Review: Mitchell & Johnson MJ2 – fulcrum

Disclaimer: Mitchell & Johnson sent the MJ2 my way for the purposes of this review. In the upcoming months will be reviewing most of the M&J headphone lineup. The Mitchell & Johnson MJ2 goes for 499,99£ or 499$ USD, in its respective markets. You can find out more about them here: MJ2 audiophile headphones.

Specs

MJ2 audiophile headphones
Over-ear design
Real cherry wood enclosure
Detachable Cable included
High quality woven cloth Y cable with 3.5mm plug for portable player
Naturally tuned response

SPECIFICATION:

Frequency Response: 6 to 50,000Hz
Sound Pressure level: 120dB
Impedance: 32 ohms
Acoustic System: Closed back
Total harmonic Distortion: <=0.1%
Includes protective carry case and ¼” to 3.5mm adaptor

Right off the bat, I’ve got to say that, as it regards the MJ2, I have a strong preference for the Mitchell & Johnson MJ1’s styling. The MJ1’s skeletal lines and rectangular cups are unique. They catch the eye. The MJ2 may sound better, be more comfy, and go balanced in a jiffy. But apart from its cups being bigger on the up rather than the down side, it’s design is pedestrian.

Not sound

Of course, sometimes, high end is pedestrian.

Leica’s latest M lost the movie button, the ability to take videos, and about three buttons. It no longer sports a garish M across its front. The Similarly, the Mitchell & Johnson MJ2 ’s metal is matte and seen-it-before grey. Its pads flex and fold in gentle convolutions like something in Ultrasone’s DJ line, also typical. Its cherry wood is lighter, and more upbeat. Still, it occupies an upscale niche compared to the MJ1.

While still too large for my head, and even when set as compact as possible, the MJ1’s cups rest on the elf edges of my ears. But just barely. The Mitchell & Johnson MJ2 is another thing. Without supporting its headband with a box of playing cards, folded sock, or something similar, it slides farther down my face, pressing on the tops of my ears against sweaty pleather. This affects both comfort and sound. If you’ve got a medium to wide face, bingo: MJ2 will fit you fine. If you’re like me and have a sail for a face, expect fit issues.

Thanks to clever hinges just above its speaker yokes the MJ2 folds up small, and comes with a handy, if not pretty, zippered carrying case. It vertically tilts about 60º, which helps it fit faces both triangular and square. It is a good design. Unfortunately, the pleather pads and headband sweat a lot, and are less comfy than high quality velour, fuede, or other semi-porous material. Still, the Mitchell & Johnson MJ2 is much, much for comfortable than the MJ1. I can wear it for up to three hours before the top of my head gets sore. If only its headband tightened further.

A strange design misstep is the MJ2’s cable. It is solid, the perfect length, and avoids the worst microphonic touch noises. But, neither its left nor its right connectors is labelled. If you’re an audiophile, stereo music to panning correctly from side to side, following the design of its producers, should be important. This seems like a large oversight. I identified left from right channels using a test file I drummed up in Audacity, and then labelled the left channel. At least it can easily be balanced.

Let’s get back to good. Because its cups fall more naturally against the skin than the MJ1, it isolates better. And, apart from the ear/pleather positional thing, it is more comfortable. Neither it nor the MJ1’s fulcrums can’t be adjusted laterally. If your ears angle forward toward your nose, the Mitchell & Johnson MJ2 might open too much air to the outside world. My narrow face finds no problem here.

Click HERE to go to the part on Sound on Page 2, or use the jump below.

Review: Mitchell & Johnson MJ2 – fulcrum
2.2 (43.03%) 33 votes

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Back before he became the main photographer for bunches of audio magazines and stuff, Nathan was fiddling with pretty cool audio gear all day long at TouchMyApps. He loves Depeche Mode, trance, colonial hip-hop, and raisins. Sometimes, he gets to listening. Sometimes, he gets to shooting. Usually he's got a smile on his face. Always, he's got a whisky in his prehensile grip.

2 Comments

  • Reply July 20, 2017

    Ian Melville

    They look very interesting. Can you say how they compare with the Meze 99 please?

  • Reply July 25, 2017

    Vision 2020

    Excellent review. Appreciate the time you invested in the comparison between the HP1 and MJ2. Great info that will help people decide between two super headphone models.

    The MJ2 do have left & right indicated on the inside of the headband, near the earcups. As you mention, the cables aren’t marked. This drove me crazy until discovering they don’t need to be! Mitchell & Johnson did something brilliant. They ran the left and right channel to both earcups using a 3.5mm trs plug. The internal female connector is only wired for the correct
    channel. There’s no way to plug the cable in with reversed channels. This feature is lost if balanced cables are substituted.

    Try a different cable. I find the supplied one a little brighter than standard. I am using a balanced cable now.

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