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post #331 of 574

Well I'm back. I sold my PSB M4U2s and got some M100s. I did love the M100s but they just hurt my ears. I returned those and will wait for them to come out with the XL pads. Ultimately though I never really liked them as much as my PSBs. These are just the best closed back headphones around. So after trying to make myself like Momentums, Sonys 1Rs and UE6000s, I bit the bullet and ordered the PSB M4U1s. I never used the amp as I have a Dragonfly and Fiio E6. I also prefer to use my Shure SE215s for flying. They just reduce more noise. I am looking forward to getting the M4U1s, breaking them in and comparing them to what I remember from the M4U2s. 

post #332 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by awtryau89 View Post

Well I'm back. I sold my PSB M4U2s and got some M100s. I did love the M100s but they just hurt my ears. I returned those and will wait for them to come out with the XL pads. Ultimately though I never really liked them as much as my PSBs. These are just the best closed back headphones around. So after trying to make myself like Momentums, Sonys 1Rs and UE6000s, I bit the bullet and ordered the PSB M4U1s. I never used the amp as I have a Dragonfly and Fiio E6. I also prefer to use my Shure SE215s for flying. They just reduce more noise. I am looking forward to getting the M4U1s, breaking them in and comparing them to what I remember from the M4U2s. 


From recent feedback, another option may be the Yamaha PRO 500.

post #333 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimBob1971 View Post

I've owned two pairs and didn't notice any noises in the first, however I only had them a few days. On the second pair I can sometimes hear noises in the right ear when in NC that sound like some sort of discharge. However, it is VERY quiet and can only be heard in a very quiet room. I wouldn't hear it with any sound on. I haven't experienced anything like the static you mentioned. Although I did hear a weird, cool panning sound when standing next to a microwave biggrin.gif

 

I had a popping in the first set, right ear, but I think it was mechanical in nature. Only happened when I walked (cable unconnected, so not that) with NC on. It didn't happen every 0.75 seconds. The set that replaced it didn't have that problem.

 

Thanks for the reply JimBob1971. Like many other users mentioned, the PSBs are easily influenced by external interference. My pair produce static  even far away from any electrical device with no wire connected. Unless my hearing is significantly better than everyone else that has commented, which I seriously doubt, I must conclude that my pair is defective.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by wportre View Post

@searchy: they sound faulty although I suppose you could try fiddling with seating batteries etc. Agree on the better sound than QC15s. If by static you mean hiss, it bothers me too but I only get it on NC. On NC, it is enormous to my ears and far worse than QC15 or ANC7b. However fairly low music masks it; no deafness-inducing levels. I do not get the popping phenomena you describe so overall yours sound like a dud..
 

Based on other people's experiences with these pair of headphones and your reply, I have come to the conclusion that my pair is defective. The static is most noticably present during active mode. There must be something wrong with its internal amp and I plan on getting another pair.

post #334 of 574

Well, I just received my M4U 2's.  I have a pair of Sony MDR-1RBT, which are absolutely wonderful if you want a pair of headphones to wear around the house without being tethered by a cord, and a pair of Bose QC15's that I use for travel (but which are only mediocre as a regular headphone).  I was intrigued by the strong reviews these headphones received, and the possibility that they could be a do-it-all headphone while traveling (sound great on the plane with NC on, as well as just listening to music in a hotel room).

 

My initial impression is that Bose has it nailed when it comes to a convenient travel headphone:  light, compact and comfortable, awesome NC and decent-enough sound.  The M4U's are pretty much at the outer limit of weight and size, although I suspect that the "pill" case does not have much more volume than the Bose case, so maybe it's just the weight (which is considerable compared to the Bose).  Sound is a no-brainer, at least for regular listening.  The QC15's always sounded anemic when just listening at home, although oddly enough, my impression on a plane has always been that they sound quite good, so maybe the SQ is optimized for environments like that.  With the M4U's, there is a big difference (running it straight from an iPhone) between the passive and active/no-NC mode.  Sound signature may be pretty similar, but a lot sharper and more dynamic.  (I can't tell whether that gives a false sense of clarity or not; have to listen more.)  I'll need to compare these with my MDR-1RBTs; both have on-board amps, although the Sony's obviously are dealing with a Bluetooth signal. 

 

I don't plan on using this with a separate headphone amp, and have no interest in doing so.  I've been considering going with a full-blown home rig and a really high-end set of headphones (like the Beyer T1s), but the likelihood that I'd use that set-up much given my lifestyle isn't that high, so if I could get reasonably close to that with the M4U's, I'll keep these.

