In this review we take a look at the fabulous MP1 Mixphones, a large, interesting looking set of ‘phones that we rather like…
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Avantone’s MP1s will certainly grab you with their looks, but what they boast is even more interesting. They are designed as ‘the first ever multiple-use headphone, suitable for use in the live sound, DJ, studio recording, mixing playback and listening applications’, and then there’s a three-way switching mode that allows you to switch between mono, stereo and an enhanced midrange playback designed for Avantone’s MixCubes, the company’s studio monitors.
The idea is that you mix on the monitors and what you hear on the cans should be an accurate representation – a great idea, but one we didn’t test, as we don’t have a set of the monitors in our test studio.
Their look is quite ‘Marmite’ and while we don’t ever advocate buying (or not buying) headphones on what they look like, these will certainly turn heads, and not always for the right reasons. They are big, distinct and do look a little ‘1950s’, but are probably the coolest thing in London’s Shoreditch right now (but won’t be tomorrow).
More important is the comfort. These aren’t the lightest ’phones around and they don’t exactly become transparent when you wear them. Put them down on around your neck between listening sessions and they do hinder your head movement a little, as they get trapped in your neck.
If this all sounds a little critical so far, it almost all sweeps away when you play music through them. The isolation is particularly good – the weight of the cans helps here – and you are totally immersed in your sound. The extra-wide frequency response helps deliver everything you could wish for from non-coloured but tight bass, right through a flat response up to some particularly shimmering highs.
The closed-back nature doesn’t deliver quite as wide a response as we get from our reference cans, but it’s pretty close and they do cost seven times the cash. What’s important is that you can mix so well on MP1s – thank the lord, given their name – that everything else, even the slight comfort issues, takes a back seat.
Avantone Pro MP1 Mixphones – Key Features
● Frequency response: 18Hz to 25kHz
● Driver size: 50mm large format
● Rated power: 15mW
● Maximum power: 30mW
● SPL: 113dB IEC-318@1mW, 1kHz
● Impedance: 16ohm +/-2.4 (15%)
● Cables: 1 x 3m, 1 x spring collapsible
● Weight: 550g