Hands-on: PSB M4U 2 noise-reduction headphones

Geoff Morrison checks out the new PSB M4U 2 headphones at the CEDIA 2011 show.

PSB M4U 2 headphones Geoffrey Morrison

Best known as the makers of excellent-sounding, but reasonably priced, speaker systems, PSB is branching out to the wearable speaker variety, with the M4U 2 headphones.

The M4U 2's, which have active noise canceling, are comfortable to wear, and sound fantastic, are an impressive first entry into the headphone world.

The M4U 2's are powered headphones, with built-in amplification. They'll also work in passive mode, though, if the batteries kick out while you're mid-jam. What's surprising is that they don't feel heavier than nonpowered headphones. They're comfortable, and have a slick design that's attractive without the flamboyant nature of many over-ear 'phones. There are other smart touches, like the cord's ability to plug into either earcup, and a foldable frame for better portability.

And they sound great. Tight, powerful bass, with detailed, articulate highs. Better yet, the roughly 18 dB reduction in ambient sound drops the background world enough to be barely noticeable.

Designer and founder of PSB Paul Barton voiced these headphones himself, and they have the trademarks of his speakers: accuracy and great listenability.

The M4U 2's should be out before Christmas for $400. You can find out more info at PSBspeakers.com.

Brent Butterworth has some more info from his audition over at Soundandvisionmag.com.

My head is less clear than that one. Equally shiny. Geoffrey Morrison

Speaker designer and PSB founder Paul Barton demos his latest creation. Geoffrey Morrison

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About the author

Geoffrey Morrison is a freelance writer/photographer for CNET, Forbes, and TheWirecutter. He also writes for Sound&Vision magazine, HDGuru.com, and several others. He was Editor in Chief of Home Entertainment magazine and before that, Technical Editor of Home Theater magazine. He is NIST and ISF trained, and has a degree in Television/Radio from Ithaca College. His bestselling first novel, Undersea, is available in paperback and as an ebook on Amazon, B&N, and elsewhere.


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