Munitio’s early in-canal earphone models were designed to resemble bullet casings, but it looks like the company is moving past that ill-advised concept. The new Munitio Pro40 headphones don’t resemble ammo in the slightest, and they offer excellent audio performance. At $349.99 (direct), they’re a bit overpriced, but at least they deliver—this is a pair with a steady focus on the mid-range frequencies, and a bit of added juice in the sub-bass. The inclusion of accessories, like two detachable cables (one with an inline microphone and remote for iOS devices) is an obvious plus. Purists seeking flat response might find the Pro40 a bit too beefy in the lows and low-mids, but if you’re looking for a powerful, clean sound signature, the Pro40 is worth checking out.
The Pro40 is a big, bulky circumarural (around-the-ear) headphone pair with massive earpads. The mostly black design has gold accents on the outside panels of the earcups, and the Munitio log is prominently etched in white on either side of the headband. The cushioning in the pads is generous, but the underside of the headband lacks the same plush lining, and uses a rubberized material instead. Things could be far less comfortable, for sure, but the lack of much cushioning on the headband’s underside can eventually feel like there’s a little extra pressure being exerted on your head.
Detachable cables add value to the pricey Pro40—after all, it comes with two, and if both of them manage to malfunction in the long term, it’s still much more affordable to replace the cables than the whole headphone pair itself. One cable is intended for studio use, with its half-coiled, remote-free design. The other cable lacks any coiling and includes the aforementioned inline remote and microphone for iOS devices.
Call clarity is decent through the Pro40—the microphone will make your voice clear enough for the caller on the other end to understand you, but don’t expect anything beyond that, since we are dealing with cellular audio here, and not much can be done to improve its fidelity.
Also included with the Pro40: a ¾-inch jack adapter, an airplane jack adapter, and a zip-up hard-shell carrying case.
The Pro40 delivers very powerful, intense audio—you can turn these headphones up much louder than you should ever need to, and even on tracks with intense sub-bass content, like the Knife’s “Silent Shout,” they will not distort. At reasonable listening levels, the sub-bass is still delivered with a serious boost, but Munitio at least balances things out by also providing a substantial boost to the high-mids and highs.
On Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” his baritone vocals benefit from the high-mid presence the Pro40 brings to the table. Bass boosting on headphones is enough to send a track like this into muddy territory, but even though the drums and vocals receive a heavy extra dollop of low-end presence, the treble edge of his voice and the guitar strumming receive help the mix stay balanced and crisp, despite some added thunder. His vocals could still sound a bit crisper, but the mix has solid overall definition and clarity.
A nice amount of high-mid boosting on Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild” helps the attack of the kick drum loop slice through the mix. The sub-bass synth hits that lurk in the background get a healthy boost too, but not so much that the lows take over the mix. All of the vocals on this track manage to stay out in front of the dense mix, but the bass definitely gets the lions’ share of the attention here. Again, a bit more high-mid presence would go a long way, but things never sound muddy.
On classical tracks, like John Adams’ “The Chairman Dances,” the lower register strings are beefed up by the added bass presence, and the higher register strings, which typically need very little additional boosting to stand out on their own, sound quite bright here. The bowed basses occasionally sound a little unnaturally intense, but never unpleasantly—they just have an added low frequency presence that makes the mix a bit fuller and exciting, though the sound signature isn’t for purists.
Often with headphones in this price range, it comes down to personal preference—very few models this expensive deliver lousy audio. The Pro40 has a steady focus on the mid-range frequencies, with a fair amount of sub-bass presence as well. If you’re looking for a pair with booming bass, you might consider the Phiaton Bridge MS 500, just know you’ll be sacrificing a more balanced mix in favor of more thunder. If you want flexibility, the Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro is a solid option that allows you to adjust the sound signature, from flat to bass-heavy. And if all of these models are a bit out of your budget, the Sennheiser HD 558 and Marshall Monitor are both beautifully balanced headphone pairs that cost far less and earn our Editors’ Choice designation. As a reference listening pair with a little bit of extra kick in the low-end, the Munitio Pro40 does not disappoint, and the included accessories—particularly the removable cables—help ease the sticker shock.
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