Maybe more like Jar Jar Binks.
I highly doubt that. They have been out for a while now. Also, who was comparing them to TOTL cans? I thought they'd be a good open, home-use equivalent to the V-MODA M80s or similar.
I have been using the MA900s since they came out. I like them a lot and think they are an excellent value. I use them at my office where I need cans with minimal isolation in order to hear door knocks. I have cycled through a lot of different headphones for this role and until the MA900s, had settled on the F1s. I really like the F1s but feel the MA900s are a notch superior in terms of sound quality. They just sound cleaner- better focus and clarity. More present bass. The soundstage is excellent but I slightly prefer the F1s for that.
I find the F1s to be more comfortable as well (they would get my vote for most comfortable cans ever). The pads and headband material feel softer than what is on the MA900s. The MA900s headband touches only on one small area whereas the F1s seem to more evenly distribute the pressure. The MA900s seem to slightly clamp a bit more. My ears have a little more clearance with the F1s also. They both are exceptionally light. The MA900s build quality seems a lot closer to something in the $50 range. They just seem flimsy and I really am not that impressed with the feel of the material for the padding. The F1s feel and look a lot nicer. I love the metal microphone driver coverings. The MA900s are a bit sleeker and perhaps offer less of a geek factor and probably function better for listening while lying down.
I think the F1s are a supremely cool pair of headphones and are under appreciated around these parts. I would much rather listen to them day in and day out than a lot of other higher/high end headphones that I have owned and tried for use in my office (HD800s, LCD2s, AD2000s, HE-500LEs, RS1s, PS1000s, GS1000s, HD650s, and quite a few others). All of those phones has aspects of their sound signatures that ultimately I found disagreeable or too distracting. While I absolutely love the soundstaging and comfort of the F1s, the MA900s are just a touch behind there and seem a bit more than that ahead in terms of sound quality. They are not the last word in refinement or detail but nothing bothers me about them and there is plenty I like.
Both the F1s and MA900s are sitting side by side and I have completely gravitated towards Sony's newer offering. The other open pair of headphones I use at home are the Stax 009s, and there is no comparison there. However, the MA900s deliver enough of that high end feel to my ears that if I ever step back and truly realize what a ridiculous sum I have spent on hi fi headphones and components, I could scale back to the MA900s and an iPod and live a very content audio life.
I really like the Z1000s too and hope that an MA1000 is in the works.
As usual, that is just me though, and no one should ever buy a pair of headphones based on what I think.
Thanks for your impressions, Gu Sensei. Based on my very brief encounter with the F1, I'd agree that the MA900 falls behind it in terms of comfort and build, but I'm not surprised the MA900 is the better sounding pair.
Thanks Gu Sensei
The irony is when I was reading this thread, I got the same impression, that they would be goof for the office, because you need to hear around you, and because they need to be almost unnoticeable on your head, and supremely comfortable. And no detracting qualities that will annoy you, and easy to drive, and not too bass heavy.
I think I found my perfect work headphones
I'll add another thanks to Gu Sensei for a very useful take on the MA900's.
I found it especially useful since it favorably mentioned the Z1000's,
which I also like very much - especially since replacing the stock cable.)
Yeah yeah yeah, I got em! Gimme a few days to burn them in and compare, and then I'll write my impressions over the weekend.
All I can say is that right now it absolutely smokes the MA500 (I actually opened the box in the Sony store to show all the employees... they were super impressed by the gold carrying pouch LOL)
Don't scare me now... Just place my order here. Would be pretty cool if i get the VAt deduction as well.
I totally agree with the part about liking the F1 better than many higher-end phones btw, technically speaking. It's their very special blend of (relative) tonal accuracy and smoothnes that does it for me.
Anyone who has a pair of these -
where are they made?
(I'm assuming it's Thailand, since Sony has been making many if not most
of their better headphones there for several years.)
Okay, is it just me, or do these headphones sound better reversed? The soundstage is considerably widened when I wear them in reverse.
Someone with a MA900 please try it and tell me I'm not crazy.
Update: I've now worn these in reverse for the past 5 hours with "reverse stereo channels" in Foobar. Eventually I will mod the cable so this is permanent. This isn't a joke, I really do think these sound much better reversed! The drivers are tilted away from the ears this way.