PSB Speakers recently announced their first ever headphone. With its high-gloss headband and brushed aluminum accents, the M4U 2 is a full-featured, over-the-ear design, incorporating a built-in amplifier and active noise cancellation.
The PSB headphone runs on battery power, for reportedly up to 60 hours, yet for convenience it still works in passive mode without batteries or power. Other features of the M4U 2 are a tangle-free cord and gyro-suspended ear pads.
The M4U 2 incorporates a built-in amplifier with active noise cancellation. Each ear cup contains a 40mm driver with a neodymium magnet structure. Voiced for a flat response, the headphones were developed at NRC (The National Research Council of Canada) using the KEMAR dummy head testing system, with the addition of low frequency room gain that one would expect to hear with normal loudspeakers in a room. This is the same room gain compensation transfer function (+3 dB/octave boost from 200Hz down to 50Hz) that was developed in the ATHENA PROJECT at NRC.
A three-position switch allows the listener to use the M4U 2 in three modes:
1) Passively - useful when battery power runs out, the phones are still operational and the listener can still listen to their music.
2) With amplification.
3) With amplification and noise cancelling. In the noise cancelling position, there is up to 18dB of noise cancelation below 1000Hz. This is achieved by using 4 microphones (2 on each ear cup, one inside each ear pad, near the driver and one outside each ear pad).
The M4U 2 can be folded for easy storage and transport in a supplied zippered travel case. Included in the package is a cord with a monitor button to listen to the outside world when pushed, useful to momentarily listen to what someone is saying. A second cord is included with a microphone and button for doing hands-free phone calls with a smart phone and to pause the music or advance the music to the previous track or the next track. Also supplied are a 1/4 inch adaptor and a dual 1/8 inch airplane adaptor.
The PSB M4U 2 is $400 MSRP and will be shipping in January, 2012.