Today, we’ll be reviewing the PreSonus HD9 closed-back headphones.
There is potential for these to be a good budget-friendly option, as they are listed at $80. Let’s take a deeper look.
Our verdict on the PreSonus HD9
If you’re a recording artist on a budget, the PreSonus HD9s are a great set of headphones for avoiding any bleed during your tracking.
If you’d like to use these for mixing, mastering, or casual listening, we’d suggest you go elsewhere. We’d suggest you try to get them on sale.Check availability and current price: Amazon
Power and frequency response
The PreSonus HD9s have a frequency response of 10 Hz – 26 kHz at the ±3db points. Overall, these have a generally warm sound signature with a slight V-shape curve.
Due to their closed-back design, there’s a decent amount of build up with the ear cups. The low end is particularly exaggerated because of this and hardly accurate. The high end suffers for the same reasons, making the treble sound quite harsh – especially over 5 kHz.
The midrange feels scooped, but we were unable to tell whether there was truly a dip in the frequency response or as a side effect of the bloated bass and treble regions.
What’s frustrating is that PreSonus has not released a frequency response graph to accompany these headphones, and considering their performance, we reckon they might have suppressed this so as not to scare people away from buying them.
We wouldn’t recommend mixing on these, although they have decent noise cancellation making them a viable option for tracking.
PreSonus seems to have taken a few notes from Audio-Technica for the design of these headphones, which have some resemblance to the ATH-M50xs.
The ear pads are made of memory foam and the cups are rather roomy. Much like a pair of Audio-Technicas, the ear cups swivel 180 degrees, so you can flip around one of the drivers if you wish to listen with one ear.
The headband is rather comfortable, and the headphones are fairly lightweight making them good for longer running sessions.
For an $80 pair of cans, these are quite comfortable. The memory foam ear cups are soft and don’t heat up that much, and the adjustable headband makes it easy to fit.
These are perfectly stable enough for studio work, although the cable is non-detachable, so they’ll fly off if it ever gets caught on some gear.
We can’t recommend them for working out or anything.
Noise cancellation and isolation
These have quite a fair amount of noise cancellation. When it comes to studio work, these are perfect for tracking and don’t omit any bleed.
Wearing them on your commute might yield different results however, as their low end cancellation isn’t quite as great.
There are no accessories to be mentioned here. All you get are the headphones, an 1/8″ to 1/4″ adapter, and some paperwork for the warranty – that’s it.
Compared to other headphones
Here are a few alternatives to consider before picking up a pair of HD9s.
PreSonus HD9 vs. Audio-Technica ATH-M40x
While the ATH-M40x have an equally exaggerated bass, they have a much fuller midrange and a smoother high end.
If you’re willing to spend a bit more, the Audio-Technicas are superior.
PreSonus HD9 vs. Sony MDR-7506
We suppose it depends on your intentions, but for the money, the Sonys offer a bigger bang for your buck.
They’re more versatile, and are suitable for both mixing and tracking – not so with the HD9s.
PreSonus HD9 vs. AKG K240 Mk2
Save yourself a headache and get the AKGs. You’re welcome.
For more budget-friendly models, check out our recommendations for the best studio headphones under $100.
Who are the PreSonus HD9s best suited for?
Anybody who doesn’t care about sound quality and is looking for a comfortable pair of headphones to record with. They’re not great for much of anything else.
- Extremely affordable.
- Good noise cancellation.
- Inaccurate sound.