I love music and a good and reliable audio gear is very important for me. Today I am going to share something to you, a headphone that I thought I wouldn’t use it on a regular basis after reviewing and testing it. I can say that the saying “Don’t Judge the Book by its Cover” can be applied on this product. What I have here is the German Maestro GMP 8.35 D Monitor headphone, courtesy of Maestro Badenia Akustik & Elektronik GmbH. The headphone itself has a rugged and industrial looking outer design, unlike most of the mainstream flashy headphones, like Beats, that we see nowadays. According to the company, the GMP 8.35 D Monitor will “amaze its users with its dynamic bass response and overall transparency in the mid-range and high frequency section. The headphone’s low-impedance and highly sensitive drivers are able to adapt to the widest range of equipment – whether on a mixing table or on portable devices.” Interested in learning more about the GMP 8.35 D monitor headphone? Please continue reading my review below and find out why I called this the hidden gem.
About the Company and Brand
Many of you might not be familiar with the company, so I’m going to give you a little introduction about the brand German Maestro and the company Maestro Badenia.
The company Maestro Badenia has a long background and they are definitely not new to the audio industry. In May 2008 they started as Maestro Badenia with the brand name GermanMAESTRO. But before that happened, the company and brand was called MB Quart. However, in 2007 the guys in charge of MB Quart elected not to go for a German production anymore and switch to Asian production instead. The brand owners of MB Quart just walked away, taking with them the brand itself and leaving all the staff, including the entire production line and administration. So the entire team decided to start again under a new company name – Maestro Badenia and carrying a new brand name – German Maestro; supplying car speakers, home speakers and headphones/headsets under the new brand name.
German Maestro headphones are characterized by an over-average sound quality, no matter what price range a model is placed in. The whole headphone range is engineered and manufactured in Germany, with a focus on sound quality, reliability, wearing comfort and durability. The company only uses high quality materials for their component parts which they themselves produce mostly at their own German facility.
German Maestro GMP 8.35 D Monitor Headphone Review
According to the company, there are eight different models available to cover all the different applications and connecting scenarios. And the major benefits of the GMP headphone series are:
- Outstanding sound performance in each price range
- Durability thanks to high quality materials
- 35 Ohm – 300 Ohm systems available
- Open-Back and Closed-Back models available, depending on application or acoustical preferences
- Cardamatic suspension for the ear cups on GMP 240, GMP 250, GMP 435 S, GMP400 and GMP 450 PRO for maximum wearing comfort
- Multi-Jack plug which is convertible from 3.5mm to 6.3mm
- Spare part service available for each component part
- 3 years warranty
Basically, you can use any of the GMP series, including the one that I have now (GMP 8.35 D Monitor), with any mobile devices, your Hi-Fi equipment at home or with your professional mixing deck in the studio. Below are the specifications of the GMP 8.35 D Monitor headphone.
GMP 8.35 D Monitor Specifications
Frequency Response: 20 – 27.400 Hz
Nominal Impedance: 35 Ohm
Acoustical Principle: Closed
Ear Pads: Synthetic leather, circumaural
Average pressure on the ear: ~5.5 N
Weight w/o cable: 220 g
Connector: Stereo-Multi-Jack 3.5m or 6.3mm; Spiralcable 1.5m or 3m
A Closer Look and Build Quality
The German Maestro GMP 8.35 D Monitor is built like a tank! This is probably one of the toughest and nearly indestructible headphones I came across with. You might find this headphone not very attractive, unlike the Sennheisers or Beyerdynamics, but the GMP 8.35 D will last longer compare to the competition.
The GMP 8.35 D Monitor comes in a very simple packaging. It’s just a square box with the company’s logo and some features of the headphone printed on it. Opening the box will immediately reveal the headphone itself.
Aside from the headphone, you’ll also get a congratulatory note and a comparison chart of other German Maestro headphones.
The GMP 8.35 D Monitor has an all-black color theme and has an industrial look and feel. The company uses PE plastic (Polyethylene) for the ear cups. The PE plastic they use are flexible and very durable, thus they are not prone to cracking. It is resistant to all kinds of acid, leach, alcohol, fuel and it keeps its physical attributes from -85°C to 90°C.
The headband is very flexible and doesn’t break easily. I tried over stretching them and it didn’t break at all. The headband is made from special spring steel which has a certain mixture. It is hardened and tempered to ensure the right ratio of stability and flexibility.
The headband cover, as well as the ear pads, is made from durable artificial leather that the company gets from a German vendor. All other plastic parts that are used in manufacturing the GMP 8.35 D are molded and created by the company from their factory.
The GMP 8.35 D Monitor headphone comes with a thick cable wire which is non-removable. The one I got has a coiled section in the middle. There are also non-coiled models or straight cables; you just simply need to tell the company which type of cable and length is your preference.
At the end of the cable is a high quality shiny gold-plated 6.3mm jack. Simply unscrew the 6.3mm and it will reveal a 3.5mm jack inside, making it very flexible and versatile.
The GMP 8.35 D Monitor headphone uses a circumaural type of headphone, and it’s doing a fantastic job in noise cancellation. You can’t hear any sound coming from the outside unless you are listening to a soft or mellow audio. However, if you have a rather large ear helix or pointy ear, you might find the ear pads compressing against your helix. Some people don’t mind this, but I find it somewhat uncomfortable specially during long audio sessions. What I do is tilt the ear pads slightly so that the upper portion of my helix will not be compressed by the ear pads.
