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PSB M4U 1

Around-the-ear headphones (Red)

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  • PSB M4U 1

    Front

  • PSB M4U 1

    Bottom view

  • PSB M4U 1

    Cable plugs into either earcup

  • PSB M4U 1

    Side view

Item #: 760M4U1R
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the PSB M4U 1

by David Brown
PSB

Wish you could take your PSB speakers everywhere?

PSB M4U 1 headphones

The PSB M4U 1 headphones offer detailed sound and long-lasting comfort in a portable design. (Red model shown)

Long revered for their musical honesty and superior value, PSB speakers have been a favorite of audiophiles and industry insiders for over 40 years. Now PSB has created headphones that pack the same sonic realism and precision as their speakers into a portable package you can take with you anywhere.

Read more

The M4U 1 delivers accurate sound with clarity and balance for a true presentation of music as it was meant to be heard by the artist. The closed-back design helps keep external noise at a minimum while ensuring that all the musical goodness stays sealed inside. Comfortable adjustable ear pads and a cushioned headband make these sleek headphones wearable for hours at a time.

One-button control of music and calls

The M4U 1 comes with two detachable cables that connect to either earcup. One cable includes an in-line remote and microphone for use with your Apple and Blackberry devices. Full track control is at your fingertips with the multi-function button. You can even answer calls on your iPhone® or Blackberry as the M4U 1 becomes a phone headset. Switch seamlessly between calls and music without touching your phone or removing your headphones. The M4U 1 also includes a standard cable, just in case your listening device isn't compatible with the remote cable.

Highlights:

  • folding, around-the-ear design with closed, padded earcups and adjustable headband
  • in-line remote/microphone for use with iPod®, iPhone, and iPad®
  • convenient dual input connections let you plug the cable into the right or left earcup
  • large 40mm drivers for low distortion and extended range
  • frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz (±1.5dB)
  • sensitivity: 102 dB
  • impedance: 32 ohms
  • weight: 12 oz.
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Included accessories:
  • two 60" detachable headphone cords, including one with in-line remote and microphone
  • airline adapter and 1/4" stereo adapter
  • extra set of ear pads
  • protective carrying case
  • cleaning cloth

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
Fit Style Around-the-Ear
Earcup Type Closed
Noise-canceling No
Bluetooth No
Frequency Response 20-20k Hz
Sensitivity 102 dB
Impedance 32 Ohms
Weight 12 ounces
Cord Length 60"
Airline Adapter Included Yes
iPod Control Yes
Volume Control No
Built-in Microphone Yes
Parts Warranty 2 Years
Labor Warranty 2 Years
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Red over-ear headphones
  • Pair of spare earpads
  • 5' Cable with in-line remote/microphone (with straight 3.5mm plug on one end and a right-angle 3.5mm plug on the other end)
  • 5' Cable (with straight 3.5mm plug on one end and a right-angle 3.5mm plug on the other end)
  • Airline adapter
  • 3.5mm-to-1/4" adapter
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Zippered semi-hard case
  • Caribiner
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Limited Warranty
  • Music for You brochure
  • Earpad Installation and Removal card

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Overview: The PSB M4U 1 headphones are part of the Music for You (M4U) series of high performance headphones. The M4U 1 has an over-ear design, which blocks out much of the external noise, but also adds to the comfort. The headphones come with two 5' cables (one with an in-line remote/microphone and one without), airline and 1/4" adapters, an extra set of earpads, and a semi-hard zippered storage case.

Room Feel: The M4U 1 has Room Feel technology, which gives the headphones the same true-to-nature sound as a pair of PSB's in-room loudspeakers.

Ear Pads: The soft earpads are designed for comfort and fit. The ergonomic ear pads are gyro-suspended and self-adjusting to give you a precise fit. The M4U 1 comes with a spare pair of earpads.

Cables: The M4U 1 includes two 5' tangle-free cables, which can plug into either side. One cable is designed for use with your smartphone, and includes an in-line remote and microphone. The remote lets you answer and hang up your call, and play/pause, skip forward, and skip backward. The controls are compatible with iPhone and Blackberry. The other cable has no in-line remote/mic. A dual-input airline adapter and 1/4" stereo adapter are included.

Specifications:

  • Frequency Response (+/- 1.5dB): 20-20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity (1kHz/1mW): 102dB
  • Power Handling: 30mW maximum
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Driver Size: 40mm
  • Weight: 12 ounces
 
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PSB M4U 1 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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5 out of 5

Entry-Level Audiophiles Look No Further!

