Review: Yamaha HPH-MT8

Review: Yamaha HPH-MT8

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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 neutralhighly 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

Pros

Cons

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.

5/5
5/5

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.

4/5
4/5

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.

5/5
5/5

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.

4.7/5
4.7/5

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.

Pros

Cons

10 comments

Hi, Chris. It’s quite difficult to give you a straightforward answer to your question. The Jazz genre, as a whole, features a variety of subgenres such as Blues, Swing, Bebop, Dixieland, Jazz Fusion, and Free Jazz. A unique set of characteristics defines each; therefore, you’ll rarely find a pair of headphones for Jazz that will meet all criteria for all Jazz subgenres.

However, since all Jazz types are generally complex and feature plenty of musical elements, syncopation, and improvisation parts, most high-fidelity headphones with a great mid-range reproduction, spacious soundstage, fast dynamics, proper articulation, and separation of the instruments are fantastic for Jazz.

Because there are better headphones to listen to Jazz at home (for personal use), I suggest you look at Grado SR80i, Sennheiser HD 598, Sennheiser HD 660S, and Meze 99 Classics. Otherwise, if your headphones’ purpose is more professional-oriented, Yamaha HPH-MT8 should do just fine. AKG K701 is also excellent in the studio if you want great performance for the price. Despite the low rating on Amazon, AKG K551 makes a good closed-back headphone alternative; Jazz enthusiasts will surely be happy with this model.

Hello! Very thanks for answer! I have the opportunity buy this headphones in ocasional price. I will use only in home to the recreation. No in studio. Is it worth it? I prefer simple appearance of headpones, no like AKG K712. Or maybe Sony MDR 1AM2?

I don’t have any experience with Sony MDR 1AM2; therefore, I cannot comment on it.

Regarding Yamaha HPH-MT8’s design, is it the enclosure that you like or the modest appearance? If both, then HPH-MT8 is probably the best choice for the price and your purpose. Suppose you want something cheaper and are willing to sacrifice a bit of sound quality. In that case, Sennheiser HD 4.50 or 4.40 should meet your requirements: modest, closed-back enclosure, but certainly not as beautifully sounding and natural as the Yamaha HPH MT8 headphones.

For home use, Yamaha HPH-MT8 is a convenient headphone that doesn’t require additional power to get the most out of it, but if you have a decent headphones amplifier (something in the $100 range would work like Schiit Magni or FiiO K3), then you can also consider Beyerdynamic DT-770 250-Ohms. It’s closed-back, relatively simple, and does wonders in the studio. Also, the sound quality is top-notch. If you don’t care about your headphones being closed-back and your budget allows it, go for Sennheiser HD 660S. It won’t disappoint.

You are very helpful! I have chance to buy HPH MT8 for 147 euro. Pads in this headphones is are comfortable? I won’t regret the money? Soundstage is very wide? I like clear and neutral sound, jazz it requires it. I don’t like german products.

There are many other headphones more comfortable than Yamaha HPH-MT8, although they’re comfortable enough to wear for a few hours on end without inconvenience; the headphones are also not the lightest, but given your strict requirements, there aren’t many options available. Your best bet would be to try the headphones in a physical store and see for yourself. You could also give Audio-Technica’s ATH-M50X a try.

As for the soundstage, based on your needs, you would be better off with open-back headphones, but for a pair of closed-back headphones, HPH MT8’s soundstage is above average/decent and should suffice your needs.

Hi! Once again very thanks for Your answers, You are the audio expert. I buy HPH MT8. What amp I must have for Yamaha headphones?

If your computer has a decent sound card, you could go without an amplifier. However, if you want to use a portable audio player with lower voltage output, you can look into a portable headphone amplifier such as FiiO A1, FiiO BTR5, or iFi Hip-DAC. For high-res FLAC audio files, you will also need a digital-to-analog audio converter like iFi Hip-dac.

Hi! I don’t have any amp. I am interested Topping NX3 and Audiotrak Prodigy Cube. What You think on this devices? I want buy amp/dac in one.

I got a pair of these in October 2018 after much research on the internet to get a pair of good headphones, looking the part with good quality cushion cover, preferably leather and being within my budget. I must say these Yamaha ticked all the boxes for me and I am still very pleased with them. However, I have recently noticed that what was advertised on many reviews as being genuine leather is now showing signs of peeling away in several places. This is rather disappointing and likely to deteriorate pretty fast now. Has anyone experienced this issue and if so any suggestion on where to get replacements in genuine leather? Thanks

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