I recently got these headphones and have mixed feelings. One thing is that that they may not be the best for my listening conditions. I've never had any other open-back headphones, but at least with these I need to be in a very quiet room to really enjoy them fully. My living room's open to my kitchen, and when the loud refrigerator fan goes on it disrupts the listening experience with these, specifically the bass. Maybe it's because I tend to listen at lower volumes. Similarly, I can't really be on my balcony with them because of ambient noises outside, even though I'm on a small little street. Are all open-back phones this location-sensitive?
When I do find a nice quiet space, these headphones regularly surprise me. Just yesterday I was listening to some old-school death metal, and suddenly I had a reaction like someone (my wife) had spoken to me. I wanted to remove the headphones so as not to be rude. But it was actually a guitar solo that had just come in from a place not previously occupied by any instruments in the stereo field of the song. The guitar was in the same sonic range as a female voice, but I think it was the degree of separation that the headphones produced which made me think for a split second that the sound had come from further outside.
I don't feel they are as neutral as some others have said. I feel sometimes that I have to focus too much to weed through high frequencies that may be over-expressed. I like to hear bass-lines as opposed to just feeling their impact. With these headphones I get a good sense of how the bass guitar sounds as it's coming out of the bass amp, its textures, but I feel I'm mentally repressing highs in order to do so. Another way of saying this is that the presence of the highs prevents me from being able to turn up the volume in order to hear bass that I would like to be a bit louder. If I were to get the bass (which sounds so good down there, I know) to the relative levels I want, the highs would be too much, even piercing. I don't want to blast my music, it's just that what I consider comfortable listening levels are almost always reached with these headphones by the highs before the mids or lows.
Has anyone else found this to be so?