I received my Atlas on Wednesday and they are getting better and better the more I listen and burn them in. When I first listened to them, the mids and highs sounded a little bit recessed/veiled and the bass was a bit overpowering, almost like the bass formed a aural fence that you had to step over/through in order to get to the guitars, vocals, and other instruments. However, after about 5-10 hours of listening, they opened up and now the mids and highs are not at all recessed. The bass has also tightened up and it really is lovely having that big, full, and impactful bass that anchors the sound without overpowering the mids and treble. The treble is very clean, smooth, and non-fatiguing. A previous reviewer put it very well saying it is not sparkly, but it does have a nice sheen with nice but not overemphesized detail. I have not had any sibilance and all, which is nice. I’ve done a lot of back and forth with my phantoms and they are both very different but also in a weird way very similar. Both the phantoms and the Altas have very big, full, fun, and musical sound, which can seem both intimate because of how engaging they are, but also vast in terms of soundstage when that is in the recording. The fullness and depth of both gives each iem a very three dimensional, well rounded (dare I say spherical) sound, although they are weighted differently. The phantoms on the whole are much more balanced and although they are warm and definitely not bass light, they are very linear with bass, mids, and highs are all more or less equally emphasized. Now, because of how engaging everything is, they feel more like everything is emphasized at the same time (everything is turned up to 11), but the part that steals the show is the cohesiveness and how everything comes together rather than any one part (highs, mids, or lows). There is more sparkle in the treble with the phantoms than the atlas and to my ears a little more treble extension, but I would not describe the phantoms as super sparkly either (less sparkly than Noble Encores, for example). The phantom mids also seem to have a little more detail than the atlas, but not hugely so. The thing that really steals the show is the simultaneous naturalness of tone with the phantoms, while also maintaining great clarity, and in this sense, they do outpace the atlas. Sticking with the spherical sound analogy, they would be almost like a basketball or soccer ball, very evenly weighted. With the atlas, the low end is definitely the thing that you are immediately struck by, but as you listen, although the bass is definitely emphesized, it is done so in a very natural and cohesive way. The big trick of the atlas is that although the bass is very big in presentation, it does not overtake the mids or the highs, and does not steal the show in a way that makes you feel like the bass is overpowering. It more provides a really nice anchor to the sound, weighting it for sure, but doing so in a very natural, and intimate way. The dynamic rumble and emphasis of the bass makes you feel the lows like you are right there at a live show, feeling the thump of the PA, or in the case of more acoustic or classical music, like you are right there in the studio feeling the bottom end of the cello or upright bass. It is very visceral bass that grounds the sound. The mids and highs are detailed, well textured, have good clarity, and natural in tone, and while the bass emphasis makes it so they do not sound quite as totally natural as the phantoms, there is something very organic, full, and whole about the bass-weighted sound. I’ll call it bass-natural...to use the sphere/ball analogy again, the atlas is like a medicine ball. The bass gives a very satisfying heft to the sound, but it is still well rounded, natural, and satisfying. It is ultimately not 100% true to life, but it is a very lovely, earthy version of reality. The big plus of the robust bass is that while it does not overemphasize bass where it does not belong (you do not feel like classical music to overly bass), it does pull it out of songs where you’ve always wished the bass sounded better/fuller than it does (I’m look at you ‘Starboy’ by The Weeknd/Daft Punk). The atlas are also a lot more forgiving on poorer quality recordings than the phantoms, which can be. I’ve if you listen to a lot of modern pop, hip hop, heavily compressed, or even classic rock where the recordings are not always the best. All in all it really depends on what flavor you are looking for. If Ihad to choose the atlas vs the phantom, I would probably lean on the phantom because I love how right it gets it tone-wise, but I’m really glad I don’t have to, because I love the still very natural, but grounded/earthy version of reality I get from the atlas.