A lovely pair of headphones, probably the best looking ones i have tried. Very comfortable on ear however they do not stay in place when you dip your head forward. Small inconvenience but not irrelevent if you are thinking of doing exercise with them. A good clear sound and reasonable bass that does not muddy the sound. The sound is good but not superb (hence drop of one star). I have tried many pairs of headphones. For me they are not as good sound as sennheiser momentum closed circumaural headphone with smart remote – black which i reviewed earlier on this year. For design they are similar to the bowers and wilkins p5. The sound of the kef’s in my opinion are much better and even look better.
Kef m500 – these headphones are the rolls royce of headphones without the rr price tag. Never before have i heard music so crisp and clear – close your eyes with these on and you are in the studio live with the artists. Fully recommend these to anyone who truly loves listening to their music.
KEF M500 Hi-Fi Headphone – Silver/Black
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- Light, robust and supremely comfortable
- Designed for people who are serious about sound
- Compatible with all Apple products and most other devices
- Perfect combination of KEF design innovation and precision engineering
- Minimum extraneous noise
The first thing i will say that anyone who pays over £100 for a pair of headphones needs their head examined or has more money than they know what to do with. Full price these headphones are £179 and are not really worth it. I bought mine refurbished through amazon warehouse for £79 and feel slightly disappointed. They provide a pleasant clear crisp sound but are somewhat lacking in bass. I expected much better considering the price they are asking. However, they are extremely well built (metal not plastic) and are the most comfortable headphones i have ever worn. However, when compared to my sony mdr-zx220bt’s they are very much superior. So they are good but not outstanding. So save your £179 and buy them used/refurbished or something just under £100.
I’ve never believed a pair of headphones can be worth £250, and i’m not sure i do now. I’ve previously stuck with a pair of sennheiser cx 300 ii precision noise isolating ear-canal phones – black, which cost about £30, and found them more than adequate. They cut out external noise and the quality is as good as i thought i, a non-music expert, would need. So putting on these kef headphones, the first thing that struck me was i could actually hear the difference. Not being in-ear headphones, they provide a more rounded, natural sound. The bass is less dominant, and the treble resists becoming tinny when being turned up on the music source. At the same time, they don’t provide that total vacuum from external noise that my sennheisers provided, but if i had to choose between the two, i’d plump for the kef because the quality is noticeably better. I should say that i mostly listen to classical and electronic music, so can’t really comment on how much of a difference they make with listening to indie, rock etc. They fit easily over my head, and once you’ve had them on for a few minutes, you don’t notice they are there – which is my definition of comfortable. I suppose one of the biggest selling points for these kefs is how they fold up, and this is a very useful feature.
£250 rrp is a fair whack for headphones so the standard for any judgement is going to be high. Thus, these 4 stars are given with a heavy, but fundamentally honest, heart, in that these are simply brilliant headphones in every way, but the difference, marginally, compared with headphones costing half as much is only going to appeal in some niche environments. To top this, and as i’ve found with other decent headphones, there are aspects of the design that just aren’t suited to those environments. For example, the form factor of these headphones is clearly related to optimising portability. They are superbly made, elegant and attractive. They fold into a neat carry-case with all the attachments and spare cords within, so that they can be used on planes, tubes, walking in the street etc. And stowed in security in a bag without fear of damage. The 2 supplied cords are innovatively flat and really don’t tangle, so can be jammed carelessly away without worry about a gordian puzzle on arrival. There are even 2 cords, one with inline controls and a ‘spare’ without. Spare presumably in case of damage, although also, hi-fi purists might consider the absence of a bit of electronic interference adds to the sound quality.
KEF M500 Hi-Fi Headphone – Silver/Black : The search is over :)for a long time i’ve been looking for a foldable closed headphones that sounds fantastic and is easy to carry around for my travels. The kef m500 has everything i need. First of all, it sounds great in all genres. I’ve tried pop, rock, classic, jazz, heavy metal, opera, and it handles everything well. The sound is much more open and natural than other closed headphones i have tested, it’s quite neutral with a little tilt up in the upper bass and a little down in the upper treble, just enough to make it sound bigger than it is, and avoid any harshness of any kinds in the treble. There’s a great “room feel” in the sound, to make it sound like floorstanding speakers, they almost rival my psb synchrony two in sound quality. Here’s a list of closed headphones (not all foldable) i’ve had or heard in my search before purchasing the kef m500:sony mdr-1rsennheiser momentumakg k167akg k267logitech ue6000b&o h6beyerdynamic dt770 (32/80 ohm)b&w p5denon ah-d600martin logan mikros 90my old reference are the denon ah-d2000, which i own for a couple of years. The kef m500 are first of all much more smooth than the denons. Songs that have a tendency to sound harsh in the treble are smooth in the kef m500. The bass which is one of the strong points in the denons, is no match to the much faster and precise bass of the kef m500, the denons bass sounds boomy in comparison.