Above are closer look at the default earpads the company uses in their GMP 8.35 D Monitor headphones. You may use the circular type of earpads (Ear Pad 41-6050), the one with a larger opening, but it will affect the sound quality and noise cancelling attributes of the headphone. The headphone has only 35 Ohm impedance making it very easy to drive even when connected to mobile devices like an iPhone.
The German Maestro GMP 8.35 D Monitor that was sent to me was new and unused. When I first wore it on my head, I immediately noticed the strong clamping force against my ears. I couldn’t wear it for more than 10 minutes because of the force. So what I did was clamped it on a box and let it settle for more than 24 hours. After that, the clamping force was no longer that strong. Still, the headphone grips very well and doesn’t easily come off even if you intentionally shake your head.
Oh, aside from the headband being very flexible, you can also extend the speakers a little bit. See that ribbed rubber section connecting the speakers and the headband, you can slightly adjust its length by simply sliding it inwards or outwards.
After several weeks of using the GMP 8.35 D Monitor, I got used to it and the headphone itself became much comfortable to wear compared to the first few hours of wearing it. However, I just can’t use it for more than an hour straight without removing it temporarily from my ears since my ears starts to feel warm and I have to rest my ears for a few minutes before wearing them again.
As I said earlier, the German Maestro GMP 8.35 D Monitor headphone is built like a tank, and it’s almost indestructible. I have tried dropping and throwing the headphone, twisting and bending it really far, but haven’t done any extreme durability test on my sample since I just couldn’t put myself in destroying such a great monitor headphone. However I am going to show you a video below where this guy intentionally tries to destroy his JFB 8.35 D headphone.
Disclaimer: The company does not warrant that each GMP / JFD headphones will survive each torture test, specially the last one!
Testing and Sound Quality
I have two source of my audio while testing the German Maestro GMP 8.35 D Monitor. First is my desktop PC with a Gigabyte Z97X Gaming G1 WIFI-BK, featuring Sound Core 3D and OP-AMP: TI Burr Brown OPA2134; and second is an iPhone 5.
I didn’t think that a break-in period was really necessary in my opinion since I already noticed how great the sound quality of the GMP 8.35 D was during the first few minutes of listening to some tracks. After a couple of weeks, it still sounds the same.
I was amazed to hear how clean and clear the sound was. The headphone was overall perfectly balanced, it’s like the mids, highs and bass were synchronized harmoniously that they don’t overlap one another, but at the same time each one of them is very clear.
I first listened to Chesky Records – The Ultimate Demonstration Disk, and for me it flawlessly delivered the sound that the artist intends me to hear, as if the artist was performing right in front of me. The voices were very clear, you can clearly hear and distinguish each instrument and the sound that it produced was simply accurate.
I then listened to some rock music to heavy metal tracks, from Bon Jovi, White Lion, to Metallica and it was generally fun and engaging. I then shifted to pop music, pop rock, alternatives, and some tracks from Richard Marx and Air Supply. The experience was fantastic and “eargasmic”. Adele’s music was lively and very immersive with the GMP 8.35 D. By the way, you can order the Ear Pad 41-6050 that is said to provide enhancement for Jazz and Classical music, and overall improves the soundstage. But I cannot comment on this since I haven’t tried the Ear Pad 41-6050 on the GMP 8.35 D Monitor. Perhaps in the future if I get a chance to try them, I’ll update this section.
Finally, I listened to some R&B, dance and tracks from Lady Gaga like Poker Face and tracks from Black Eyed Peas. At first I thought that the GMP 8.35 lacks bass, but it does come with a decent amount of bass, somewhat fat but it lacks the punch or “boom-factor” like in the B&W P7. Bass is definitely present, and for people who don’t like a strong and powerful ear-pounding bass will find the GMP 8.35 to their liking. But for me, when it comes to music like Black Eyed Peas’ My Humps or Gaga’s Poker Face and similar tracks with all the bass and synthesizers going wild, I’d rather use a headphone like the B&W P7. It’s a matter of personal preference since I like the bass pounding on my ears and it makes me feel like I’m in the club.
So basically speaking, the German Maestro GMP 8.35 D Monitor headphone can take on any genre you threw on it and it will produce the sound as accurately as possible. It’s also very transparent so be sure that you have a good high quality source. Otherwise you won’t be enjoying this headphone if you are listening to some poorly encoded MP3s. You can safely traverse with this Monitor headphone from one genre to another, with a few exceptions on some technicalities. Those who are looking for a more specific sound signature may want to look elsewhere.
Price and Where to Buy
The German Maestro GMP 8.35 D Monitor headphone currently sells for €165.00 directly from the company’s website. The price includes VAT and delivery.
German Maestro GMP 8.35 D Monitor Review: Conclusion
After using the German Maestro GMP 8.35 D Monitor for a couple of weeks, it still surprises me to this date. Remove the brand name or company logo printed on it, and who would have thought that this would be a fantastic pair of cans? I think this is the kind of monitor headphone that sound engineers would want to use most of the time, if not all the time.
Its build quality would also tell you that this is not the kind of headphone that will only last for a year or so. It’s not the kind of headphone that you will have to pamper every day and place it gently on a secure place after use. This is the kind of headphone that you can bring anywhere you go without worrying that it will break along the way.
Aside from being able to produce fantastic and very engaging sound quality, the GMP 8.35 D Monitor won’t cost you an arm or a leg. It is priced very competitively compared to other monitor headphones in the market, and the headphone itself is made from Germany.
The Maestro Badenia has proven themselves that they are really “serious about audio” with their German Maestro GMP 8.35 D Monitor headphone. And I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for a great monitor headphone. A fine product like this surely deserves The PC Enthusiast’s Editor’s Choice award.