Well I broke from tradition as I usually favour Sennheiser for their stellar base and clarity (CX300, CX 400 CX500 and PX 100's) I also own Shure and Sony but these little beauts compare favourably with any of them, Straight out of the pack, plugged them in to a trusty Zen Vision M and thought the sound was too harsh on the mids and the boomy base made my eyes pop....but, I realised I had the Zen set up for the CX 500's so unchecked the equaliser settings, knocked off the base boost and bingo! They are superb without any output tweaks on the Zen, and similaly, give great natural sound off my Sony and Cowon D2. Good crisp highs, nice mellow mids and a punchy base. And don't forget that this is straigh from the pack - all phones/speakers improve over use. Only minor down side is the straight in plug - I do prefer the L type. But overall really well pleased - for the money you just can't go wrong. trust me - cos I'm real picky !