Though we often associate accuracy with a hefty price tag attached, there are often products that stand toe-to-toe with their pricier rivals. Case in point: Yamaha’s HPH-MT8 headphones…
Price £170 (street)
Contact 0844 811 1116
Yamaha’s HPH range of headphones is ‘focused on delivering sonic accuracy’ and we looked at the entry-level HPH-MT5s from the range last month. Those are half the price of the top-end HPH-MT8s on test here and we thought they represented very good value for money, concluding “great sounding and lightweight headphones like this will fill you with joy and enthusiasm for long mixing sessions – a factor you should consider – but do go easy on the bass”.
Ironically, among the things you’re paying the extra for here, is an extended bass – the 8s go down to 15Hz, five less than the 5s. So while we thought the 5s were perhaps coloured for low-end liveliness, we’re hoping the 8s will deliver more naturally. Other enhancements include a larger driver to help deliver that bigger frequency response, and they also deliver a slightly better sensitivity and a lower impedance.
Feel-wise, they are a step up. Our only other criticism of the 5s was a slightly plastic feel, but there’s no such criticism here.
The 8s have a similar headband and ear enclosures, but the earpiece texture is of a better quality and feels just a little more comfortable. Closed-back headphones like these offer a good mix experience, partly by cutting out noise from the outside world and these do that well, although not significantly more than the 5s.
So far, so ‘not significantly better’ than the 5s, so the money must have been spent on the sound, right?
Well, you’ll be pleased to hear that the answer is ‘Yes’, but there is the usual caveat. The 5s do sound a little better in terms of a listening experience, because of the colouration we mentioned. The 8s, though, have it in the accuracy stakes. Again, with our standard test tracks – Talk Talk, The The and any other band with a repeated name – the 5s offered that pleasant vibe, while the 8s delivered the flatness.
It’s the latter you want of, course, in critical mix situations. The 8s offer enough detail for you to hear separation between bass and mid elements, while with cheaper ’phones, this can often get muddied. The 8s have it for mixing and were even up there with our £600 reference ’phones in terms of the detail – but we might just be tempted to get those 5s in for some easy listening.
Yamaha HPH-MT8 key features
- Closed-back headphones
- 3D arm-pivot construction
- 45mm CCAW dynamic voice-coil drivers
- Over-ear design for isolation
- SPL: 102dB/mW
- Imp: 37 ohms
- Max i/p power: 1600mW
- Frequency response: 15Hz-28kHz
- 1.2m coiled cable, 3m cable, 3.5mm plug, 6.3mm adaptor, carry case
- Weight: 350g