Right, it's kinda a weird underhanded criticism - the assertion being this is entry level upper-tier. That hey, you can spend half as much and get something that sounds better. The problem is this is a fairly unique sound.
The creator assserts this is the best he's ever done - a guy who pioneered this category of listening devices and somehow has remained relevant all these years, his last flagship currently holding the distinction of being at the top of Joker's listings w/ a perfect 10. He put forth his reasoning why the treble sounds the way it does on the Roxannes (saying others are boosted and uneven due to impedance issues at the upper end which the Roxannes rectify). Maybe there's something to that. Or maybe he pooped this one out.
If you peruse all the impressions though you see that it's a pretty polarizing IEM, so for any one expert or group of experts to have final say on "this is what it is, now bend to my authoratay!" is a bit premature. There are plenty of people here, esp. ones coming from other CIEMs, who think this is the best they've heard. The main monkey wrench is from the dozen or so reports or impressions I've seen from those who've heard both (in most cases at least one is a demo) the favor sways toward the K10. I contend that one issue with that is the K10 fits the profile of what a typical audiophile shoots for in a sound profile - the Roxanne sounds unusual, something new that might take more time to process.
An aside - I went to the LA meet w/ a co-worker who had owned a set of Miracles for 2 years. He was tired of that sound and was looking for something a bit more organic as he put it. I stood next to him while we tried the Roxannes, the JH13s, JH16s, K10s, K6s, UERM, and an assortment of others I can't remember. The Roxannes were the only ones that fully blew him away, and he particularly disliked both the JH13s and K10s, saying they both were annoyingly toppy and thin. Coming to the meet he was hoping to purchase a nice CIEM to his liking in the sub $1k category, but instead he got I believe a UE5 for like $350 on sale and is now planning on saving up for a Roxanne to be purchased later in the summer.
On the drive home I talked about the merits of the K10, esp. out of the Hugo, and he was being dismissive as if I were a crazy person... ie "well, some people like that sound, artificially boosted on top, I tried it and it's not for me". Sound familiar? Like Kunlun's evil twin? Haha.
On the drive up to the meet, it was as if he had already dismissed Noble and was set on the Roxannes. He read most of the initial impressions on Head-fi and had decided based on what he read that was going to be his next IEM. The purpose of the meet seemed to largely be to confirm what he was already hearing in his head - he *knew* he wanted the Roxannes but wasn't quite sure he wanted to spend that much and was hoping to find something else he liked more, but that didn't happen.
Edited by bobeau - 4/1/14 at 7:01am