Written By Ryan G, Boston, MA on Saturday, October 04, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
As a musician of 20+ years, I have a discerning ear and limited budget. After reading all the reviews on the PSB M4U 1's, I decided to pull the trigger. I could not be happier!

I've owned Bang & Olufsen, Koss, Bose, Shure, Technics, and even a pair of Beats that I got on sale (and sold very quickly thereafter). I've dipped my toes in the water with the higher end stuff, but was never very thrilled with the sound quality vs. what I was paying compared to the different sets that I've used or owned, and thus never thought any were worth the extra $$$.

Sound quality*: While they do sound great, I do feel they are entry-level audiophile headphones. That being said, I purchased a FiiO E07k DAC/preamp to use with these cans as well. To get the most out of them, you need that extra boost only a preamp can provide. They sound great on their own, but you won't be able to tell much without a preamp with my testing. I only have the bass at +2 and the gain at +12. I use them primarily with my MacBook Pro for work and school, so the built-in DAC feature was also a must to bypass the MBP's DAC. 5 stars, but with the E07k.

Coolness factor: I only gave it 4 stars as they aren't very flashy. Very simple design, which is fine. PSB stacked the deck in sound quality, so I could really care less about this.

Build quality: Solid construction.

Comfort: I wear them for hours daily. Zero issues.

Noise reduction: I couldn't ask for more to get rid of background noise!
Pros:
- Superb sound quality - Very comfortable - Noise reduction is almost noise canceling grade without having to crank the volume - Great warranty - Solid construction - Extra set of ear cups to replace down the road
Cons:
- Kind of a chunky design and not very flashy. If you're looking for a stylish pair of headphones over sound quality, these are not the headphones you want.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Best headphones ive ever owned

Written By Anonymous, Mass on Friday, May 16, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Have amazing sound quality and very even with just the right amount of high and mids with a good amount of bass. Could use alittle more bass but i favor heavier bass than others. The old downside is they are alittle heavy to wear for long periods of time.
Pros:
Great sound and comfortable against your ears
Cons:
Alittle on the heavy side
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4 out of 5

Good-sounding headphones..

Written By Garland, Seattle, WA on Sunday, April 27, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
These sound good - just short of the sonic goodness of the NAD VISO HP50 (a little less presence in the treble and upper mids, leaving some vocals and instrumentation feeling distant). However, these are much better built (better materials, better design and apparently better assembly), resulting in virtually no microphonic transmission of structural sounds. My problem with them? A driver defect exposed during quality testing - a pronounced rattle in the left driver from 10 - 30 Hz at higher volumes. I returned rather than replaced them for this reason and because I found the sound signature and performance, overall, clinical and lacking character.
Pros:
Good sound quality, technically pretty accurate. Good build quality.
Cons:
A little dorky-looking. Ear cups too shallow for long term comfort. Defective driver right out of the box. Sound quality a bit on the clinical side.
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5 out of 5

Best Headphones I've Heard

Written By JohnM, Oklahoma City on Saturday, March 15, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
At 50+ yrs I've tried lots of 'phones. I read that, for more $, there are better. I'm not sure that the human ear can hear sound much better than these 'phones are capable of producing. The entire range of sound is impeccably produced. If you just want to rattle your brain, get Beats. But don't gripe about the lack of quality in the mids and highs. If you want all the frequencies the human ear can HEAR, in pristine quality, these 'phones do it. And as for the bass, they DO satisfy. You can spend more, and maybe get better 'phones. I'm not sure you will actually be able to tell the difference. These 'phones are not cheap. But worth every cent. I'm enjoying familiar music in new ways. These headphones thrill me.
Pros:
See my review on sound. Quality of build is superb. Absolutely top shelf.
Cons:
Short cord. 5 more feet would be nice.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

PSB M4U1

Written By geovock, Fayetteville, AR on Thursday, February 27, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I haven't tried Grados but forget B&W and Sennheiser in this price range. Incredible detail plus imaging, whoa baby! A lotta bang for the buck.
Pros:
A lotta bang for the buck.
Cons:
None
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4 out of 5

