Credit to Massdrop for the picture. E-MU Walnut Impressions Have you ever used the Creative Aurvana Live? These are obviously the same thing, but from some strange bird company that decided to add some wood to the cups to give you wood. The wood is actually a nice touch, but I wish it either had a really nice, shiny finish, or had more of a natural, grainy wood feel to it. It reminds me more of veneer the way it looks and feels...kind of dull, kind of weak and hollow sounding. But, hey, better than plastic for sure! These headphones are lightweight, don't clamp too much, and have nice pads. They are fairly comfortable to wear, though they do get a tad warm, the pads are more on-ear than over-ear, yet somehow still comfy, and the top of the headband could use more cushion. I can't wear these quite as long as the HD650 or MA900. Sound wise, these are surprisingly agreeable, bassy headphones. Bass is strong and powerful but not particularly fast or well-defined. It does bleed into the midrange just a bit, but not too bad. The overall sound is lively, which is partly due to the bass response. Midrange seems a tad laid-back but is fairly clean and well defined. Not much else to say. Treble is where things start to get a bit funky. Overall, the level of the treble is very good, and it too is fairly clean, fast, and well-defined. However, it doesn't sound particularly fatiguing or nasty, but it has some rough spots that can make the headphones a bit etched and papery sounding. Still, the overall tone is more bassy and laid-back than anything, just with a wee bit of a rough timbre up top without being fatiguing. Staging is not bad for a closed headphone. They do not have a ton of depth, but width is good. They don't sound too honky or closed-in, nor are they incredibly airy. I would say they do pretty well here, but not great. Overall, this is a good portable, bassy headphone that only really suffers with bass tightness and speed as well as a slightly rough upper-end. There's still a lot to like here, though. I think I might prefer these to the Meze Classics 99 in a lot of ways, though I'd say the Mezes are a technically more competent headphone. Where I hesitate is the $200 MSRP. The CAL! can easily be found under $100, if not closer to $50. Are these worth the extra cash? Probably not. I think Massdrop had the E-MU Walnut for $100. Worth it then? I'd say so. I do think the wood helps the sound overall, and they sound pretty good for $100. Mod them a bit, and you have a fine, portable headphone on your hands. Measurements Frequency response has some similarities with the bigger Fostex brothers (i.e. TH-X00), just not as refined, but also not as bright either. Channel matching is quite good! You can see what I mean, though, about a bit of roughness in the upper-end. It sounds more laid-back than rough, but you can hear the roughness poking through. Bass distortion isn't great, and it's dominated by 3rd order distortion (think kind of a fuzzy, loose bass sound). Otherwise, distortion is very low. I don't think you can completely solve this with Dynamat and other damping, but there is certainly some room for improvements with mods. CSDs look very nice overall. I think you can see just a hair of resonance in the upper-mids/lower-treble, but this is overall a very good result. Couple this with the low distortion, these headphones are surprisingly clear and fast sounding if you ignore the bass and slightly rough timbre.