I've had the EBs for awhile and have listened to a borrowed SF5 side by side. Other than having a UE logo, the SF5 and SF5EB have very little in common - completely different sound signatures. SF5 is more balanced and detailed. The SF5EB is for that In-Da-Club effect on the go.
Straight out of an iPod, I think the SF5EB works great for pop music given the iPod's lack of bass emphasis. In fact, the SF5EB works great even with a Sony NWZ-A728 with Clear Bass on. If you're looking for a bass-prominent IEM, also consider the Atrio M5/8 (see other thread). I compared the EB and M8 in this post:http://www.head-fi.org/forums/4700875-post1734.html
A few points:
- A long burn-in is needed to tame the bass on the EB - about 100 to 200 hours. The first 50 hrs or so, the bass is boomy and they SF5EB sounds muddy as well. At this point, many people consider returning the SF5EB.
- After awhile, the sound signature settles, and IMHO, both the Bass and Treble appear boosted. At this point, people who don't like too much bass will complain about the boosted midbass, and those who don't like too bright a sound will complain about the boosted treble.
- The treble in the SF5EB sounds boosted primarily because the midrange is relatively 'flat' - the SF5EB seems to have a significantly emphasized mid to upper bass, the midrange dips, then it tries to emphasize the mid to low treble range again. Looking at the frequency response graph, I kind of see why:
- Straight out of an iPod, the emphasized bass is very helpful, especially for pop/hip-hop. If you are really into acoustic vocal music, the midrange/vocal of the SF5EB will not thrill you.
- My experience - the SF5EB is fun, but is not ideal for critical listening. The SF5EB provides great sonic gratification for certain genres of music, but is not ideal for a detailed evaluation of hardware/software.
Finally, find a place you can try them out. If it sounds good to you, it sounds good.