MAS Audio Science brings us the X5h on-ear headphones designed to deliver audiophile-class sound quality. With a 5Hz to 50Hz frequency response, the Japan Audio Society awarded a Hi-Res Audio Headphone Certification to the X5h. The X5h is also compatible with MAS’s XX Bluetooth Cable, which takes the X5h from wired to wireless with a switch of a cable.
The MAS Audio Science X5h on-ear headphones, retailing for $299.99, look very nice upon first glance; they’re sleek black with gold accents. They are foldable and lightweight, perfect for frequent travel or commuting to and from work. The X5h headphones are built for customization as they feature MAS’s patented Headphone Ecosystem, which provides a range of connectivity options for today’s mobile and audio devices. The cables can be removed from the cans and swapped out for other accessories.
The available accessories include:
- MAS XX Remote Cable: This cable, which is included with the X5h, has an inline remote with microphone that allows you to take calls and control your mobile device’s audio. This cable has a 3.5mm headphone connector.
- MAS XX Audio Cable: This cable, also included with the X5h, is meant to link your headphones to professional audio equipment such as media players or amplifiers with maximum audio quality. This cable has a 3.5mm headphone connector.
- MAS XX Bluetooth Cable: This cable, available at an additional cost, turns your wired headphones into wireless ones. It has a built-in remote that allows you to take calls and control your music as well. MAS sent this for review and I’ll include my thoughts on it later.
- MAS XX USB-C Headphone Cable: This cable, also available at an additional cost, allows you to directly connect to USB-C devices. It includes MAS’s proprietary high-resolution Digital Audio Converter (DAC) and 3D virtual surround processor connects to your mobile device to deliver high-quality sound.
The cable jack that connects to the cans isn’t something I’ve seen before. The plug is a very small pin that’s secured with a nice click when pushing it into the jack. This is the proprietary nature of MAS’s Headphone Ecosystem because you can’t just use any cable.
The X5h on-ear headphones are comfortable not only because of the faux-leather on the ear cups and on the headband but also because they’re incredibly light. The ear pads are very soft as well, which helps because they are on-ear rather than over-the-ear, so you’ll feel them pressing down on your ear. The frame that holds the ear cups in place is made out of a single piece of folded metal for a striking look, which remains lightweight.
The innards of the X5h on-ear headphones are just as impressive as what is on the surface. MAS built the X5h with 40mm dynamic drivers that combine with proprietary diaphragms and extremely lightweight aluminum-copper voice coils to produce excellent mid range, high range, and deep bass.
I can tell you that the X5h on-ear headphones do sound excellent. The first song I went to was Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson (featuring Bruno Mars) due to the deep bass combined with Mr. Mars’ vocals which can get to the higher end. Everything sounded crisp and clear and I found myself bopping along with the song more than usual.
The XX Bluetooth Cable accessory sells separately for $99, but it is worth it if you’ve got one of the newer mobile phones that do not have a headphone jack. The Bluetooth cable plugs into the same patented jacks as the standard audio cable, meaning you can effortlessly swap between wireless to wired listening if the juice in your Bluetooth cable runs out. The battery in the XX Bluetooth Cable will give you about 12 hours of listening time, which isn’t terrible but does not provide as much listening time as some of the other high-end Bluetooth headphones on the market.
The MAS Bluetooth accessory uses Bluetooth 4.2 for high-quality audio transmission and has an inline remote & microphone; both of which work well. The XX Bluetooth Cable is water and sweat resistant (IPX4 rated) and has a range of about 10 meters from the audio connection source.
While the ability to switch from wired to wireless listening is convenient and the audio quality is above average, the execution feels a bit clunky to me due to the length of the XX Bluetooth Cable. The cable is about 32 inches long, which is much longer than any of the neckband-style Bluetooth headphones I’ve reviewed. This leads to the cable feeling way too long and flowy when you’re using it and I’ve had to search around my shoulders to find the remote.
All in all, however, the MAS Audio Science X5h and XX Bluetooth Cable accessory deliver excellent audio quality and look great all in a lightweight package. The fact that the headphones fold and all of the wires can be neatly packed in the included carrying case is a huge bonus. The detachable audio cables make for a versatile set of headphones, especially if you have the XX Bluetooth Cable.
You can purchase your MAS Audio Science X5h on-ear headphones on Amazon [affiliate link] You can also purchase the MAS Audio Science XX Bluetooth Cable from Amazon as well.
Source: The MAS X5h on-ear headphones and XX Bluetooth Cable were manufacturer supplied review samples.
What I Like: Excellent audio quality; Lightweight and made from premium-feeling materials; Foldable for travel; Customizable due to removable cables.
What Needs Improvement: XX Bluetooth Cable should be shorter and therefore will look better and be easier to use; Battery life could also be improved.