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NEW! Pioneer SE-MJ591 "Audiophile" headphones unboxing & impressions to come.

post #1 of 188
Thread Starter 
Brand new from Pioneer that claims to be "audiophile" grade. Take a look and stay tuned for my impressions.
post #2 of 188

Another awesome unboxing as always.  My friend opened up my box before I could get to it and he destroyed the top as well.  I was going to tell him that he should have gone from the bottom (the fold-back tab is down there), but he already thinks I'm way too anal for my own good.


The cans are built pretty tough aren't they?  Aside from the leather on the headband padding (which has a nice and almost eel-skin like suppleness to it), the rest of it feels like it could take a ton of abuse.  Almost makes the case somewhat redundant - although I gotta say that I really like the case.  It's a nice touch.  And from the marks on my case, I can easily see how it has already prevented mine from getting scratched up.


If I'm to be honest, I am having the hardest time trying to pin down the profile of this unit.  I can usually tell whether I love a pair of cans inside of 10 minutes and certainly inside of an hour.  But the chameleon-like sound signature of these has me somewhat confounded.  It is absolutely brilliant with some tracks - while being decidedly short-yellow-bussed with others.


Maybe my expectations were raised by the "audiophile" moniker?  Right when I read that I expected it to inherit some of the SE-A1000's clarity.  I did notice that it doesn't say "audiophile" quality anywhere on the box.  I think that was a marketing thing added afterwards on the website.


How would you compare these to the P3s you just got?

post #3 of 188

In my opinion, Pioneer should stop with all the on ears. I'd buy a pair of these, or even a pair of the bass head ones if they were over ear. On ear is something I can't stand.

post #4 of 188

Even if the pads are really, really soft?  I think almost everyone here (IEM wearers aside) would probably prefer circumaurals.  I've gotten used to it though.  If the clamping force is low enough, and the pads are soft enough, I can deal with it for a few hours while I'm going back and forth on the train. 


However, if you happen to be looking for a pair of basshead circumaurals from Pioneer, I believe they do make some:  http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Portable/Headphones/SE-M390.  I haven't tried them out yet but I've always been curious.  May just have to pick up a pair.  No unboxing vid though, I don't have a decent camera.

post #5 of 188

Wow, those Circumaurals look a lot like these  http://www.amazon.com/Superlux-Black-Dynamic-Closed-Back-Headphones/dp/B00628B1AW . Anyway, I can't wear Supra aurals for a long time because I have oddly shaped ears, so I get lots of pressure on my ears. Although, the MJ591 look very nice and luxurious. Not something I'd expect out of pioneer. 

post #6 of 188

Yeah, I've been on the fence about those 661s for a while (sitting in my Amazon cart for a couple of weeks now).  I read somewhere that they're Superlux's version of the MDR-7506.


For me, the worst ones are the kind that can't decide whether they are circum or supra aural.  You know the kind I mean?  Too big to get a good supraaural seal, too small to fully enclose the ear (so as a result they apply pressure to either the top or bottom of the ear).

post #7 of 188
Thread Starter 

I am not really a fan on On Ear headphones, but these are pretty comfy.  The B&W P3 is also comfy.  The sound is just Mid-Fi at best.  Listening to Aerosmith's Dream On right now and it's not moving me like a audiophile grade headphones does.  The sound signature is forward and lean toward mids and mid bass.  There is enough highs to not make it dull, but not enough for details.





the beginning of American Idiot's 21 Guns sounds decent.





Edited by HiFiGuy528 - 6/23/12 at 4:00pm
post #8 of 188

Adding the above via Zune and syncing.  Probably not as good source-wise but its what I've got quick access to atm.

post #9 of 188

Okay yeah, I'm hearing roughly the same.  While "Dream On" was spectacularly unimpressive, the start of "21 Guns" (everything before 1:28) fared much better.  It seems to handle vocals well and with a fair amount of warmth.


In an A/B with K240 Studios, the difference is night and day:


The B-52s > Cosmic Thing


In "Follow Your Bliss", the K240 sounds like I'm in the back of a bar (like The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano) during a pre-show sound check  There's an open airyness to it.  The 591s make me feel like I'm in a mirrored room listening to noribang speakers.  Not good or bad . . . just very, very different.


The Trash Can Sinatras > Weightlifting


The difference is even more pronounced when listening to "Usually" (especially the chorus).  The 591 is extremely warm and intimate.  However, the K240 downright gives me chills, imparting an almost ethereal quality to the song.


