Yamaha HPH-MT220 Vs. PRO 500
Jan 30, 2015 at 12:15 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 26

Big C

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    If the moderators believe this thread to be useful and valuable, please move it to Equipment>Headphones (full-sized).
 
    At this very moment, I use the Yamaha RH-5MA 40mm closed back headphones because of their strong ultra-low bass presence, and the Pioneer SE-A1000 50mm open-air headphones because they don't overemphasize midrange.  However, as you'll see below, I plan on replacing my Yamaha RH-5MA because their foam is pealing.  Hopefully, I might have found a one-piece solution to replace both of these pairs of headphones.
 
    The HPH-MT220 is Yamaha's flagship, studio, 45mm, closed-back headphones.  The PRO 500 is Yamaha's flagship, home theatre, 50mm, open-air headphones.  I haven't seen a back-to-back comparison of the two, but they both have a similar reputation regarding sound characteristics (stronger ultra-low bass presence and not as strong a midrange), which according to past experience from other users happens to be better than other headphones I have been considering.
    I just returned my Sony MDR7510 because they are slightly lacking ultra-low bass presence.
    After contemplating these two Yamaha model headphones, I was having difficulty finding the PRO 500 at an authorized online retailor.  Also, B&H Photo is selling the HPH-MT220 brand new for $149.99.  Considering Yamaha's $400 MSRP, how the hell can you go wrong with this offer!  So I am waiting for them to arrive today so I can hear them for myself.
 
Jan 30, 2015 at 4:09 PM Post #2 of 26

ahunatu

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The MT220 does sound great and if you're used to very neutral studio monitors you will love them. There is a caveat though, in some recordings the bass can sound slightly boomy and the cymbals can sound very sharp and annoying. While I enjoy the balanced sound, for long listening I really do prefer a slightly lowered treble maybe 3-5 db lower. 
 
Now I'm stuck in a no man's land I needed the treble 2-3 db higher in the M50x's and now I need them a few db lower in these. While these are very nice I'd still prefer the M50X for longer listening sessions. The MT220's are more of a truer studio monitor while the M50X is one updated to be more consumer friendly. 
 
Jan 30, 2015 at 4:49 PM Post #3 of 26

zunehdrocks

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      If the moderators believe this thread to be useful and valuable, please move it to Equipment>Headphones (full-sized).
 
    At this very moment, I use the Yamaha RH-5MA 40mm closed back headphones because of their strong ultra-low bass presence, and the Pioneer SE-A1000 50mm open-air headphones because they don't overemphasize midrange.  However, as you'll see below, I plan on replacing my Yamaha RH-5MA because their foam is pealing.  Hopefully, I might have found a one-piece solution to replace both of these pairs of headphones.
 
    The HPH-MT220 is Yamaha's flagship, studio, 45mm, closed-back headphones.  The PRO 500 is Yamaha's flagship, home theatre, 50mm, open-air headphones.  I haven't seen a back-to-back comparison of the two, but they both have a similar reputation regarding sound characteristics (stronger ultra-low bass presence and not as strong a midrange), which according to past experience from other users happens to be better than other headphones I have been considering.
    I just returned my Sony MDR7510 because they are slightly lacking ultra-low bass presence.
    After contemplating these two Yamaha model headphones, I was having difficulty finding the PRO 500 at an authorized online retailor.  Also, B&H Photo is selling the HPH-MT220 brand new for $149.99.  Considering Yamaha's $400 MSRP, how the hell can you go wrong with this offer!  So I am waiting for them to arrive today so I can hear them for myself.

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/yamhphpro500bl/yamaha-hph-pro500-high-fidelity-premium-over-ear-headphones-black/1.html?gclid=CjwKEAiA9KymBRD6g6iOvv2joU0SJAB0vRQyFBmk4tuZ5zlKFopsv44FXEMyJAUpeGw7dwgRtUwPLhoCHWTw_wcB
Is this the model you're referring to?
http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/YamahaPro500.pdf
If so, I don't think its open and its sound signature has quite a bit of bass emphasis
 
Jan 30, 2015 at 4:51 PM Post #4 of 26

zunehdrocks

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  http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/yamhphpro500bl/yamaha-hph-pro500-high-fidelity-premium-over-ear-headphones-black/1.html?gclid=CjwKEAiA9KymBRD6g6iOvv2joU0SJAB0vRQyFBmk4tuZ5zlKFopsv44FXEMyJAUpeGw7dwgRtUwPLhoCHWTw_wcB
Is this the model you're referring to?
http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/YamahaPro500.pdf
If so, I don't think its open and its sound signature has quite a bit of bass emphasis

http://www.head-fi.org/products/yamaha-pro-500
http://www.head-fi.org/products/yamaha-high-fidelity-premium-studio-monitor-headphones-37-ohms-impedance
The pro 500 definitely seems like the more fun headphone while the mt220 is usually considered relatively neutral.
 
Jan 30, 2015 at 5:06 PM Post #5 of 26

Music Alchemist

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After I get my money back from returning headphones in a few days, I plan on getting the MT220 as well. I was stoked when I found out its price had been lowered to within my immediate range. I heard it sounds more punchy and dynamic than most studio monitor headphones, with better bass response to boot, which are intriguing benefits for me. Once I get it, I'll chime in.
 
Jan 30, 2015 at 10:20 PM Post #7 of 26

Big C

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    I'm sight-impaired, so I have to go by what I read.  I could have sworn that the Yamaha website states that the PRO 500 is open-air.  My 220 arrived, and now I'm waiting for someone to help me unbox those bad boys.  Any minute now ...
 
