In this review we take a look at Pioneer’s HRM-7 headphones, could these be a great new addition to your studio arsenal?
Price £165 (street £149)
Contact 0208 836 3500
We looked at Pioneer’s new studio monitors recently , and they point to an exciting time for studio equipment for the company. Announced at the same time as those were these, the HRM-7 headphones offering ‘clean sound reproduction and ultimate comfort for producers’.
Spec-wise, these are impressive cans, with a frequency response from 5 to 40kHz. Well outside the human hearing range, you might think, but more people will tell you that frequencies up to 40kHz (some would even argue 80kHz) impact on those below, offering a very different listening experience. Whatever you believe, we’ll go with ‘the higher the better’.
Comfort-wise, these headphones are a step up, too. There’s no messing with headstrap adjustments – the elastic nature of the inner band means it simply adjusts to your head – and the cans are light enough to become fairly transparent in operation.
The ear enclosures are large enough to offer decent isolation – we felt far enough removed from the outside world – and, again, their level of comfort is good, thanks to their size. They don’t crush your lobes, surrounding them instead. The memory-foam pads also help you hear, moulding well to your ear shape.
Sound-wise, we must say that those audiophiles who back the wider range are correct. Compared to our reference headphones, the difference is clear. The highs on these shine through, but with that comes some trouble. We’ve had the good fortune to test Blue’s latest headphones of late and, of course, have our reference phones also for this test.
While these Pioneers undoubtedly give you a better overall picture of your mix, we’re not entirely convinced you’ll want to mix on them for too long. The highs are just that bit too cutting.
With headphones, it’s a balancing act. As with monitors, you want them to be as accurate as possible and as such, these phones will be good for critical listening. But this accuracy might give you fatigue over long periods – especially with the music so close to your ears.
Use with caution, though, and they could open up parts of your mix that others simply don’t reach.
● Fully enclosed dynamic stereo headphones
● 40mm dynamic driver
● Cords: 1.2m curled cable, 3.0m straight
● Output SPL: 97dB
● Imp: 45 ohms
● Accessories: 6.3mm adaptor, replacement velour ear pads
● Frequency response: 5 Hz to 40kHz
● Weight: 330g