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Sony MDR MA 900 (new release from Sony) - Page 33

post #481 of 767
Quote:
Originally Posted by swbf2cheater View Post

I just got back from overseas, I got to hear the MA900.   I wouldn't place it on par with or above the HD650, but its certainly a step below.  This is an excellent set of headphones and Sony just replied to me and said they will be shipping my set out for review tomorrow.  Look out for my review, I'll post a link to it here when I am finished.  I really liked these headphones, my predictions weeks ago about them were spot on.  

 

Glad that Sony will send you one for review too.  Can't wait to hear your thoughts. 

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post #482 of 767
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiGuy528 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by swbf2cheater View Post

I just got back from overseas, I got to hear the MA900.   I wouldn't place it on par with or above the HD650, but its certainly a step below.  This is an excellent set of headphones and Sony just replied to me and said they will be shipping my set out for review tomorrow.  Look out for my review, I'll post a link to it here when I am finished.  I really liked these headphones, my predictions weeks ago about them were spot on.  

 

Glad that Sony will send you one for review too.  Can't wait to hear your thoughts. 

 

Ya! Melissa at Sony was super nice and replied near instantly to me after I told them I hadn't gotten an initial reply back in three months or so.  I look forward to testing it out with my Bottlehead crack and modded JCV DX1Ks. 

post #483 of 767

Okay, some first impressions on the sound now that I've had them for a few hours, from my Music Streamer II+ -> Objective2 amp:

 

They didn't have anything to wow me out of the box, but no glaring issues either. They sound quite neutral, though perhaps on the lighter side of neutral - sharing that general Sony house sound with a peak somewhere in the treble that makes lends violins and female vocals a nice sweet energy, but tends to sound a bit shrill on a lot of electronica. Overall though, still quite smooth and neutral. The headphone I'm most inclined to compare them to is my pair of SA5000's, but that wouldn't be fair to any of you considering that my SA5000's are decidedly not stock.

 

There are no annoying resonances or ringing that I can hear, so no false echoes that create an artificially wide soundstage. Compared to the SA5000 there is less emphasis on treble and seemingly lower treble resolution, though the peak in the treble means that actually compared to my pair of SA5000's treble is less smooth. The soundstage is not mindblowingly wide (seems about on par or less than the SA5000 because the SA5000's treble tends to emphasise echoes or other high frequency cues in recordings) but placement and layering within that stage seems quite cohesive and articulate. At higher volumes, the treble makes my ears unhappy, so actual listening volume is hovering around 9 o clock on the Objective2's dial.

 

Despite the bass lens, bass is not really a strong point of the MA900 but not a huge weak point either. Using this swept sine test http://www.audiocheck.net/testtones_sinesweep20-200.php bass starts quietly at somewhere late after 20hz but only really gets into its stride at around 60/70hz like the Sonove graph suggests. Above that bass is strong, so essentially like the SA5000 it gives an impression of very punchy and clean bass by carrying a lot of the information above 100hz. These do have a strongly visceral sub-bass impact but then again I wouldn't describe them as bass deficient, though perhaps a little light.

 

Overall though, at this very early stage I can say I'm pretty happy. While I haven't heard that many top of the line options, I don't think these are giant killers -  but they seem like a nice, competent package for around $300. (The Japanese price of around $230 would make them a steal I think). They are certainly to me the better candidate for spending 300 bucks on than the Z1000. Hopefully soon I will be able to have a chance to compare them in a meet against the HD600 or other similar candidates.

 

Considering the amazing wear comfort and reassuringly competent sound quality, these are definitely keepers.


Edited by a_recording - 6/12/12 at 9:20pm
post #484 of 767
Quote:
Originally Posted by swbf2cheater View Post

Ya! Melissa at Sony was super nice and replied near instantly to me after I told them I hadn't gotten an initial reply back in three months or so.  I look forward to testing it out with my Bottlehead crack and modded JCV DX1Ks. 

