PSB M4U 8 Headphones Review

0
Headphones on a bench with the user. {Tech} for Travel. https://techfortravel.wpengine.com
PSB M4U 8 Headphones // Image PSB.
ProsCons
✔️ Quick Bluetooth Connection✘ Bulky when folded
✔️ Effective Active Noise Cancelling✘ Notable hiss with ANC and no music
✔️ Easy to use controls✘ Earcups don’t swivel only pivot
✔️ Clear audio playback✘ Tight-fitting
✔️ Good build quality✘ Battery life

{Tech} for Travel Says….

A very good pair of wireless ANC Headphones in both build and audio playback. However, the battery life, and fit, might not appeal to the long-haul frequent traveller.

PSB M4U 8 Wireless ANC Headphones

As the flagship portable device from audio specialists PSB, the M4U 8 wireless ANC headphones look great on paper.

But how do they perform when you are on the move?
I replaced my usual choice for the PSB M4U 8 Headphones during a couple of trips to find out.

PSB Speakers M4U 8 Headphones with case. {Tech} for Travel. https://techfortravel.wpengine.com
Full-Sized M4U 8 Headphones with Bluetooth aptX // Image {Tech} for Travel.

Features

The superb Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) technology on the M4U 8 is their biggest selling point. In full ANC mode, they performed as you would expect from a high-end pair of headphones should when in-flight.

They even improved my 2 hours spent commuting on the London Underground most days.

You can choose from three settings; passive, powered and powered with ANC. If you’re low on battery power you might select the passive or powered modes, but to get the most from these you’ll want to stick with ANC.

⚬ Read More: Best Travel Gadgets for 2019

Immersive Sound Experience

How any pair of headphones perform will always depend on each different user and how they like to hear their music.

I prefer a bit more bass to my music than some, and the PSB M4U 8 certainly delivers in this area without diminishing on the treble.

The ANC made good use of the 4 microphones to neutralise external sounds. This was most evident whilst listening to podcasts.

Ease of Use

To operate the headphones there are 3 Slide switches on the right earcup. Although these might not be the most aesthetically pleasing compared to many others on the market, they are so simple to memorise and use!

PSB Speakers controls.  {Tech} for Travel. https://techfortravel.wpengine.com
Simple & easy to use controls // Image {Tech} for Travel.

I picked up the various control options quicker on the M4U 8s than any other headphones I have recently used. Both track selector and volume sliders action up/down and as a press button.

The earcups were slightly restrictive on my ears as they only tilted forward and back with no side movement. Another factor here could be due to the earcups being more oval in shape, rather than a more spacious round cup.

This on its own wouldn’t have been much cause for concern but the headband clamps so tightly on your head, that you’ll wish for that manoeuvrability from them during long periods of use.

For a short period of wear, they are ok. But, after a couple of hours, or whilst wearing sunglasses with them, they were starting to get slightly uncomfortable for me.

In the box accessories with the PSB Speakers M4U 8 Headphones. {Tech} for Travel.  https://techfortravel.wpengine.com
The M4U 8 Headphones Accessories // Image {Tech} for Travel.

With the exception of the tight fit, the build quality is high and looked after well, these headphones will last you for years. The folding joints felt robust and the gyro-suspended earcups strong.

Power for Travel

As I prefer to make full use of the headphones by only using ANC, I did notice I was getting through battery power fairly quickly. If you are only ever using these for a daily commute, or in passive mode, this might not be an issue.

But for travellers, ANC can be important and, along with good battery performance, a must-have. The M4U 8s ship with rechargeable and replaceable AA batteries.

⚬ Read More: Audio News on {Tech} for Travel

They charge over the included Micro-USB cable which took longer than normal using my travel adapter. It was even slower over USB from my laptop.

PSB M4U 8 ANC Headphones. {Tech} for Travel. https://techfortravel.wpengine.com
Exceptional build quality // Image {Tech} for Travel.

This could be due to how I travel and the tech I use for charging purposes, but they were slow to fully charge.

As an example, from flat, I left them on charge overnight for around 10 hours. The following day I managed only 5 hours in ANC (music/voice calls) before I lost power.

Luckily, PSB includes a 3.5mm audio cable should such an event happen. They have also placed an audio port on both earcups so you can have a wired option on whichever side you prefer.

For me, this is a good example of why these headphones rightly belong in the high-end bracket.

Thoughtful design resulting in a premium product!

PSB M4U 8 review. Foldable hinge on the PSB M4U 8 ANC Headphones. {Tech} for Travel. https://techfortravel.wpengine.com
Foldable hinges for easy storage // Image {Tech} for Travel.

Specifications

The review PSB M4U 8 I received, arrived as if I had brought them. It’s certainly an occasion when you open up the box for the first time.

PSB has ensured everything has a premium feel to it from the packaging through to the large amount of ‘in the box’ accessories the M4U 8s ship with.

  • Dimensions
    • Headphones – 200 x 200 x 70mm
    • Carry Case – 160 x 210 x 86mm
  • Weight – 342g
  • Technical Details
    • Power Max – 30mW
    • Transducer Type – Dynamic
    • Transducer Size – 40mm
    • Bluetooth aptX HD & NFC Connectivity
  • Colour Options – Jet Black only
  • Active Noise Cancelling Technology
  • Battery Performance – Up To 15 hours with ANC on (claimed)
  • In the Box
    • M4U 8 Headphones
    • Hard Shell Case
    • Airplane Adapter
    • 1/4″ Stereo Adapter
    • 3.5mm Audio Cable
    • Micro USB Charging Cable

How Much do the PSB Speakers M4U 8 Headphones Cost?

The PSB Speakers M4U 8 Headphones are £299 direct from PSB Speakers or your local Amazon Store.

For comparison, the current market-leading headphones, the Sony WH-1000XM3 are £272 and the travellers favourite Bose QC35 II are £259.

Do I think the M4U 8s justify the price tag?

Yes.

They are built incredibly well, come with plenty of useful accessories and do perform at a high-end level. They’re just not the most practical for travelling with.

PSB Speakers M4U 8 Headphones with travel box.  {Tech} for Travel. https://techfortravel.wpengine.com
M4U 8 Headphones with Hard Shell Case // Image PSB Speakers.

Final Thoughts…

Overall, I found the PSB M4U 8 to be a great pair of headphones. The audio playback is clear, sharp and with just the right amount of depth in how I like my music to sound. They also provided an enjoyable listening experience for those who consume a lot of podcasts.

Although most would not purchase them solely for this purpose, they are brilliant for conference/video calls. Both, for you, listening in and, thanks to the two hands-free microphones, talking into.

It’s been a week since I returned the review PSB M4U 8 headphones and went back to my daily Beats Studio3 Wireless pair. The difference in overall performance is notable and clearly demonstrates how good the M4U 8s are!

I just don’t feel that they’re made for travel or travellers! After having the chance to review the PSB M4U 8, would I use them for my next long-haul flight? Sadly not.

But, if you brought them for the home or office, you will be more than happy with your purchase for years to come.

Leave a Reply