First impression: It looks like a cheap pair of $3 earbuds, at least the cable seems durable, but too bad it is not right angle plug.
With the foampads, with and without the donut cut: It sounded underwhelming, with the exact same sound signature of my MX580 (concentration in the low end, recessed high end, warm but muddy sounding.) On the positive side, it has good details, the voices and high end were not sharp. I could not enjoy the sound at all (other than rock and metal) because there is too much upper bass and it muddled the entire sound. Overall it only sound marginally better than the MX580, but too muddy and with laid back high end. At this point I thought I was April fooled into buying some cheap earbuds labeled as high end.
I noticed the "rubberpads" that came with my Sennheiser MX580 and decided to put them on the Blox. It completely improved the sound in every ways. The bass is tighter and less muddy, the rubberpads does a better job transferring the low frequencies 'rumble' onto your ears so you can 'feel' the bass more. It allowed some midrange and more highend through and opened up the soundstage. The sound is just clearer and tighter overall. Sometimes the voices might be too frontal, but it suit me since I like AKG and Etymotic sounds. A good example is the song Nick Drake - Black Eyed Dog, with foampads the guitar has an artificial muddle, with the rubberpads its much cleaner. They definitely have a spacious sound considering their physical size.
In summary: Foampads = similar to Sennheiser MX580 sound, muddy, laid back sound. Rubberpads = more toward AKG sound, tighter lowend, very forward midrange, overall clean sound, sometimes a little raw. Some people might prefer the foampads for metal and rock music due to more upperbass, but the improvement of the rubberpads is big, its like two different earbuds. The only problem with these rubberpads is they make the diameter of the buds thicker which can make your ears uncomfortable in no time if you have smaller ears, this could be a big downer.
Do these Blox TM7 worth their retail price of $140? This is my first day with it and I haven't connected it to a proper DAC, but I would say no, because for the same price you can buy the fullsize AKG K271S, but then these earbuds I feel are made for a selected audience only. From this I feel the diminishing point for earbuds come very fast. If you're going to buy them have a realistic expectation due to the size limitation of earbuds diaphragm. My recommendation is if you have a quality source and lossless music library they're worth it. If most of your library are mp3 at 256kbps or lower and playing from a cheaper source, then I think the Sennheiser MX580 is good enough, especially with those rubberpads. The Blox TM7 literally have similar sound signature to the MX580, but with a more refined sound. Also these Blox earbuds tend to run out of stock so they aren't exactly easy to get a hold of.
edit: Also tried driving it with my E-MU 0404 USB DAC, the sound is fantastic, I guess they do benefit from amping. What I like from these earbuds is they have a wide stereo width.
Edited by terrymx - 8/25/12 at 7:18pm