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Sony MDR-MV1 | First impressions
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Sony has released a new open back Studio Monitor headphones in their Pro line series, dubbed the Sony MDR-MV1. The headphone was primarily designed for creating spatial, stereo sound with a wide frequency range and soundstage feel. After spending a few days having a brief listen, here are some of my initial thoughts.

On first impressions, what really caught my attention was the soundstage and imaging; the MV1's soundstage is quite wide offering very nice layering and separation with plenty of air and extension. Its overall tuning is neutral/balanced with a much softer presentation, details are not as sparkly or as vivid as some other headphones can provide, however I see this kind of tuning advantageous to users in broadcasting or recording studios, needing to wear them for more than a full day’s work and won’t be fatigued by its sound.

Bass response is present, and it has some nice definition and resolution, but overall, it’s rather anemic, lacking some slam or rumble. I somewhat understand that they are going for a more open and natural tuning, but the bass could use some extra definition and weight to bring out punchier dynamics. The subbass region does go quite low when the recording demands it, but it overall lacks some rumble which open back planars can achieve. 

Mids are the main highlight of the MV-1, they take center stage by presenting a nice and airy tone, with vocals both male and female sounding very vivid yet quite smooth. The positioning of the mids is also very well judged, while vocals and instruments are slightly upfront, being open back headphone, it doesn’t sound congested or cramped in any way. It’s a great presentation for very long podcasts or broadcasting without any fatigue. 

Treble was interesting, I initially assumed the MV1 being marketed as a headphone for studio/broadcasting use, the treble will end up sounding bright and piercing, but to my surprise, it's smooth yet sparkly, you can hear most of the details and has great air and extension. Again, with its great open back design, there’s lots of air and clarity, making them quite enjoyable to listen to while still giving you the ability to pick apart details and hear its extension without fatigue.

If you want a warmer and fuller sound, consider pad swapping. The stock earpads are fine and relatively plush and doesn't seem to get warm quickly, but I find the material used (suede like) contributes to its thin signature. Swapping to the Class S Protein Leather pads we use on the ATH (they are compatible), the MV1 overall sounds fuller, with more added bass and weight to the low end and mids giving bass tracks some extra rumble and body to the vocals. The extra thick cushion on the Class S pads also give more space when wearing them, giving a touch more added width.

✒️ Author : Kah Hon | 📷 Photo : Kah Hon

More Stars Picker's In-House Review |

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◆ Carefully tuned open-back acoustic structure

◆ Specially developed HD driver units
◆ Studio monitor sound for mixing and mastering
◆ Stereo & spatial sound creation with High-Resolution Audio capability

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