PSB M4U 1 headphones

Written By Rob, Cleveland, TN on Saturday, January 04, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
First of all, the reviews I read before purchasing these headphones are dead on on two items: 1) The sound quality is superb, particularly my high definition music via DAC. It is a totally enveloping experience. My wife, who thinks the white Apple ear buds are wonderful, was awestruck by the sound; 2) the comfort level is fine at first but I got to the point quickly that I had to take these things off as they really became uncomfortable. As a comparison I have the infamous Bose noise cancelling phones for my international flights and I never grow weary of having them on, even after 7 or 8 hours. However, their sound is not even close to the PSBs. Alas, I now have to decide whether to return because of comfort or keep and grit my teeth when my ears get tired. The lack of comfort is really hard to explain but they do hurt after a while.
Pros:
Outstanding sound with lots of "space" Great build quality Outstanding Value
Cons:
Heck, the Comfort level after one hour is tough to bear. Definitely, not a good phone for long flights or long listening sessions. I love them and I hate them.
4 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Phenomenal Headphones with Incredibly Detailed Soundstage!

Written By SteveJaws, Lenexa, KS on Sunday, December 29, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I have had the chance to audition several pairs of headphones over the past two years ranging in price from $35 to $1,500. Having seen many reviews of the M4U2 headphones including Sound & Vision's 2012 "Product of the Year" award, I was very anxious to try the M4U1's when they were released from PSB. I was completely blown away by the extreme detail and overall dynamic sound quality that these headphones provide, which was not nearly as present in other pairs that I auditioned. When plugged into a high quality audio source, it is almost as if the performance is taking place right in front of you! Plug them in, close your eyes, and you will understand. The sound balance is absolutely perfect! The noise isolation is great - I don't know why anyone would need noise canceling if you have these. I have yet to have the M4U1's be pushed beyond their limits with bass or volume - rather than distort, they just keep cranking out the incredible sound! Build Quality is quite impressive. As far as comfort, I can wear these for hours without any comfort issues, which is not the case with some competing sets. Overall, I have to say that I was so impressed, that I now own two pairs. Without question, this is the absolute best quality set of headphones that I have come across at any price on the market! for the price this is an exceptional audiophile headphone experience - this is an incredible value! Great Job to PSB for producing unparalleled quality at such a competitive price!
Pros:
Unparalleled Dynamic Sound Quality! Comfort.
Cons:
Absolutely None!
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Excellent, Natural Sounding Audiophile Cans

Written By Lawdog, Medina, OH on Friday, December 27, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
The PSB M4U 1 is an excellent audiophile headphones set. My wife did a lot of research on quality headphones in this price range and landed here. I am very happy. They are very comfortable on my head - snug, but not too tight. Having said that, I have note yet worn them for more than a few minutes at a time at this point. The sound is extremely pure and neutral. I would say "balanced." If you are looking for a bass emphasized sound, there may be better options. The bass is excellent, it is just not forced at the expense of clean midrange and high range sound. If anything, these are so good, they may expose some flaws in your music. I noted a very faint hiss in one track I was listening to on my older gen 1 ipad with a compressed music file. I had read this may be the case on CNET review. Not bad, but I heard it when straining. Again, this is a source flaw and one that these incredible headphones exposed just slightly. I do fly a fair amount so noise cancelling is at least a consideration (these do not have). However, my past experiences with noise cancelling have not been entirely pleasant and the addition comes at the expense of pure audiophile grade sound. I like the fact that the cords can be plugged into either ear cup and that the other can be used to "chain" another listener (could come in handy on a flight with spouse, child, etc.). The extra set of ear pads are a top notch addition as well and the case is very nice. You cannot go wrong here.
Pros:
Excellent neutral sound, comfort, extra ear pads, selectable cord plug-in location
Cons:
No Noise Cancelling if desired
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5 out of 5

