The 7-mm Beryllium drivers do a standup job right here (frequency 20 Hz to twenty kHz), and Alex Grell has tuned them simply the correct facet of impartial. There’s one thing of the Goldilocks about them, with simply the correct quantity (and by that we imply a good and appreciated wallop of bass) of low finish, and sufficient within the higher registers to make all digital recordings shine. There aren’t any shocks in retailer for the listener, only a richly rewarding supply that’s indulgent and fulfilling.
A few of you may effectively be considering, “$400 for some good headphones … I count on nothing in need of sensible for that type of cash.” This can be a honest level. Certainly, there are better headphones for a lot less money, however Obschonka counters that headphones are a way of life merchandise as a lot as a tech merchandise today. In different phrases, purchase a Biro when you want a pen, select a Montblanc when you’re making an announcement.
Fairly surprisingly once more, given the excessive value level and typical hyperbole surrounding audio product launches, Alex Grell doesn’t think about the MTB 03 to be audiophile. “It’s a fantastic sounding profile,” he tells WIRED, “however it’s not made for the audiophiles. It’s made for individuals who need to have one thing to make them really feel good.”
He goes on to make clear that “not everybody’s listening to the very same music, and you can not produce headphones that everybody enjoys the identical manner. So we constructed headphones that we imagine our goal group will get pleasure from.”
He’s proper, in fact, and people of us within the audio recreation are sometimes far too fast to use that audiophile tag to all method of merchandise. The MTB 03 are a really wonderful pair of headphones, although, and sound beautiful no matter whether or not you’re blasting the Beastie Boys or binging on Bach—and they’ll virtually actually put a smile in your face whilst you pay attention.
I dislike companion headphone apps. They’re typically bloated, brand-recognition, price-tag-justifying, data-collection workouts with little benefit past providing firmware updates. That, or perhaps I simply don’t like having to get my cellphone out to alter the settings on my headphones.
That mentioned, the Montblanc Sound App is fairly, straightforward to navigate, and loaded with choices, together with a complete EQ with sound profiles for many genres, plus audiobooks and podcasts. Every profile may also be tweaked to fit your tastes, and you may as well create your personal customized profile.
Rumor has it that Montblanc could also be providing customized sound profiles by way of an app-based listening to take a look at quickly by means of one other firmware replace (hopefully after the one that may make ours work once more), however we’re unable to substantiate this proper now.
The app is complete and user-friendly, however we will’t assist feeling that tweaking Axel Grell’s sound profile selections is like telling 19-time Michelin Star–profitable chef Alain Ducasse which finish of the knife to carry. Sure, it’s good so as to add slightly additional hertz right here and there for that non-public contact, however having tried all of the presets with their respective genres, the default simply sounds higher. Bear in mind, nevertheless, the “audiobook/podcast” possibility needs to be ignored.
The Montblanc MTB 03 are high-class, premium-quality headphones. They’re unashamedly costly, and have been designed ground-up to enchantment to government business-class traveler sorts and the core Montblanc buyer base. On this, the corporate has succeeded.
They’re comfy to put on for lengthy intervals of time, they telegraph their exclusivity in a trendy, understated manner, and, most essential of all, they make music sound unbelievable.
But regardless of that premium value, they’re not the perfect. The ANC lacks the real-world muffling of the perfect in school, and it could be useful if our pattern weren’t dogged by dodgy chipsets. The WIRED rating right here would seemingly have been an 8, if the MTB 03 hadn’t damaged—twice.
Nonetheless, as soon as teething issues have been sorted, when you’re a loyal fan of the model and respect the exclusivity that the tiny white snowcap emblem represents, you received’t be disenchanted.