• PSB M4U 1
Our Verdict 
An upbeat, unfussy pair of headphones that should find many fans
For 
Clean, lively treble
Energetic sound
Against 
Sound loses composure at high volume
Reviewed on

PSB has already set a high standard with its first pair of headphones – the M4U 2s are simply brilliant.

Can the M4U 1s live up to the expectation?

Sound quality

They certainly can try. While they don’t have their big brother’s noise-cancelling benefits, they perform almost as admirably.

Play David Bowie’s Sound And Vision, and the treble sparkles with clarity and pep.

There’s a touch of hardness to the synthesised instruments, but it doesn’t encroach too much on the overall sound. This is a fast, punchy and energetic performance.

The precise edges to the start and stop of notes are a particular highlight.

PSB M4U 1

These cans are relatively open-sounding as well, with instruments easily picked out in the soundstage. Voices are direct and intimate.

PSB has sensibly steered clear of over-egging the bass. Sure, it could be tauter, but there’s enough weight and impact to underpin any piece of music.

The M4U 1s' downfall is a tendency to get shouty when the volume is cranked up. A touch more subtlety wouldn’t go amiss either.

More after the break

Build quality

We wouldn’t be too deterred by that blocky build – slip them on and you’re more than likely to find they’re light and comfortable.

They’re built to last, although we can’t help wanting a more refined finish and style.

Verdict

From the brooding tones of The Dead Weather to cheesy ’90s pop tunes, it’s the willingness to get the best out of a recording that makes these PSBs so appealing.

They’re an upbeat, unfussy pair of headphones that should find many fans.

 

MORE: Best headphones 2014

 

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