I agree with much of what you said. I love the look, the feel, the size, the clamp, etc.I got these after doing lots of research and I'm really disappointed in them. I'm not an audiophile, so forgive me if I'm using the language incorrectly, but their only distinguishing characteristic seems to be that they have wonderful sound separation and a larger, airier, sound stage for closed backs (they have probably the best soundstage of any close-backed I've heard). However, in almost every other category they are mediocre. Bass is OK, much more emphasized than other AT's I've heard, and it isn't muddy like some bass-heavy headphones can be, but it's definitely not powerful enough for a basshead (as I am).
Treble is also too bright for my tastes. They have a very bright, almost sparkly sound, which is novel and attractive for about a minute, but I just find it exhausting to listen to for too long. And it's not just high-treble stuff. I was listening to the new Julien Baker album (who's not exactly a soprano), and after a while just hearing her singing voice got grating. Comparing the WP900 to my other headphones (Audio-Technica ATH-M50X and VMODA-Crossfade 2), the WP900s do the best job of separating all of the various sounds with clarity, but to my ears, it ruins the music. It makes everything sound too bright and deconstructed, and actually sometimes seems to emphasize the wrong stuff. Like, I was listening to St. Vincent's "Pay Your Way in Pain" and I heard all sorts of new, random, sounds I hadn't heard before with these, however the central synth-line that is the backbone and driving force of the entire song seemed to get lost in the cacophony of noise at times. I actually think the V-Moda's have a very similar sound profile as these do, only the V-Moda's have slightly more emphasized bass (which can get muddy at times) and slightly less bright treble. Which is absurd as these are twice the cost of the V-Modas, yet the sound very similar.
Which is kind of the main issue that's underlying all of this. These WP900s sound OK. If they were $300 I'd be blown away by them. However, I do not see anything about how they sound that justifies the $650 price tag over comparable headphones in the $300 range and the accessories they come with are a joke on top of it (just a flimsy, cloth, carrying case and nothing else). Are they as expensive as they are merely because they are made out of wood? Honestly, I don't really understand who their target audience is. They have better bass than other Audio-Technicas, for example, but the base isn't good enough for bassheads. They also aren't really reference headphones, as they don't treat the soundstage equally.
I bought these because I accidentally crushed and bent my V-Moda's, so they stick into my head now (which is really painful). I thought I'd spring for something more expensive, but I think I'm going to return them and just get another pair of Crossfades. These might be marginally better than the crossfades when it comes to sound separation, but the Crossfades have slightly more powerful bass (which I prefer), are $300 cheaper, have bluetooth, and come with a bunch of accessories.
However, when it comes to the sound, I find them pretty unsatisfactory. The recessed mids are no-go for me. Pulled them out today to try with my new-to-me amp and they started annoying me almost immediately. I set up Florence and the Machine as I love her voice.
I haven't used these for a few weeks and all I remembered about them was the recessed mids.
Shortly after putting them on I noticed two things:
1) Recessed mids
2) Weird presentation of some sounds. Some instruments sound different from what I am used to.
After an hour I pulled out my CFA Cascades. Wow! What a difference. And what an upgrade! The vocals are out front, the clarity is awesome and the horns sound great. If only the Cascade headband didn't suck so bad!
Retail on these two phones is about the same in Canada, which is funny because they are SO different. I think the WP-900's will be leaving my home next month.
PS: I just traded my LCD-2 Classic's for the new Beyer T5, gen 3 headphones. I hope they fill the role that I bought the WP-900's for.