MTX Audio iX1 headphones (149 €) put to the test: race to the finish line?
It seems like everyone’s caught on and it’s become a pandemic… What exactly are we talking about? The number of brands that have entered the headphone market in recent years! MTX have decided to throw themselves into the mix after making their mark in the car audio (Audio-mobile) sector, offering dynamic, sturdy products as part of their range. We’ve got that, but does that necessarily translate into becoming a serious contender in the mid-range acoustic monitor market?
Sturdiness is the buzzword of MTX Audio. We’ve already tested some of their products as part of the Qobuz Hi-Fi Guide, but the iX1 has really stood out, not least because of its aesthetics. MTX know their strengths as a company, and their approach for these headphones has been no different. Once you take them out of the box (see the photo below), you’ll be surprised at how sturdy they are – what a fantastic idea it was to make them out of racing car material!
It feels great in your hands, it’s got a cool sporty design and (drumroll please!) it’s ‘infinitely’ foldable. What does that mean? The unit’s dual hinges allow users to fold it in half, making it practical for on-the-go listening. This means you’re really getting your money’s worth at 149€!
Highlights: 40mm drivers, racing headband and two separate cables!
To summarise, you’ve got a pair of headphones equipped with 2 diverse dynamics of 40mm diameter. The product offers robust sound isolation against external noise and would certainly attract people who enjoying walking down the street with a flashy headset… Moreover, the headphones come with a dual input/output in each speaker, which is pretty cool if you want to share your stereo entertainment through another sound source.
Let’s get to the technical characteristics: we’re dealing with a model that counts 32 Ohm, a frequency response between 10 and 25,000 Hz and a dB count of 113, making it consistent with other mid-range models.
Time to put it to the test! Amazing ‘punchy’ sound, defined bass, and an audio texture that rivals the Sennheiser HD25 II!
We connected the MTX iX1 to a favourite in the Qobuz offices, the Astell & Kern AK120 speaker, listening to the most popular tracks from our services in 16 and 24 bits. We were really looking to get the most out of these!
Before we proceed with our conclusions, we’ll admit that any headphones we review will have difficulty competing with the famous and long-lasting favourite, the Sennheiser HD25 II. At the risk of sounding simplistic, the MTX delivers an audio texture that’s not too dissimilar to the famous Sennheiser model. The acoustic isolation makes it perfect for on-the-go listening, and the iX1 performs excellently on this front. There’s no real need to turn up the volume to hear the decibels mount, and you might even want to lower it a little, depending on your volume preferences.
The audio texture, on the other hand, does not have much in common with the Sennheiser HD800, and the two models differ too in price range. The MTX is far from being ‘neutral’: it complements the bass spectrum, heightens the medium, delivers a clear treble, caresses the ears (and can act as earmuffs during the winter!), has a great dynamic, without lagging effects in its bass.
Although we at Qobuz Hi-Fi Guide tend to focus more on the audio characteristics than aesthetics of any device, this was quite the challenge in the case of the aesthetically-pleasing MTX model! We must applaud its great dynamics, heightened frequencies, nice audio insulation, robustness of its components and overall ‘cool’ appearance. Remember it’s a product intended for the mid-range market, not audiophiles, and at 149 €, we’d say that it fits the bill nicely.
- Good value and quality for money
- Assured sonority
- Multi-torsion design
- Audio isolation and a superb bass
- Compatible with several smartphone and speaker brands
- Great-sounding dynamic and performance
- Duo cable set (one of which is compatible with iOS and Android)
- Far from discreet design!
- Decent treble, but far from exceptional
- Slightly tight fit
- A proper “booster” to the decibels that could be a little more moderated
- They’re not “Hi-Fi” headphones, but perfect for an above-average audio experience on-the-go
Take a look at the MTX promotional video below to admire the finesse of its products!
Maker characteristics : dynamic model, 40 mm drivers, 113 dB sensitivity, frequency response 10-25000 Hz, 2 cables (iOS and Android), price : 149€.
Original article by Patrick-Pierre Garcia
Translated by Amy Clarke