- Dec 27, 2014
On sale again for $148 a pair, I had to give them a listen.
The salesman hooked a pair up to a NAD C 326BEE amp, and then turned down the nearby "Bassy McBass Home Theatre - with xtra mega bass" playing some kind of Youtube Bossiest Mega Bass playlist.
Then, I connected my BlackBerry Z30 to the NAD's line in, cued up Jing Chi's Tengoku, sat down and had a critical listen.
A bit boxy sounding, but decent reach down low to do justice to Jimmy Haslip's characteristicly warm but clear bass.
All the grit and grime of Robben Ford's perfect tone came through, even the faint 60 Hz buzz of his amp.
Good detail on the subtle synthy pads floating in the background.
Vinnie Colaiuta's dynamically diverse hi- hat, cymbal and snare work were all given room to express themselves.
Nothing amazing, granted, but no awful liberties taken. This was sounding far better than $148 ever does.
Low end presence, detailed mids, crisp highs with no sharpness or fatigue inducing flaws.
I compared them against a $900 per pair set of Mirage OMNI 350s. Noticeable difference here, with the latter showing considerably more warmth lower down, and more brightness higher up. Lively sound signature, but markedly V shaped by comparison.
The M20s presented a flatter delivery without sounding cheap.
For $148 CDN or less, you could do a lot worse, and certainly no better.
FYI, I did my listening at Visions, and ended up buying a pair.