Pioneer SE-CH9T


PIONEER SE-CH9T—highly touted dynamic which capably walks the tricky line between being reference-revealing and consumer-fun. Comfortable, with good isolation; build is solid but not luxe and packaging is a bit sparse for the price. I hear these as slightly warm and generally balanced/A-shaped, with prominent midbass and midrange pushed forward. Low end is quick, rich-textured very well defined, without bloat; subbass is definitely present (especially with foams) and very accurately reproduced, although these do not have the physical throb or basshead boost  of say, the TFZ Series 5. Treble is smoothish yet very detailed and natural-sounding, with sufficient sparkle to avoid sterility. Soundstage has good width and height and layering is particularly noteworthy—the placement of the performers is immediately discernible. The Simgot sound larger and more visceral, and the more transparent K3 or MM TK13 have a higher level of resolution, but these work very well as an all-purpose daily driver and  are a definite sonic step up from our <$50 Chifi contenders, not to mention comparably-priced mainstream peers from the likes of  Sennheiser, Sony and JVC.