I agree. She is awesome. Carla is very nice too. I was surprised that a large company like Sony would entertain small time reviewer like me. A lot of companies didn't even return my emails.
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post #485 of 767
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post

Okay, some first impressions on the sound now that I've had them for a few hours, from my Music Streamer II+ -> Objective2 amp:

They didn't have anything to wow me out of the box, but no glaring issues either. They sound quite neutral, though perhaps on the lighter side of neutral - sharing that general Sony house sound with a peak somewhere in the treble that makes lends violins and female vocals a nice sweet energy, but tends to sound a bit shrill on a lot of electronica. Overall though, still quite smooth and neutral. The headphone I'm most inclined to compare them to is my pair of SA5000's, but that wouldn't be fair to any of you considering that my SA5000's are decidedly not stock.

There are no annoying resonances or ringing that I can hear, so no false echoes that create an artificially wide soundstage. Compared to the SA5000 there is less emphasis on treble and seemingly lower treble resolution, though the peak in the treble means that actually compared to my pair of SA5000's treble is less smooth. The soundstage is not mindblowingly wide (seems about on par or less than the SA5000 because the SA5000's treble tends to emphasise echoes or other high frequency cues in recordings) but placement and layering within that stage seems quite cohesive and articulate. At higher volumes, the treble makes my ears unhappy, so actual listening volume is hovering around 9 o clock on the Objective2's dial.

Despite the bass lens, bass is not really a strong point of the MA900 but not a huge weak point either. Using this swept sine test http://www.audiocheck.net/testtones_sinesweep20-200.php bass starts quietly at somewhere late after 20hz but only really gets into its stride at around 60/70hz like the Sonove graph suggests. Above that bass is strong, so essentially like the SA5000 it gives an impression of very punchy and clean bass by carrying a lot of the information above 100hz. These do have a strongly visceral sub-bass impact but then again I wouldn't describe them as bass deficient, though perhaps a little light.

Overall though, at this very early stage I can say I'm pretty happy. While I haven't heard that many top of the line options, I don't think these are giant killers -  but they seem like a nice, competent package for around $300. (The Japanese price of around $230 would make them a steal I think). They are certainly to me the better candidate for spending 300 bucks on than the Z1000. Hopefully soon I will be able to have a chance to compare them in a meet against the HD600 or other similar candidates.

Considering the amazing wear comfort and reassuringly competent sound quality, these are definitely keepers.

Nice impressions. The sound will grow on you and will get better. Try some bass heavy music.
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post #486 of 767
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post

 Hopefully soon I will be able to have a chance to compare them in a meet against the HD600 or other similar candidates.

 

 

No worries :) Wish granted, just let me finish my exams.

post #487 of 767
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiGuy528 View Post

Nice impressions. The sound will grow on you and will get better. Try some bass heavy music.

 

I have been listening to bass heavy music to test bass, obviously. There's nice meat to the upper bass, which really emphasises the beat and punch, but not as much sub-bass body, where the drone and rumble lie. Basically, the information that would be carried by a subwoofer. Some tracks sound bassy and some don't, depending on where that bass impact lands between 0-200hz. 

 

So for instance, the opening bass line of this track does not sound particularly bassy, while on my bassier headphones and IEM's there is a low frequency drone that essentially makes the opening line slightly nauseating.

 

 

At about 0:32 into this track, there is basically a basssweep / drop that starts that ends very low, and on my bassier cans there is a dramatic shift in pressure on the ears (may not come out in this youtube video). It doesn't really translate on the MA900:

 

 

To be fair, both of these examples basically use frequencies that are so low that they are essentially toneless to the human ear. In a film they use these frequencies for explosions or Cloverfield like alien chaos. I would say that the MA900's seem decently bassy for an open can, but they still lack that visceral sensation of pressure from sub-bass that a lot of closed cans give, and in my experience these sub-bass frequencies are actually present in a lot of content, from pianos and drums, and without it timbre is never quite right. Without a strong presence in these frequencies I just would not call a can bassy.

 

I'm no believer in burn in (apart from mental burn in) but if these suddenly become open subwoofers I will be sure to let you guys know haha.

