Review: Pioneer SE-MJ591

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Pioneer | On-Ear Headphones | $299.00

Pioneer has been one of the brands that everyone seems to know about. However, not everyone has really taken the time to grab a pair of their headphones and take a long listen. The SE-MJ591 is Pioneer’s flagship on-ear model offering their top sound as well as an overall great build. The question becomes, however, is this flagship able to live up to its price.

Specifications

  • Driver: 40 mm Dynamic
  • Frequency Response: 5 Hz – 40 kHz
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 108 dB

In the Box

  • Pioneer SE-MJ591
  • 3.5 mm Cable
  • Carrying Case

Design

Unlike the STEEZ 808s I reviewed a while back, the MJ591s offer a design that is less flashy. Rather, they mature the design up a bit with a very beautiful and handsome design. The black color, better put absence of color, looks very beautiful with the silver accents that Pioneer placed on it. The cups are matted metal that give a gorgeous texture to the headphones while the Pioneer name reflects boldly in any light. Brushed metal headband gives the headphones another dimension as a whole.

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Design: ★★★★½

Audio

The Pioneer MJ591 offers an overall well-balanced sound that has a strong focus on instrumental clarity in the mid-to-upper ranges in the midrange. The highs can seem a bit subdued up top while the bass has a focus on the lower-octaves but is well controlled.

Like I just stated, the lows have a focus on, well the lower ranges of the bass. This leads to a sound that has a nice bit of impact behind it. Additionally, the low end is tuned to be able to deliver a boom when needed. Sub-bass is a little more relaxed, but the texturing is still rendered gorgeously. The mid-bass has a nice punch to it that is present, but not as tight or fast as it should be.

The midrange, as stated before, has a focus on the midrange instrumentals. That said, there is a strong bit of clarity to this range that rings off strongly. The lower-end detailing is still strong, but receded a bit compared to the rest of the midrange. Vocals have a strong sense of air and lift to them. The overall effect creates a strongly vocal that is a little hollow to it. There really is not lushness or depth to the voice.

In the high end, we find that the highs do extend pretty nicely. The lower treble is a little on the lighter side creating a sound that doesn’t snap as strongly as it should. Part of this is also due to the lack of extension up here. The upper treble brings a little more energy to the party, but only a little. They are well detailed with a good extension into the upper ranges. They, at times, can seem a little out of focus though.

Audio: ★★★★½

Build

The build of the MJ591 is definitely a huge jump in the right direction from the STEEZ that I last handled. They are built like a flagship. Included with these Pioneer headphones is a nice semi-hard case that will protect the headphones when they are in storage and not pumping beautiful music.

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As stated before, the housings are composed of a matted metal that not only gives the headphones a nice soft texture, but it is also very good at protecting the housings. Surrounding the housings is a dark silver accent that is made of plastic. This accent also serves as the fork that connects the housings to the headband. Even though it’s plastic, it still feels very firm in the hand.

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The headband is split into 3 parts, in a symmetrical fashion. The top of the headband is a leather-like material with a strong, but flexible interior skeleton. Coming out of each side is a strip of brushed metal encased in thicker plastic. With all that said, the headband is extremely strong and rigid.

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The cable that the MJ591 comes with is the same cable found on the STEEZ 808 with a few minor differences. The build, of the cable is the same. It’s got ample thickness to have a firm, strong feel to it while still being thin enough to be flexible. All this leads to a cable that feels great for portable use.

The headphone jack, however, is still a straight jack. Although I’d rather have an angled jack, this one is still very strong for being straight. There is a thick, rubber strain relief on each end of the cable that has strength and flexibility. The gold plating helps the headphone jack resist corrosion.

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Build: ★★★★½

Comfort

One thing that turned me away from the STEEZ 808 was the comfort of the hard pads. Fortunately, the pads on the MJ591 are thick, plush, and soft. These are definitely a huge step forward from the 808s. These pads, however, are a little small and could cause some discomfort with use. These headphones are very light and can be worn for quite a while once you are past the size of the headphone pads.

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Comfort: ★★★★½

Value

The SE-MJ591 come priced around 300 USD. This is actually a hefty price for an on-ear headphone. Overall though, the sound you get for the price is a little competitive, but not out of range. Is it going to be a steal? No, but is it well overpriced? No. The build actually feels great, as does the comfort, for the most part anyway. Overall, it’s a good value despite not being a complete steal.

Value: ★★★★½

Final Thoughts

Pioneer did great with their on-ear flagship model, the SE-MJ591. It’s a sleek design that is very grown up as opposed to being bright and flashy. The build is up to par with most flagships while the comfort is great despite being imperfect. They sound great overall and can be recommended if one is looking for an on-ear in this price range.

I’d like to thank Katherine for the product sample.

Overall Score

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Pioneer SE-MJ591

† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
This accessory, product, or app was received as a sample. Thanks Katherine for the product sample.
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