According to the survey undertaken by The NPD Group, we are able to see that in recent years, the percent of individuals listening to music via dedicated media players such as Apple’s iPod, SanDisk’s Sansa and Microsoft’s Zune have been gradually decreasing. That said, we can also see from the same survey that the percentage of individuals who listen to music via smartphones have been on the rise. That said, earphones as well as headphones are becoming increasingly important as they become an indispensable companion to our ever indispensable gadgets. The Munitio claims that the Munitio Pro40 will bring something new to the audio industry, promising a balance between audio clarity and the ever increasingly sought after “bass” that the younger generations yearn for. But, can they really pull it off?
- CODA AXIS – The Pro40 has been engineered for comfort and performance. CODA AXIS in-line gimbal technology provides each earcup a full range of motion to maximize comfort without disturbing the speaker drivers.
- TITANUM DRIVERS – A more previse and detailed sound experience throughout the entire frequency range is delivered by the high-efficiency, low-distortion 40mm titanium coasted dynamic drivers.
- DURABLE CONSTRUCTION – High-density polymer and aluminum construction will sustain heavy use in any environment.
- EXTENDED-WEAR EAR PADS – Ultra-soft, lightweight protein leather over-ear pad cushions, allow for longer and more enjoyable listening sessions with maximum isolation.
- PORTABLE PROTECTION – Premium molded nylon hard shell case with attachment D-ring and carabiner, for maximum protection during transport.
- GOLD-PLATED AUDIO CABLE – 24K gold plated removable cable fulfills a range of needs. Command your playlist with MUNITIO 3-button [M]ic Contol for audio mobility.
Design & Build Quality
Similar to the Munitio NINES, the Pro40 comes in three distinct colors: SLV (Silver), BLK (Black) and GLD (Gold). The unit that we received is the BLK unit coupled with matte black lettering on the device itself .We can’t help but enjoy the stealthy understated look that it portrays.
Picking up the Munitio Pro40, we are greeted with a sense of quality. The unit itself is weighted well but not to the point of being overly heavy, with the bulk of the mass originating from both drivers.
The band is fairly elastic and we are confident that it is a one-size-fits-all design, providing good clamp force to ensure that they do not fall off the cranium when it is tilted forward or backward. Overall comfort could also be attributed to the earcups themselves, which extend height-wise and are leather wrapped protein pieces (as opposed to the more conventional fabric covered foam pieces). They are easy on the ears and coupled with the CODA AXIS feature where the drivers are affixed with a gimbal like mount makes the Pro40 highly versatile and comfortable enough for extended wear.
Before we get into our actual review, we allowed the Pro40s to complete a 100-hour burn in period. What this means is that we hooked the headphones up to an audio source that plays various genres of music as well as sound files with varying frequencies – on paper, proponents say that this causes the drivers to ‘loosen’ up and become more flexible, thus altering sound quality much akin to the break in period of an automobile.
The Munitio Pro40 tout acoustic purity while also promising clear and expressive bass. Based on our experience, this is a fairly difficult line to balance. Most headphones either have too much bass and hollowed out trebles or are simply muddled on both highs and lows, and every possible combination in between. As this pair of headphones will almost always be used exclusively with portable media devices such as mobile phones and tablets that come with built-in amplifiers, we thought that it would be best to conduct our tests without a dedicated desktop headphone amplifier to better mimic real-world experiences.
- Bad by David Guetta ft. Showtek
- Tremor (Original Mix) by Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike
Both test tracks selected for our bass shakedown are relatively new tracks of the electro house genre. They have fast tempos and most headphones struggle to keep up with the quick beat changes, especially in the lower end of the frequency spectrum. Some headphones are geared more towards vocals, therefore favoring mids and highs while not emphasizing on bass whereas some tend to focus purely on bass and over emphasizes it. We are happy to report that bass comes off as tight and punchy, with no hints of it being boomy or hollow in either test tracks.
- I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing by Aerosmith
- Sugar by Maroon 5
As expected from a pair of headphones with a fun (read: V or U-shaped sound signature), mids tend to be slightly laid-back, lacking the forwardness of say, Sennheiser’s HD600 & HD650 twins. Steve Tyler’s voice from I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing sounded slightly veiled and the coarseness of his voice was unable to be heard through the Pro40. Adam Levine’s voice in Sugar sounded slightly better but it still seemed veiled. Perhaps it is simply the nature of his voice that made the song seem brighter, but ultimately lacks brightness overall.
- Celine Dion – All By Myself
- Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You
Again, with a pair of fun sounding headphones, we should not really expect crisp highs due to the nature of its sound signature. This could be said for the Pro40, however, highs can be described as energetic with Celine Dion’s voice coming across as gentle. The same effect could be applied to Whitney Houston. Somehow, it just seems to be slightly veiled. Highs simply does not seem as sharp or as crisp as we would expect from these two singers.
The Munitio Pro40 does have one trick up its sleeves that many products from its rivals Skullcandy or even Sennheiser does not incorporate – a built in in-line microphone.
We believe that with the addition of just this little gem that this pair of headphones will appeal to a much larger customer base, as individuals will no longer have to choose between the acoustic purity of the Pro40 and the convenience of stock earbuds that ships with most mobile phones. Based on our tests, we have found that the microphone on the Pro40 does an excellent job of isolating ambience noises. This led to clear and crisp calls through both standard voice calls as well as through VoIP services such as Skype and Viber. We also liked the fact that we could control the volume of our Apple devices through the buttons on the microphone unit, however, we wish that this functionality could be extended to Android devices as well.
With a retail price of $349.00, the Munitio Pro40 are priced in-line with some of the market’s more recognized names such as Sennheiser and Beats by Dr. Dre. That said, Munitio with its all-rounded Pro40 headphones will definitely have a tough time swaying people who prefer Sennheiser’s legendary audio quality or fans of Beats by Dr. Dre that enjoy its brand recognition and the fun, warm sound signature. It is not impossible, and with its line of products such as the previously reviewed NINEs and the Pro40 that give a good compromise [of both Sennheiser and Beats by Dr. Dre], we are confident that that will be able to tip all those who are on the fence.