 

And don't get me wrong. I'm liking these :)


Edited by a_recording - 6/12/12 at 11:47pm
post #488 of 767

Are you using full resolution audio files or compressed?  All my music files are uncompressed AIFF cd quality.  You lose a lot of fine details with compressed files.

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post #489 of 767
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiGuy528 View Post

Are you using full resolution audio files or compressed?  All my music files are uncompressed AIFF cd quality.  You lose a lot of fine details with compressed files.

 

I'm using a variety of files, but most of them are ALAC. I can tell you that I don't need uncompressed or compressed files to be able to tell that on this test, http://www.audiocheck.net/audiotests_frequencychecklow.php the bass tone only really becomes audible at 30hz and only really reaches its full volume at around 60/70 hz, which corresponds to the bass roll off suggested by the Sonove graph:

 

FR_MA900.gif

 

The graph depicts about an 8db roll off between 100hz and 20hz, or in other words, the MA900 is almost twice as loud to the human ear at 100hz than 20hz. Now, a lot of open headphones have this roll off - the SA5000 makes this roll off look quite gentle in comparison for instance, so I think Sony has done pretty well here. Nevertheless, there are open headphones like the DT770 or HD800, or the open orthos - LCD-2, HE-400, HE-500 etc, which are near flat from 100hz to 20hz. Full disclosure, I haven't heard ANY of the previously mentioned headphones -  I'm operating off Tyll's graphs (which start at 10hz). I do own closed headphones that are flat to 20hz like the ATH-M50, and the sensation of bass is still different to the MA900. Even the EX1000 (to my ears one of the most neutral signatures available in an IEM), has bass that kicks in on the audiocheck test at 20hz and reaches full volume at around 30hz, as its own measurements would suggest. So I don't think these could be the bassiest open headphones, or even be described as being particularly bassy.

 

Don't get me wrong, they don't scream bass light to me. I like them, and the bass sounds somewhat close to neutral if you had nothing else to compare to. If you get an equaliser (say the iTunes equaliser) and add 8db around 32hz and 3db around 64hz you could basically compensate and get what should be a flat response (along with possible distortion), and to my ears that sounds more neutral. However, I try to avoid using the equaliser and as I said, it's not a huge problem on the MA900 - just given all the talk of the acoustic bass lens, you might think that there would be a flat bass response.

 

They are certainly growing on me and I like them, and I'm especially my appreciation of the soundstage developing, but the bass is what it is.


Edited by a_recording - 6/13/12 at 7:32am
post #490 of 767

Hmmm. That graph doesn't seem too bad to me. but then again, I love my W5000, haha. Perhaps the MA900 is worth a shot. :)

post #491 of 767
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenErik View Post

Hmmm. That graph doesn't seem too bad to me. but then again, I love my W5000, haha. Perhaps the MA900 is worth a shot. :)

 

Nah, it really isn't. Lol I keep thinking I sound like a negative nelly, but all I'm saying is that there is bass roll-off, just like most other open cans. Considering how much you digged the AD2000 you might want to give these a go Zen :)

post #492 of 767

That's very disappointing.  I would have imagined it to dig deep down for an open headphone given its very large diaphragm, but the graphs show it to be on par with the HD650s, which roll off quite a bit.

post #493 of 767
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post

 

Nah, it really isn't. Lol I keep thinking I sound like a negative nelly, but all I'm saying is that there is bass roll-off, just like most other open cans. Considering how much you digged the AD2000 you might want to give these a go Zen :)

Yea. I haven't found bass roll off to be an issue for what I typically listen to.

 

If you'd like to suggest a few albums where the roll off below the mid bass will detract from the experience, l would be more than happy to check them out and see how I feel about them on my A-T's, which have rather steep roll offs.

post #494 of 767
The MA900 is said to go from 5Hz - 40kHz according to Sony. Does the software you used for the graph go below 20Hz? I know that is beyond human hearing, but it'll be interesting to see the graph. smily_headphones1.gif
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post #495 of 767

Yeah like 5hz at -90db probably-- as every headphone.  :P

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