Slight risk of bias as I bought these (although I wouldn't make a big deal out of it as I've owned stuff 5x the price and pretty well hardened by now) but wow these headphones are pretty fawking good.
Frist of they're built really well, like better than most headphones at any price. My Utopias were made of mostly plastic and the headband felt kinda fragile. These headphones are solid as can be. The earpads are breathable, don't get hot/sweaty (downside there is a bit of leakage) but are still soft and conformable. The headband puts absolutely 0% pressure on top of my head and the weight really isn't a problem at all. I like when my premium headphones have some weight to them, people who complain about these should try Audeze XCs. The entire headband/joint/spring assembly is brilliantly engineered and feels very premium. The metal ear cups are really nice as well although my pair did come with 2 very minor little imperfections in the finish which is unusual for an apple product.
The ANC/pass-through is super intuitive as expected and there is no audible hiss in the active modes unlike most if not all of the competitors. Finally a precise, rotatable dial for volume adjustment instead of these laggy touch pads or cluttered button layouts where you still don't know which buttons to press even after years of ownership.
The sound out of the box is aight. Solid ass bass, bit boosted although it's down in the sub regions. The treble is a bit muffled with some sparkle up top. Sound is pleasant and obviously default tuned to be inoffensive yet detailed with most mainstream music. Leaves a bit to be desired for critical listening.
BUT here's the thing most people won't do or even know about. There is a hidden setting on iOS devices that unlocks the full potential of these headphones. With the "balanced tone" option these headphones are essentially corrected to almost perfection. The excess sub-bass goes away and the treble fills in without compromises. Now, these headphones can be used for critical listening.
Thank you Apple you beautiful sons of bitches for thinking of us audio purists with these headphones even though this setting is not marketed/easy to find and at this time isn't available on Mac OS. Unlike most AirPods-settings that sync across the cloud, this is a device-specific setting which is kind of a shame. But I'll just use my iPad or iPhone as it's just wireless/plug & play anyway and I stream everything.
I still don't understand the case. Either it's so brilliant and amazing my mind can't even comprehend or it's just a turd that 10+ apple designers somehow collectively fucked up. Either way these headphones are worth the price IMO.