PSB M4U 1 Review

Written By Mancy, Iowa on Thursday, December 26, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I am currently using these with my computer and I will give an updated review once my dac/amp arrive. Even with using onboard audio I have noticed an audibly better experience versus my other pair of headhpones, Steelseries Siberia V2. I am not bashing the V2's as I still use them for gaming but I hope this review will help people who come from the same background as me, one who uses their computer for everything(gaming, movies/tv and music). Recently I was looking for better sound quality and I can afford to upgrade so I did and here are my thoughts. M4U1's vs Siberia V2's. M4U does deliver an audibly better sound stage. I am able to distinguish more individual instruments and I find them to give a much more immersing sound than my V2. While I am no audiophile I find the overall sound to be very well-balanced and enjoyable. It is awesome to hear your favorite songs and pick up on things you never knew existed in the song. Overall I highly recommend the M4U1 cans to anyone coming from my similar situation. No regrets here on my purchase. I believe them to be a great investment for high quality audio and if you come from a lower quality headphone you will be very pleased when you listen to high quality music. Once I receive my ODAC I will give a review comparing the two for music and games.
Pros:
Sound quality is great. Can distinguish individual instruments in my favorite songs and I have noticed sounds I never knew existed before. Delivers a balanced sound. When you are listening to your favorite albums, lying on the floor with no other distractions you will see what I mean.
Cons:
Only con so far is the comfort factor if you were to use these for extended gaming sessions. The way I use these headphones for listening to music (lying on the floor, just focusing on my music) they are PERFECTLY fine. If I were to play 3 games of Dota 2 straight or hammer out some Dishonored however, I would prefer my V2's.
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

PSB M4U 1

Written By Victor K, Lake Worth, Fl on Thursday, December 19, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
By far the best set of cans I've ever owned..

I paired it up with audioengine DAC D7
Pros:
The sound will blow you away
Cons:
NONE
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Wonderful!

Written By JohnC, Silver Spring, MD on Saturday, October 05, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
My search for a great pair of headphones is over; my mobile audio system is now complete (no upgrades for the foreseeable future), and its sound quality rivals my home system (Paradigm Active 40, Rotel RSP-1066).

I read all the glowing reviews for the M4U-2, but I didn't really need the noise-canceling feature, so I decided to try the M4U-1. Because of Crutchfield's excellent customer service and return policy, I wasn't worried. The M4U-1 is the best sounding set of headphones/earphones I've ever owned (out of Etymotic ER4, Sony MDR-F1, Stax SR-001, Sennheiser HD525). Paired with a Fiio E12 amp, the M4U-1 is a wonderful mobile audio solution. Once I start listening, it's extremely difficult to stop.

Although they're not the most comfortable cans I've had (the Sony MDR-F1 and Incase Sonic win that award), I can wear them for hours without discomfort. I sometimes find myself slightly adjusting them, but this doesn't affect my overall enjoyment of them.
Pros:
Excellent sound, attractive design, solid construction, relatively portable, detachable/replaceable cable, excellent sound isolation, nice extras included: solid carrying case, two cables, ear pad replacements
Cons:
The only thing that prevents me from saying they're the perfect headphones for me is that they're not as comfortable as my Incase Sonic or Sony MDR-F1, but the MDR-F1 is an open headphone and the Sonic doesn't isolate very well. I gladly accept the trade-off.
6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Uncomfortable

Written By Jason, San Francisco, CA on Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great headphones, but didn't keep them, very uncomfortable. Picked up a set of Sennheiser Momentums instead and love them.
Pros:
Great sound, really nice build quality, nice included accessories.
Cons:
Uncomfortable for me to wear past an hour.
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Unbelievable Sound

Written By Anonymous, St. Louis, MO on Saturday, August 03, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Comfortable, Look Great, and Superb Sound Quality.
Pros:
Best sounding headphones i have ever heard.
Cons:
None.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Wow

Written By Anonymous, NY on Friday, April 26, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I spend a ton of time reading and researching so I am the definitive educated consumer. It was down to the PSB active or passive and I went with the passive and all I can say together with my Audioquest Dragonfly I am in sound heaven. Their biggest strength is room presence and vocals. It felt like Sgt Pepper and his band were in my room. I have never heard the Beatles so clearly and so defined. It gave goosebumps to my goosebumps. A fantastic nuanced beautifully engineered product by a world class speaker company. Astonishing work of aural artistry. Bravo.
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Sweet headphones

Written By pins, CT on Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
After using some decent earbuds for years I decided to bite the bullet for a pair over good over the ear headphones. I got a pr of beats for my son for Christmas (which were not impressive), so I figured if he had some I should get a pr too. These sound quality is sooo much better than the muddy sounding beats. Nice and crisp, not a ton of bass, but I'm not a fan of the heavy bass. They don't need an amp with a phone of ipod but if you want to listen loud you will need an amp.
Pros:
Great clarity, neutral sound. Extremely comfortable.
Cons:
A bit heavy, but I'm used to buds
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Peace and Quiet

Written By AlexW, NY, NY on Friday, March 15, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I bought the PSB M4U 1 headphones as a closed-can alternative to my Sennheiser 590's (which I love, but they keep my wife awake when I listen late at night). I don't listen to cans a lot, but I have been a fan of open air cans in genral, and Senn's in particualar since the HD 424's. In fact, the 424's were my only headphone for decades, until they finally gave up the ghost and I purchase the 590's. So, the PSB's are my first set of closed cans in almost 40 years...forty years...four decades...you get the picture.

