I've been trying to figure out what's so unique about the bass on these, and I know it's easy to say "oh they just emphasize the bass without it imparting an effect on the mids" but that doesn't really tell the whole story.
I went through a battery of music, from fun rock Primus to Queens of the Stone Age to post-rock like Jakob and God is an Astronaut, sludgy black metal like Abest and Black Drop Effect and prog like Scale the Summit and Cloudkicker. Abest in particularly knocked me on my ass with how powerful the bass was, and that's when it hit me:
The bass, as in bass frequencies, don't sound boosted. The bass instruments do.
What I mean is, when you're listening to music on these, it doesn't sound like they've been EQ'ed to boost the low end, it literally just sounds like the amplifiers on the bass guitar or the mic on the kick drum got turned up. If you've ever been to a rock/metal concert live, you know that sound. The sound of the bass drum making the shirt on your chest flutter and the bassist hitting a low string and letting it ring out while your hair stands up. That doesn't happen because the engineer on the mixing board changed the EQ for the whole band, it's because he turned up the volume level of those instruments.
That's what the SE846 manages to do.
When I first turned on "No One Knows" I was actually unhappy as hell. I heard that bass guitar pound and I went "oh crap, the whole song is gonna sound blown out" because this isn't my first rodeo with bassy headphones (my MG7s, what I'd call the inexpensive IEM bass kings, are sitting to my right). When you hear bass in a rock sound play loudly, you know it means the whole song is going to be tilted. Yet, no. Not the case. As soon as the bass guitar stopped, ANY hints of bass boost vanished. On recordings that I know are trebly, it sounds like the "subwoofer" got turned off (and I suppose it did, in a sense).
I know it's another post about the bass on these, but I had to get it out there. Lots of great headphones have crystalline highs and liquid mids and great soundstages and all these other things, but the SE846 did something REALLY special on the lows, which also worked to the benefit of the rest of the spectrum. Thanks to that excellent crossover and separation, the reproduction of the mids and highs isn't even slightly colored by bass in the drivers. It's just amazing.