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PSB M4U 1 Reviews


PSB M4U 1: A New Standard is Born


Pros: Accurate, natural sound filled with great energy and resolve.

Cons: Nothing that comes to mind, but nothing is perfect either; There is always room for improvements.

PSB M4U 1: A New Standard is Born               Intro          I am quite sure that many of you, myself included, have started on the seemingly never ending path to finding the perfect set of headphones. Terms such as too bright or too dark, mid-bass hump and recessed midrange, peaky treble and accentuated sibilance, are enough to drive a sane consumer mad. Or at the very least an unnecessary waste of one’s hard earned money. There has simply been no frequency response standard in headphones, until now. In conjunction with their sister company NAD, PSB Speakers has set the new reference standard on...
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Fantastic balanced sound and probably Giant-Killers


Pros: Sound Quality, design/accessories, reasonable price, good comfort

Cons: Comfort requires some break-in, smallish earpads, optimized for devices not home-listening

***Others have provided ample images / specification overviews, so my review is focused on convincing you to try these out, with some comparisons to headphones in and out of its price range.   A 5 Point Scale – 1 being Bad, 5 being Excellent / Industry leading   Design and accessories (4):   The combination of gloss plastic and metal bits are “modern” and while they are still a bit too chunky to look truly “cool”, they are a far cry from ugly. No squeaky parts or creaks out of the box, and the folding mechanism is useful. The Cables are obviously a tad budget, but they are flexible and good lengths – though the right angle connectors are clearly not for home amp...
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Shockingly good headphones.


Pros: Great soundstage. Crisp, clean, even sounds across the board.

Cons: Needs an amp for best sound. Is that really a bad thing?

TL:DR - these freaking ROCK HARD. Buy them. Now. Seriously, why are you still reading this? GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO!!!!! A review on the PSB M4U1: First let me say that I enjoy good music. I don't care what genre it's in, I just want good music. You're probably asking "How do I judge whether or not music is good?" Very simple: music should tell a story. I don't care if there are words, it doesn't even matter if you hear one story and I hear a different one. It's the story that counts. Otherwise what is music but some random noise? You may ask next "Well what makes you the authority on whether or not there is a story? Wouldn't the artist know better?" I should hope that the...
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Great overall sound quality, but...


Pros: Midrange purity, superb soundstage, excellent bass extension

Cons: Heavy, somewhat uncomfortable for long listening sessions

These attractive 'phones are a mixed bag for us. The bright red color is certainly distinctive. Build quality, while mostly shiny plastic, feels fairly robust. Many aspects of their sound are truly outstanding, but (and it's a fairly BIG but) they simply aren't comfortable for extended listening sessions. Since everyones' head and ear shape is obviously a bit different, as is their tolerance for discomfort, these are a pair that should be test-worn at length if possible prior to purchase in our opinion. The price point these fall within puts them up against some very serious competition from the likes of Grado, Sennheiser, AKG, Denon, Sony, and many, many others.   Now--the good...
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Still my favorite closed-back headphone under $500


Pros: Clarity, Texture, Balanced sound signature (leans a bit warm; to my liking), Efficient (easy to drive), Removable Cable, Isolation, All-rounder

Cons: Comfort (headband is fine, but ear cups are a bit small, cans are a bit heavy), Sound stage a bit intimate for my taste, bass present but lacks impact

These headphones are a steal for the msrp price (don't mind that I got a killer deal).   I haven't heard any headphone come close to achieving the textures achieved by the PSBs.  The chunkiness of Ska guitar, the ring of brass, the resonance of string orchestras, etc.  These headphones handle a large number of music genres with ease.  They also miraculously make lossy format music bearable to listen to.  Female vocals kill it with these headphones,and despite being a bit on the warm side, there isn't any bass bleeding into the mids.  Treble is present, clear, almost bright but not quite, and never sibilant.  Mids seem a bit forward, but not to the...
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Great Sound, Slightly Cheap Feeling, Head Squeezing


