I just got back from an Audio Club meet/mini-meet and with the Audio Technica ATH something (I don't remember the exact model name, but it's one of the in-ear earphones) and the owner came to a similar sonic conclusion as me.
I didn't provide any sort of feedback beforehand on how it sounded, so the impressions weren't biased from my impressions. In short: the sub-bass is somewhat rolled-off, mid-bass bumped up, upper-midrange forward and a bit aggressive, midrange as a whole is congested, highest frequencies are rolled off.
I double-checked the settings and the X5 is in low-gain mode and on "Normal" EQ. I actually breathed a sigh of relief after hearing the impressions because I thought I was going crazy since no one else is reporting this kind of sound output.
As for my usual setup:
Home rig: MacBook -> Audirvana Plus -> Objective DAC [or JDS Labs C5D] -> Objective 2 (with AC power) -> AKG K 701 or Alpha Dog for as long as I still have the touring unit
Or MacBook -> Audirvana Plus -> Objective DAC -> STAX SRM-252S (with step-down transformer) -> STAX SR-207
Portable rig: iPod 5G [or iPhone 4S when the iPod battery dies] -> FiiO L9 -> JDS Labs C5/C5D -> V-MODA Crossfade M-100
Edited by miceblue - 2/12/14 at 10:46pm