The Canada-based firm, PSB, has been designing audio peripherals since 1972. They’ve created a reasonably respected identify within the audio trade with loudspeakers being their specialty. Just lately, the corporate launched the M4U 8 MKII ANC Headphones. Succeeding the M4U 8, these circumaural headphones witnessed a slight improve in worth and an improve when it comes to just a few options. Allow us to have a look at whether or not these cans justify their significantly steep worth of $399.
Fairly Beneficiant with Equipment
The M4U 8 MKII are undoubtedly packaged like $399 headphones. The corporate has been exceedingly beneficiant with equipment. The package deal gives a 3.5mm analog cable, a flight adapter, a ¼’’ stereo adapter, a Kind-A to Kind-C charging cable, a shammy for cleansing, a fast begin information and a hard-shell zippered storage case. PSB has received you coated for each potential occasion with its equipment. You’ve got the choice to modify to a wired connection when the headphones are out of juice together with getting journey and stereo assist. The corporate has additionally been aware of cleanliness and safety. The storage case is as sturdy as it may possibly get.
Not a Lot Occurring in Phrases of Aesthetics
Appears-wise, the M4U 8 MKII are fairly unexciting. This isn’t to say that they’re disagreeable to take a look at. As a substitute, they’re simply serious-looking headphones with not loads occurring. For his or her worth, they virtually lie within the class of bland for me. A little bit extra inclusion of steel, aside from the small plates with the identify of the mannequin emblazoned on both facet, would have been a good suggestion. The M4U 8 MKII headphones characteristic a plastic physique with a leather-based headband and reminiscence foam ear pads. The plastic is nice high quality, although, and feels stable in your arms. The leather-based exudes sophistication as properly. PSB’s newest wi-fi headphones could not look as costly as they’re however one factor is for certain: the corporate definitely didn’t skimp on materials and high quality.
The M4U 8 MKII are insanely snug headphones. The gyro-action ear pads are made from immensely smooth reminiscence foam with beneficiant padding that cushions your ears very well. There’s adequate house within the middle of the cups and also you don’t really feel your cartilage touching the ear pads at any level. Nevertheless, I really feel that the passive noise isolation on these headphones might have been higher. Whereas the M4U 8 MKII had been snug, they didn’t present as comfortable of a match as I’d’ve appreciated. That is seemingly what triggered their passive noise isolation to not be among the many finest that I’ve skilled.
The leather-based headband on the M4U 8 MKII is great. It additionally gives a thick cushion of padding to maintain your noggin snug. I like that the scarf isn’t too skinny, therefore, dividing the drive throughout a bigger space leading to much less strain on the highest of your head. The headscarf is tactile and simply expandable.
Extremely Unintuitive Controls
I’ve by no means understood why, in some headphones, all of the controls are discovered on a single earcup. Dividing the controls evenly between each cups makes far more sense. The M4U 8 MKII made the identical mistake. This might have been much less of a catastrophe if the controls had been at the least intuitively designed. However we don’t see that taking place both.
The precise earcup is the one that’s severely overworked. It hosts a Bluetooth pairing button, a quantity rocker, a toggle swap that turns the headphones and ANC on or off and a slider for skipping to the subsequent observe or rewinding the observe. The slider that skips and rewinds music can be accountable for answering or declining calls and pausing or taking part in music. The identical cup additionally hosts the three.5mm port. It’s extremely tough to cycle by way of the controls on the M4U 8 MKII and I encountered a lot of missteps.
To start with, all of the controls featured an analogous design which made it fairly complicated. The toggle switches felt the identical because the sliders once I was trying to navigate them. Furthermore, some design decisions had been simply plain unhealthy selections. As an illustration, the on/off swap being the identical because the one which controls ANC will not be very sensible. Each time you miss the ANC by just a bit, you’re going to finish up switching your headphones off. And everyone knows how annoying that may be. On the plus facet, the controls are fairly responsive and quick.
The M4U 8 MKII options superb bass. It’s the type that you simply really feel in your chest and throat. There’s a noticeable oomph within the low finish. It’s fairly commendable that the corporate manages to realize that with out overdoing it. There’s a very skinny line between bass like this and the sort that finally ends up sounding thick. Some firms get tempted to overdo it and, consequently, it finally ends up sounding somewhat too thunderous. The lows on the PSB headphones, nevertheless, are wealthy and clear. They’ve loads of presence to them and house inside them. Whatever the quantity, the bass remained highly effective all through.
The treble didn’t stand out as a lot because the bass did, nevertheless it was fairly nice as properly. It’s sharp and detailed. The mids are shiny and carry element as properly. Total, it didn’t sound as if the weather of the orchestra have been clustered collectively. Each ingredient had its respective house within the orchestra and sounded extraordinarily clear. The general sound profile of the headphones is tinny.
The M4U 8 MKII host 40mm drivers. They’re suitable with Bluetooth 5.1 and assist the AAC, AptX HD, and SBC codecs. LDAC assist is absent, although. The headphones additionally characteristic 24-bit HD audio. For the uninitiated, HD audio, or high-definition audio, permits streaming music to sound extra like an unique studio recording. And 24-bit audio is actually audio decision that’s measured in bits. 24-bit audio can file 16,777,216 discreet values for loudness ranges versus 16-bit audio which might symbolize 65,536 discrete values.
Fairly Good Noise Cancelling
The M4U 8 MKII characteristic 4 adaptive mics that assist scale back undesirable background noise. I’d say the noise cancellation on the headphones is kind of highly effective. It canceled out the sound of my roommate doing the dishes, the gorgeous loud sound of the bathe faucet working, and the hum of the site visitors. What it did not cancel out, although, was the siren of an ambulance. That is pretty frequent amongst noise-canceling headphones. The upper the frequency of a sound, the harder it’s to cancel it. All in all, although, the M4U 8 MKII did a fantastic job of decreasing undesirable noise and offering a peaceable expertise.
Battery, Mic, Water Resistance
On paper, the M4U 8 MKII advertises as much as 25 hours of wi-fi playback. The determine could change relying on how loud you want your music. With a 3.5mm connector included, you don’t have to fret concerning the battery giving up on you anyway.
The PSB headphones make use of two built-in mics that improve name readability. The mics carry out fairly properly when it comes to decreasing background noise. One space by which the M4U 8 MKII would possibly disappoint you is water/sweat resistance. Surprisingly sufficient, the headphones aren’t resistant towards each which suggests they’re not very superb as a exercise accomplice.
Is It Hardcore?
PSB’s M4U 8 MKII sport unintuitive controls and will not be immune to water or sweat. Nevertheless, there are a number of areas they excel at. They provide a plethora of useful equipment, a stable construct, a snug match, glorious bass, and fairly nice noise canceling. Nevertheless, we nonetheless really feel that they’re not price their price ticket.