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Being the flagship studio headphone of the MT series, Yamaha HPH-MT8 has been engineered from a technological and design perspective to deliver the most accurate sound by reducing unwanted resonance. The professional studio headphones have an accurate sound with linear frequency response, high resolution, and extremely faithful reproduction of most musical genres throughout the operating frequency range.
If you had enough of the low-end studio headphones and are confident in starting a career as a music maker and fancy some high-end professional headphones, today’s subject might be your perfect option. Yamaha HPH-MT8 is the flagship monitor headphone among the MT series. It’s a highly favored professional studio headset for audio engineering with a neutral, highly balanced sound.
We’re confident in this product, mainly because Yamaha is a long-lived Japanese corporation founded in 1887, a brand of high caliber vastly known for multiple other high-quality instruments, being a manufacturer people rarely complain. However, as with every product, it has its ups and downs, which is why Yamaha HPH-MT8 requires a review.
Yamaha HPH-MT8 High-End Monitor Headphones Review
Type: Over-ear Professional Studio Headphones | Drivers: Dynamic CCAW voice coil driver | Drivers-Size: 45 mm | Impedance: 37 Ohms | Frequency Response: 15 Hz – 28,000 Hz | Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 102 dB / mW | Maximum input level: 1600 mW | | Weight: 350g
The Yamaha HPH-MT8 is a closed-back professional studio headphone designed for various studio applications such as monitoring, mixing, mastering and other professional sound work. For casual listening at home, they are also quite suitable. The professional monitor headphones look quite modern thanks to their sleek and silver-black color. The low-profile enclosure design and other ergonomic elements improve the headphones’ sound quality as much as the listening experience for long periods of time.
Yamaha HPH-MT8 monitor headphones come with two detachable single-ended cables, one twisted and one straight. The cables have different lengths and are equipped with 3.5mm plugs. An adapter for a normal jack and a carrying case are included. A nice touch is added to the case as it is made of leather and has a nice Yamaha logo on one side.
The package of Yamaha HPH-MT8 is almost similar to the other headphones of the series (HPH-MT7/HPH-MT7W HPH-MT5/HPH-MT5W). The only difference is that here you get two cables: 1.2 m twisted cable and 3 m straight cable. The cables are detachable and look reliable. Each of them has a 3.5 mm mini-jack with a thread at the end, to which the supplied 6.3 mm adapter is screwed.
The Yamaha HPH-MT8 headphones have a classic design with quality features such as genuine leather ear cushions. Despite this, in general, the headphones have a neat and straightforward aspect very reminiscent of Yamaha’s style. The silver-colored metal caps only slightly brighten up the modern appearance.
The headband has a soft, thick cushion at the bottom of the headband. The material is leather. The headband is comfortable and does not pinch anywhere. On the top of the headband is a logo “Yamaha.” embedded discreetly, without underlining. The headband size is adjustable via a sliding mechanism in steps, a mechanism similar to that of the MT220 model.
The ear cups are foldable, rotate 90 degrees, and have a rounded shape, but the cushions’ surface is oval. In the horizontal plane, the ear cups cannot rotate 90 degrees like in a portable headset. However, these headphones are comfortable to use when monitoring with one ear, which is even more practical for music producers.
The ear cushions are comfortable with an average depth. The pads aren’t the most generous here. If you have a bigger head, your ears might press against the inside of the earcups. In any other case, the fit is suitable and comfortable. Additionally, the manufacturing quality is fantastic and can be considered exemplary. The headphones are not light, but thanks to excellent ergonomics, they won’t bother you.
Regarding the sound profile of Yamaha MT8, the drivers’ technical characteristics are almost the ones of the discontinued MT220. To describe the sound of the MT8s, I will start by describing the tonal balance of the MT220s, their predecessor. The 220s don’t have quite a smooth frequency response, but they have good bass, and they go down deep enough, the lower middle is thick, sometimes on the verge of being noisy, juicy middle and crystal clear, extended and sparkling upper frequencies (everything above 12 kHz). Everything creates a very pleasant sound, albeit colored.
Unlike MT220, the MT8 has a slightly different pitch. It is more even, less emotional, but not dry. These headphones are not prone to sibilance. This may have been done for comfort’s sake, yet Yamaha MT8’s detail in the upper frequencies is inferior to that of the MT220. With the MT220, the upper frequencies feature a nice noble surrounding sound, bringing more detail than the M8.
The MT8’s sound stage is very wide, just like the M220’s. The depth of the scene in MT8 is more pleasant than in MT220. The sound does not tire you out, does not overload with sibilants or details in the treble; therefore, you can listen to it for hours.
All in all, the MT220 were very good headphones; the MT8 is also incredibly good studio headphones. They are different, more unique, so it’s hard to say that the MT8 headphones are better. Nevertheless, with an MSRP of $329, Yamaha’s competitive studio headphone turned out to be a challenge for other monitor headphones. It can even rival the popular Audio-Technica ATH-M50X in sound quality.
The HPH-MT8 is by no means the best studio headphone for monitoring, but it still offers excellent sound quality. It is compact, robust and can accommodate multiple cables. Other headphones in the same category, such as the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro, are preferred for their superior sound stage and more accurate sound reproduction. The Yamaha HPH-MT8 might not be the lightest headphones either, but if you’re a Yamaha enthusiast, or have a budget under $150, you won’t have any problem making a good use of the MT8.