    While I'm waiting, let me describe my sight condition.  I can see color and different levels of luminence, but I read Braille and depend on screan magnification for text.  No oppologies necessary.  Unless you guys are telepathic, you couldn't have known.  If you did know and acknowledged my sight condition before I mentioned it, I would think you were telepathic and would get creeped out, but I have a large collection of horror movies from the 1930's to 2014, so I LOVE being creeped out.  Two reasons I love horror movies is because I can follow the stories without too much narration, and they can show the potential of my TV and sound system.  So besides music, I think you have an idea of what I plan on doing with my HPH-MT220 if I like them
 
    If I don't get to addicted to these new cans, I'll try to remember to post comments before I go to bed.  SEE you later (no pun intended).
 
Jan 30, 2015 at 11:13 PM Post #9 of 26

Big C

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    With a little help, they were easy to unpack.  I am using them with my laptop as I type.  Using Audasity, I generated some 15Hz, 20Hz, and 17,000Hz sinewaves.  I am impressed how well I was able to hear each tone.  Then I generated a sinewave downward chirp from 17,000Hz to 20Hz.  While there are some inconsistancies throughout the range, they are ever so slight.  I think these are the most balanced pair of headphones I've ever used in these recent days, and possibly in my entire life.  I didn't play any music or movies with them yet, but considering the test results, I am quite confident about how my music, movie, and TV show collections are going to sound!
 
Jan 31, 2015 at 1:49 AM Post #11 of 26

Big C

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On the official link I provided, it states that they are closed back. Just click the Specs tab on the page.

    I just doublechecked Yamaha's official site and the PRO 500 is closed back.
 
    I don't know if I'll ever get a chance to try the PRO 500, but based on some Head-fi reviews I read, here's my theory:
 
    It sounds like the PRO 500 were designed with less educated music lovers in mind and if I played a sinewave chirp through the audio spectrum, I would notice a very heavy unnatural volume increase towards the upper and lower registers.  I get the impression that the HPH-MT220 were designed for the educated sound engineer who prefers both as wide a range and as much balance throughout the audio spectrum as possible.  I prefer no trimming or tweaking of anything throughout the audio spectrum.  So in my case, would trying the PRO 500 be a waste of time waiting for them to arrive, and a waste of time repacking it for shipping it back to the retailor?  Thanks.
 
Jan 31, 2015 at 2:06 AM Post #12 of 26

Music Alchemist

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      I just doublechecked Yamaha's official site and the PRO 500 is closed back.
 
    I don't know if I'll ever get a chance to try the PRO 500, but based on some Head-fi reviews I read, here's my theory:
 
    It sounds like the PRO 500 were designed with less educated music lovers in mind and if I played a sinewave chirp through the audio spectrum, I would notice a very heavy unnatural volume increase towards the upper and lower registers.  I get the impression that the HPH-MT220 were designed for the educated sound engineer who prefers both as wide a range and as much balance throughout the audio spectrum as possible.  I prefer no trimming or tweaking of anything throughout the audio spectrum.  So in my case, would trying the PRO 500 be a waste of time waiting for them to arrive, and a waste of time repacking it for shipping it back to the retailor?  Thanks.

 
It's not so much about being educated or not as it is about preferring a certain sound signature. Many people dislike neutral headphones and prefer more bass and treble and so on. There are also various HRTF curves used to determine how neutral a headphone is, so what sounds neutral to one person may sound colored to another. Then there are the other factors of headphone sound aside from tonal balance. Two equally neutral headphones may sound drastically different due to various aspects of headphone design. It's more complex than it may seem.
 
Some people say the PRO 500 is neutral, but I have never heard it, so I dunno.
 
Jan 31, 2015 at 5:03 PM Post #13 of 26

ahunatu

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      With a little help, they were easy to unpack.  I am using them with my laptop as I type.  Using Audasity, I generated some 15Hz, 20Hz, and 17,000Hz sinewaves.  I am impressed how well I was able to hear each tone.  Then I generated a sinewave downward chirp from 17,000Hz to 20Hz.  While there are some inconsistancies throughout the range, they are ever so slight.  I think these are the most balanced pair of headphones I've ever used in these recent days, and possibly in my entire life.  I didn't play any music or movies with them yet, but considering the test results, I am quite confident about how my music, movie, and TV show collections are going to sound!

Yeah I thought they were very neutral as well. The treble being very even with the bass response and a slightly lowered mids range. The treble is done so well, a little too well. I'm curious what you think of it after some longer listening. 
 
Jan 31, 2015 at 5:56 PM Post #15 of 26

cel4145

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 It sounds like the PRO 500 were designed with less educated music lovers in mind and if I played a sinewave chirp through the audio spectrum, I would notice a very heavy unnatural volume increase towards the upper and lower registers.  I get the impression that the HPH-MT220 were designed for the educated sound engineer who prefers both as wide a range and as much balance throughout the audio spectrum as possible.  I prefer no trimming or tweaking of anything throughout the audio spectrum.  So in my case, would trying the PRO 500 be a waste of time waiting for them to arrive, and a waste of time repacking it for shipping it back to the retailor?  Thanks.


I'd say it's a personal preference thing. A lot of people like enhanced bass. Some like brighter treble. Some like headphones with a bit of warmth. To each his own :)

You might as well try them. That's part of the fun, right?
 

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