I've had these for a few days since I also bought them at the time I purchased the JVCs I just also made a thread about. I waited a few days before I made noise about them, so I could get more time with them...I had been spending more time with the JVCs.
Well, I think I'm going to be giving the JVCS (S650) to my girlfriend. In fact, I might be donating my now vast collection of headphones I just don't use anymore, because these headphones are the most impressive ones I've bought in a long, long time. There are simply no cons to them.
They have great style and are sleek yet understated, are really comfortable, a great size and rather portable, and seem impeccably sturdy (they even have an L-plug!).
However, the sound's the thing here. Besides being pretty efficient, thus easily portable (and not very big), the sound is incredible. They generally sound as though Audio Technica was trying to take Sennheiser's PX 200's sound and perfect it. They have all of the clarity, texture, spaciousness, and detail of the PX 200s, but excel where the PX's failed: the bass. Now, don't get me wrong, the PX 200 II's had good bass. It was tight, controlled, rather textured, and had impact, but it was just lacking in amount. Tracks invariably sound a bit lightweight and, at times cold.
With the SJ11s, the bass kicks like a pissed off donkey and extends to well into the sub bass regions, but it doesn't bleed at all into the mid range. With metallica's self titled (an album I use as a litmus test for phones since it sounds amazing), I hear tons of thundering bass, but with plenty of mid range guitar crunch and searing upper range guitar layers. Vocals sound clear, distinct, and natural, and with orchestral music, you get plenty of string texture and instrument placement. I listened to Prokofiev's classical symphony, and the dry texture of the music revealed a lot of great detail with these phones.
Sound stage is good, maybe not as good as the PX 200s, but good enough to tell where instruments are coming from on recordings that were recording with directional sound in mind (such as a lot of jazz, some orchestral). Overall, it's a more intimate sound, but not boxy.
Isolation is great. The do a great job of passive noise cancellation.
Audio technica has gained a fan...I had tried some over ear phones of theirs, also budget cans, a while back. I wasn't impressed, so I had been steering clear of them, but I hit the jackpot with these!
Edited by swaffleman - 3/3/13 at 3:49pm