Pioneer SE-MX9 – Review – Superior Club Sound
Thanks to certain headphone brands’ marketing campaigns of late, the perception by users and manufacturers alike is that people want a heavy bass in the sound as well as something that looks good on the street. And the response from Pioneer is the Pioneer SE-MX9, a good solid headphone with a bass response which, although it’s heightened, doesn’t dominate the presentation.
Solid build, yet light
Various options for cable
Ear pads may be an awkward size for some
Pouch offers little protection
Isolation could be better
When looking at headphones produced by large long-established companies it is easy to expect a product which is the result of committee meetings rather than the vision of a gifted and talented individual or team, and although the SE-MX9 headphones do appear to have had some influence from Pioneer’s marketing division I think they offer as much excitement as any equivalent from a specialist headphone maker.
Features and accessories are basic with no frills – a curly 2m cable (3m extended) is included to give the option of listening at home, as well as the iPhone cable with volume/track control. The usual flight adapter and 6.3mm jack adapter is also present. A travel pouch is included; although the earcups fold flat the filled pouch still has some size to it, and the pouch will afford little protection should any knocks or bangs be encountered in transit. Admittedly however, it should take quite some impact to damage these headphones.
Of course, the first thing that springs to mind is the similarity to the almost ubiquitous ‘b’ headphones for which the young and under informed are clamouring. However any similarity ends when they are donned; this is the sound I was expecting when I first tried that other brand! Boosted bass frequencies needn’t affect the midrange you’ll be glad to hear.
I’ve been checking around for a genre which the SE-MX9 doesn’t get on with, and all I can offer is anything which might have heightened bass already. Given that those who might want to listen to dance music etc. will not have a problem with this, I think Pioneer have got it about right. The midrange is very clear and revealing; decays are very enjoyable and the sense of space is very real. High frequencies are bright without being strident, and the soundstage is impressive for a closed-back portable.
These are one of those headphones I like more and more the longer I wear them – power combined with clarity makes everything sound fun and engaging without clutter or fuss. Build quality is great and the ear pads suit me as I can wear glasses or sunglasses without discomfort. Whether the average 17 year old can be convinced to forgo the fashion boost offered by that other brand remains to be seen, but if they had the chance to hear the different brands side by side these Pioneers would be the clear winner.