Just received the Sony today, on loan from MLE. Thank you kindly for the loan btw. Here are my unbiased impressions of the ma900 as I don't know jack didley about it tbh.
*supreme comfort. This hp simply "rides" on your head with a sub zero level of clamp. At first I wanted more clamp from it as it felt as though it would slip off my head if I bent over to tie my shoes. After a few minutes it simply disappears on the head and feel like nothing is there. Comfort is a very close second to sound signature in my book and I'll give the comfort on the Sony a solid 9.
*good balance across the spectrum. No part of the signature is much out of place. The bass doesn't bleed into the mids. There is a nice transition from mids to treble without any congestion which is a common for many hp at this juncture in the sound. Everything flows freely between the mids and treble and feels easy and relaxed in presentation without any sense of strain to reproduce the music.
*the cable stinks. It couldn't be more cheaply made or any longer. It could double as a repelling apparatus should I ever decide to take up repelling. The first thing that I'd do is chop that cable in half and replace the jack with something decent.
*build quality and design. Still getting my brain around this. Looks and feels like a cheapie, at first. The more I use it though, the better it seems to be put together and more solid than my initial impression was. Seriously angled and open pads adds to the sound stage for me. I wonder if the pads could be about twice as thick. They feel somewhat like memory foam but I'm not sure on that. The real issue that I have with the design is that the cups are largish. I'd want to use these as a home portable and the cup size holds them back from doing that somewhat.
*The bass does go somewhat deep but the weight and visceral impact are somewhat lacking. This is not a deal breaker for me at all, particularly at this price point. The mid bass is present and not bloated. The sub bass in tight and in balance with the rest of the sound.
*The mids lack some of the natural tonality that I have come to love and appreciate. There is a hint of graininess that is present especially in female vocals. Again, I'm being VERY picky here and this is not a deal breaker either. In fact there is some nice body to the mids that impressed me after I got past the slight grainny sound.
*The treble is pretty darn good. I like a darker treble but one that can still resolve and extend when the material calls for it. There is nothing harsh or fatiguing whatsoever about the treble here. Cymbals and violins came through with nice realism.
After about three hours going through my test material, the Sony's are really growing on me. I wasn't even sure what the price point was and just went to check amazon. Looks like about $200 shipped. In my estimation, what they offer certainly justifies the asking price. Will I go out and grab a pair? Not sure. If I see them on the used forum here for less, I'd jump on it for sure.
I was a bit disappointed when I listened to these on the x3 by fiio. Fortunately with the A2/bf the sound scaled up quite nicely and I found myself really getting lost in the music. These are good hp's, very good. The offer NO isolation. They do offer a nice comfortable experience and don't do much wrong and do so many things right.
Anybody want to sell their pair?
Excellent post & review