As a brand predominantly known for their high-end DJ equipment, this is an interesting release. With a good reputation for producing high-quality professional DJ equipment, they should have the ideal resources and knowledge to move into this area. However, studio buffs will remain sceptical, making the automatic assumption that these headphones will sound coloured. Is this fair though? With two new models, Pioneer clearly feel they have something to offer.
Adding to their existing HRM-7’s, Pioneer add two more models covering a wider price range for all budgets. This also shows their commitment to tackling the heavily critiqued studio market. Let’s be honest, there’s plenty of choice out there, so this is a bold move by Pioneer and they deserve to heard before we make assumptions. I look forward to hearing a pair and hope that this isn’t a marketing ploy to advertently raise the profile of their DJ equipment. I think this is a sign of the times too, which demonstrates Pioneer recognising their customer base who also require neutral monitoring whilst on the move.
Without hearing a pair, there can already be some important conclusions made. For example all these models feature replaceable parts and a choice of removable cables. There is the choice of a coiled or straight cable, which can be user-changed with of course an adapter from mini to 6.3mm stereo jack. There is a considerable effort gone into the comfort of these headphones, with an adjustable stainless steel headband and ear pads made from memory foam. I like the idea of the memory foam ear pads not only for comfort, but I suspect it will help with the isolation too.
There is some interesting design gone into the rear side of the driver’s movement with their own ‘bass reflex technology’. Whether this works or stacks up against the physics I’m not going to argue here, but it’s refreshing to see a manufacture attempt to deal with this known issue of closed-backed headphones. The specifications look impressive too, with 40mm drivers providing a frequency bandwidth of 5 Hz – 40kHz in the HRM-6’s, while the HRM-5’s offer 5 Hz – 30kHz. Impedance values for these headphones also place them above domestic headphones, and half-way towards what we might consider normal for most professional headphones. This should allow them to be versatile for use with both domestic and professional headphone amplifiers.
Prices for the HRM-5 and HRM-6 studio monitor headphones should be around 109 EUR and 169 EUR respectively, available from mid June 2016.
Here’s a YouTube video from Pioneer’s channel, about the official introduction: