Updated: Nov 24, 2020
The M-1 Headset for the Teenage Engineering OP-Z came a little out of the blue when announced recently. Weighing in at £65 / $85 the value seems pretty good considering they provide a mini gooseneck microphone, with windshield and are designed specifically for the OP-Z. As always with TE the packaging is both clever and interesting. The package is surprisingly small with the usual 'ripcord' paper tag to open it. Inside find the folded headset with both ear pieces well protected in paper containers and an elastic band fastener. In addition to the flexible mini mic the audio cable which carries both the audio signal for the headset and mic in is provided and a small mic windshield. The headset has a built in microphone as well as the mini gooseneck and either can be used. A nice feature is the ability to connect the mic and the audio cable to either left or right side of the headset with the connection sockets sitting under each ear cup. The left and right are indicated in text on the headband as well as a white and red 'dot' respectively making it easy to distinguish stereo sides. A nice touch. The cable connectors are extremely tight fitting and give confidence to the build and design quality, however one small issue is that the head strap metal band extends to push onto the audio cable (slightly) when
extended. Having one of the audio cable connectors angled (like the mic connector) would have improved things here and avoid the band rubbing the cable. Both ends of the audio cable are straight and comes in a length perfect for sitting at a desk or with the OP-Z in your lap. The small 'gooseneck' mic is a neat and tidy design and fits well into the form factor of the headset but can be a little fiddly when inserting and extracting between the ear cup and the headband. My least favourite part of the design is that the adjustment of the headband to match the cups to the ears which is a fiddly and the fold up function to make the headset portable and compact seems a little lightweight. The headband is a rubber like material supported by a metal band and sporting the Teenage Engineering headline. So on to the sound. Firstly
the sound quality is excellent with good clarity and definition. The sound is loud and clear. For such a small headset its perhaps too much to expect the separation and clearly the M-1 doesnt lend itself to fully isolating external and background sounds.However i was impressed with sound quality. The microphones are both good with the internal headset mic being a closer sound representation to to the OP-Z mic. The additional mic is less clear and with the windshield picks up less of the environment
sound and is slightly duller. But nevertheless is very good for the portable design targeted. The left headset has a yellow button built in for activating the input source from the default internal OP-Z to the headset. A neat and useful design feature. All in all I'm impressed with the sound quality and design of the M-1 headset. Smaller than expected but that isn't a put off. Some elements such as the head band adjustment and audio cable entry are minor points and not things that would put me off buying this accessory. A welcome addition to the TE OP-Z accessories and one which integrates very well.