Cons: Very high frequency notes sound dull, like hitting metal rods together. Mechanically: short penetration; hard to stay in.
These are normally over $400 on Amazon, where I got them for $100 "opened, but unused" with high expectations corresponding to the $400 price. They had all the tips, but with two mounted on the 'phones and four in the case; no grill cleaner. The problem I found, but which bothers me a lot, is that the highest notes on one of my favorite recordings, Philip Glass's Mishima soundtrack (which is like a tuneful test record), sound like a clicking, not ringing. They sounded like this on my CD, vinyl and iTunes versions, through my TX-NR708 ($800) Onkyo receiver phono input and through a TC-260MC phono amp and FiiO E09K headphone amp, and iPad3 for iTunes. Those notes are musical with my Sennheiser RS270's and AKG K-340's, and Definitive Mythos XTR50 speakers.
I haven't looked for the sound of such highs in other recordings, and maybe the effect doesn't occur with all IE7's, but I am disappointed.
DISCLAIMER: I am not an audiophile. I am an audio appreciator. I hope.
I had these for one year before the sound seemed to "drop" in volume/quality on the right side. However, I had been frustrated with them for quite awhile before then due to their shortcomings in design.
I give this an overall positive value simply because the sound on these is really quite good.
AUDIO QUALITY: High - Clean Mid - Full, rich, good body, well produced Bass - Good. Not booming, but good. Not messy, but it lacks a bit of 'presence' to give it oomph.
Actually, it was these IEMS that got me started on really appreciating music on a whole new level. They brought things out of the song that I'd never heard before. At one point I thought something was distortion only to realize it was the creaking of the chair as the artist played the harp in the recording!
DESIGN & COMFORT;
I'm putting these together, as it's the poor design for the IEM that kills the comfort! They are awkward to get in,and (for me) can fall out rather with very little effort/exertion. The cord is put behind your ear with little pieces of plastic that can easily slide up or down the cord, requiring you to readjust it every time you put them on. The design of the housing did not suit my ear at all, and it always felt really awkward when I put it in.
The isolation was almost non-existant. Pretty much everything bleeds through. Probably in part because it sits right on the top of your ear canal and doesn't go into that far. There was some sound isolation, it's better than an earbud that doesn't go into your ear, but not by very much. A crowded space will go right through any isolation the IE7 is trying to provide.
If it fits your ear, great. If not, it'll mean a LOT of fiddling for you.The sound is great, the design is terrible. Get another brands IEMs and try some of Sennheisers over-the-ear headphones. They're way better.
(May I recommend the HD650?)