Tenores with Jays small-ish wide-bore tips. Certain tips will make the lowest bass slightly too powerful for my taste, the Jays tips though seem to relax the bass volume-wise and provides the most open, natural mid and treble to my ears so far.
Wow, these are terrific. Extremely clear, flat and smooth detail devoid of any problem areas, and using wide-bore tips the entire spectrum feels very open and natural.
They can have a very wonderful sense of presence in the treble region, making things like scratching fabric and similar textures feel really open, airy, "windy" and natural. That same feel to the sound you'd get if you ran your fingers slowly over styrofoam, that whispy, breezy quality.
Micro-Transients are overall very good, I wasn't expecting that level from such a small driver. Clicks, clanks and such are very well-defined.
Macro-dynamics is the main area where I feel something like the much larger-driver Vsonic GR07 achieve a more dynamic sound, i.e dynamic areas of the sound can rise higher over the more non-dynamic portions of the sound. So the Tenores will not give the drums as loud/raised dynamic levels over the electric guitars, for example. This means that the GR07 will have a more air depth to their levels, while the Tenores present a slightly more concentrated feel (to put it another way, placing the snap of a snaredrum at the same perceived volume level, the Tenores will have a more in-your-face body to the sound, while the GR07 is more separated into the snap and the rest of the sound being a step away from you).
The advantage of this is that everything is presented in a very well-contained package for you to pick apart, if they had bigger "movement" to the dynamics of the music, they would not be as analytical, and it would be more of a chore to keep track of the "surface" of the audio if things dynamically stood out more.
Overall spectral balance really is superb. I think it's safe to say these do everything my Etymotic HF5s do, and more. The HF5s have a more rolled-off highest end and are slightly boosted in the lower treble compared to the Tenore, which really just effortlessly flows into the hypersonics. The Tenores seem to have a very mild lack of focus around 4-6KHz, making them ever so slightly less present-feeling and slightly emphasizing the upper treble, but other than that they absolutely shine for presenting every aspect of the spectrum in a very balanced, accessible way, all the way up to the highest treble. They are extremely airy and open-sounding thanks to this, anything containing lots of intricate treble details like crashing glass or glass shards trampled on the floor, glassy or metallic sounds in general, are very convincing and defined. If you imagine the sound a car engine makes as it cools down, that metallic ticking of engine parts contracting as they cool and creating very sharp, metallic textures, that quality is all in these headphones.
Mids are really gorgeous, very full, yet seemingly devoid of any bothersome resonant qualities. They remain silky smooth and nothing wants to create weird warbling or "wah"-y tonalities.
Sine sweeps reveal almost no dips or peaks at all as it moves towards 20K. Really, really impressive.
Listening to movie dialogue will quickly reveal things like subtle upper treble noise during spoken portions which goes away as the sound mixer muted that dialogue track, really revealing the slightest nuances of the material.
Orchestral music is extremely well-presented, the mild dynamics keep the room sound and the instruments very cohesive with each other, while the excellent reach in the treble gives you every nuance of the reflections of the room and air, and the prickly nature of the transient response make plucked instruments perfectly audible, yet not overly obvious or standing out unnaturally.
Overall these really seem to really contend well with less dynamic, more prickly micro-textured micro-transient headphones like the Etymotic HF5 (they do feel very Etymotic BA-like to my ears, just with a fuller bass and less pronounced high mids). They cannot pack the same snappy, quick punch over the register when called for like the GR07s, but remain very well-detailed, delivering a well-defined layer of transient sharpness and stability over the main body of the sound, that give your ears a good sense of reliable texture and transparency even in thick congested parts.
These really don't do anything really wrong. As a complement for a GR07 for example they are great, the GR07s extremely lively, responsive dynamics and overall very energetic, excited tonality can often sound a bit inappropriate for orchestral music, as the music gets an exaggerated sense of foreground and background, with clicks and cracks and snaps often being very up-front when you want to feel like you are listening more to a somewhat distant room of instruments without anything coming through too aggressively.
Edited by Airlight - 5/16/14 at 3:17pm