Among the very best I've ever heard: balanced to a tee across the entire frequency spectrum, brimming with musical detail and eminently satisfying.

A Review On: MartinLogan Mikros 90 Reference On-Ear Headphones

MartinLogan Mikros 90 Reference On-Ear Headphones

Rated # 19 in On-Ear
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Recent Pricing:
Review Details:
Audio Quality
Comfort
Design
Value
Purchased on:
Price paid: $89.00
pataburd
Posted · Updated · 8059 Views · 5 Comments

Pros: Currently very affordable and incredibly sonically poised

Cons: Clamping force might bother some listeners

Bass: solid, balanced and extended with excellent pitch. Can be Stygian and prodigious with the right recordings.  May lack mid-bass warmth/emphasis for some listeners.

Midrange: open, clear, coherent, tonally saturated and complex. Vocals are rendered with breath-taking realism.

Highs: clear, detailed and extended with no glare. Excellent sparkle and finish on tambourine, rider cymbal and high brass.

Soundstage: recording- and equipment-dependent. Can assume strikingly large 3-D proportions. The music floats free in space with no sense of closure/constraint.  Superb separation within, and delineation of, the performance space.  

 

Excellent resolution of massed instruments and vocals. These headphones allow you to hear deep--and I mean deep--into the details of the recording, and into the relative strengths and weaknesses of your upstream gear.  

 

I get a very good seal by wearing the headphones slightly low and forward on the ear, slightly swiveled in along the natural angle of protrusion of my ear, and with the leading edge of each ear cup at about my mandible hinge/back end of my cheekbone..

The MLs scale up extremely well, venturing--IMHO--into the "reference" category.  On my home rig, the Mikros 90 even give my HifiMAN HE-6--which run balanced, straight out of my speaker terminal outputs(!)--a serious run for the money!

After initially ordering, I wasn't sure what to expect, but the Mikros 90 have exceeded my expectations with plenty of (head)room to spare. I would rate these, hands down, near the top in the Top 10 list of all the headphones I've ever owned and/or listened to to date. Given their current street price, these are a runaway "no-brainer".

Have not auditioned the KEF M500 yet, but would like to eventually do the a/b alongside the Mikros 90.  

UPDATE: See link to comparative review: http://www.head-fi.org/t/695615/kef-m500-versus-martin-logan-mikros-90

Equipment:
Home:
EVS-modified SONY BDP-S780
Neotech UPOCC interconnects

Fitz-improved Bada PH-12 (2x Tung-Sol 6SN7GT and 1x Sylvania 6SN7GTA)
(or) Linn Intek integrated (headphone out)
Dakiom F-273 feedback stabilizer
Pipeline ET-4 cable
GIEN carbon fiber disc mat
MyAudioCables power cords
PowerVar AC conditioners

Office:
EVS-modified Oppo DV-970HD
Virtue Audio interconnects
KMF Audio headphone amp
Dakiom F-273 feedback stabilizer
Pipeline ET-4 cable
SID disc mat
MyAudioCables power cords
PowerVar AC conditioners

 

Music:

Ultimate Joe Williams

Digital Duke

The Essential Sarah Vaughn

Toots Thielemans: Footsteps

Lee Rittenour: Festival

Cal Tjader: The Roots of Acid Jazz

Dave Brubeck Quartet: Time Out

 

Henri Mancini: Movie Classics

Hiroshima: Go & Third Generation

Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass: Classics Volume 20(?)

 

The Yardbirds: Roger the Engineer (Over, Under, Sideways, Down)

Iron Butterfly: Light and Heavy/Best of

Jefferson Airplane: Fulton Street/Best of

Elton John: Greatest Hits & Tumbleweed Connection

Steely Dan: Decade of Steely Dan

Cat Stevens: Tea for the Tillerman

The Marshall Tucker Band: Best of

BTO's Greatest

 

Commander Cody: Best of/Too Much Fun

Earl Thomas Conley: Greatest Hits

 

Baltimore Consort: On the Banks of the Helicon

5 Comments:

I just got these as well and agree with your assessment.  I got them for 60 dollars during the Newegg sale and I feel like I got the biggest bargain ever!.  I was concerned that they would be lacking in bass, but they are just perfect.  Balanced, smooth  and extended across the entire spectrum is how I would sum it up.  Looks super high end and built to last  lifetime. one of my top 10 cans for sure.
Wow!  For $60 apiece, I would have bought several and given them out as Christmas gifts.
Yes but I didn't know if they would be any good. By the time I got them the sale was over. Keeping my eye out for. A repeat sale before Xmas.
I got this too during that newegg sale. For under $60, I think it's pretty good. The only thing i found with it, if the positioning not correct, it kind of sound muffled. Found this when i did A/B hearing with my Yuin PK2. Even though, I still found the PK2 has slightly more musical sound to me, I feel that mikros 90 is quite entertaining as well. Gonna have it burn in for more hour and hopefully it will get even better (i think martinlogan recommend a minimum of 20 hours burn in). Once it complete the burn in, gonna compare it with sony z1000. Excited!!
hostek,
The MLs should fill out and really come into their own after about 30 hours.  
pataburd