Gear Review: Munitio Nines

munitio nines

Munitio headphones are the best smartphone headphones ever made for gun owners, period. You can read the rest of this or you can get online and order some now and save yourself some time. If you have to know little details like quality or performance then OK, read on.

Let’s take a step back. Why are these the perfect headphones for gunners? Because Munitio doesn’t just make headphones, they make Billets, Nines and Pro40s. Munitio specializes in ammo-themed audio. The earbuds are patterned off cartridges that are machined from copper or aluminum alloy billets.

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Box with cutouts for headphones, latching carrying case, accessories and manual. (Photo by Max Slowik)

Each earbud is engraved “Munitio 9mm” for the headstamp. They’re bad-ass like that.

The Billets are the entry-level earbuds, the Nines are a step up, designed for use with iPhones, iPads, iPods and Android devices and the Pro40s are over-the-ear headphones for audiophiles. They also make a Mobile Performance SV model for pocket-carry. These have been de-horned and have a flat tangle-free cable; they’re also more compact. Like the Billets, they include a controller for smartphones and tablets.

I have a set of Nines, which are similar to the Billets but have more features. They use the copper alloy cases that have a very rugged titanium oxide finish and the cables are reinforced with Kevlar sleeves. The titanium finish is available in gold, silver and matte black. The gold and silver cases look enough like brass and nickel that they can and easily do pass for 9mm cartridges. The black Nines have a stealthier attitude that keep a low profile.

On the tops of the cases is a laser-engraved Munitio eagle crest. It’s just one of many little nice touches, like a textured, overbuilt connector that really inspires confidence.

Before I go into the audio quality, let me say that the build quality of the Nines is outstanding. These are hard-use headphones that can easily stand up to more abuse than your average earbuds. It’s clear that the Kevlar sleeves add a lot of strength the the cables and the bodies of the earbuds are dense and strong.

In the middle of the cable is a three-button controller, that when used with an Apple device, can control volume and playback in addition to enabling hands-free calling. (It has limited single-button functionality with Android devices.)

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The earbuds’ body dimensions are effectively identical to 9mm except they are shorter. (Photo by Max Slowik)

They use a very pliant, stretchy and soft silicone rubber for the earbud portion of the headphones. I’d worry more about losing them than tearing them. The good news there is that Munitio ships the Nines with a nice cloth carry pouch that keeps things together. The case has a loop on it for a biner and clasps shut solidly with a magnet. It has two compartments, one for the phones and the other for the Hollow Points, which is nice, because that way the extra buds don’t fall out every time you pull out the phones.

It would be easy to assume that these headphones put style before function. Obviously they’re edgy and have a fashion accessory  bias about them, but Munitio doesn’t stop with the looks; they’re well-made inside and out.

Like a lot of audio equipment, these have a lot of technical-sounding jargon that looks great on paper but don’t always mean anything, for instance, they have a “Bass Enhancing Chamber” and a “Custom-tuned Sound Flow System.” They have gold-plated connectors that always sell well, but generally don’t offer a performance boost (although gold is essentially corrosion-proof). And they use rare-earth neodymium drivers, which are increasingly common, especially outside of the entry level.

In actual use they go toe-to-toe with any quality mid-range earbuds. The 9mm aesthetic, the rugged build, all that’s a bonus on top.

They have a very even sound profile that doesn’t wash out the mid-level with an over-driven low end and the highs are clear without being shrill. They’re very level headphones that just don’t need help from any equalizing; they’re great right out of the box. The audio reproduction is very accurate and are absolutely geared to audiophiles on a budget.

Munitio could have gotten away with just making these headphones pretty and loud. They went with pretty and good.

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A gun-owner’s must-have. (Photo by Max Slowik)

There are really only a couple of things about the Nines that someone might have trouble with. They’re a lot heavier than your average set of earbuds thanks to the copper construction. To mitigate this Munitio also includes a couple of over-the-ear clips that lock into the case rims like a 1/6th moon clip that will hold them into place.

I didn’t really have any problems with them falling out, but I could see it happening if I wore them while running. The aluminum-cased Billets probably don’t have this problem.

The other thing is the claim that they’re noise-isolating, but you can hear what’s going on around you if you don’t have the volume cranked up. They would not make great improvised ear pro but they do dim the ambient noise level somewhat. The result is a clean, clear audio stream.

Whether you’re looking for a set of high-quality earbuds or you’re hunting for that last-minute gift idea for the gun owner who has everything, you should definitely check out Munitio’s offerings. While I only have the Nines, based on their overall top-shelf construction and faithful audio replication, I would not hesitate to pick up any of their products. 

The Nines are generally priced around $125, give or take, with the Billets priced around $70. There are a handful of special edition Billets out there, like Call of Duty Billets for gamers.

The Munitio Nines punch above their weight class and I can’t wait to see what Munitio has up their sleeve for next year. For more information about all of the Munitio line-up, head over to their website.