My reference system is a Rega RP1 through a vintage NAD phono preamp into an NAD 2400 that has been upgraded with new relays and caps (and this and that) into a pair of pristine KEF 103.2 loudspeakers (solid teak; not for sale). The secondary source is a digital feed of lossless flac files on a Linux server through a Maverick D2 (hot-rodded with tube rolling and new OpAmps). On the same source is a fully restored Kenwood KA-7300 (welder) feeding a set of vintage Jamo Sat 300's with sub, a ripping good speaker system by any measure, and absoulutly stunning with the Kenny. I sold these speakers to a customer 20 years ago, we've been happily married ever since (Coincidence? Perhaps, but just saying, really good speakers).

The cans are comfortable to wear. Heavier than the Senn's, but not oppressive. That being said, a couple of hours with these will make you want to take a break, whereas the Senn's feel practically weightless.

My cans are played through a Linux client accessing the same lossless files, a Maverick D1 DAC with upgraded OpAmp, Blue Jeans Cables to a Project Sunrise tube headphone amplifier. I have also run the cans through this system with the Rega/NAD as a source.

My home theater system consists of PSB Stratus Mini's and a C5 center channel coupled with a Velodyne sub and polk bi-polar surrounds, all driven by a Yamaha RXV 1600 Receiver. This system sounds remarkably neutral an musical and was the motivation for taking a flyer on the PSB cans.

The first thing that struck me is how much more efficient these cans are than the 590's. They play much louder at the same gain settings. The second thing that struc me is how well they stack up to the Senn's. These are very good cans. I prefer them to the Senn's in some ways. They are very dynamic and quite impressive, I mean really, profoundly impressive, on rock and blues tracks.

Specifically, the bite and impact on GT & D's Delaware Slide is really something to hear. Quadrophenia through these cans is a real revalation. The piano at the begining of "Love Reign O'er Me" is reason enough to buy these cans. Likewise "Singing Winds, Crying Beasts" from Abraxas. Whew! "Joan of Arc" from the reissue of Famous Blue Raincoat was the first tune I listened to through the PSB's and I found them to be as tight and detailed as the Sennheisers, a bit more dynamic, but a bit less open. More pop, less air. They fall down a bit on Alegri's Miserere. They can't match th
Pros:
Impact, overall sound, dynamics, isolation
Cons:
staging, imaging (relative to open air cans), weight.
8 out of 8 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Simply amazing

Written By McDaddy, Phoenix, Arizona on Sunday, January 06, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Very impressive headphones that exceed performance of others under $1k. The soundstaging is remarkable, with oodles of dynamic capability. I'm amazed at their truth of timbre, presentation of scale from the entire frequency range, and overall clarity. Comfortable and great looking too. What more could you ask for at this price point!
Pros:
Dynamic nuance Comfortable Detailed soundstage
Cons:
None at this price
6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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Compare with other PSB models

  • PSB M4U 2
  • Add active noise cancelation
  • 4.5 out of 5: In Stock
  • The PSB M4U 2 offers:
    • noise-canceling circuitry for blocking out external distractions
    • active mode engages built-in amplifier for improved sound and power with portable sources
    • in-line push-to-hear monitor button mutes audio and disengages noise cancelation for quick conversations
  • Add To Cart
    $399.99
  • PSB M4U 1
  • 5 out of 5: Low Stock
    • The PSB M4U 1 offers:
      • folding, around-the-ear design with closed, padded earcups and adjustable headband
      • in-line remote and microphone for use with iPod®, iPhone®, and iPad®
      • includes extra set of ear pads
  • Add To Cart
    $299.99
  • PSB M4U 2
  • 4.5 out of 5: In Stock
    • The PSB M4U 2 offers:
      • folding, around-the-ear design with closed, padded earcups and adjustable headband
      • in-line microphone/remote for use with iPod®, iPhone®, and iPad®
      • built-in headphone amplifier for more powerful and precise sound with portable music sources
  • Add To Cart
    $399.99
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