Mark Levinson № 5909

Premium Hi-Res Wireless ANC Over-Ear Headphones w/ Bluetooth, Active Noise Canceling, Transparency Modes, USB-C, Wear Detection & Voice Controls

Item #MARKL:NO5909

Mark Levinson № 5909

Premium Hi-Res Wireless ANC Over-Ear Headphones w/ Bluetooth, Active Noise Canceling, Transparency Modes, USB-C, Wear Detection & Voice Controls

$999.00
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Overview

Meticulously crafted from premium materials inside and out — enjoy up to 30 hours of reference-class audio over Bluetooth with Active Noise Canceling (ANC) enabled — or up to 34 hours with ANC off — making Mark Levinson's № 5909 a fantastic travel companion for music lovers wanting the highest sound quality without skimping on luxury design, materials, or comfort.

High Notes

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All-Day Comfort Designed For Travel

Dive deep into music & block out the noise as you travel. A hard-shell carrying case discretely stores a complete assortment of cables & accessories, including USB charging cables, an airplane audio adaptor, & a microfiber polishing cloth to keep the high-end materials always looking great.

High Notes Image

Custom 40mm Mark Levinson Drivers

Mark Levinson’s world-class engineers designed the № 5909 to deliver reference-quality sound via 40mm beryllium-coated drivers & high-resolution Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity.

High Notes Image

Expertly Tuned by HARMAN

№ 5909's sound profile has been expertly tuned to the HARMAN Curve, an acoustic response curve that achieved the highest subjective scoring across listening tests developed over decades of research by HARMAN into listening preferences and the science of acoustics.

Company & Product Overview

At Audio Advice, we are big fans of Mark Levinson. In 1972, they cracked the code of pure audio playback by hand-building stereo components that overcame every known limitation on sound reproduction.

That was 50 years ago — and since then, they have created a class of their own through their consistent output of the best sounding, longest-lasting, most intuitive audio/video components that are as gorgeous as they are meticulously crafted. The sound that has been 50 years in the making is now available to go anywhere, revealing hidden details of hi-res audio now available through streaming services — on the go or at home.

As a leader in luxury audio since 1972, № 5909 is Mark Levinson’s first high-resolution wireless headphones. № 5909 is a durable and lightweight pair of closed-back headphones that feature Mark Levinson’s Adaptive Active Noise Canceling (ANC).

Front view, side view and rear view of the Mark Levinson № 5909 headphones in red finish.

Packaging, Design & Build Quality

Mark Levinson bundles a high-quality hardshell case that discretely stores cables and audio/airplane adaptors while protecting your investment. The case is slim and well-designed. It slips easily into a backpack or a bag and has a little more depth than most bundled cases to accommodate the № 5909’s larger ear cups.

We love that the № 5909 features swiveling ear cups. This design allows the headphones to lay flat on a desk when a stand isn’t close by. This also allows you to stow the headphones inside of the carrying case with enough room to fit all of the included accessories. Mark Levinson included all the cables and the adapters needed for just about any situation. There is a discrete storage pouch with its own zipper built into the case that lets you tote and protect all of the included accessories.

Mark Levinson № 5909 headphone in its hardshell case

Clearly, the № 5909 was designed for people on the move, frequently flying, and travelers of all styles. Inside the case, there is a very long 4-meter USB-C to 3.5mm headphone cable, another shorter USB-C to 3.5mm headphone cable with a length of 1.25-meters, and one USB-C charging cable. There is also a USB-C to USB-A adaptor for charging with laptops or charging bricks that have traditional USB-A ports, one 3.5mm to 6.3mm headphone adaptor, and an airplane adapter, so you can hear the audio during movies on a long flight.

As far as looks, the headphones have a modern and luxurious style. Mark Levinson’s № 5909 features black premium leather on the earpads and headband with a black anodized aluminum construction throughout — giving it a strikingly premium appearance. For a little splash of color sheen, the № 5909’s ear cups are polished with automotive-grade paint that comes in three metallic finishes — Pearl Black, Ice Pewter, and Radiant Red. The finishes almost glisten under the right lighting like a luxury high-performance vehicle.

Close up of the Mark Levinson № 5909 headphone ear cup.

The Mark Levinson logo is laser-etched in matte-gray lettering onto black aluminum cover plates at the center of each ear cup, creating a distinct contrast. There are also shiny, red anodized aluminum accent rings that surround the Mark Levinson embossings, and this creates a starker, yet still subtle, contrast against the № 5909’s darker aesthetics.

