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I just recieved my FXC80 in the mail, and wanted to give my initial impressions after a few hours of listening. First and foremost, these are very detailed phones, more so than either the fxc50 or the M9. They are on the bright side, but not as harsh as the M9. The mids are a step up from the fxc50, fairly well detailed, but not harsh and muddy like the M9. The bass is solid, not nearly as boomy as the M9, there is still plenty of bass, and like any IEM, depends on the seal, as I am still experiementing with the right tip. I think the best step up in terms of sound is the soundstage. More than the fxc50, the M9, Or the NE-7M. The sound is just more airy and wider. Instrument separation is more noticeable on these. Yea...I paid retail, but its better than my nuforces which were $50. By the way, the source is a Zune HD, listening mostly to Buckethead, Satriani, Dream Theater and some acoustic stuff. Hope this helps anyone on the fence about spending the $60.