Other reviewers have written informatively and in great detail about how the kef m500s sound, so i would only like to add comments from a personal perspective – that of comfort. I am a glasses wearer and have found many headphones that sound great to be simply impracticable due to the pressure they exert on the arms of glasses, both on-ear and over-ear varieties. These kefs are unbelievably comfortable. Their aluminium construction, as well as looking and feeling very high quality, makes them light and they exert minimal sideways pressure on the ears. The memory foam earpads are incredibly soft and although they cover the whole of my ears i can still slide my glasses on and off, such is their minimal pressure. I have a narrow, rather long head (don’t laugh) yet the cans stay on my head no problem and i have had no slippage issues reported by others. Oh, yes and they sound brilliant. Heaven for the visually-challenged.
It has been difficult to assess value as amazon do not have the headphones in stock as of 21 september 2013 but i have discovered the price from another site and they are top of the range over two hundred pounds. The manufacturers state that these headphones are for those who are serious about sound. The appearance and comfort rating for these headphones is 5 out of 5 without question. The headphones are housed in a very stylish and protective case. You can use these headphones with a variety of equipment and in my mind the best use for them must be for music where the range of frequencies and sounds can be heard to their best. Again i think a 5 out of 5 rating is applicable. These will be an ideal gift for those who love their technical specifications.
Warning: once you put those cans on, you won’t be able to enjoy your music with anything less or cheaper. It will bleed your wallet dry; you would want to buy a good dac to go with it, and you will then want to spent 600+ pounds to buy a set of kef desk speakers to satisfy your newly found ever growing desire for better sound quality.
Ok, i know the addage of you get what you pay for and whilst i stick to it with things like tea bags, loo roll and a few other pieces, i always thought that with the technology was today that it wasn’t going to make much difference. Kef i know from my grandfather who has sworn by thier speakers for years so when i was given the chance to review thier products i thought i’d give it a go, not expecting too much. Whilst in my opinion they’re extremely pricy, the sound quality was amazing. How do i know, well i used my mp3 player to test them. Firstly i put a selection of tracks through my usual headphones and then i had them play through again using the kef’s. The difference was astonishing, like hearing music for the first time as i could hear things that i’d never heard within the tracks before. They were great and to be honest i couldn’t believe it at first until i gave the same demonstration to a friend who looked at me like i was crazy before hearing the difference themselves. Now i suspect that this one experiment has sold at least one more pair and whilst i still feel that they’re pricey, if you want your music at the highest possible quality then its a price that will keep on giving. The fact that these speakers have other features really was incidental to me but for that quality, i couldn’t believe it.
As i said, yes, they are expensive, however, in my book, worth every penny. Build quality is superb and certainly a worthy introduction by a very well-established loudspeaker manufacturer into a very crowded market. The attention to detail is excellent, with gold-plated airline adapter and quarter-inch jack plug also supplied, along with 2 flat cables (that do not knot easily) – one for ‘regular’ listening from an mp3 player or similar, the other incorporating a cable-based remote and 4-pin jack for use with mobile phones. Sonically, they lack the bass boost that the beats headphones seem to have, so are far more tonally neutral than these. Jazz and classical music have a clarity seldom heard in headphones, and vocals are clear, but not ‘in your face’. Music by vangelis, mike oldfield, jean michelle jarré comes alive, almost like new recordings. Some have questioned the ‘fit’ on the ears – the earpads are made from memory foam, so shape themselves to the ear and whilst these are not noise-cancelling, the memory-foam fit does an excellent job of excluding sound from outside, but do allow the listener to wear glasses in comfort. Talking of comfort, i’ve spent most of the day wearing mine (i work in an open-plan office with little screening from talking or phones ringing) and they’ve not got ‘sticky’ with wearing, but have done an excellent job of blanking out ambient noise – all in all, a very good buy indeed.
The headphones are very well made; the sound is great (in my opinion) and the price was not unreasonable.
Lovely designed & well-finished.
First off, these are the only headphones i currently own of this type and in this price range- i have a pair of sennheiser px100 on-ears, and the same brand’s cx160 in-ears, and they were far, far cheaper than the kefs. Excellent sound, and for value for money, they win hands down, of course- but that’s a nonsensical comparison, really. I have tried sennheiser momentums, but in shop demo conditions, and not side by side with the kefs or anything really comparable. So, in writing this, i’ve decided to just accept that the kefs are the price they are and judge them on their own merits. Certainly not perfect- the cable is non-reversible as the ‘phone jack is 2. 5mm, and i’ve found it somewhat sensitive to positioning, i’ve found them outputting no sound at all or out of one driver and not the other if the cable’s not in ‘just so’. The difference between these and the aforementioned sennheisers is not night and day, those are quality products in their own right, but it is there nonetheless. The sound isolation is as good as the cx160s, even though they’re over-ear, which struck me immediately as remarkable, and the pads are very comfortable. Unlike some reviewers, i had no problems getting them firmly yet comfortably adjusted to my head. Haven’t had any extended listening time just yet, but i don’t doubt they’ll be just fine for that. On sound quality, i drove myself slightly nuts switching between the three pairs of phones and listening to parts of tracks trying to spot differences. After going through a variety of artists and genres (slayer, underworld, dj shadow, ‘rhapsody in blue’, the stooges) the quality difference between the kefs and the others was distinctly marked, if nuanced, particularly compared to the 160s (which i put down to the isolating advantages of in-ear phones).
