I just got the ATH-ES55 and I'm pretty stunned by how much I love these.
Let's get to it. This will be a quick impression. I listened to them for only a few hours.
The best part of the ATH-ES55 is it's fun, engaging, yet balanced sound signature. It's Audio-Technica's famous sound signature, and the ES55 takes a more balanced take compared to the v-shaped M-50 for example.
Bass: The bass is nice, impactful, and very clean. Never obtrusive, and it always has the right amount if not just a little extra to be fun.They extend well and perfectly compliments the overall sound/sound signature.
Mids: Very impressive here. Mids here are a bit forward primarily on the upper mids bringing female vocals and guitars more forward. What I really love is that, the ES55 manages to bring the upper mids forward without any harshness at all whatsoever. As a person who is very sensitive to sibilance, you can trust me when I say the ES55 is very fun without being harsh at all.
Treble: Fascinatingly, the treble on the ES55 is very present and not withheld at all. It's either slightly forward, or just perfectly balanced with the whole sound. There is a very fine level of clarity and detail thanks to the nice treble extension these have.
Overall, the ES55 manages to sound fun and forward without being harsh or obscuring any other sound. Technically it does well enough that it's fun sound signature makes you forget about that stuff and just enjoy the music. It's fun... but balanced. .My favorite type of sound signature and when done right it just sounds so good. The ES55 does that right in spades. It's also very comfortable, easy to wear for hours and is also in my opinion one of the best looking headphones ever made.
Sadly, I'll be selling these as I'm in dire in need of funds... but do believe it when I say I will buy these again. Perhaps in both colors! (I prefer white)
These deserve way more attention than they get. My favorite headphone under $100 and possibly one of the, if not, the best headphones under $100.
Sound: Fun/forward, but still also balanced. You will never, ever feel like the ES55 is lacking something in sound. It's awesome sound signature makes you forget about technicalities.
If you're not into this sound signature then this score won't make sense to you.
Scale for reference:
Sennheiser HD650 (10/10)
HiFiMan RE-262 (9.4)
HiFiMan Re-Zero (9/10)
Fischer Audio DBA-02/ATH-AD700 (8.5/10)
Value: Very comfortable, appealing look, and decent pricing makes the ES55 an easy recommendation every and any time.
Street price: less than $80 (10/10)
Edited by bisayaboi - 6/24/11 at 7:49pm