 

Ideally, I'll like these better than the MDR-1RBT's, as that would give me two reasons to keep them:  home listening when I can live with a cord, and travel.  If it's a push, then I'd be more on the fence, as the QC15's are tremendous travel partners (and I can just carry a good IEM for hotel room use), and these are just plain heavy.  To the extent I've been able to try the ANC, it does seem to work (you do get that suction-feeling), but also does degrade the SQ.  We'll see.

 

Three things off the bat I'd love to see changed:  (i) a good, built-in battery with USB charging (changing the AAAs is going to get old, and the battery compartment cover is not going to last); (ii) a cable that also controls volume for use with iDevices; and (iii) a less-Beats-like design, as the shiny black plastic has got to go.

 

I recently saw the Monster Inspirations at the local Tumi store.  I really liked their design and compactness, but it does seem that their performance doesn't come close to these.

post #335 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by JulesK View Post

Well, I just received my M4U 2's.  I have a pair of Sony MDR-1RBT, which are absolutely wonderful if you want a pair of headphones to wear around the house without being tethered by a cord, and a pair of Bose QC15's that I use for travel (but which are only mediocre as a regular headphone).  I was intrigued by the strong reviews these headphones received, and the possibility that they could be a do-it-all headphone while traveling (sound great on the plane with NC on, as well as just listening to music in a hotel room).

 

My initial impression is that Bose has it nailed when it comes to a convenient travel headphone:  light, compact and comfortable, awesome NC and decent-enough sound.  The M4U's are pretty much at the outer limit of weight and size, although I suspect that the "pill" case does not have much more volume than the Bose case, so maybe it's just the weight (which is considerable compared to the Bose).  Sound is a no-brainer, at least for regular listening.  The QC15's always sounded anemic when just listening at home, although oddly enough, my impression on a plane has always been that they sound quite good, so maybe the SQ is optimized for environments like that.  With the M4U's, there is a big difference (running it straight from an iPhone) between the passive and active/no-NC mode.  Sound signature may be pretty similar, but a lot sharper and more dynamic.  (I can't tell whether that gives a false sense of clarity or not; have to listen more.)  I'll need to compare these with my MDR-1RBTs; both have on-board amps, although the Sony's obviously are dealing with a Bluetooth signal. 

 

I don't plan on using this with a separate headphone amp, and have no interest in doing so.  I've been considering going with a full-blown home rig and a really high-end set of headphones (like the Beyer T1s), but the likelihood that I'd use that set-up much given my lifestyle isn't that high, so if I could get reasonably close to that with the M4U's, I'll keep these.

 

Ideally, I'll like these better than the MDR-1RBT's, as that would give me two reasons to keep them:  home listening when I can live with a cord, and travel.  If it's a push, then I'd be more on the fence, as the QC15's are tremendous travel partners (and I can just carry a good IEM for hotel room use), and these are just plain heavy.  To the extent I've been able to try the ANC, it does seem to work (you do get that suction-feeling), but also does degrade the SQ.  We'll see.

 

Three things off the bat I'd love to see changed:  (i) a good, built-in battery with USB charging (changing the AAAs is going to get old, and the battery compartment cover is not going to last); (ii) a cable that also controls volume for use with iDevices; and (iii) a less-Beats-like design, as the shiny black plastic has got to go.

 

I recently saw the Monster Inspirations at the local Tumi store.  I really liked their design and compactness, but it does seem that their performance doesn't come close to these.

You sound alot like me. I first purchased the PSBs for travel. I got annoyed quickly with their size. Nothing can touch the sound though. I sold them looking for a more portable "do it all" headphone. I just could not find it and changed my thinking. I even considered spending much much more. I recently listened to some Beyers T1s, 880s, Senn HD650s and some AKG 701s and other very high end cans. From my memory, the PSBs are so close that I could not spend the additional. I am still toying with the idea of open backs for home use and will probably end up with some in the future. I want to have the best bang for the buck in each category. This hobby is killing my wallet.

