Headphones are a consumer minefield. With hundreds of practically identical models out there it’s a crowded marketplace and companies struggle to differentiate themselves. We’ve seem amazing headphones with fun innovations (like the Parrot Zik) but also really simple, straightforward pairs that do nothing fancy but are great to come back to time after time (Klipsh).

On the surface Pioneer’s new SE-MJ532 don’t bring anything radically new to the table – it’s very easy to dismiss them as yet another pair of over ear headphones. However Pioneer have been in the headphone business for a long-time and the SE-MJ532s bring a lot of subtle touches to the table.

The SE-MJ532s are first and foremost great sounding headphones. Which is technically where I could end this review. The 10w output is great for a range of music (I’ve popped on JJ Doom, Hauschka and Archers of Loaf while penning this review) and performance from the 40 mm drivers is consistently commendable. According to Pioneer strong rare earth magnets are at work – which I was unable to discern. But they’re definitely doing a great job.

In terms of design things are pretty good as well -the headband is wide enough to accommodate a hat, and the earpads don’t leak a great deal of sound. The earpad’s low-resilience urethane memory foam and the overall light weight nature of the headphones are great for prolonged use. I wore them for a 5 hour long podcast listening session and didn’t notice them at all. They can be folded down to safely fit in most bags, purses or large pockets and the single cable design is great for sliding them off your ear and going “Huh? What did you say?”

The model is available in black, gold, red, and white.