Munitio Teknines With Remote & Mic for iPhone (Review)

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by Austin M., May 11, 2011.

  1. Austin M. macrumors 6502a

    Austin M.

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Location:
    Washington
    #1
    Note: All listening was done with an FiiO E7 hooked up to a iPhone 4. All songs auditioned were 256 kilo's and in AAC format.

    Before we begin, I would like to thank Munitio for the review sample. If you have ever tried the Monster Beats By Dre, then you may know that they have some killer looks, and not so good sound. Very much like the Monster Beats by Dre, Munitio has developed a very sleek looking pair of earphones that are titled the 9MM's. On the outside they look and feel like bullets, made to hinge a very sexy and sleek look. On the inside is a, yep, you guessed it, a 9MM Dynamic Driver that is said to deliver deep bass, very detailed midrange, and crisp highs. So, are these worth their weight in titanium, or are these earphones all looks, and no sound? Read on for the full review.

    Let's get the ball rolling ladies and gentleman. After tons of useless packaging that I have seen with other IEM's that I have tried, I was delighted to see that Munitio had taken a rather subtle approach to all of those other plastic boxes. My Munitio's arrived in a very small cylindrical black box that had a very nice and simple design to it. Taking a look inside I found the IEM's themselves slabbed in a foam cushion with the remote sitting in the back behind. At first glance, these things look stunning, and the craftsmanship looked absolutes fantastic. Going deeper down I found what appeared to be a very nice leather carrying case, a few different sets of ear tips, and three different sized Munitio stickers.

    Let's take a quick tour around these cans before we get into fit and comfort. Starting at the bottom you will find the headphone plug that is gold plated for the best quality transfer. I found that the cable was kevlar coated and while this was great durability wise, it did tangle quite easily and there wasn't a lot of strain relief to be found. Going up the cable you will find the very nice and simple cable splitter, not much to talk about. On the left side of the cable you will also find a controller for pausing and playing your music, as well as a microphone, which I have yet to try out. And at the top, you have the shells themselves, which are very strong and durable due to the titanium housing and look plain sexy when compared to other IEM's.

    Fit and comfort was as always, very similar to many of the other earphones I have tried. That being said, I do have a few comments about the tips that Munitio packages. While the medium tips did block out a lot of noise when in my ear, I did find that they did not go very deep. This may be due to the fact that they are quite fat ear tips and aren't as narrow and elongated as some of the other ones I have tried. That being put aside, there were still pretty comfortable and I did not find a lot of ear fatigue after listening to these for a few hours. You can wear these both downward and over the ear, with downward being the main style.

    Microphonics are always an important part of any earphone, and I did find that the Munitio’s did have some cable noise too them, although not too much. When wearing them in the downward position, microphonics were about average and even though there wasn’t a whole lot of noise, it was still obvious and apparent that it was there. I found that wearing these over the ear reduced cable noise by a significant amount and there was barely any to be heard if any at all. Before we get to sound, let’s talk a little bit about durability. The Munitio’s are very durable which may be due to the titanium housing and the kevlar coating on the wires (even though the wires do become tangled quite easily).

    Mmm, sound quality. Munitio states these have superior dynamic range, amazing sound purity, and very tight bass. While begin truthful to a limited extent a lot of these statements were a little more than exaggerated. I don’t have a lot to compare these to, as I have never tried Monster Turbines or anything else of the sort. In a sense, the only way to describe these are, in every meaning of the word, brutal. While I usually prefer a detailed midrange sound signature, the Munitio Teknines had a very bass heavy vibe to them, which I will explain a little bit more in the upcoming paragraphs.

    As said before, these earphones are quite literally, brutal. The lower frequencies definitely leave quite the impression your ears. After burning in the Teknines for well over 50 hours, I found that there was a little bit that had changed, which I will get to a little bit later. Let’s get back into bass. I have seen so many people saying that bass means everything, and frankly that is not always true. If you enjoy music, you will literally train your ears to pick out the details and everything else that is being presented in the sound spectrum. Thankfully, my ears were able to catch every little thing that the Teknines bring to the table, and in terms of lower frequencies, there wasn’t a lot of to dish out.

