German Maestro GMP 240 review

The German Maestros try their best, but they aren’t in the same league as some of their rivals Tested at £120

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

The German Maestros try their best, but they aren’t in the same league as some of their rivals


  • +

    Chunky but upbeat bass

  • +

    Decent dynamics

  • +

    Open and weighty sound

  • +

    Light and durable build

  • +

    Flexible and good fit


  • -

    Lack clarity and subtlety

  • -

    Voices are indistinct

  • -

    Bass can be overpowering

  • -

    Needs more precision, agility and control

  • -

    Hard treble

  • -

    Not the most stylish design

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Take a glance at the German Maestro GMP 240 headphones and you’d be forgiven for thinking that the basic, heavy-duty build and design wouldn’t offer the most comfortable or engaging headphone experience.


But the GMP 240s are light and flexible to wear and the leather headband sits nicely on your head.

They may not be as luxurious as the Philips Fidelio X1s or Sennheiser HD 558s, but the velvet ear pads are soft and don’t make your ears hot.


It’s not all good news when it comes to sound performance however – Aerosmith’s Pink highlights the GMP 240s chunky, slightly flabby bass that booms along and steamrollers the rest of the frequencies.

We’d almost forgive this fault except that the midrange is pushed back: vocals are muffled and lack clarity. The GMP 240s don’t do any justice to Lorde’s incredible voice on Royals in our test.

There’s a decent amount of space owing to the open-back design of the GMP 240s, but they’re not as airy as the Audio Technica ATH-AD700Xs.

They also have a comparatively low sensitivity, so you’ll need to turn the volume up to get the full effect of the weighty sound.

There may be warmth and heft to the GMP 240s, but it’s at the cost of clarity and timing.

The funky beats and tempo of Stevie Wonder’s Superstition are lost due to the smoothed-out edges to the start and stop of notes.

There’s also a hard edge to the treble, which shows up on any recordings with crisp production.


The German Maestro GMP 240s may surprise you in terms of comfort, but they have better rivals in this price and category.

The GMP 240s don’t have the insight or rhythmic ability of the Grado SR80is (£100), while the Sennheiser HD 558s (£130) deliver a smooth sound with bass and finesse.

The GMP 240s are a decent pair of headphones, but if you really want to enjoy your music, we’d look elsewhere.

MORE: Best headphones to buy in 2014

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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