Complimenting these high-end details are shiny laser-cut metal trimming around the accent rings, which cover the ambient-aware microphones on the sides of the ear cups. Rather than using a typical grille cover, the trimming Mark Levinson designed creates a cool, industrial look that is several steps above what most noise-canceling headphones have. For each of the № 5909’s finishes, there’s even red stitching on the headband’s cushioned black leather, reminding us of the premium seats found in a luxury sports car.

Top view of the Mark Levinson № 5909 headphone laying flat.

Beneath the yoke assembly, there are bass ventilation ports on top of the ear cups that are covered with black metal mesh grilles. Since the bass port allows air to flow around the drivers and escape outside of the cup, the engineers spent many months perfecting the reference-class sound profile Mark Levinson fans know and love. We like how the swiveling earcups and the yoke assembly are designed to cover up the grilles whenever the earcups are laying flat — protecting them while the № 5909s are inside their case.

In terms of build quality, № 5909 is constructed from premium materials including core aluminum components coated with a protective oxide layer for the headphone’s frame. The leather ear cushions are completely replaceable, ensuring long-lasting comfort that will last for years down the road. All of the buttons and controls have premium switches that are of higher quality — unlike the cheap plastics on most noise-canceling headphones.

Close up of the Mark Levinson № 5909 headphone buttons on the ear cups.

On the right ear cup, there are buttons to control the playback and raise or lower the volume. There is also a USB-C port for charging the headphones, plus a dedicated indicator LED that illuminates green, orange, or red to let you know the status of the battery. It’s important to note, Mark Levinson is one of the few that make the USB-C port capable of both charging the headphones and passing hi-res audio through the wired connection. Since many people will be using these to work from home with a laptop that no longer includes a 3.5mm jack, we see the USB-C audio cable as an added convenience for those wanting the best audio quality from their laptops.

Finally, on the left ear cup, there is a multifunction button labeled “ANC” that activates the Active Noise Canceling and Ambient Aware transparency modes, a power button that activates Bluetooth pairing modes, and another indicator LED that flashes or illuminates a solid white light to show you the Bluetooth status.

Overall, we really liked the № 5909’s premium look. Their luxurious, yet understated style complimented just about any wardrobe we chose. As a high-end product, we appreciated that a microfiber polishing cloth was included to keep the high-end paint-job and the premium leather in pristine condition — and always looking great.

A female model wearing a pair of Mark Levinson № 5909 headphones in the car.

Comfort

The № 5909 weighs slightly less than 12 ounces, which is less than a pound and an approximate average weight compared to most ANC headphones on the market.

However, after about 30 minutes of wearing the № 5909, pressure on top of the head was noticeably distributed around the ears more evenly compared to many noise-canceling headphones. Even after listening to music in the office, and taking calls all day, there was substantially less pressure on the crowns of our heads when wearing the № 5909.

The premium leather on the № 5909’s ear pads is also very soft, and the cups cover a larger surface area around the ears. Having slightly larger earcups translates into more room inside the chamber for your ears to stay cool — allowing longer wear before your ears get clammy or sweaty — and this was precisely our experience when testing the Mark Levinson № 5909. It took more than 3 hours of wearing the № 5909s before our ears started to feel clammy or sweaty, which is just fantastic!

This is due, in part, to the headband’s structure and its ability to transfer pressure to the large ear pads — which is exactly what you want when designing a headphone to be comfortable to wear. The yoke assembly is crafted from durable black anodized aluminum that is lightweight and flexible. It slides up and down smoothly and stays locked into position securely, making it really easy to adjust to a perfectly snug fit.

The rest of the comfort comes down to the lavish lightweight materials used in the headband combined with the soft cushioning and the premium leather to further reduce the clamping force and more evenly distribute the weight around the ears. The fact that the earpads are completely replaceable is the icing on the cake, ensuring this level of comfort will last you for years down the road.

A close up shot of the Mark Levinson № 5909 headphone connected to a stereo amplifier and laying on a desk.

Features & Technology

Experience Hi-Res Audio Anywhere

The № 5909 meets the stringent standards for hi-res audio & streaming services over Bluetooth 5.1 with fidelity audiophiles will appreciate. № 5909 supports the most popular high-resolution Bluetooth codecs, including LDAC, AAC, and aptX™ Adaptive.

High-Performance 40mm Drivers

The same world-class engineers behind Mark Levinson’s renowned amplifiers, turntables, and streaming players designed the № 5909’s 40mm beryllium-coated drivers to deliver reference-class sound in both passive and wireless modes for the highest-quality sound reproduction anywhere — at home or on the go.

