Everything arrived today, I love the V-Moda mic... not sure how it sounds but I love that it has a TRRS end that you could use for a phone, plus has splitters. It works for everything. We got a Mediabridge cable that's like 8' to replace the stock. The X1's are light to wear, the pads' material is a bit obnoxious feeling (velour?), but my ears didn't touch them too much and the relatively low weight made them quite bearable. Probably top 30% comfort level of all I've tried.
Anyways, sound (my sound preference is along the lines of LCD-2's, so keep that in mind as it's sort of my reference. I don't like bass heavy cans):
Bass:: definitely bass heavy, with some amount of sub-bass bloating... that kind of one-note bloat that I personally can't stand, but it can create a very cinematic, super-engaging feel that felt really exciting for some CS:GO, and never was stale enough to distract. Bass is smooth, not overly textured, well extended, and while not punchy due to its open design, it has a warm, soft, full sound. On one track I love - The Facts by Afta-1 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTmbPh2LpBU) at the end, there's some incredibly deep and textured bass. Having heard this track on some Audeze XC's, I had a pretty good reference at how those hits really should sound, and on the X1 the only truly redeeming quality was the quantity of the bass, the dynamics, detail, and texture weren't really there, but the warmth and organic dark pulse was totally inviting.
Remember, my reference is a can costing 4x the amount, I'm not a basshead, and bass bloat can sometimes be reduced with burn in.
EDIT:: Not much evidence of the bloat being much removed after one week. It's worse on poor sources like my Samsung Galaxy S3.
Mids:: pretty neutral, plus the combo of a good amount of detail and balance means they are quite clear, which is awesome. I think the cleanliness might have been the best surprise. I use One Mo 'Gin by D'Angelo as a test track, and the vocals were fantastic. The only complaint was that sometimes I couldn't pick out some of the snaps on the backbeat, but I wasn't really giving it 100% attention so idk. I'll edit this tomorrow if I get to hear them again. EDIT:: They're there, and higher pitch than I'm used to.
Treble:: These definitely have a V shaped signature, but by no means is it to the degree where they aren't versatile. Balance really depended on the recording, they could be sparkly and extended on Take Five by Dave Brubeck, aggressive and nearly sibilant like on Nautilus by Bob James, all the way to dark and smokey on Slow Country by Gorillaz. I'm thinking the treble will get more even with a bit of break in (I'm a believer of break-in ), maybe some of the bloat too... though I think the bass will be more of a mental burn in.
Soundstage & Imaging:: with 7.1 DSP, there's some good height and depth, otherwise on stereo it's clear separated halves with maybe a 30% shared center. The imaging is fantastic. Another test track of mine is Sunshine of Your Love by Cream... well recorded with that classic hard instrument panning. All instruments were clearly defined on the stage, and I haven't really ever listened to these aspects so much nor cared about them until these X1's. BTW, I feel the LCD-2's are more natural at all of these aspects, while being at least as incredible on stage size and placement. Better depth and cohesiveness for sure.
So yeah, my brother freaked out, and he normally listens to modern electronic and hip-hop, though I recently turned him on to more experimental stuff like Aphex Twin and Nerve. He said they were "freakin' incredible" within 5 seconds of playing sound through them... he said the bass was crazy. After a few of his test tracks like Wave by MAD-HOP, he tried some CS:GO, and said he could place where people were on the other side of the maps, which I didn't believe until I tried them, and he nearly wasn't kidding. I thought my headset was good, but DANG I had no idea that imaging could get so grand. The clarity in the mids really helped differentiate between slightly muffled sounds vs. open, so you could tell if someone was in a hall or through walls, or in an open area. Add those minute audio cues + map knowledge, and you're on a whole new level. Even height representation was pretty stellar.
My only complaint was that the bass was incredibly muddy, so everything sounded like a bloated Hollywood movie that was horrifyingly engaging but rather disappointing on a technical level, but I quickly discovered that he had a bass EQ profile set that when removed, made the X1's sound more like I expected, and then some - as detailed above. I came back later to hear him listening to one of my Jazz-Funk playlists - and he was bobbing his head to Nautilus. I've never seen him bob his head. SUCCESS.
Anyways, I'll throw in edits as stuff comes to me, but if anyone has any questions, let 'em rip. If you want a bass oriented AND open can, don't think twice and empty that wallet! They are certainly an incredible value. Better than my Heir Audio 3.ai S's for sure - which is a whole 'nuther story. Tl;dr on that one... buy from Noble and never look back.
EDIT: he wants to add "I guess my one note would be the crazy level of detail in the game that I'd never heard before, the intensity and engaging aspect of it that seemed similar (70%) intensity to TH600 [he loves those], and of course the crown jewel and entire reason for them - the staging. Staging is ridiculous. Better than expected. The only challenge is there's so much detail now that I'll have to get used to taking it all in and filtering out what's important like the footsteps across the map while shooting a rifle full auto."
Edited by jodgey4 - 4/8/14 at 7:25pm