Since the 1990s the Ministry of Sound has been one of the frontrunners of the house scene. In the past MoS’ dabbling in the headphone market was limited to the rebranding Alba sets. However their new line is very much a different scenario with some very surprising results.
The first thing I would say is that my expectations for the MOS0006 were fairly low and straight away I want to make clear that they far exceeded them. When Justin Berkmann created the Ministry of Sound in 1991 his concept was clear: “100% sound system first, lights second, design third (in that order); the reverse of everyone else’s idea." It seems like a little of this philosophy has crept its way into the brands headphones.
So firstly and most importantly according to Berkmann is the sound. The sort of consumer that is going to purchase any Ministry of Sound branded merchandise is most likely going to be into the dance and electronica scene. Straight out of the box these cans are great. The bass is tight and of a decent level and the highs are crisp and clear. The mids do tend to be a little fuzzy but in this price range that is the sacrifice for powerful bass. The huge 50mm drivers sound great and it's hard to believe they sit in such a small housing.
But what is most remarkable is the way which they respond to equalisation. Some headphones really don’t respond at all to being equalised (particularly the Beats By Dre) but the sound difference with these is hugely recognisable. Out of the box I first used them with my laptop and the sound was great I couldn’t complain. But when I used them with my Sony X-Series MP3 (which has built in S-Master Digital Amplifier) and tweaked the settings the sound was much clearer and more defined. With the bass boost on maximum they really vibrated without distortion.
In terms of volume these cans are pretty loud. I don’t tend to listen to my music too loud but when cranked right up it was pretty unbearable but with very little distortion. So listening to these at a decent level won’t be a problem at all. One thing to add is that they do tend to leak a little. There’s a small vent on the outside of the cup, which I presume is to maximise the bass, that does leak at mid to high volume.
There is no doubt about it these cans look great. The anodised aluminium is a nice touch that is not only endurable but also doesn’t compromise weight. They’re a very similar design to the Urbanears Plattan (also reviewed on Motor Mouth) but whereas the Urbanears have plastic cups the aluminium on the MOS006 is much better quality whilst still being relatively light.
The Monster Beats By Dre have often been cited as the best set of cans for total bass. So how do these compare? Well let’s compare them with the Beats Solo which are a similar size but are a lot more expensive. The first thing to say is the bass isn’t going to be as strong as the beats but what can be said is the bass is much clearer and crisper than the beats which I find too ‘muddy’. The build quality of these cans is also much better than the Beats. The plastic look and feel of the beats is recognisably different to the aluminium casing of the MOS006s.
The MOS006s retail at just under £40 in the UK and around that price range for a pair of this size they’re great value for money. From the outset I had really low expectations of the MOS006 but after spending a week listening to them I would definitely recommend them. If the type of music you listen to is heavily centred on bass, not only house/electro/dance but anything that relies on strong bass, these are a great set of headphones. The only downside is sound leakage but in this price range sound leakage does tend to be a problem.
Overall I would definitely recommend the MOS006 for anyone who is looking for a great mid-range set with plenty of bass the £40 retail price almost seems a steal relative to other pricier sets.