A crisp and (un)pleasant sound
I put the "(un)" in parenthesis for a very specific reason. These headphones are very neutral and very clinical feeling right from the start. There is some burn in required to really hear a lot of the nuance, but once that's achieved.. it's bad, but for all of the good reasons. Allow me to explain.
These headphones, as many reviewers have noted (from my time doing research before pulling the trigger), highlight not only the type of music or sound or what have you through them, but also the method the recording was done. A good recording of something, and these cans shine above quite a few others, the closed back design in tandem with the pads providing an isolating experience, but the sound signature is a very wide, very open back sensation. The drawback to something that could sound so perfect on paper? One will hear all of the imperfections as clear as can be with nothing coloring or covering them, leading to a mildly jarring experience.
As many have noted, the bass is very flat on these. When comparing to something in the Sennheiser range, or something else with planar magnetic drivers such as some Hifiman offerings, bass response is crisp and has the speed and the range that one would expect a planar magnetic to have, but what it can compare to in response with the Hifiman, it lacks in punch. Not necessarily a negative point, but it should be noted.
Comfort wise, these headphones are wonderful to wear. They are a bit on the heavier side of things, so if you're used to light and airy open backs, it may take some time to adjust. The other point here is the pad material. While the pads and closed back design offer the wonderful isolation, extended periods of wear have the potential to be uncomfortable for some.
Build quality? What can I say here? These headphones are well built and don't feel too fragile. On the set I received, both of the carbon fiber backs were the same level of polish with no blemish. The cable provided is.. good enough, though I'm not a snob for cables.
In conclusion, if you're looking for something neutral, clinical, nearly "endgame" level monitor, this is it. If you're wanting the wide soundstage of open back headphones, but are in a place where excessive sound leaking could draw the ire of others, this is it.
Would recommend to a friend.