It is a first for the Mark Levinson brand of the Harman Luxury Audio Group, which is now celebrating with the new Mark Levinson No. 5909 High Resolution Wireless Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation and thus venturing into the headphone sector.
Mark Levinson No. 5909 High Resolution Wireless Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation is the complete name of this solution, which represents a premiere for the Mark Levinson brand, because for the first time the company is presenting wireless headphones, even lifestyle headphones, as is explicitly emphasised.
The new Mark Levinson No. 5909 High Resolution Wireless Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation is not only the brand’s first ever portable audio product, but also aims to inspire a particularly broad customer base with the special features that distinguish Mark Levinson solutions and enable high-fidelity audio with maximum flexibility and comfort even when on the move.
Mark Levinson No. 5909 High Resolution Wireless Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation
The full product name basically expresses everything that is supposed to distinguish the new, the first headphones of the Mark Levinson brand. That is, of course, the buzzword “wireless”, thus joining the ranks of True Wireless Headphones. Active noise cancellation is also a must in this segment if you want to play in the premium segment, which Harman International Industries undoubtedly intends to do with this new solution.
The travelling companion for audiophiles
The company states that Mark Levinson has stood for the highest audio quality and the promotion and appreciation of music and artists for 50 years. The details, nuances and subtleties of Mark Levinson’s reference sound, for which the brand has been known ever since, are to be reflected in the development of the Mark Levinson No. 5909.
The declared aim is to offer music lovers a first-class sound experience on the move, making music a true pleasure even via True Wireless Headphones – without compromise.
Mark Levinson No. 5909 – Tuning Based on the Harman Curve
At the heart of the new Mark Levinson No. 5909 are 40 mm drivers, which feature a beryllium coating and which, according to the manufacturer, are supposed to be expertly tuned to the so-called “Harman Curve”.
The fact is that Harman International Industries Inc. as part of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. unites some proven experts for headphones in the same corporate group. First and foremost there is JBL, but also the AKG brand, so that one can rely on decades of experience in the development of headphones.
The company claims that the Harman Curve is the result of precisely this decades-long expertise, in conjunction with countless studies on listening preferences. In other words, the acoustic response curve that achieved the highest subjective score based on the aforementioned research and in listening tests, and was thus determined to be the most pleasing tuning, is referred to as the Harman Curve. It also refers to the work of Dr. Sean Olive, Senior Fellow of Harman International Industries Inc. and former President of the Audio Engineering Society, who developed a predictive measurement scale for optimal sound with over-ear, on-ear and in-ear headphones.
Signal transmission via Bluetooth 5.1
In order to achieve the highest sound fidelity even with True Wireless headphones, Bluetooth 5.1 is of course used and the codecs AAC, aptX and LDAC, the latter of which allows signal transmission with up to 24 bits and 96 kHz. This makes it possible for the Mark Levinson No. 5909 to actually support hi-res audio and, with a frequency mapping of up to 40 kHz, to meet the requirements for hi-res audio certification, which is especially important in Asia.
Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation with Ambient Aware Modes
As already mentioned, the Mark Levinson No. 5909 features adaptive active noise cancellation. This means that it always adapts to the respective conditions, with four microphones providing the basis for the DSP-based signal processing.
Three modes are available here, including a so-called Ambient Aware mode, which “lets through” ambient noise if desired and thus ensures safety in road traffic, for example, but also ensures that one can have conversations or hear announcements without having to take off the headphones.
The four microphones have a so-called smart-wind adaptation, so that telephone calls can also be made with the best voice quality, free from disturbing influences.
Of course, it can also be used for voice control on smartphones, be it Apple Siri on Apple iOS, or Google Assistant on smartphones with Google Android as the operating system.
As a true lifestyle solution, it is of course immensely important that the workmanship is of a correspondingly high quality. The manufacturer states that the new Mark Levinson No. 5909 is made solely of high-quality materials, with aluminium for the frame of the ear cups and the hinges to the headband made of stainless steel. The headband is made of leather, as are the ear pads, both of which are softly padded for a high level of wearing comfort. It should be mentioned that the ear pads can be changed if necessary.
Long battery life
The new Mark Levinson No. 5909 is said to have a particularly long battery life. The manufacturer states up to 34 hours, whereby this describes operation without activated noise suppression. If this is activated, however, the playing time is still up to 32 hours.
By the way, 15 minutes of charging is enough for another six hours of playing time, which is also not insignificant and ensures flexibility.
By the way, charging is done via a USB-C interface, whereby the corresponding cable with a length of 1.25 m is included in the scope of delivery, as well as a USB-C to USB-A adapter, a 1.25 m and 4 m long USB-C to 3.5 mm audio cable, a 3.5 mm to 6.3 mm audio adapter, and a special audio adapter for use in the air. To ensure that all this can be safely stowed away, the new Mark Levinson No. 5909 is delivered with a high-quality transport case, which also contains the microfibre cloth for cleaning.
Of course, a suitable app is not missing, which the manufacturer offers for Apple iOS and Google Android alike, and which allows an individual configuration.
Incidentally, buyers receive a test access to Qobuz for a period of 90 days.
“The Mark Levinson No. 5909 headphones are the first Mark Levinson product designed for the luxury lifestyle on the go. The combination of Mark Levinson reference sound, premium features, luxurious finish and comfort, and chic design set new standards in the wireless headphone category.” Jim Garrett, Senior Director, Product Strategy and Planning, Harman Luxury Audio
Prices and availability
The new Mark Levinson No. 5909 High Resolution Wireless Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation were first presented at CES 2022 in Las Vegas, so it is all the more pleasing that these new headphones should actually be available in the course of January 2022.
As befits its claim to be a high-end lifestyle solution, this solution will be available in different colour variants, namely Pearl Black, Ice Pewter as well as Radiant Red.
The recommended retail price for the new Mark Levinson No. 5909 High Resolution Wireless Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation is expected to be € 1.000,-.
Getting to the point
It’s a little surprising that the high-end hi-fi brand Mark Levinson refers to the company’s first headphones as a lifestyle product. Of course, they want to place themselves directly in the premium segment of this highly competitive market segment, but fortunately they are well aware that not only the pure technical data are relevant, but also the design and ultimately the image. In this respect, it is honest and ultimately purposeful to call a spade a spade and thus offer a solution for audiophiles, but also for all those who want to combine the highest sound fidelity with the corresponding style, with a certain flair for exclusivity in design.
|PRODUCT||MARK LEVINSON NO. 5909|
|Distribution||Harman Luxury Audio Group|
|More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG|