What to get, PSB M4U 1 vs. the Bowers and Wilkins P7 or SoundMagic HP 150? - AVS Forum
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
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What to get, PSB M4U 1 vs. the Bowers and Wilkins P7 or SoundMagic HP 150?

These are my top three picks in what to get.

I've read that the P7 has better "instrument separation", and is more dynamic, but that could just be a few peoples' opinions, would like to see what a few others think.

The P7 has better sensitivity (111 db vs. 102 for the PSB), so it will need less to be louder.

It requires even less to drive it, 22 ohm impedance vs. 32 for the PSB.

PSB gives you more value with an extra set of ear pads, and more convenience with the headphone jack going on either L or R earpiece.

The PSB doesn't have proprietary cables, while the P7 has proprietary ones, and is less convenient to get to because you have to take the ear cup off.

What should I get?

Given that I'll mainly be using them with high quality mp3s and AAC (but not lossless files), will I notice a difference vs. my previous Sony MDR-V6? I liked the MDR-V6, and how that sounded better than basic headphones. I just hope that whatever I get next sounds better than that, since I'm spending more. I'm not using lossless files because I'm using two different portable audio players (iPod Video; Fuze+) with different lossless formats, and I want to keep one library. Plus I wouldn't have the space for lossless.

I do occasionally like to listen to music through my computer's CD player, but due to time, not very often.

I might get a portable amp at some point, but who knows, so don't consider it for now.

I'm also considering the SoundMagic HP150, but kind of have my heart set on the first two right now.
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Old 08-08-2014, 03:18 PM
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HP150!

Oh, wait a minute. . . . I already told you that in another venue

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Old 08-08-2014, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post
HP150!

Oh, wait a minute. . . . I already told you that in another venue
Nice to see you here too.

I just remembered I was also registered here, thought I'd give it a shot. I first registered here when I got a plasma TV in 2008.

Nice avatar you have on here.
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:39 PM
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That's Sony's Internet April Fool's joke about headphone for animals.

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Old 08-16-2014, 10:37 PM
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I have no experience with the last 2 but I did compare PSB M4U 1 and Sony MDR-V6. PSB are definitely better than Sony MDR-V6. Sound is much fuller and to me V6 were little bright. PSB have a great sound. Having said that, I ended up returning them as they are very uncomfortable to wear for long period of times. Their design is such that the headphones squeeze your head and after 30 to 40 minutes they become uncomfortable so although they sounded exceptional, they didn't work for me. YMMV
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nonstopdoc1 View Post
I have no experience with the last 2 but I did compare PSB M4U 1 and Sony MDR-V6. PSB are definitely better than Sony MDR-V6. Sound is much fuller and to me V6 were little bright. PSB have a great sound. Having said that, I ended up returning them as they are very uncomfortable to wear for long period of times. Their design is such that the headphones squeeze your head and after 30 to 40 minutes they become uncomfortable so although they sounded exceptional, they didn't work for me. YMMV
Thanks!
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Thoughts so far:



1. Tool - Stinkfist: The SoundMagic and Bowers sounded the best for this. I liked how the bass sounded with the SoundMagic.

Also listened to the beginning of 46 & 2, and the light cymbal during -5:00 remaining sounded the most fun with the Bowers.

2. Metallica - Trapped Under Ice: All 3 sounded good and similar.

3. Metallica - Holier Than Thou: All 3 sounded good, but the SoundMagic seemed to pick up on a background hiss throughout the song the most, and it slightly annoyed me.

4. Metallica - Until It Sleeps: The PSB and Bowers sounded the best.

5. Soundgarden - Limo Wreck: This is the first song that each headphone had a distinct experience.

The SoundMagic was fun, but perhaps a little too dark/bass?

The PSB was brighter.

The Bowers sounded the funnest.


Other thoughts:

* The SoundMagic are super comfortable. I wish every headphone was as comfortable as these, there's the most comfortable full size headphones I've worn.

* I feel that the PSB presses against the head the most. And I'm constantly afraid that I'm going to break the plastic part of the headphones.

At times, these also feel like they're not as full as the Bowers. Could be my preference.

* None of these headphones fold as easily as my existing Sony MDR-V6. I loved how those folded.

* So far, I don't think there's a song I haven't liked with the Bowers, but I have many more to try.
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Old 08-24-2014, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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6. Nine Inch Nails - Ruiner. It wasn't until I listened to this with all 3 headphones that I realized how difficult the vocals at -4:26 remaining sounded, on all 3. I didn't like the bass solo as much during the -2:00 on the PSB.

7. A Perfect Circle - Orestes. I liked the sound on the Bowers and SoundMagic. It wasn't as special on the PSB.

8. A Perfect Circle - Brena. It wasn't as special on the PSB. The SoundMagic might have been the most fun with this.

9. Smashing Pumpkins - Adore. On the PSB, the beat sounded a little too dry. All 3 headphones brought more life into this song. This song definitely doesn't sound as good on the radio. I liked the sound the best on the SoundMagic and Bowers.

10. Pearl Jam - Black. This sounded great on the SoundMagic and Bowers. On the PSB, this started out fun but became less so after a few minutes.

11. Foo Fighters - Everlong. This sounded good on the SoundMagic and Bowers. On the PSB, the vocals sounded a little far away.

12. Godsmack - Whatever. This sounded great on all 3. I changed the cable on the PSB from the one with the iPhone volume control, to the plain cable. I thought the plain cable sounded better.

13. Korn - Freak On A Leash. Sounded great on all 3. The "something takes a part of me" right before the gibberish had good vocal detail on all 3.

14. Metallica - Of Wolf And Man. Sounded great on all 3.

15. Metallica - One. Sounded great on all 3.

16. Deftones - Digital Bath. Sounded great on all 3.


Summary so far:

SoundMagic HP 150: Very comfortable, sounds great. Only two tracks that I didn't like it as much (Metallica - Until It Sleeps; Soundgarden - Limo Wreck).

PSB M4U 1: Don't like the plastic, makes me nervous. After changing the cable, sounds a lot better. A few songs make the vocals seem too distant.

Bowers and Wilkins P7: Every song so far sounds great, no trouble spots detected.
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Old 08-24-2014, 06:31 PM
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Now you know why I recommended the HP150. Pretty impressive that they compare favorably with the B&W P7, but only cost half as much.

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Old 08-25-2014, 03:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post
Now you know why I recommended the HP150. Pretty impressive that they compare favorably with the B&W P7, but only cost half as much.
I think I'm going to re-listen to the two tracks I said I didn't like as much with the HP150, too. Or at least one of those.

After listening to many tracks, and either not finding it too different from the P7, or finding it equally as enjoyable as the P7, I'm wondering if the differences on those 1-2 tracks were as much as I said they were, last week.

And I really love the comfort of the HP150.
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Old 09-10-2014, 02:19 AM - Thread Starter
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17. Soundgarden - The Day I Tried To Live: Not much difference, surprisingly. Perhaps the PSBs had a slight edge on these, but was happy with all 3.

Also, I listened to Soundgarden's "Limo Wreck" again with the Bowers and SoundMagic. I do think the Bowers high sounds linger just a bit more, such as at the 0:55 mark into the track.


18. A Perfect Circle - Judith: PSBs had the best drum attack at the beginning of the song. All sounded good.




19. Nightwish - The Poet and the Pendulum (YouTube): Don't think I had much of a preference between the headphones. this track was a lot to take in, especially for my first times hearing it.

20. Nightwish - Wishmaster (YouTube): Perhaps a slight preference to the PSBs on both tracks.

21. Heart - Mistral Wind: All sounded good, no preference.

22. Temple Of The Dog - Call Me A Dog: All sounded good, slight preference to PSBs for vocals.

23. Nightwish - Wishmaster (flac) - All sounded good, slight preference to PSB.

24. Nightwish - FantasMic (flac) - Slight preference to PSB.

After that, have to listen very carefully but PRAT from -4:17 to -4:00, especially from -4:10 to -4:05 is a little better on Bowers than SoundMagic.

25. Nightwish - The Poet And The Pendulum (flac), 4:00 - 5:10 - Still couldn't hear the background vocal at 4:30.

I did hear breaths though at 4:27, 4:35. High notes at 4:51, 4:55, 5:03 to 5:05 sound best on PSB, then Bowers. Plain on SoundMagic.

26. Alice In Chains - Swing On This - Slight preference to PSB, but all great.

27. Cake - Frank Sinatra - Slight preference to PSB, but all great.

28. Pink Floyd - Waiting For The Worms - All were great but the last 0:06 is slightly better on Bowers than SoundMagic.

Last edited by nuraman00; 09-10-2014 at 02:23 AM.
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Old 09-10-2014, 03:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Final summary:


SoundMagic: Out of the 25 tracks, only had a slight preference to Bowers on 5, and PSB on 9 (some overlapping with Bowers). I had to listen very carefully though.

Other than that, very enjoyable. Very comfortable, I'd give it a 10/10 on comfort.

Not as good at higher attacks or vocals as the other two, but have to listen carefully.

PSB: After changing the cable, really liked the sound. Best at high attacks and vocals.

Don't like the plastic headband though, and comfort is least preferable.

There were 7 tracks that I didn't like the PSB as much, but that was before changing the cable. I think if I re-listened to those, I'd like the PSB as much.

Bowers and Wilkins: Not as good at higher attacks or vocals PSB, but has slightly better range than SoundMagic. And is still comfortable, I'd give it a 9.

Didn't have a preference between headphones on 9 tracks.




Any one of these would be enjoyable.


Decision:


Going with the Bowers and Wilkins, but would have been happy with the sound quality of the SoundMagic.

If the PSB had changed their design, it would be close, might have picked them.
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