Pros: Clear and defined tones, portable, great design
Cons: Short and thin cable, fragile looking shell, easily destroyed jack-cable connection
First off, looking at the packaging, it's not all that. It promises a range of 8 Hz - 25K Hz and frankly, it's kinda much of an over specification. Even if you can feel down to 3Hz minimum, it doesn't even practically apply to any sound besides binaural sound waves. But it is a good advertisement for what it is aiming for, bass heads. I got myself a red pair along with the HDJ 500 I currently use. Given that it was a promo item, I was thinking, maybe it's not selling that well. So I decided to burn it in and see for myself why no one would want a pair (cause frankly, even among my peers, some people don't even know Pioneer made cans like these).
Note: I didn't get the LOOP one, just an ordinary SE-MJ31, I don't know the difference so yeah... :v
Okay, first, basic concepts of headphones. Must have a headband, must have two cups to contain drivers, must have a cable to direct the audio signal, must work. These are all necessary implements of any good headphones that I can definitely say these pair of headphones have. When I first unboxed them and got a proper hold of them, the first thing that got to me was how light it was. "Hmm, maybe the drivers are really just 30mm." I was wrong (to be discussed in 'THE SOUND'). Another thing that caught my eye was the lack of padding on the headband. It's a small compromise of comfort but what would you expect from something <$50. The cable is also something I took a note on. Very thing cables sprout to the drivers, the Y design cable the sprouts of (1.2 m length) to a straight 3.5mm jack. Again, <$50. They could've done better though.
So it wasn't looking very much like a good value pair from the get go.
I burnt them in for a good 30 hours with the usual wave tests from a basic home setup. I put them on and went with the genre runs from my mobile. First off, metalcore (with its grungy chugs and wide range of vocals). I was stunned, right there and then. The crispness of the highs and the defined mids just got to me. The bass though was a constant reminder for what these were originally meant for, bass heads. It wasn't that punchy but it also wasn't just a back ground fade like I've come to know from some disappointing cans.
Going through the different genres in my playlist, the same was the result. Surprisingly good audio (but then again this is Pioneer we are talking about so it's not all too surprising) for the price point. These pair of cans have one of the more toned mids of any cans I got, like ever, even compared to its cousin the HDJ 500 which is known for having the one of the most equal ranges of any "DJ Monitoring Cans".
These pair of headphones, summed up in one statement, satisfyingly nerve tingling.
The design is not that good to be honest, the main use of plastic and the leather on urethane ear pads wasn't much of a good impression when looking at them. But the sound just makes you forget about the design. Although you don't get professional audio quality (no, this is nowhere near to proper studio cans) the sound is just something you can gawk at. The design of the casing of the drivers may have something to do with that, but the drivers (32 ohms, can you believe it?) are just great.
At the sacrifice of comfort, which is not really much but since it's on-ear and has a plastic headband, you get a good pair of cans.
I can recommend this for anyone on the go, anyone who doesn't mind the discomfort of the plastic rubbing their hair/scalp and the fast heating qualities of leather.