 

I ended up going with a couple of pairs of IEMs for travel. They are light, compact and isolate better than any ANC models I have tried. I can carry multiple pairs in much less space. I have a pair of Shure SE215s and a pair of Etymotic ER4s. They are both very very good at isolating. Isolation was my 1st or 2nd priority in choosing these IEMs. They also have completely different sound signatures. I use one or the other depending on my mood or what I am listening to but my preference tends to slide towards the Etys. Again I applied the same "bang for the buck" logic in purchasing these and found great deals on both. I will be using my PSBs for home use and possibly some travel for now and looking into the open cans in the future when my wallet recovers.

post #336 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by awtryau89 View Post

You sound alot like me. I first purchased the PSBs for travel. I got annoyed quickly with their size. Nothing can touch the sound though. I sold them looking for a more portable "do it all" headphone. I just could not find it and changed my thinking. I even considered spending much much more. I recently listened to some Beyers T1s, 880s, Senn HD650s and some AKG 701s and other very high end cans. From my memory, the PSBs are so close that I could not spend the additional. I am still toying with the idea of open backs for home use and will probably end up with some in the future. I want to have the best bang for the buck in each category. This hobby is killing my wallet.

 

I ended up going with a couple of pairs of IEMs for travel. They are light, compact and isolate better than any ANC models I have tried. I can carry multiple pairs in much less space. I have a pair of Shure SE215s and a pair of Etymotic ER4s. They are both very very good at isolating. Isolation was my 1st or 2nd priority in choosing these IEMs. They also have completely different sound signatures. I use one or the other depending on my mood or what I am listening to but my preference tends to slide towards the Etys. Again I applied the same "bang for the buck" logic in purchasing these and found great deals on both. I will be using my PSBs for home use and possibly some travel for now and looking into the open cans in the future when my wallet recovers.

I spent about 45 minutes last night doing a bunch of A-B comparisons with the 1RBTs.  The biggest differences with the M4U in active mode are (i) a much greater sense of depth to the music; (ii) greater dynamic range (you have to be careful, because loud passages can really jump out); and (iii) better controlled bass (generally tighter, better texture but at times seems to have less weight, until you get to a passage that emphasizes bass, and then you really feel it).  In general, the 1RBT sounded flatter and less distinct, but the fact that it for the most part kept pace with the M4Us demonstrates how good they are generally.  It really is great not being tethered to a cord! 

 

I have a really nice pair of custom IEMs (Westone ES5s), and they are awesome generally (clarity, detail, midrange and bass), but I've found that they are inconvenient travel partners because of the effort needed to put them on and take off, and the fact that they can irritate the inside of my ear over time (despite an excellent mold).  Plus, sadly, the treble is noticeably recessed, which is something I wish I had better appreciated before getting them. 

 

I had a pair of Sennheiser Momentums for a while before I got the 1RBTs.  I can't remember them as distinctly as I wish, but I found that the bass was a little overemphasized and "loose," and I just don't remember them being as dynamic as I found the M4Us in active mode.  I know comparing active and passive mode by just sliding the switch isn't fair because the headphones are louder in active mode, but the impression I get is of the music going from 2D to 3D, with better color saturation (were it an image).  It sounds like these may or may not burn in, but I'll do a little bit of it and see how my impressions change with time (at least within the return period!).  But, overall, I was impressed.  I wish I still had the pair of Beyer T5p's I demoed at length to compare.  The detail, space and clarity of those headphones, even run straight from my iPhone, were remarkable (bass was not, so I returned them), but if the M4Us really are close in those respects, they are remarkable.

post #337 of 574
How is the comfort of the psbs. Can you wear them for hours without pain or fatigue?Really looking to trying them out after coming from the M100s, which were painful after an hour of use.
post #338 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by rs0cal View Post

How is the comfort of the psbs. Can you wear them for hours without pain or fatigue?Really looking to trying them out after coming from the M100s, which were painful after an hour of use.


I think the PSB is very comfortable, good fit, plusher pads with larger, deeper opening than M-100 and less clamping force.

post #339 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by rs0cal View Post

How is the comfort of the psbs. Can you wear them for hours without pain or fatigue?Really looking to trying them out after coming from the M100s, which were painful after an hour of use.


They are comfortable, but not as comfortable as some other headphones I've tried such as the Senn Momentum or the Sony -1R line.  Certainly not painful after an hour of use (or longer).  But they are heavy, and noticeably more clamping force than lighter headphones, and that affects comfort. 

post #340 of 574

I had a chance to try to the noise-canceling mode of these headphones in the subway.  In brief, it definitely works and makes a real difference where needed, even if it may not be the most effective at canceling out noise.  It may, however, be the best balance of noise canceling and sound quality.