Expertly Tuned by HARMAN

The № 5909’s sound profile was expertly tuned to the HARMAN Curve — an acoustic response curve that achieved the highest subjective scoring across listening tests — developed over decades of HARMAN’s research into listening preferences and the science of acoustics. № 5909 is the first headphone to implement Harman’s Headphone Predictive Model Algorithm during the manufacturing process for the tightest adherence to the Harman Curve.

Mark Levinson № 5909 headphone exploded view of all internal components.

Crystal Clear Phone Calls

Hold conversations comfortably, in nearly any environment. Four beam-steering microphones with Smart Wind Adaption prevent your voice from being muddled by outside noise. Connect with family, chat with friends, and hold business calls – all in near-perfect clarity.

Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)

The № 5909 has a real-time adaptive noise-canceling feature where the active noise-canceling (ANC) tech automatically adjusts to your environment. So, if you’re wearing them on a plane, the № 5909 will cancel out the plane noise, letting you deep dive into your music, but as you walk through the terminal, they’ll re-adjust to the noises in the new environment, so you can stay focused on the music.

Ambient Aware Transparency Modes

Mark Levinson’s ANC headphone tech provides three noise-canceling modes — ANC High, ANC Adaptive, & ANC Low — plus two situational Ambient Aware transparency modes that let you pipe in sound from your environment, and hear it with crystal clear clarity — helping you stay aware of your surroundings and always on top of your game.

A male model wearing a pair of Mark Levinson № 5909 headphones outside and staring at his smartphone.

Personalized EQ Preferences

The № 5909s utilize the Mark Levinson Headphones app on your smartphone to select noise-canceling levels, adjust ambient aware pass-through modes, change default functionality of buttons, and tailor the bass contour to preference. Apps like these enable the manufacturers to update software, so your investment is constantly improving over time.

Wear Detection

A proximity sensor will detect when you are wearing the headphones, so when you take them off, you don’t have to worry about draining the battery. You just set up the standby time in the app, and your № 5909s will power off, automatically. This also works with music — so, whenever you remove the headphones, the № 5909 pauses the music for you. Once you experience wear detection, you will never want to go back to headphones without this feature!

Extended Wireless Listening

Another advantage of Bluetooth 5.1 is the extended wireless range, so you don’t have to be within close proximity of your Bluetooth sources like your phone or work computer for music playback and an important phone call. While on a call, just roam freely and the call will remain connected as long as you are within 65 feet (or 20 meters) away from your phone.

A female model wearing a pair of Mark Levinson № 5909 headphones at the airport.

Long-Lasting Battery Life

One area where Mark Levinson slightly outshines most of the competition in this category is the superior battery life. With active noise-canceling turned on, the № 5909s will run 30-hours on a single charge — and up to 34 hours of playback time with ANC disabled.

Of course, this will be great news for travelers, but when you start talking over 20 hours of active noise-canceling, it really opens the door for these to become daily headphones that you can use regularly at work, home, or anywhere in between. Plus, Mark Levinson gives you 6 hours of charge from just a quick 15-minute charge, which is just fantastic.

Intuitive Controls

Some headphones use intuitive touch-controls on the earcups, so you can swipe your finger across them to pause, play, or increase the volume. However, capacitive touch tends to have issues with consistency and reliability in certain types of weather.

Mark Levinson went with physical buttons that are always dependable, always there, and easily found. We find having physical buttons offer the most consistent experience in all types of weather no matter what the temperature is like outside. There’s also voice control built-in, so you can control playback, skip tracks and command your favorite voice assistant to play all of your favorite songs.

Close up of a male model wearing a pair of Mark Levinson № 5909 headphones and pressing a button on the ear cup.

Performance

We tested the № 5909s in a variety of scenarios like riding in the car, crossing a busy street, and taking calls at the office. Since audio quality is something typically overlooked by some brands with other wireless headphones, we listened to a lot of different styles of music to get a good impression of what the № 5909 is capable of.

Quick Specs Overview

With an impedance of 32 ohms, just about any wireless Bluetooth or wired audio source will drive the Mark Levinson № 5909 — including smartphones and laptops streaming audio over Bluetooth, or portable hi-res audio players or CD players using the № 5909’s wired connection.

For music files encoded in hi-res file formats and with higher sample rates, the № 5909 has two modes:

  1. In Wireless Mode, № 5909 has a pretty wide frequency response of 20Hz - 20kHz.
  2. In Passive Mode, using either of the included USB-C or stereo miniplug cables, the № 5909 is capable of delivering deeper bass that goes down to 10Hz all the way up to 40kHz.

