Music and personal audio equipment has been around for a long time, but there has never been a time when more individuals are listening to music through iPods, smartphones, tablets or even personal computers. Munitio, a relatively new player in the audio industry, hopes to cause a stir with its line of earphones as well as headphones that focus more on audio quality than mass marketing to sell its audio products. The Munitio NINES boasts to be a competitive player in an already saturated market, but will it be able to live up to expectations?
- Comes in 3 colors: Gold, Silver and Black
- 9mm speaker drivers with rare earth neodymium magnets
- Machined copper alloy housing, coated with titanium
- Bass Enhancing Chamber for better bass response
- Custom-tuned Sound Flow System for unparalleled mid to high frequency response
- Silicone Hollow Point Tips with sound insulating technology
- Kevlar reinforced fabric cable with built in microphone and volume controls
- 24k gold plated-plug
Design & Build Quality
The first thing that one will notice about the Munitio NINES is its unique design. Shaped like 9mm ammunition casings, it never ceases to draw attention and invoke double takes when worn in public. Surprisingly, the design of the NINES was not the first aspect that was penned during the development stage. Munitio products are “designed from the inside out”, placing emphasis on sound and build quality before aesthetics, and the NINES are no exception. The company wanted to employ a 9mm speaker drivers from the beginning, and later realized that they fit perfectly in a 9mm ammunition casing – so that was what they did.
Picking up the NINES, one word immediately comes to mind – quality. Unlike most earphones, the NINES employ a solid machined copper alloy housing which gives it its weight and a premium feel. According to Munitio, this also allows for natural noise cancellation!
The Munitio NINES ships with three pairs of Silicone Hollow Point replacement tips (for a total of four pairs) in Small, Medium and Large sizes. Also included with the NINES are two over the ear earhooks and a very nice dual magnetic snap nylon carrying case, which are able to house the earphones and the earhooks for easy portability.
The NINES is available in three colors – gold (similar to an actual ammunition casing), silver and black.
Before conducting this review, we conducted a brief out-of-the-box review and proceeded to allow the NINES approximately 100 hours of burn-in time before we stuck them in our ears again.
Out of the box, the first thing that stuck us was its bass. It is definitely present and pronounced, but definitely not overpowering or muddy. The mids sound slightly hollow and the highs are recessed, which gives the pair of headphones a warm overall sound signature. In layman terms, the NINES are slightly bass-heavy without compromising too much on clarity. After allowing them time to burn-in, we gave them another go. Truth be told, the sound signature remained highly similar to when we first listened to them. If we had to nit-pick, we would say that bass became weightier and less boomy before, if any.
Bass seems to be tight and controlled, with it being the overall dominant frequency but not by much. Listening to “Infinity 2008” by Guru Josh and “Internet Friends” by Knife Party, the bass does not fail to put a smile on the listener’s face.
Mids sound a little recessed, seems to be “lost” behind the bass. AC-DC’s “Highway to Hell” doesn’t have the usual “sparkle” in the intro section of the song, with the vocals as well as instruments muffled. Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff” suffers from the same fate, with the instruments notably lacking throughout the song.
Highs are slightly veiled, overall good but definitely does not sparkle. Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” seem tapered off on the higher frequencies. Norah Jones’ “Come Away With Me” on the NINES does not seem to fully re-produce her voice. It is hard to explain what it exactly is, but it does not sound as sharp or as defined as it could be.
One feature of the NINES that we really liked is the in-line microphone with music control (sadly, the three-button audio control only works with Apple devices, whereas Android users will be limited to a one-button functionality). This feature will ultimately appeal to a broader customer base as it adds functionality to the earphones. Our tests indicate that the microphone works well and is able to isolate most external noises, which makes for better and clearer phone or video calls.
Overall, we would say that these are a fun pair of earphones, with a V-shaped sound signature that tapers off on the treble/high end of the frequency spectrum. That said, we think that these headphones are better suited for a target demographic that listens more to pop than classical, although the NINES are perfectly up to the task of handling all genres of music pretty well.