Headphones that can fix your music. Unless you’re listening to Maroon 5. Then you’re on your own. By Peter Martin
Everything you listen to music on has an amp. Your stereo, your computer, your phone. It’s how sound gets pushed out to your ears. But most of the amps in those devices are tiny. Crank the volume over halfway and you start to get distortion. So: if you like music, you want a bigger amp. Not in your already cramped computer. You want it in your headphones.
For the first time in its history, Blue Microphones – the guys who make mics used by everyone from Jay-Z to Springsteen – has come out with a pair of headphones, the Mo-Fi. Mo-Fi has a dedicated amp that takes the burden off your phone or computer. That way, the device’s amp runs at its ideal (that is, low) volume setting, and Mo-Fi’s amp fills out the sound with classic analogue technology – no digital tricks or bass boost.
In our tests, a movie on a MacBook Pro sounded rich and booming, and the New Pornographers’ new album had a range and clarity (and tambourine intensity) that felt like we were sitting in the studio. The amp is powered, so you have to charge the headphones to use them, but an automatic shutoff switch is activated every time you take the Mo-Fi off. If the battery does die, Mo-Fi still works, but as standard, passive headphones. Probably just to remind you of what you’re not missing.