Picked up a pair from B&H. Tested them out vs. Sony MDR-EX51 in-ear & Creative EP480 earbuds. 1) EP480 beats the TH02 for soundstage. Expansive on the EP480 - instruments positioned from left to right, each easily distinguishable and in clear positions. Voice is locked center, instruments play out pretty wide. TH02 - muddled. Almost like listening to mono in comparison. Voices center, but forward enough so that it stands out before the music. EX51 - between the two, but not much of a soundstage. 2) Voices. TH02 does a very good job at bringing the female voice forward at the cost of the instruments and music in the background. EP480 doesn't do this as much, so your voice will be at a closer level in volume to the rest of the music. EX51 is about regular, same as the EP480, not super-good at bringing the voice forwards, but doesn't bury it either. TH02 is super-smooth. Roughness in voices simply are gone - mellow. EP480 is a touch light and airy on the voices. Less mids and lows, more highs. Far less smooth, more crisp - can be fatiguing over hours - more tightly strung. EX51 is in between. Smooth, but not as much as the TH02. You can still pickup a bit of roughness here and there, but not as crisp as the EP480. Perhaps easier to listen for longer periods of time. 3) Bass. TH02 > Ex51 >> EP480 TH02 is a thump, not mind-numbing, but you'll know it's there and can feel it. Ex51 - always depends on ear fit, but can get up there to where you can sense a thump, but never like a close-ear pair of headphones thump. EP480 - it's an earbud, thus, auto-low-filter. Not going to feel the thumps at all. 4) highs and details EP480 > EX51 > TH02 You'll be hearing fingers on guitar strings far more clearly on the EP480 vs. the rest. Of course, that AT Hokkaido Wood OTH has even more detail, but to the point of annoyance, esp. in how that one renders voices. TH02? Can't even hear the guitar strings clearly at all. Just gone, muddled. EX51 - it's there, but due to the closed soundstage, it's much harder to pick out individual instruments and details. 5) Isolation. TH02/EX51 >> EP480 But, TH02 nor EX51 are noise cancellng, so you'll still hear people talking behind you and such. TH02 gets very warm fast, so ears get sweaty on hot days. EX51 gets annoying, feels like something is trying to expand the ear canals after hours, and never feels good exercising long. EP480 - open earbud, no isolation. 6) Sensitivity/Power required TH02 > EX51 > EP480 Gotta turn up the volume a few more notches to get the TH02 to sound loud. Can't use it well at low, low volumes as well as the EP480/EX51 either. Just loses too much detail and you can't hear things well at the near-zero volume levels. Can still use the EP480/EX51 just before falling asleep at very low volumes and hear the music and voices more clearly. Thus, in the end, TH02 goes back to the store right away. Not impressed at all, esp. for editing - can't hear the details like I can with the dirt-cheap EP480, so that's pretty bad. Yes, it's super-smooth and has bass, so good for listening to music and voices that could use the processing. But it's too smooth - to the point where raspy voices now become non-raspy. Not better than the EX51 for isolation, and because the EX51 is more comfy over the hours due to the light weight vs the hot and heavy TH02, not great in noisy environments vs a true noise cancelling headphone. TH02 has it's niche - more modern, booming/drum heavy songs, voices that need smoothing, and you really don't want any raspiness or soundstage.