We listened to the № 5909 in both modes with a variety of noise-canceling features enabled and disabled to get the best impression of what Mark Levinson’s custom-designed and expertly tuned 40mm beryllium-coated drivers are capable of.

Overall, № 5909 presented a wide soundstage that was neutral. The № 5909 had good bass reproduction that sounded natural across a wide range of frequencies. Mark Levinson utilized the same engineers behind their world-renowned amplifiers, turntables, and streaming players, and then they tuned the № 5909’s custom drivers using the HARMAN Curve to create a neutral sound across a linear frequency response.

The result is a well-balanced soundstage that will let you hear your music with neutral reference-quality sound and detail retrieval that is as close to what the artist intended as we have ever experienced from a wireless ANC headphone.

Music Tests

With the Mark Levinson № 5909, you will hear a broad, even presentation of frequencies across the full spectrum of music, especially on recordings where there are a lot of natural instruments playing all at once. John Mayer’s “Gravity,” off the 2006 Continuum album is a really good example that will let you hear the № 5909’s natural presentation of details that was almost like being in the room with the musicians.

If you like hi-res audio and streaming services, № 5909 is certifiably compatible with Qualcomm’s high-resolution aptX Adaptive, and Sony’s lossless LDAC. These codecs promise class-leading, 24-bit/48kHz or higher Bluetooth transmission with low latency. Think of music with tighter bass, clearer midrange, and a wider separation of detail in the overall sense of presentation. If you want to hear the № 5909’s rich detail retrieval on hi-res audio, then you have to check out a hi-res version of Prince’s “I Wanna Be Your Lover” off his second album. Recorded in 1979, this is a good track that will let you get lost in the № 5909’s wide separation of details with good, tight, resolute bass that made us want to start tapping our feet on the floor.

Noise Canceling Tests

In terms of low-frequency sounds like the low-end “hum” of a car, or even the loud and obtrusive sound of a train passing by, the № 5909 performed well at canceling out the sounds that live in these lower frequency ranges. In terms of low-frequency noises, we found them to be on par with many of the best noise-canceling headphones on the market.

Call Quality Tests

On phone calls, we tested them in the car, walking across the street, and on business calls at the office. In all of these situations, people on the other end consistently told us the reduction of background noise was substantially better. People told us our voices sounded clear during the call, and on conference calls, fewer people asked us to mute if there was wind or other background noises.

Adaptive Active Noise Canceling Test

We were the most impressed by how well the № 5909 canceled out high-frequency sounds. For example, Mark Levinson’s Adaptive ANC was very effective at automatically adapting to the ambient noise in our changing environments. When we were out and about in a busy downtown urban environment with a lot of higher frequency noises like the sound of honking cars, sirens blaring, and people chattering, the № 5909 performed well at reducing all the distracting noise so we could chill out and focus on the music.

Ambient Pass-through Test

When we wanted to hear the sounds in our environment, the № 5909’s Ambient Aware Voice Pass-Through feature did a fantastic job piping in just the mid-range frequencies when it was time to pause the music and have a conversation. Overall, we were impressed by how well we could hone in on human speech whenever we needed to have a quick conversation without taking off the headphones.

An image showing all the Mark Levinson № 5909 headphones in Black, Red and Pewter finishes.

Overall Recommendation

With everything combined, from the premium packaging to the design and the aesthetics, Mark Levinson created a sophisticated, practical, and extremely beautiful package for the music lover who wants to experience exceptional sound quality with style.

The № 5909 will let you dive deep into your music and block out the noise while you travel. Its transparency modes are fantastic, allowing you to hear sounds in your environment clearer, including conversational speech while blocking out all the other noises. A hard-shell carrying case discretely stores an assortment of cables and accessories, including USB charging cables, an airplane audio adaptor, and a microfiber polishing cloth for a complete package clearly aimed at audiophiles who are on the go and travel.

We wouldn’t recommend the № 5909 for overly aggressive workouts, because they are far too nice for that ergonomic scenario, but we were deeply impressed with the level of all-day comfort you get from this pair of headphones. The № 5909’s strong, lightweight materials negotiated a secure fit that stayed on our heads with a snug fit that remained comfortable to wear longer than just about any pair of noise-canceling headphones we have tested.