    Extension, while being pretty decent, did roll off at the lowest of lows, around the 30 hertz range. Subbass features a lot of rumble and a decent amount of impact, but not a lot to wear it hurts. While subbass and midbass produce decently detailed sound, I found that they were not as crisp and balanced as many of the other IEM’s I have tried. The Teknines don’t do a very good job of distinguishing out specific lower frequency notes and make every other frequency, wether it be high or low, quite muddled. Overall, lower frequency sounds provided a very low detailed sound and a powerful attack when going into both subbass and midbass.

    Moving onto the midrange you will find what appears to be a very thick sound. Honestly, I couldn’t listen to these for the first hour out of the box. The level of distortion was pretty bad and overshadowed a tad bit by bloated bass, which made for the thick sounding and slightly veiled midrange. After burn in though, there was a little bit of clear up and I noticed that the midrange blended in pretty decently with the bass. To my ears, the midrange was very smooth, with no obvious peaks even when entering subtreble levels. Then again, smooth isn’t always the best for earphones, but in Munitio’s case, smoothness was accompanied by non slow sound, which is a good thing.

    Moving onto treble and higher frequencies, I found a mixed bag in the subtreble and midtreble. While the overall presence of the treble is smooth, the Teknines surprisingly produce a decently crisp high end, although not being edgy at all and not being too aggressive, in fact, not much at all. High end extension rolled off pretty quickly despite being decently crisp. The midtreble didn’t have much of a crunch to it and still sounded smooth, although not as much as the subtreble. The soundstage of the Teknines seem to be pretty limited and from what I have experienced, don’t present a lot of airy atmosphere. That being said, the Teknines had a pretty wide range and depth was subpar and I have heard a lot better for the price range.

    So, what are my final thoughts on these bad boys? Well, to my ears, they weren’t exactly to my liking. I am usually a person who enjoys a more balanced sound signature and it was interesting to test out the Teknines. While these aren’t bad earphones, they are definitely lacking many things, and present themselves as very bass heavy earphones. The Teknines have a very interesting aroma around them and I would love to see some fine tuning to the driver to maybe balance out the midrange and the treble. You can pick up the Munitio Teknines on Munitio website for $179.99.

    Rating: 3/5

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  2. chris975d macrumors 68000

    chris975d

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #2
    Sounds like these are a dynamic driver IEM versus a balanced armature. If so, you probably need at least 200 hours of burn-in before they really open up. None of my dynamic IEMs (Sennheiser IE-8's, Monster Turbines and Turbine Pros, and a few others) really got to their sweet spot until around 200 hours. Also, a better amp would probably do wonders. Something along the lines of a Ray Samuels P-51 Mustang (or any of the Ray Samuels amps, honestly). But good review. Headphones are very hard to review, as preferred sound signatures vary wildly from person to person.
     
  3. Austin M. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Austin M.

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Location:
    Washington
    #3
    I let all my Dynamic's to burn in over 100 hours and my armature's to burn in 50. Still, not impressive at all, but they do loosen up quite a bit.
     
  4. Austin M. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Austin M.

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Location:
    Washington
    #4
    Ray Samuel Amps are very powerful and I only need a portable for IEM's, or at least that is what I learned on Head Fi.
     
  5. chris975d macrumors 68000

    chris975d

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #5
    Even with just IEM's, a good amp can really bring out the best sound. The P-51 Mustang is pocket-sized as it is...not much difference in size from the E7, but worlds better in quality, but at about 4 x the price of the Fiio. You could always go with the Ray Samuels "Tomahawk" for an even smaller amp (about half the size of an iPod Classic) and still really bring out the best in IEM's. You could also make an "Altoids/Candy-Tin" portable amp and probably still get decent sound as well.
     

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