PFE v. X10Now that I've had a chance to sit with my new X10s and PFEs for several hours, I thought I'd throw my opinion into the hat. I've been switching between these and my MS-1s, sourced from a full-size CD player running through a MINT amp. I've not spent much time with either un-amped.
The PFEs do not have the bass impact that the X10s do. I think that's well established. The X10s definitely have the upper-mid recess that I've read about. The PFEs, especially with the grey filters, sound much more even. Female vocals and acoustic guitar are much better in the PFEs. It's actually a little disappointing going back to the X10s during songs with strong vocals. In classical, however, the weakness is not as noticeable. The bass in the PFEs is very good though. It seems almost as tight and clean.
The microphonics of the X10s can be pretty bad. I suspect that the over-the-ear style of the PFEs helps in that concern. I am also probably just accustomed to my Shures going over the ear, leading to a preference for that style.
In the long run, except when I'm looking for that extra bass or when listening to classical, I think that I'll find myself going to the PFEs more often. Which is a shame because the wife absolutely loves them. Phonak website, here I come again.