Pioneer announces SE-Master1 flagship headphones

Each pair of Master1s is handcrafted at Pioneer's Tohoku plant in Japan. The design features an aluminium diaphragm with a ceramic coating for extra rigidity, ribbed diaphragm edges for reduced distortion, memory foam earpads and interchangeable tension rods for the headband, so you can alter the amount of pressure applied.

Pioneer tuned the headphones at London's AIR Studios with the help of technical director Tim Vine-Lott. "Tuning the SE-Master1s was an interesting and challenging experience, completely different to working with amplifiers and speakers," he said. "The smallest change could have unexpected effects on sound quality."

If you like the look of the headphones, you'd better be quick - the Master1s will be available in very limited numbers, with less than 1000 planned for worldwide production. Each each pair is engraved with its own unique serial number.

Pioneer is also offering the specially-designed JCA-XLR30M balanced headphone cable as a £270 option for the new cans.

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Andy Madden

Andy is Deputy Editor of What Hi-Fi? and a consumer electronics journalist with nearly 20 years of experience writing news, reviews and features. Over the years he's also contributed to a number of other outlets, including The Sunday Times, the BBC, Stuff, and BA High Life Magazine. Premium wireless earbuds are his passion but he's also keen on car tech and in-car audio systems and can often be found cruising the countryside testing the latest set-ups. In his spare time Andy is a keen golfer and gamer.