You could pack these up for a road trip in the car, or bring them along for a long flight. Wear them on your way to work, and everywhere in between. For the money, the Mark Levinson № 5909 is the most comfortable pair of noise-canceling headphones you can buy. Your ears will appreciate the level of comfort and the isolation you get from them. Plus, the removable ear pads are a fantastic bonus that will keep your investment going the distance for years to come.

Details & Specs

TOP FEATURES

Impeccable Performance

Mark Levinson’s world-class engineers have designed the № 5909 to deliver reference-quality sound via 40 mm beryllium-coated drivers and high-resolution Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity. The № 5909’s audio performance meets the stringent standards for Hi-Res Audio certification.

Precision Tuning

The № 5909 sound profile has been expertly tuned to the HARMAN Curve, an acoustic response curve that achieved the highest subjective scoring across listening tests developed over decades of research by HARMAN into listening preferences and the science of acoustics.

Crystal Clear Calls

Hold conversations comfortably, in nearly any environment. Four beam-steering microphones with Smart Wind Adaption prevent your voice from being muddled by outside noise. Connect with family, chat with friends, and hold business calls – all in near-perfect clarity.

Designed For Travel

Dive deep into your music and block out the noise as you travel. A hard-shell carrying case discretely stores a complete assortment of cables and accessories, including USB charging cables, an airplane audio adaptor, and a microfiber polishing cloth.

Extended Listening

Enjoy your music for longer. The № 5909 provides up to 34 hours of playback time or up to 30 hours with ANC enabled.

Personalized Preferences

Control and adjust the listening settings on your headphones through the Mark Levinson Headphones App on your iPhone® or Android device. Luxurious Design The beautiful design incorporates lavish materials, including anodized aluminum for lasting durability and premium leather for exceptional comfort.

DIFFERENTIATORS

  1. The first headphone that implements Harman’s Headphone Predictive Model Algorithm in the manufacturing process for tight adherence to the Harman Curve.
  2. Hi-Res Certified in both Passive and Wireless Modes for high-end quality at home or on the go.
  3. Best-in-class technology in real-time adaptive ANC, intelligent voice, ambient, voice pass-thru, passive, direct digital, and BT listening and head sensing technology.
  4. User-selectable bass contour preferences based on scientific research.
  5. iOS and Android Apps for user flexibility and easy control.

FULL SPECIFICATIONS

Type: Premium High-Resolution Over-the-Ear Wireless Adaptive Active Noise Cancelling Headphone

Driver Size: 40mm Beryllium Driver

Frequency Response (Passive): 10Hz - 40kHz

Frequency Response (Active): 20Hz - 20kHz

Sensitivity: 97dB SPL @1kHz/1mW

Maximum SPL: 98dB

Maximum input power (Passive): 100mW

Microphone Sensitivity: -32dBV @ 1kHz/Pa

Impedance: 32 ohm

Bluetooth transmitted power: <8dbm

Bluetooth transmitted modulation: GFSK, π/4 DQPSK / 8DPSK

Bluetooth frequency: 2.402Ghz - 2.480Ghz

Bluetooth profile version: A2DP 1.3.1, AVRCP 1.6, HFP 1.7.1

Bluetooth version:v5.1

Battery Type: Lithium-ion battery (750 mAh/3.7V)

Power Supply:  5V / 1.0A

Charging Time: 100 minutes

Music Playtime with BT on: 34 hrs

Music playtime with BT & ANC on: 30 hrs

Music playtime with Aux-in & ANC on: 30 hrs

Dimensions (H x W x D): 202.6mm (7.9") x 205.4mm (8.1") x 65.4mm (2.6")

Weight: 340g (12 oz)

Warranty: 2 Years Parts & Labor

More Information
Warranty 2 years
Included Accessories Hard shell travel case, Cables (audio): 4m USB-C to 3.5mm audio cable; 1.25m USB-C to 3.5mm audio cable, Cables (power): 1.25m USB-C charging cable, Adapters: USB-C to USB-A adaptor; 3.5mm to 6.3mm adaptor; Airplane adapter, Microfiber Cloth, Quick Start
Ear Coupling Over-Ear
Transducer Type Dynamic
Connection Type Wireless, Wired, USB-C, 3.5mm stereo miniplug.
Earpad Material Leather
Sensitivity 97dB SPL @1kHz/1mW
Sound Profile Neutral
Inputs USB-C
Impedance 32 ohm
Frequency Response 10Hz - 40kHz (Passive mode); 20Hz - 20kHz (Active mode)
Drivers 40mm Beryllium Driver
Cable Length 4 Meters
Carrying Case Hardshell Carrying Case
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