Beyerdynamic said the T5p has 32 ohm for "ultimate phase fidelity", that and the fact that it's closed-back, what designates it as a portable headphone? There is someone which has put T5p drivers in a a T1 housing as well.
I should have said better -in certain ways-, there is a reason why custom IEM's are popular and people pay over $1000 for them, and it's for using at home, at your desk, just as much as outside.
Have you demoed any? I am mostly an IEM person, but after listening to several flagship headphones I went with the T5p, prior to that I had A2000X and SA-5000.
I have a friend that sold his $2000 STAX rig and happily uses a custom IEM now instead, actually.
That makes sense. For the portability (I don't consider T5p portable), looks, and price difference I honestly think I prefer the ES10 overall. I have the T5p right here but haven't A/B'd them, not yet anyway.
Like with everything, tastes.
ES10 is in no way a flagship for AT, check their other headphones.
Regarding caviar; please check my equipment inventory:
Audiophilleo2>Metrum Octave DAC> Woo Audio WA2> T1, Sony SA5000 and JVC DX1000. Not to mention all the gear I had before that.
The ATH-ES10 is a flagship for Audio Technica, in that lineup, isn't it? I know the AD2000, A2000X and 3000ANV are other flagships.
It's clear Audio Technica paid a lot of attention to the sound of the ES10, it's not just a random failure like you posted, I didn't really like the A1000X and W5000 that much though and seem to prefer the sound of the metallic ones.
I think it's quite possible the LCD-2, LCD-3 and K1000 all sound better than my T5p but they are open-air models. You can include Koss ESP950 and STAX as well if you like. Anyway I don't use full-size very often they just gather dust so I think I'll sell them.
I am really liking music on the ATH-ES10 either way.