Premium ANC wireless headphones can be personalized for individual hearing
Canada's PSB Speakers has launched the next generation of its award-winning M4U 8 wireless ANC headphones that were introduced at CES 2018, coming with improved battery life, personalized audio and a feature that recreates the feel of a room.
The M4U 8 headphones that debuted in Las Vegas in January 2018 were billed as "a much-anticipated encore to the best-selling M4U 2 launched in 2012," and both included PSB's RoomFeel technology. This leverages the company's acoustic design expertise to add the kind of energy and clarity to headphone listening that you might experience from a perfect living room setup using high-quality loudspeakers. And the M4U 8 MkII headphones bring the latest iteration to the table for "a truly stunning musical experience."
The onboard all-digital Active Noise Cancellation is reported to use of four MEMS microphones to reduce processing errors in analog-to-digital conversion. PSB has opted to ditch the previous AAA-sized replaceable batteries for an internal rechargeable battery that's topped up over USB-C, which means up to 18 hours of listening with ANC engaged (compared to 15 hours for the previous generation), or 25 hours in Active mode (where the MkII's amplifier is powered on but ANC is off). A separate Passive mode offers users the option of bypassing the internal amp circuit altogether, or is ready to rock when the battery runs out of juice.
The closed-back headphones pair to an audio source such as a smartphone over Bluetooth with support for the aptX HD codec, which facilitates wireless playback of 24-bit high-resolution music. They feature Personal Sound by Audiodo too, a hearing calibration tool that's available in the PSB Headphones app which can cater the listening experience to each user's unique hearing profile. And if you want to cable your cans to the living room hi-fi system or computer, PSB offers two ways to connect – via 3.5-mm jack or USB-C.
"PSB entered the headphone category almost 10 years ago with the original M4U 2, showing the world that high-performance audio was possible in a noise canceling headphone at a time when it was one or the other – audio quality, or noise canceling performance," said PSB Headphone Product Manager, Matt Simmonds. "The M4U 8 MkII is now our 3rd generation of noise canceling headphones, appealing to the practical sensibilities of customers who want the best audio performance, but need wireless, feature-rich headphones for an on-the-go lifestyle. The M4U 8 MkII achieves the perfect balance."
The M4U 8 MkII ANC wireless headphones go up for pre-order from today for US$399, with shipping expected to start on November 10. That premium price tag makes them more expensive than Sony's excellent WH-1000XM4 cans and the QC45s from Bose, but not quite in the same price ballpark as Apple's AirPods Max.
Product page: M4U 8 MkII