What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Fri, 24 Jan 2014, 5:10pm

PSB M4U 1

Tested at £219
80100
4

An upbeat, unfussy pair of headphones that should find many fans

Write your own review

For

  • Clean, lively treble
  • Energetic sound

Against

  • Sound loses composure at high volume

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.

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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