Got my ESW9 in the mail since I figured it would be a good match to try for the types of music I like. I listen to a lot of Japanese music, female vocals and Radiohead. I'm also a huge fan of Pearl Jam.
Out of the box I was surprised at how small they were. Pictures just don't really show you this well. I put them on and they seem like a perfect fit. Too bad the tips of my ears kind of hurt after awhile. Seems like there is actually some good isolation despite them only resting on my ears. They seem to cover most of my ear, which I guess is a good thing.
The sound feels pretty muffled and not clear at all. I probably need to burn them in more. I was actually surprised how much bass they have. The bass is ok, but it seems like there's too much mid-bass and kind of has a bloated feeling.
Violins and a Piano on Joe Hisaishi's "The Rain" sounds terribly un-natural and annoying. The song is completely ruined. Everything just seems to irritate my ears. Basically very few instruments sound as natural as they do on my HD-600, Grado SR-80 and Pro DJ 100.
It seems like this is a real Jekyll & Hyde like headphone. On headroom's website they said sometimes the mids can be recessed, but everyone else in the world seems to think they have very forward sounding mids. I'm was sitting there listening to Radiohead and vocals are a bit hard to hear clearly. Basically just struggling to hear them. Specific instruments seem to be pushed far back into the background. Same with tiny details.
The bass is just pretty annoying and seems to show up when it shouldn't even be around. It's just so weird when some say these have recessed mids and the other 50% say they're forward!
Right now nothing sounds "right" to me. Everything in the sound signature just seems to want to annoy me however it can. Basically right now it almost reminds me of my experience with the MDR-V6.
I will burn them in a few more hours and see how it goes. Right now it's the 2nd worst experience with a headphone. It's funny because my feeling is that I bought something just for it's look and not so much for it's sound.
I put on my modded Grado SR-80 and the sound is just so much more crystal clear. Doesn't make sense. Everything is just more natural and feels more accurate.
I'm using them with an Ipod Touch using ALAC files and a Total Airhead, which is actually a very good amp in my experience.
A week ago I had the Ultrasone HFI-680 and disliked those too. I actually prefer those to these, but those went back due to getting beaten out by my SR-80 and Pro DJ 100. How is it that I loved the bass quality and quantity on the HFI-680, but on this headphone I hate it?
It's not a fake and I verified this. I got it from Buy.com. I could have waited a week and gotten it for $40 less, but i'm so impatient.
Anything else worth trying? I'm trying to stay with something that's smaller and works OK without an amp (but still benefits from one).
I like the Grado mids and how crystal clear they are. Something that's like the SR-80 with more bass and less harsh highs would be nice. Probably too much to ask for!