Any opinions on Pioneer SE-MS5T headphones?
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ksio89

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Does anyone here own these headphones? If so, how do they sound and how is the comfort? They have good specs on theory, look great, sturdy and are on sale in my country and have generally good reviews, with comfort and a balanced sound being particularly praised. I also appreciate phones with a more or less flat signature, not being to boomy and not too bright as well.

I already have a Philips SHL3300 with custom pleather earpads, and though they sound incredible for the price, they clamp too hard onto my ears, making it very uncomfortable after a while, as well as making my ears sweat a lot. Besides, the cable has started crumbling in multiple places, being fixed with tons of electric and silver tapes, so I'm looking for a replacement pair of cans.

Comfort is a very important aspect for me, because I use headphones mostly to watch movies and listen to music for extended periods, like two hours straight. FWIW, I use a FiiO K1 USB DAC. They look a good deal, but I'm still a bit unsure, so I'm asking the pros of Head-Fi for opinions before grabbing them.



specs:
  • Headphone Type: Fully Enclosed Dynamic Headphones
  • Frequency Response: 9 Hz ~ 40,000 Hz
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Maximum Input Power: 1,000 mW
  • Sensitivity: 105 dB
  • Driver Units Diameter: 40 mm
  • Cable Length: Single-side cable 47.24 inches (1.2 m)
  • Weight: 0.64 lbs (without cord)
Another question: my Philips headphones have 108 db, 2,200 mW and the same 32 ohms. Do you think the Pioneer ones will sound much lower when plugged to devices like smartphones, TVs or PC/laptop motherboards with low-end onboard audio DACs? Thanks in advance.
 
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PETEBULL

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Got them for as low as $25 (!) at a liquidation sale. Fell in love with the crispiness of their sound. Haven't tested them thoroughly yet but the beginning is very promising. All I can say yet they are better than Senn HD 2.20S and HD 25.
 
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I've heard their wireless variant of these which I suspect have the same sound signature and I agree with @PETEBULL on the crispness of the sound, and I give them high marks for comfort, too, but if you're coming from the Philips SHL3300, these Pioneer may come off to you as bass-lite.
 
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ksio89

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Guys, my Philips SHL3300 finally died (no more sound coming from left side), so I ordered these cans. Hope I like them, thank you for the replies.
 
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I think you'll be satisfied. I got a set a couple weeks ago and now that they've racked up some hours I think they're great for the price. Quite a neutral sound with good range and detail, and at least for me they're comfortable to wear for hours.

I had never heard of the things but after spending a few hours at a headphone shop trying out everything they were the best I tried in the price bracket. The closest rival for me was the ATH M40x but it felt plasticky and horribly uncomfortable in comparison.
 
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PETEBULL

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Quite a neutral sound with good range and detail, and at least for me they're comfortable to wear for hours.
I'd say they are more into brightness than neutrality with a lack of upper bass and a tint of sibilance. But that's what you pay with for that kind of definition they provide.
As for ATH M40x, they didn't impress me much at least with a portable source.
 
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QuantumCarrot

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Mine sound thin and sibilant directly out of my player (Pioneer XDP-30R) so I know what you mean there. It should have enough power to drive them just fine but it just doesn't do it for me. Out of my tube amp though they come to life. They don't have the speed of my other cans so it can get a little offensive on poorly-mixed walls of sound but they're improving with burn-in. My new pair didn't sound a thing like the demo pair when it came out of the box, that's for sure.
 
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PETEBULL

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so it can get a little offensive on poorly-mixed walls of sound
Walls require darker signature for being unoffensive and lots of mid-upper bass with tight control for being more or less informative. Poor mixes are aimed directly at sounding distinct through lo-fi equipment. You don't want to look at the Sun through a magnifying glass.
 
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Mine sound thin and sibilant directly out of my player (Pioneer XDP-30R) so I know what you mean there. It should have enough power to drive them just fine but it just doesn't do it for me. Out of my tube amp though they come to life. They don't have the speed of my other cans so it can get a little offensive on poorly-mixed walls of sound but they're improving with burn-in. My new pair didn't sound a thing like the demo pair when it came out of the box, that's for sure.
Thanks for posting your impressions with these phones. As I said, I've got FiiO K1 USB DAC, so I wonder if the Pioneers cans will sound noticeably better with it.
 
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ksio89

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Just to give an upshot to this thread, my Pioneer cans (silver model) arrived this week, and OMG, they sound amazing! Really flat sound (at least for my ears) with excellent comfort and good build quality. On my smartphone and other sources, the sound is great, but lacks a bit of bass. However, while plugged to FiiO K1 USB DAC, the sound shifts from water to wine, and the sound becomes just incredible. I still think it has slightly less bass than my beloved and late Philips SHL3300, but the comfort and soundstage more than make for it. My big ears fit entirely within the earcups,and they don't get clamped by the pads. I can wear these phones comfortably for hours. Very satisfied with these Pioneer headphones so far, they sound excellent for its price, highly recommended.
 
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PETEBULL

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I still think it has slightly less bass than my beloved and late Philips SHL3300
Try SHL3175 as they are bass cannons with decent highs. Cons are poor imaging and 2000hz spike.
 
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ksio89

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Try SHL3175 as they are bass cannons with decent highs. Cons are poor imaging and 2000hz spike.
Too late now lol, but thanks for the suggestion. What do you mean by "poor imaging and 2000 Hz spike"? I saw some pics of these Philips cans, and they don't look comfortable at all. And just by the +BASS branding, I have the impression they are bit boomy. I don't know if it's due to the burn in period or just that I'm getting used, but the Pioneer cans sound better today, as good as my Philips. I completely fell in love with the SE-MS5T, they're extremely comfortable for my big head and ears, and the soundstage is just amazing, they are a bargain for what they sound.
 
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PETEBULL

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What do you mean by "poor imaging and 2000 HZ spike"?
I meant difficult to position direction of sounds in games. Soundstage if you will. Spike means resonant peak. A part of frequency range that may be good to reduce with equalizer to make balance more or less acceptable.
and they don't look comfortable at all.
They aren't comfortable
I have the impression they are bit boomy.
In my opinion there is no such thing as too much bass, there is such thing as too much SLOPPY bass. 3175 is not the case.
I comple fell in love with the SE-MS5T, they're extremely comfortable for my big head and ears, and the soundstage is just amazing, they are a bargain for what they sound.
I still would not see them as heavy duty everyday cans because they still are a bit fatiguing. Merciless shooting detail.
 
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