Headphones are, but of course, all about their sound quality. It’s nice to have a decent-looking pair to sit over your head, but without quality sound that has little meaning.
Fortunately the Pioneer SE-MX9 do a good job of delivering the audio. There’s ample bass without overdoing things and the high-end sparkles too. Roll out those house classics and everything sounds great.
However, we found they pushed the mid-levels too much for some genres, so we dipped the 250-2,000Hz range a little using a multi-band EQ to take some of the crash out of hard-hitting snares that some genres tend to boost in the mix these days.
Adjustments made and there’s little else we would change. The bass kicks without distorting and a 6 – 40,000Hz range is way beyond human hearing at both end of the spectrum. You won’t miss anything here. Except, perhaps, those days gone by of hands-in-the-air late nighters. We digress.
Despite it’s “superior club sound” sentiment, you needn’t just push club music through the Pioneer SE-MX9 headphones. That might depend on how you define “club music”, we suppose, but having ploughed through the Royal Blood LP that delivered all its recorded distortion with the necessary grit and impact. Here our criticism about mid-range aren’t as applicable either – we ran a flat EQ and it all sounded top notch to our ears.
With a 106dB output from those 50mm drivers volume is also issue either. Maximum output from our MacBook Air as our source was actually too much to bear, but fine if you want to destroy your eardrums. There wasn’t any unwanted discernible distortion to worry about either. We like not being restricted to limits, and we’d always opt for the headphones capable of delivering on the loudness front, so the SE-MX9 do their job here.
Whether you’re after a “club sound” or just good sound, the Pioneer SE-MX9 headphones make a great case to feature on your over-ear shortlist.
They’re comfortable to wear straight out of the box, deliver ample volume and quality audio – even if we would trim the mid-range for our personal tastes – in a well designed and, particularly in the case of the copper colour finish, distinct package.
The only thing holding them back from greater things is the £250 price tag. With the likes of the on-ear Sennheiser Urbanites available for £100 less you’re paying for the metal and leather materials in the Pioneers. If that’s the kind of build you’re after, though, then with the exception of the plastic hinge surrounds the Pioneer SE-MX9 deliver at every level. We’ll be sad to see them go back to Pioneer.