These are great headphones, But not marketed to the right user
Personally, I think the Ether CX's are excellent headphones but they aren't marketed to the right buyer. These have laser-accurate imaging and tend to get out of the way to give you the sound of the source. I am able to pick up background noise on things I never was able to before, even on something as resolving as the Aeon 2 closed back. Out of the box they are very neutral and the way I like to describe the sound is "cold" with near-perfect timbre and "warm-neutral" on some tracks with a slightly bright, more metallic timbre. They were brighter when I first listened to them but most of that went away with the break-in period. Although some of this can be a placebo with a variety of things such as amplification, the track itself, genre, and the master quality of the recording. For reference, I am using the newer Topping DX5 and I listen to pretty much every genre there is, hence some of the characteristics I described. These are also very resolving and fast throughout the entire spectrum, but they are planar magnetic so the dynamics aren't as good as some of the focals. These do need a lot of time to break-in and the sound does change quite a bit based on how your brain changes and adapts to the sound and the knurling pattern of the driver breaking in. I put a 6db low-shelf on these at 80 Hz and a few peaking filters at 3 and 5 Khz (+3db) to open up the space just a tad, as busier tracks do seem a little congested, but that could be because of the limitation of the dynamics. After EQ though, these are way more fun to listen to now and some of the best headphones I've ever listened to. I think out of the box they are more catered to people that mix music and "work" with these. For listening, EQ'ing these are a huge benefit because these are voiced so well that almost any change in the spectrum completely changes the way you perceive the way these sound. These are the jack of all trades, but I only recommend these only if you plan to EQ them to your preferences and want to put some effort into making these sound more musical. If you prefer a cold, excruciatingly neutral sound then these are for you. Thanks for reading!
Would recommend to a friend.