For those of you that have been following Headfonia this shouldn’t be a secret because we already reviewed the closed back M1 headphone in January. You can find that review here.
In short Mike described the M1 sound like this:
“The smooth and warm presentation is a successful recipe for portable outdoor listening. This is the kind of a sound that I enjoy to have on a casual walk outdoor. You get full mids, punchy bass and a relaxed treble. All these wrapped in a relatively forward sound signature. A casual headphone like the M1 doesn’t have to be filled with technicalities, instead I find it most important that the headphone has a wide genre bandwidth to suit different music genres. And indeed the M1 is that headphone. The treble is soft and relaxed, the mid range always full and smooth, the bass is tight and punchy. Really there is no better recipe for mainstream music listening than something like what the M1 presents. If you’re looking for technicalities, however, this is not really the headphone to go with. Although articulation is quite decent for something ultra-portable like this, I can imagine people wanting a more spacious feel and more mid range and bass detail”.
The Bluetooth version is supposed to be identical to the cable version except for wireless capability. However there are some acoustic obstacles that the designer team has to overcome, since the housing has to fit the Bluetooth circuitry and battery as well. I do find the Bluetooth to have an improved sound than the cable version. Sound signature is still the same, but you get a more airy sound and improved mid range detail. The headphone now sounds clearer while still retaining the same warm feel.
The M1BT that was released now is that same headphone but it no longer needs a cable. You can still use them with a cable if you want but they have gone wireless using the Bluetooth 4.0 technology. When we were at Philips a while back we tested their BT system with different kinds of codecs and the sound quality was very good. I’ve been testing it at home with my smartphone and a couple of ipod and iPads during extended house cleaning sessions and the connection using BT is easy to make, it never got interrupted and there were no drop outs whatsoever. Of course isolation isn’t the best as it is an on ear headphone. I switched to my ciems for vacuuming 😉 . You charge the BT unit with a standard USB cable and I have to say the battery lasts pretty long. I couldn’t say how long exactly, but it has never died on me in the middle of listening.
“Perhaps these are not fit for the technically demanding headphone enthusiasts, but I can imagine the M1 being popular with business travelers and casual users. It looks good and the build quality is solid, perhaps one of the most solid portables around”. The M1BT, like the L2 for that fact, does look stellar, I love the grills giving it that cool and tough image. I don’t mind wearing either of these in the train, their street cred is high and they’re not overly big.
The M1BT is available already here in local shops, and the official price is 279.99€ but it can already be found cheaper if you look a bit further.