I will only add here that the ear pads have fallen apart in a years time with average wear. I can only assume that this is why the replacement ear pads are out of stock wherever you look. My old sony mdr-7506s had this same issue but then they didn’t run me $300. Otherwise i have been very pleased with the sound quality and fit of this item.
These are premium in every way. Normally, i struggle to hear the difference in sound quality. With these i know that there is a difference. The music is so `rich’ and there is no seepage of external sound. The sound quality, build quality, case and attachments are superb. The headphones are light weight but sturdy and give the feel that they will last. The price is high, but for that you are getting a set of head phones that are quality. These are very difficult to fault.
I’m not a hi-fi buff but i know clear as a bell sound when i hear it and i can certainly recognize quality. These nifty headphones come folded in a heavy duty case with a pair of tape- as opposed to wire- connections with volume control included. The connections are plug in rather than fixed. The cans fold into the head cradle when not in use. Described as being designed with apple products in mind,they will in fact work with all modern gizmos. Music and speech is equally clear. Last night for example i was listening to a griff rhys jones documentary on my iphone and it was almost a cinematic experience. The dialogue and incidental music as sharp as a pin. The only downside of course is the price. Not the cheapest by a long stretch but if you are a bit of an anorak when it comes to music or video then i’m sure you’ll think they’re worth it.
Kef have a proud history in audiophile speaker systems – aimed at the premium end of the market. I was delighted when i heard that they were bringing their acoustic skills to the headphone market. Let’s be clear these headphones (cans) are at the very upper limit of what most folk would pay but are they worth it?. In a word, yes – in two words = a resounding yes. The cans ooze quality made from high quality materials. They look very futuristic compared to most headphones on the market but hey ho – it represents choice. I liked the kink free ribbon cables that were supplied; 2 lengths. The cans are very comfortable and light-weight but in a quality way. I have used them for extensive periods of time for playing a number of games on my ps3 via dss 5. Sound quality is spectacular – you can hear every nuance and detail in games such as splinter cell conviction, gta v and beyond two souls. The kefs really make you feel that you are in the game. I also have another pair of premium cans – akg k495 nc; the kefs are certainly in the same league in terms of construction, quality of materials and of course, sonic quality to the akg. Whilst i rate the kefs as 5*, if i could, i would give the akg k495 nc an extra * – as they have noise cancelling. It’s a difficult decision – if you are in the market for a pair of high quality, premium build headphones you couldn’t go wrong with either the kef or the akg.
Nice design headphones that are comfortable to wear and look smart and appealing. They sit on the head comfortably, but can have a tendency to slip. They are not heavy but really don’t strike me as a pair that you would go out wearing in the street, because of the possibility they will slip off from moving around. The sound is full and warm with good solid bass, descent middle and a very good treble top end. Detail of the sound is really quite excellent with a nice spread of sound across a believe sonic stage. All headphones have their particular signature and these firmly place you in the middle of the action, it is a very exciting and enticing sound. I listen to a lot of classical and progressive 1970’s music and i think these headphones are stunning and very lively and responsive. I note the flat chord length is around 1 meter in length. I am disappointed with the ability of being unable to purchase longer cable length or 3rd party cable improvements for these headphone, to me that could be restrictive. Sound-wise these are headphones are stunningly good, with reservations about the replacement of headphone cable extension the product itself is highly recommended.
Amazing sound, comfort and build. I love these headphones so much. I wish i could have kept them. Being over the ear headphones, they bend my ears back and after an hour or two, my ears start to hurt. Other than that, they are so lovely to wear. Perhaps if i had a smaller head they wouldn’t have ended up hurting.
I will try not to repeat too many of the comments others have made, but i guess people may want my thoughts on using these headphones so here goes after two months of ownership. You need to position the phones correctly to ensure comfort over a 2-3 hour listening session, otherwise the pads seem to press against prominent parts of the ear and cause discomfort almost like a burning effect. I have written to kef and asked whether the pads could be offered in lambs leather like the b&w p5 which seem during my brief trial to be comfortable on the ear. It is possible to walk around with phones on, but i doubt that they would stay in place during jogging. I suspect that head size may be quite a driver in whether true comfort is achieved. I do believe that they have become more comfortable after my two months of use. I am now sorry to have to take them off to get on with other things in my life. But would i wear them on flight over six hours, possibly not, i’d use the px200i’s for that as you don’t know you have them on. I like the way the phones fold flat which allows me to carry them easily in my bag to and from work. I also store them flat in a drawer to avoid naughty cats chewing cables. (the momentums were on my initial shopping list until i realised the inability to fold for travel). They seem very well made, almost indestructible and very light to wear. However i have read that screws can come loose and they are apparently torx t5.