Pros: Clarity, Bass, isolation, Easy to Drive

Cons: Clamping Force, Lots of Plastic, Cheap Cables

Setup:   System #1: Macbook Pro Retina, Fidelia Software, Fiio e17 Alpen   System #2: Mac Pro, Fidelia Software, Headphone Out or Fiio e17/E09K combo   Some of the tracks used to test: Clean Bandit - Cologne Clean Bandit - Come Over Alicia Keys - Diary Ed Sheeran - I See Fire Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud Imagine Dragons - Polaroid Imagine Dragons - Friction Tedeshi Trucks Band - Midnight in Harlem Tedeshi Trucks Band - Learn How to Love John Mayer - In Your Atmosphere (Where the Light Is) Nickel Creek - Out of the Woods Nickel Creek - This Side The Beatles - Come Together Phantogram - Black Out Days Van Morrison - Crazy Love Van Morrison -...
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Detailed, balanced sound; OK build quality, dicey comfort


Pros: Balanced, accurate sound; good bass

Cons: Tight, hot, huge; manufacturing/assembly is a little loose

These are fine-sounding cans, very detailed and clear throughout the frequency spectrum. I found them to be quite revealing - I heard details that were missing in my Shure IEMs that cost over twice as much. They're also exquisitely balanced; nothing sounds over-emphasized or artificial. In terms of overall sound quality, accuracy and general "is this a pleasant listening experience?" feel, these are an incredible bargain, and completely justified in the rave reviews they receive here and elsewhere. I couldn't find any genre of music that reproduced poorly with these, though I do not listen to much classical. Rock, jazz and electronica all sounded excellent.   My primary complaint...
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Dear God these are phenomenal.


Pros: Amp optional, Value, Comfort, Sound

Cons: That plastic feeling.

I could not recommend these headphones more, they sound better than anything else i have had the opportunity to listen to for more than five minutes. They take the best parts of the headphones i owned previously and puts them all in one package and refines them even more. More controlled lows than the m50, better highs than the ad700's and keeps their sound stage, and the mids of the MS1 with more detail. Just an incredible headphone.   Buy these now. ALSO: I bought my pair from videopro in Australia, and they arrived the next day with free shipping. There was very minor damage to one corner of the beautiful packaging but for the most part I am a very, very happy customer.

These are simply fantastic headphones. Extremely balanced sound. Phenomenal value.


Pros: Excellent frequency response, very balanced sound. Excellent, punchy bass, energetic mids/treble. Great imaging, timbre & soundstage for closed cans.

Cons: Slightly heavy. Comfortable for up to 2-3 hours.

I needed a closed pair of headphones to use during late-night listening sessions, when my wife and daughter are asleep, and where my (VERY) open-backed Grado PS500's leaked too much sound. The Grado's are amazing, and had they made a closed headphone, they could simply sign me up. So I began a journey to find the ideal audiophile closed headphone, which would also isolate noise effectively in a passive way, and ideally be portable. I tried the Beyerdynamic DT1350, great treble, punchy bass, and good mids. It just wasn't as "FUN" as I was looking for. Additionally, it got uncomfortable being supra-aural on sitting on the ear. I also tried the VModa M100, as I had read it was more...
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Very accurate (obvs) with some fit/finish downsides


Pros: Well-imaged sound, even response, easy to drive

Cons: Uncomfortable, ugly, very revealing

Overview   I listen to all types of music: from mixtapes of dubious quality from DatPiff to FLAC rips of half the MFSL library. I'm generally listening at my desk, though I also listen walking the dogs, walking myself, on the subway, lying in bed. About 65% of the music I listen to is rap, 10% electronic, 25% rock/pop of some sort. I'm a music critic, and my usual tools for evaluation are the Audioengine A5 speakers, Denon AHD2000, Shure SE215, Apple iPhone earbuds, and now these, the PSB M4U1. Honestly, I just listen to a lot of music with whatever's best at hand.   The PSB M4U1 are some of the best headphones I've personally heard, and compare favorably (to my...
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