Alessandro MS-1 Headphone Reviews

Manufacturer Alessandro Model MS-1
Headphone Type Open Supraaural Headband Type Single
Weight (g) 0 Driver Type Dynamic
Enclosure Material Plastic Isolation (dB) 0
Impedance (ohms) 32 Cable Length (cm) 200
Frequency Response (Hz) 20 - 22  
Connector 3.5mm Street Price US$100
Buy from Amazon.com  
Average reviewer scores
Bass Extension 5.0 Bass Impact 6.0
Bass Quality 5.7 Mids Quality 6.0
Highs Quality 6.3 Soundstage 3.3
Detail 5.7 Portability 5.7
Isolation 0.0 Comfort 5.0
Durability 3.7 Improvement With Amplification 5.0
Value for Money 8.3    
Overall Score 5.7 Total Reviews 3

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Reviews by our members

Review by Senior Member nickchen on 15 Feb 08  02:07
Individual review
Bass Extension5
Bass Impact7
Bass Quality6
Mids Quality6
Highs Quality7
Detail6
Comfort5
Durability2
Value9

What never ceases to amaze me about the MS1 is the fact that it always sounds right. No matter if it's rock, jazz or electronica, no matter if you listen concentrated or casually - the MS1 always gets the right tone. And they never bore or bug me, that is a point where many other contenders struggled.

Its level of detailling is quite impressive - MUCH closer to a brilliant DT880 than to a muggy KSC75.

After more than 2 years, still my best-bang-for-the-buck fon ever. I personally even like it better than the MS2i (annoying) or the SR225 (too dark).

Simply put: Everybody should have one (except Mahler and Tchaikowsky listeners, of course)

Review by Senior Member SickMouthy on 17 Jan 07  23:37
Individual review
Bass Extension5
Bass Impact6
Bass Quality6
Mids Quality6
Highs Quality6
Detail6
Comfort6
Durability4
Value8

Ah, the Alessandro MS1s. Grado SR60s impressed me massively but tired me out quickly - if you find them (or SR80s or SR125s) overbright, the MS1 is a very good alternative, and if you're in the UK, absolutely outrageous value for money - these cost me about 54 delivered at the exchange rate in October 2006 ($99 direct from www.alessandro-products.com - and I didn't get hit by import duty) - SR60s seldom go for less than 70 (or 60 if you're very lucky) in the UK.

Having tried comfies, yellow HD414 pads (both standard and flipped&holed) and Grado bowls, I've settled on bowls - there's slightly less bass impact/warmth over comfies/standard 414s, but the quality and depth of the bass is marginally improved, and the sweet treble and fantastic upper-mids of the MS1s benefit. They've got that definite slamming mid-bass hump that signifies Grado, but not quite the cavernous extension you might want for really deep movie soundtracks or the extreme ends of dub or techno.

Keep in mind that Alessandro are a guitar amp company primarily, and Grado tuned these as such - I've not heard another headphone come close to dealing with electric guitars as well as the MS1, especially on well-recorded stuff (think Jimmy Page, Albini and O'Rourke rather than Ross Robinson or Jackife Lee). Drums and brass are also very good, and vocals too - detail being a step-up from SR60s, although not quite up to HD595 level.

Soundstage isn't great, as you'd expect from (essentially) a Grado, but excitement more than makes up for that - if you're interested in these headphones you're unlikely to be listening to huge classical pieces needing amazing width and depth. Instrument separation is very good though.

Probably the best thing about these though is their dynamism - quiet passages are very quiet, luring you in, and musical eruptions are thrilling and visceral.

They're as portable as you're prepared for them to be - they work well off an iPod, say (but definitely improve noticibly with an amp) but are much larger than the likes of PX100s. They're also so open that it kind of defeats the point if you're outside.

Durability is a slight concern - they are light (and I find them very comfortable, both with and without glasses, but this is obviously very subjective), but the notorious Grado y-block in the cable petrifies me that it will break if I snag them on a doorhandle or similar. It hasn't in three and a half months though...

I listen to a wide range of music, and while these are definitely best-suited to rock, they're detailed, accurate, and even enough to deal with pretty much anything else too (bar large-scale classical, like I said). And I say again - absolutely amazing value for money, especially in the UK where Grados are at a premium.

Review by Senior Member acs236 on 02 Jan 05  06:44
Individual review
Bass Extension5
Bass Impact5
Bass Quality5
Mids Quality6
Highs Quality6
Detail5
Comfort4
Durability5
Value8

Considering that these can be purchased for under $100 new, they represent incredible value. They are well balanced, and sound very good for the price. However, being supraaural, there will be comfort issues for some people.

But these are easy to drive, fun-sounding headphones -- $100 well spent.

Alessandro MS-1