Most helpful positive review
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A bargain for great quality headphones
on 10 December 2014
I did a lot of research before I bought these cans. My final shortlist included, besides these, the Sony MDR-V7605 and the Sennheisers HD280 and 558 pro.
Although I couldn't get a hand on the Sony's, these cans sound better than the Sennheisers and better fit my allround & travel purposes.
As said, these cans sound really good, and this for all kinds of music (classical, jazz, soundtracks, rock, pop, etc). At a first listening I was amazed with the sound quality. Everything online reviewers say about it is true. In addition: soundstage is excellent, bass is good. There is some sound leakage but truly it's minimal.
I must add that I use the equaliser on my ipod to modify sound depending on the kind of music I'm listening to. That makes a considerable difference. Also important: volume possibilities are also fine with these cans. I don't have to put my ipod on maximum volume in public spaces all the time to enjoy my music.
As to clamp, in the beginning it got a bit tight for me after about 1h30 - 2h of listening but then I put the cans between books about the width of my head for a night. Now they sit very nicely. The surpluss clamp seems to be gone.
What I also like about the M40x is that they are lighter than the M50x.
My only remark is that passive noise cancelling could probably have been better. You still do hear what happens around you. If this is normal level noise it cancels out once you put on a decent music volume. In especially busy public spaces and busy traffic streets, though, the cans are struggling to keep up. If that's what you want to buy the M40x for maybe you could (also) consider active noise cancelling headphones. In the train it doesn't bother me.
I don't know what's the reason for the fact that passive noise cancellation is probably not the best out there, although I didn't really do comparative research. Maybe it's the use of materials, for instance on the pads. I also read somewhere that soundstage is related to the level of outside noise shielding. Maybe a balance was struck. I don't know. I am not an expert.
Conclusion: Overall these are fabulous headphones. In the store the Sennheisers and all the other cans, even at a much higher price-point, at no moment matched up to the intimacy, the directness and the balanced nature of the sound of the M40X. Within seconds I felt that the M40x were clearly superior tan every alternative I tried out. When listening to old jazz albums (Bill Evans Trio) the soundstage is so good that I can actually hear where everybody was situated in the room to a degree that I would -by way of speech- hear a wallet drop to the right side of where in the room I seem to be.
With all the above in mind I find it hard to find arguments against the M40x, especially if you use them in a variety of situations and for a variety of musical styles. For such a soft price-tag they simply rock big time.
Addendum: if you want a hardcase for the M40x don't buy the Slappa case, it's too small. The UDG Creator case Small is perfect.