I really enjoy my R1s, but I wouldn't say that they sound a heck of a lot like the S500s. Which is good, for me, since the S500s are too aggressive for my ears. In fact, lately I have been enjoying them far more than the S500s. People say that mids are recessed but I wouldn't say they're any more recessed than the S500. It does have a lot of bass, which again some have complained about, but I enjoy them immensely.
That said, I have absolutely no experience with the others you mentioned so can't give a particularly informed or unbiased opinion .
I do know a few people have complained about driver flex, but I guess I was lucky enough not to receive a unit with that problem. Brainwavz QC does sound like it can be a little spotty, but they are apparently really good with sending replacements.
My only complaint with the R1s is that the wire is a real pain, but of course they now offer an updated model with memory wire in it. Some also complain that the shape isn't exactly ergonomic, but I never found it an issue.
Edited by hatefulsandwich - 1/31/13 at 8:04am