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great frequency response, good isolation, very comfortable.
$99▼ Article continues below ▼
We know budgets are tight, especially if you’re putting together your own home studio. That’s why we were excited to demo the new Yamaha HPH-MT5 studio monitor headphones. Studio monitors that clock in just shy of $100? Yes, please.
So, how do they sound? In a word: excellent. At this price point, you’re sometimes lucky to find any sort of monitoring options that don’t turn your mix to mud, but we found no such issues with these headphones. In fact, the accuracy of these cans during some sample tracking sessions with our DAW was really surprising. Bass was tight and not unwieldy, mids were relatively smooth and high-end reproduction was pretty convincing, we must admit.
We’ve tested out studio monitoring headphones that cost 2-5x as much, and honestly, while there is definitely a difference (especially in low-end bass reproduction and mid-range clarity), we couldn’t really find much to complain about for a $99 set of studio headphones. If this is the price point you’re at, you be pleasantly surprised with the isolation, comfort and sound reproduction they offer.
The main driver is 40mm (compared to the 45mm driver in the MT8s we’ll be testing next month), which is designed especially for mixing. So while you can also use these to double as your stereo headphones, we’d really recommend keeping them in the recording studio or on-stage for live monitoring applications (oh yeah, they work really well for live applications, too).
The Yamaha HPH-MT5 studio headphones include a handy carrying case, detachable straight cable, 1/4-inch adapter and offer flip-up ear cups for DJ-style monitoring. There’s not much more to say about these surprising headphones. Yamaha promised studio monitors that would actually help you identify problem areas of your mix, at a price point just about anyone can afford, and they delivered. Color us impressed.