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Pioneer SE-MASTER1 Headphones Preview



  • Product Name: SE-MASTER1 headphones
  • Manufacturer: Pioneer
  • Review Date: November 27, 2015 17:00
  • MSRP: $2,500
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool

  • Type: Open-air dynamic (Closed-front, open-back)
  •  Cable: 3.0 m OFC litz wire
  •  Driver units: ø50 mm (neodymium magnet)
  • Plug: ø6.3 mm standard stereo plug (gold plated)
  • Sensitivity: 94 dB Weight 16.23 oz. (without cable, tension rod)
  • Frequency response: 5 Hz to 85,000 Hz
  • Accessories: Tension rod A: ø1.6 mm (product sold with rod A in place)
  •                     Tension rod B : ø2.0 mm
  • Maximum input power: 1,500 mW
  • Impedance: 45 Ω

We got a chance to try out the new SE-MASTER1 headphones this week at CEDIA from Pioneer. They sounded great, but with a $,2500 price tag they better sound amazing and cook you breakfast too! The reference-grade headphone is handmade from a single, certified craftsman. Over 100 individual processes are required to produce a single unit. The headphones revolve around newly developed 50mm driver units with a 25 µm aluminum diaphragm which is finished with a Parker Ceramic Coating (PCC).

“It is the first headphone in the world to receive the PCC treatment and the unit is capable of reproducing high-resolution audio of up to 85,000 Hz”

Pioneer Electronics

According to Pioneer the headphone drivers they use are so accurate that they are capable of frequency response out to 80kHz (4X the limits of human hearing) which is great for any audiophile pets around the home.

Originally developed for car speakers, the full basket system reduces resonance while delivering an energetic sound. The speaker unit is firmly secured using aluminum and the base is finished with ASA resin, which adds excellent weather resistance. The 3.5mm-thick aluminum alloy housing minimizes resonance from the driver units to produce an accurate sound with a clearly defined, tight bass and high-res mids and highs. In addition, rubber is inserted in the links between the base, housing and hanger parts to prevent vibrations and interference.This floating structure also improves separation between left and right to deliver an enhanced sound stage.

The robust cord uses a detachable MMCX type connector so you can replace the cord as needed. The cord is cloth-wrapped between the plug and the branch, and coated with lead-free PVC from the branch to the ear cup- to reduce touch noise, increase strength, and eliminate tangles.

One of the coolest things about the SE-MASTER1 is the fit. The SE-MASTER1s feature detachable lateral pressure rods, enabling you to choose your preferred headband tension. Simply change the tension rod to achieve strong or weak lateral pressure and enjoy superb sound isolation and comfortable wear over long periods. And the ear pads are superb! They feature Innovative three dimensional ear pads that adapt to fit your contours thanks to two thicknesses of memory foam- thin at the front and thick at the back. The ear cups are covered with a soft leather-type material for extra comfort. Each set of SE-MASTER1 is engraved with its own serial number, making it unique to you.

Again with a $2,500 price tag, the SE-MASTER1 headphones are ideal for discerning listeners and are more than suitable for recording, mixing and mastering in a professional studio environment.   We hope Pioneer will eventually take this technology down to more affordable price points so all audiophiles on more modest budgets can enjoy them too

To see some FULL headphone reviews from our staffers check out our headphone review section.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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Tony is our resident expert for lifestyle and wireless products including soundbars. He does most of the reviews for wireless and streaming loudspeakers and often compares soundbars in round ups and helps us cover the trade shows.

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