Packaging is nicely done with a good assortment of tips, adapter cables and carry cases. The phones themselves are beautifully finished and resemble fine jewelry.
I quickly found a set of tips that provide a secure seal and a very comfortable fit. Now, on to the sound....
The soundstage is expansive, and does give the impression of being in front of me, rather than centered between my ears. Instrument placement is very precise in both width and depth. I would not call the SQ analytical or warm/thick. It just sounds effortless and natural. Highs are clear and transparent but never sibilant. Bass is bottomless but does not intrude in places where it does not belong.
Overall, I get the impression of a quality speaker system with a well-implemented subwoofer. Despite this being the most expensive headphones that I have owned, I am happy that I pulled the trigger, as I suspect that the Ref.1 will keep me satisfied for a LONG time!! It is also time to thin out my collection of IEM's as I doubt that many will no longer see much use.
I have not yet paired the Ref.1 with the DAC/Amp One, since it is still charging. As it was shipped with no battery, I am using the lithium 9v from my T1.
Addendum: My DAC/Amp One is now fully charged and I can say without reservation that the synergy between the Amp One and Ref.1 is superb. Maybe it isn't the most expensive amp that one can choose to pair with the Ref.1, but its not likely that one could tell that from the sound!
Edited by HiFlight - 5/29/14 at 1:24pm