I'm definitely keeping them though.  I simply don't have another pair of cans that sounds anything like this.  But based on the above, and nearly everyone else's impressions here, I have been able to come to one conclusion without doubt.  Tom Andry over at Audioholics doesn't know WTF he's talking about, and I should take what he writes with a 55-gallon drum of salt.

post #10 of 188
Thread Starter 

Warren,  I'll check out those albums too.  Thanks!  I am going to keep it too.  This is not the headphones I want to sell right off the bat like some I owned in the past.

post #11 of 188

Awesome, you're welcome mate.  smile.gif  Oh I had mentioned this in a different thread, but MJ's "Another Part of Me" also sounds brilliant through this.

post #12 of 188
Thread Starter 

I would say that these aren't bad at all, just not "audiophile" grade or Hi-Fi grade.  I do see myself or anyone enjoying these.  Pioneer should have priced it at $199 and it would be a winner.

post #13 of 188

Agreed.  It's certainly good enough that I am not giving mine up (even though I've been tendered offers for it). 


Maybe even $179.99 just to bring it well under the $200 mark?  But at it's current MSRP, it's going up against B&W P5s, Klipsch Mode 40s, a Grado here and there, DT 880s, TMA-1s, 7509HDs, SRH940s, and a crap load of Beats and Boses . . . not to mention the HDJ-2000.  And that's without mentioning any comparable offerings from Sennheiser, AKG and Audio-Technica.  It can just be hard getting people to notice it in that crowd is what I mean.

post #14 of 188

I was very tempted to buy one and add it  to my portables review thread (vs HD25, DT1350, M80, etc), but the pricetag was the main deterrent. Sadly, I don't think any local stores up here even carry it anymore. 

post #15 of 188

UPDATE:  Wow, these are great for vocals - specifically showtunes, musicals and the like.


I think I've finally got it pegged down now.  Whoever labeled these as "audiophile" cans must listen to a sh*t ton of showtunes.  Based on a hunch from the beginning of "21 Guns" (thanks HiFiGuy), I went and ransacked my CDs for some recordings from my musicals phase.  Impressions?  Individual voices ring true and smooth.  Voices in chorus remain distinct during the strongest crescendos.  And there's vocal clarity and detail without sibilance.  Yup, no doubt about it, this is a pair of cans for the theatre crowd.


The Secret Garden - Original Broadway Cast AlbumThe Secret Garden - Original Broadway Cast Album


Track Highlights:


17.  Lily's Eyes


24.  Quartest - There's A Man


26.  Wick (damn I'd forgotten how good Daisy Eagan is)



Album_Rent.jpgRent - Original Broadway Cast Recording


Track Highlights:


16.  Will I??


26.  Seasons of Love


42.  Finale B


So if anyone out there is thinking "man I wish I had a good set of portable cans for all of my Broadway shows..." then lament no further.


OT:  Hey HiFiGuy, how many clicks to you extend the headband by?  I extend each side out to the point where the first notch is just showing.  Weird question I know.  But since I tend to not mind tight cans nearly as much as other people, I'm thinking that I may have a fairly thin cranial structure.


Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

I was very tempted to buy one and add it  to my portables review thread (vs HD25, DT1350, M80, etc), but the pricetag was the main deterrent. Sadly, I don't think any local stores up here even carry it anymore. 


DealSourceDirect has them for $197.69 and they ship to Canada out of New Jersey.  Many Best Buys (and I would guess Future Shops) have them but I suspect you'd have to pay full retail there.  If you did pick up a pair, I suspect that you'd want to keep them though.  The frame (headband, joints and bails) are all tough as nails - making this unit's superstrucure a good basis for mods.  And the pads are ridiculously comfortable - so much so that I almost don't notice the clamping force on this unit.


Of course the cheapest way would be to do a temporary loan so that you could do the review.  The only problem I have with that is the fact that these are my daily portable cans (for my 120 mile round trip commute) so I'd definitely miss them.  And I'd ideally like to have them back before the LA meet (August) as I'm thinking about going and bringing these (since so few people have heard them).  Don't know how long you'd need them for in order to do a thorough review (although I have saved you burn-in time).  Maybe we could do a 1-month swap so that I'd have something to listen to during commutes (and be able to audition something different at the same time)?

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › NEW! Pioneer SE-MJ591 "Audiophile" headphones unboxing & impressions to come.