Are there caveats? I can think of two, though they are very minor in the grand scheme of things. First, I would like to see the M4U 8 have slightly larger openings in its ear pads. Granted, the pad openings are subtly bevelled to allow more room for your ears on their inner sides, but even so I found my ears sometimes felt a bit cramped during multi-hour listening sessions. Second, purists might argue that the M4U 8, though expressive enough in its own right, is not quite as revealing or resolving as today’s best mid-priced planar magnetic designs. While this is true, it is important to remember that the versatile M4U 8 successfully addresses far more varied real-world listening applications than any passive, open-back planar magnetic headphone of which we are aware.
PSB’s M4U 8 is a brilliant mid-priced headphone that fulfills many different roles and meets a wide range of requirements in a hugely successful way. For people looking to begin their exploration of high performance headphones without breaking the bank, the M4U 8 is not only a great place to start, but also a fine sonic destination in its own right. That’s a claim few ‘noise cancellers’ can make.
Type: Closed-back dynamic headphone with active amplification, active noise cancelling, and Bluetooth connectivity
Wireless pairing: Bluetooth aptX HD (2.4GHz), NFC
Driver complement: One 40mm dynamic driver
Frequency response: 20Hz–20kHz, +/-1.5dB
Impedance: 32 ohms (passive mode)
Accessories: Hard-shell travel case, dual 3.5mm adapter, 3.5mm cable, micro USB cable, ear pads
Battery life between charges: 15 hours
Weight: 322 grams (12.8 oz)
Price: £299 UK, $399 US
Manufacturer: PSB Speakers
Distributed by: Sevenoaks Sound & Vision
Tel: +44(0)1732 740944