 

If you use this mode (compared to active) in a quiet setting listening to music, the change in sound is noticeable on top of the noise canceling.  Mainly, there is a loss of lower-end emphasis/presence/depth compared to active mode (or even passive mode).  So there is not reason to use the NC mode when it is not needed, and as others have pointed out, the NC is selective in that it does not cancel noise across the audible spectrum, but more the continuous, lower frequency noises.  (Same for Bose, for those curious.) 

 

But in the subway, the NC mode made a significant difference, whether or not playing music.  If all you want to do is reduce rumble/continuous subway din, and not play music, they work more effectively than I had expected, even if not as good as the Bose QC15s.  I don't understand or agree with the reviews that said these headphones are not effective at only reducing noise; they absolutely make being in the subway much more tolerable.  Again, my experience is that the Bose headphones are more effective (and neither is going to give you complete silence, although Bose gets you closer), but that doesn't mean that the M4Us are not effective.  There is the sense of pressure (and in a quiet environment just using the NC mode with no music, there is something akin to a faint, higher-pitched white noise, but it's not noticeable at all in a loud environment), but a more than a fair trade-off to the subway din.  If given the choice on a plane between nothing and the M4U's just canceling noise (no music), it's not a choice.  I'd take these every time.

 

The perceived effectiveness of the M4U's noise canceling ability is even more pronounced when listening to music.  In passive mode, you can barely hear the music unless you crank it up to unsafe volumes, and even then it's fully competing with the subway din.  (I guess this indicates that the passive isolation of these headphones isn't great.)  In active mode, the music definitely sounds better, but still you fully hear the subway din.  Flipping the switch to NC mode, the subway din just falls away, and the music jumps out.  I couldn't AB the subway with a quiet setting, of course, but the effect on the NC mode (versus passive or active) when listening to music in a loud environment like a subway (and hopefully plane) is very significant.  Oddly enough, as much as the Bose QC15s sound at best average to me in a quiet setting, I've always been more than satisfied with how they sound on a plane.  So I'd be interested in doing an A-B comparison between the two on a plane, except that I'm not going to carry both on a plane just for that.

 

So far, these are a keeper.  I was worried that the NC mode would be anemic and ineffective, and the opposite was true.  I just wish they were more compact and lighter, because I could certainly see times when I don't bring them because of the size and weight.  As purely a travel headphone for use when traveling, I still believe it's extremely difficult to beat the Bose QC15s, particularly given how light, compact and comfortable they are.  But as a headphone that sound miles better for home/portable use, and do a more than satisfactory job as a NC headphone, I think these are the benchmark. 

post #341 of 574

JulesK, I completely agree with everything you said, only from the airplane standpoint.  Like I stated in my mini-review, they do an admirable job of NC on the plane.  It also depends on what type of plane you are flying on, and where in the plane you are seated.  However, it always reduces the noise around me more than enough to enjoy my music or movies in peace.

 

I have to say, based on my experience with these headphones, I am really interested to see what PSB comes out with in the future for headphones.  If this is a taste of what they can do at a (relatively) budget price, I can't imagine how good their higher-end series might be.

post #342 of 574

I got my M4U 1s today. I wanted to post a few impressions right out of the box. I am going to burn them in for 40-50 hours before listening more. I will say this, coming directly from V-Moda M100s, I may have found my perfect headphone.

 

First of all, before burn in, I am hearing a good bit more bass than I ever remember from my original M4U 2s. Now I would say this is by design. Why? Well the 2s have the built in amp and with it Paul Barton has said he adds "room feel" eq. To me when the amp was engaged, I did hear a slight more bass tilt. I did most of my listening on the 2s without the amp. I did compare with and without a lot. I mostly preferred them through my Dragonfly and did not want to double amp. The extra bass in the 1s could be he added "room feel" eq to the sound since he would not have the option of the amp. I am not sure. This is just my first impression.

 

My first blush with the added bass brought a smile to my face. So far the M100 has been one of my favorite headphones with just a touch too much bass and just a little less treble energy and air than I wanted. Well the PSB M4U 1 may have just struck that balance. It has a touch less bass slam than the M100 with nearly all of the clarity and high end energy of the M4U 2s. I say nearly because their is a just a very slight veil that I do not recall on the 2s. It could be because I haven't had the 2s for almost a month and cannot remember or it could be the cans just need some burn in. Also as of now, the bass leaks just barely into the midrange. I would say its on par with the M100 in that regard which is very good. With a bassier signature, its going to leak some, there is just no way around it. Again, this could change with burn in and I am actually expecting it to. 

