Peter Familari's avatar

by Peter Familari

19th May, 2017


Headphones with lashings of wood ring my bells and rock my boat.

So when Pioneer unveiled its new SE-Monitor 5 closed back model that has cellulose nano-fibre drivers made from highly refined organic wood pulp, they had to be the bees-knees and the dog’s-danglies, for me.

What clinched the deal is a design that eschews any kind of crossover. That’s innovation, that’s a masterstroke of design, right there.

With the techno-details aligning in front of me like the stars presaging a Collingwood premiership sometime in the next millennium, I probed a little more.

This lack of crossover, so says Pioneer and who am I to doubt them, is the portal to a sound that spans a frequency of 5Hz to 85kHz. Very nice. Really.

If these salient technical triumphs aren’t enough to send you scurrying into your nearest Pioneer stockist, then consider further that these very headphones are said to create the level of ambient detail that is a feature of open-backed headphones.

Oh glory be. A closed back headphone that won’t invite a kick in the ribs from a partner awoken by a loud dose of AC/DC deep on a winter’s night, and one delivering the expansive sound of an open backed model.

Pioneer SE-Monitor 5 Closed Back Headphones

Pioneer’s headphone answer to marital bliss has a patented Double Headphone chamber that employs a main chamber augmented by ported sub-chambers to deliver, deep, taut bass.

What’s more, there’s a magnesium alloy Full Basket system used with screws, not glue to firmly secure the drive unit to the headphone base.

Like Pioneer’s esteemed high-end SE-MASTER 1 model, a lightweight, highly rigid duralumin alloy is used. It’s in the hangers used to hold the floating headphone base assembly in place. And to afford even more sonic isolation, Pioneer use rubber insulators.

The new ‘phones are comfortable. To massage the ears Pioneer chose the same sculpted 3D memory foam used for the SE-Master 1’s earpads. Buyers get two sets of easily changed earpads with one covered in a velour cloth and the other in a leather type material.

The SE-MONITOR 5 is bundled with three sets of detachable audio cables. One is 1.6 metres, another is 3 metres and the third is 1.6 metres specifically for balanced audio.

These three cables are made using OFC Litz wire carefully braided to reduce electromagnetic interference. The new ‘phones have a 99dB sensitivity and a 40 ohms impedance.

Pioneer's SE-Monitor 5 headphones will be released in June. Local pricing is confirmed at $1,299.99 RRP.

For more information visit the Pioneer brand page.

Peter Familari's avatar

Written by:

Peter Familari

One of the veterans of the Australian HiFi industry, Peter was formerly the Audio-Video Editor of the Herald Sun for over two decades. One of the most-respected audio journalists in Australia, Peter brings his unparalleled experience and a unique story-telling ability to StereoNET.

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Posted in: Headphones
Tags: pioneer  powermove