Did I get defective PSB headphones? Audio-Technica ATH-M40x sound more detailed than PSB M4U-2?
Nov 28, 2018 at 2:50 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 1


New Head-Fier
Nov 28, 2018
I just bought my first pairs of good headphones on amazon, with plans to return the pair that I personally disliked more. After some research I decided I should order the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x and the PSB M4U-2 (as they were both very good deals for their supposed level of sound quality, $99 CAD and $180 CAD respectively).

I was expecting the m40x to be the pair that I was planning on returning, as I read that in comparison the M4U-2 are supposed to be in another tier for audio quality (but also have very bad build quality) but after listening to both pairs strangely the m40x sounds noticeably more detailed? I was comparing both to my $10-ish Edifier H180 earbuds I've been using for a while, and while with the m40x I'm hearing sounds and subtle details I've never heard before in songs I'm familiar with, using the supposedly better PSB M4U-2 pair didn't produce any new sounds (i.e. the resolution was pretty much identical to my dirt cheap Edifier H180 earbuds).

Is it possible I got a defective pair of PSB M4U-2s? I also noticed that there was quite audible noise in both the Active mode and the ANC mode, with an additional hiss in ANC mode. I tried everything I could think of so far to "fix" the issues, re-positioning them as much as possible in my head, using a DAC+AMP (XtremPro X1, better clone of the DragonFly Black), switching out the pads, even trying a different cable, but they still don't sound at all impressive (i.e. the cheap earbuds have the same level of detail but the earbuds are also more comfortable).

I'm also afraid to immediately return the PSB M4U-2s over the m40x as, even though I find the sound noticeably clearer in the m40x over the M4U-2 (which I'm apparently not supposed to), I find the m40x sort of uncomfortable to wear. I'm at a loss for what I should do right now - should I ask for a replacement PSB M4U-2 unit in hopes that it's better? Or were my expectations for the M4U-2s simply too high? Any help is appreciated. (I already contacted PSB customer support about this, but they haven't responded so I would like to know what others think).
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