 

Overall my impressions may turn some off to these headphones but that's just what I am hearing. After a full weekend of burn in I will report back. For my tastes and exploration of many many headphones, I am glad I came back to my first love of sorts. Through experimentation I found I really like more bass than ruler flat but I always long for the detail and air too. These may just be the ticket.

post #343 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigster75 View Post


I think the PSB is very comfortable, good fit, plusher pads with larger, deeper opening than M-100 and less clamping force.

HUH?  Did we try the same headphones?  I didn't think the PSB's were comfortable at all, especially not in comparison to my 598's and M-100's.  The 598's don't even feel like you have anything on, so they're the benchmark of comfort for me.  I've also had the UE6000's and those were very comfortable as well.  The M-100's are comfortable, but the ear pad is smaller so not as comfortable as those two, but they are still comfortable.  The PSB's weren't very comfortable to me.  They weren't "uncomfortable", but I could never forget that they were on and they just felt "big" on my head.  I couldn't lay back on my bed with them, they're heavy and there's some definite clamping going on.  

 

I may try them again when they send out the newer revision to my local retailer.  I was pretty pissed that my pair cracked after 3 weeks.  Pretty bad quality for a $400 set of headphones.  I returned them because I couldn't wait for the store to get more in since I travel a good bit. 

post #344 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by awtryau89 View Post

I got my M4U 1s today. I wanted to post a few impressions right out of the box. I am going to burn them in for 40-50 hours before listening more. I will say this, coming directly from V-Moda M100s, I may have found my perfect headphone.

 

First of all, before burn in, I am hearing a good bit more bass than I ever remember from my original M4U 2s. Now I would say this is by design. Why? Well the 2s have the built in amp and with it Paul Barton has said he adds "room feel" eq. To me when the amp was engaged, I did hear a slight more bass tilt. I did most of my listening on the 2s without the amp. I did compare with and without a lot. I mostly preferred them through my Dragonfly and did not want to double amp. The extra bass in the 1s could be he added "room feel" eq to the sound since he would not have the option of the amp. I am not sure. This is just my first impression.

 

My first blush with the added bass brought a smile to my face. So far the M100 has been one of my favorite headphones with just a touch too much bass and just a little less treble energy and air than I wanted. Well the PSB M4U 1 may have just struck that balance. It has a touch less bass slam than the M100 with nearly all of the clarity and high end energy of the M4U 2s. I say nearly because their is a just a very slight veil that I do not recall on the 2s. It could be because I haven't had the 2s for almost a month and cannot remember or it could be the cans just need some burn in. Also as of now, the bass leaks just barely into the midrange. I would say its on par with the M100 in that regard which is very good. With a bassier signature, its going to leak some, there is just no way around it. Again, this could change with burn in and I am actually expecting it to. 

 

Overall my impressions may turn some off to these headphones but that's just what I am hearing. After a full weekend of burn in I will report back. For my tastes and exploration of many many headphones, I am glad I came back to my first love of sorts. Through experimentation I found I really like more bass than ruler flat but I always long for the detail and air too. These may just be the ticket.

 

What I found interesting about the M4U 2's, in active mode, is that they struck me initially as a tad bass-light, until you get to a bass-heavy passage, and then it was almost surprising how powerful the bass was.

post #345 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milhouse74 View Post

HUH?  Did we try the same headphones?  I didn't think the PSB's were comfortable at all, especially not in comparison to my 598's and M-100's.  The 598's don't even feel like you have anything on, so they're the benchmark of comfort for me.  I've also had the UE6000's and those were very comfortable as well.  The M-100's are comfortable, but the ear pad is smaller so not as comfortable as those two, but they are still comfortable.  The PSB's weren't very comfortable to me.  They weren't "uncomfortable", but I could never forget that they were on and they just felt "big" on my head.  I couldn't lay back on my bed with them, they're heavy and there's some definite clamping going on.  

 

I may try them again when they send out the newer revision to my local retailer.  I was pretty pissed that my pair cracked after 3 weeks.  Pretty bad quality for a $400 set of headphones.  I returned them because I couldn't wait for the store to get more in since I travel a good bit. 


I think the UE6000 is one of the most comfortable I have worn.  I place the PSB below the UE6000, but above the M-100.

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