much; it only has contact points for the rubber on each end of the ear hanger. The EM700 has another contact point for the rubber in the middle of the hanger's frame which helps keep the rubber in line with the frame. My EM9D's rubber portion tends to slip out of line and I assume this is part of the reason why they tend to hurt after a while of being on my ear.
The cable is lightweight like pretty much all of Audio Technica's portable offerings and I've had times where it has gotten quite tangled but since much of the cord's length is taken up by the 1m extension you can disconnect the extension which makes untangling it much easier. Having both the 1m extension and the 0.6m of the rest of the headphone does lead to it being too long for me. Without the extension, it's too short. It also has a J-type asymmetrical cord if that matters to you. The longer side of the J tends to stick out as it usually rests on my shoulder.
Now as for the sound, it has good highs, mids are okay, and the bass could be better but that's because of the way the headphones are designed. Since they're hanging on your ear and are not sticking tight to the ear some of the bass' power sort of leaks away. With my EM9D at least the sound also leaks a lot and I assume the EM9R are the same as both are pretty open. One thing I've found is that it's very hard to go back to them after getting my ESW9s a couple months ago, but since the ESW9 are what they are and the EM9D are what are this is to be expected.
I got my EM9D on ebay used for $60 so I found that a good price for them. If they had been full retail price I doubt I would have bought them. I think you can get the EM700 for cheaper than the EM9R/D, although I don't know how the sounds of the two series stack up.
Hope that helps. If you have any more questions I'll try to answer, but again, I have the EM9D and not the EM9R.