There is no need introduction for Sony. Sony makes headphones for all types of people, all the way from casual listeners to audiophiles. So, you can get a decent and suitable headphone from Sony irrelevant to what your budget is. What if you are a no-budget audiophile? You want the best and all you care is about raw performance. If you are, Sony got you covered with its IER-M9 in-ear monitors. This headphone is priced at 1000$. So, you can already guess that this is not your regular pair of headphones. These are equipped with five drivers per earpiece which will elevate your listening experience. This is a high-end IEM from Sony and it is capable to compete with other dominating IEMs in the market. Everything about this IEM (In-ear monitor) are worth mentioning. So, let’s see what makes this headphone so great.
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The packing is premium, so unboxing it will give you a very pleasant feel. Inside the box, you will find accessories for the headphone itself and a lot of extra accessories which is great. The packaging includes 6 pairs of Triple Comfort ear tips and 7 pairs of Hybrid ear tips, a total of 13 pairs of ear tips to ensure the best fitting for every ear size. You will find a 3.4mm default cable and another 4.4mm cable which you can use to plug into higher quality audio sources. The packaging also includes a premium hard case to ensure the headphones full protection while carrying it.
Build and Design
The design of these headphones is very unique. The outer surface finishing is matte black which looks pretty dope. As it’s not glossy, no need to worry about it being a fingerprint magnet. There’s a glossy carbon finish for the faceplates which will catch your eyes instantly after taking a look at it. The chassis is made out of magnesium alloy which makes the earpieces very lightweight. Overall, the earpieces are very solid, scratchproof and light.
The IER-M9 features five balanced armature drivers per earpiece. The drivers are custom built and according to Sony, they used film capacitors instead of traditional capacitors which helps reducing distortion up to 90%.
The stock cables are premium. Both the 3.4mm and 4.4mm cables are built very well. These are silk braided and copper cables. The cables are very sturdy and won’t make any sort of microphonics while moving around which is an issue for a lot of headphones out there. The connectors are gold plated which is a neat touch. The connectors are also shielded with plastic so that the cable does not break from applying stress on it. Overall, these are one of the best quality stock cables around and you won’t need the necessity of using a third-party cable with it. The cables are matched with the overall aesthetics of the headphones.
The inner shape of the headphone is all-round which ensures a very comfortable fitting. It creates a decent seal and isolates noise very well.
It comes with two different stock tips; they are called Sony hybrid tips and Sony triple comfort tips. The hybrid tips ensure a deep fit which increases the overall clarity. The triple comfort is extremely comfortable and adds a bit more punch of bass. It’s made out of memory foam material. But trying out both of them is recommended to find the best fitting. These stock ear tips won’t make you feel the necessity of buying third party ear tips.
Overall, the shape, lightweight, ear tips and the cables will ensure you the best comfort. You can use these headphones for extended sessions without any issue.
The sound quality is the biggest highlight of IEMs. The Sony IER-M9 offers a W shaped sound signature. The lower end is very detailed. The lower frequency is distinctive from other frequencies and does not undertone any frequency. The presence of a strong punch of bass can be felt. The bass is very detailed and deep. The bass response is on point which makes fast-paced tracks enjoyable. It is a bit boosted which is enjoyable but it might be an issue for audiophiles who prefer a very neutral sound. It might be a bit heavy on the bass side but it does not get distorted. Overall, the lower end is extremely satisfactory and can be compared with the best headphones out in the market.
The evenly balanced presence of the mids is very satisfying. Vocals sound very smooth, pleasing, and natural. It makes acoustic guitar strumming sound more natural. You will be able to hear switching chords while listening to an acoustic guitar song. The mids are true neutral which also makes male and female vocals equally enjoyable. It can’t get any crisper and cleaner.
The highs are very moderate. It won’t overlap other frequencies even any instrument or vocal is hitting the highest notes. However, it will sound distinct. It does not sound harsh like treble aggressive headphones by any means, rather it is easy on ears. If you listen to something like “High Hopes” from Pink Floyd, the guitar solo part is performed with a slide and it hits very high notes. You can enjoy the sliding noise along with the high notes.
The sound stage is very wide, something you would expect out of a headphone priced this much but it’s not the widest around. But it is wide enough to create a virtual space in your head where you can separate every instrument and you won’t miss any detail of your favorite song.
You won’t be enjoying these headphones with your regular smartphones. These headphones are very power-hungry and to enjoy to the fullest, you need a high-quality DAC or DAP or better audio sources. FLAC audio formats are recommended.
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IEMs are supposed to resemble audio as it was recorded in the first place, very accurate. The Sony IER-M9 does a very good job with that though it might be a bit bass-heavy for a few people. Overall, these headphones are one of the best headphones out there and it’s worth it.