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.
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.
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.
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.
Lovely designed & well-finished.
£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.
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.
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.
- Yes, they’re expensive, but definitely value for money!
- Not worth it at full RRP
- It drove me mad!
KEF M500 Hi-Fi Headphone – Silver/Black
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.
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.
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.
Excellent sound and build quality.
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.
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.
These are very good if you can get them under £100, but for the current price of £129 they are not worth it. They’d make a good set of travel headphones, but they do leak sound and placement is quite frustrating. Bass is fairly shallow and the overall tone is quite warm. Detail is there but not over the top.
- Yes, they’re expensive, but definitely value for money!
- Not worth it at full RRP
- It drove me mad!
KEF M500 Hi-Fi Headphone – Silver/Black
Everything about these headphones speaks quality, from the packaging to the actual article: they are light, beautifully padded in what looks and feels leather like and they fit extremely comfortably over the ears, not quite cancelling out ambient sound, but almost. In use, i tried them out in various ways, starting with an iplayer recording of the kings on leon on jules holland and was impressed in the difference in sound quality, especially the base, compared with my goodish, on board speakers. Using the stereo and able to play around with a graphic equaliser, i found that base is enhanced, but did not entirely dominate the sound range, with excellent reproduction of a mozart clarinet quintet and then some miles davies, that picked out subtle brushwork on cymbals that i had not really noticed before. I finished up with some vintage stones that just sounded great. Obviously, cd performance is not the same as live, but the sound was good and better, i feel, for the base quality. On an iphone or ipad, the volume controls work, but not on my samsung mobile: i could, nevertheless make a phone-call and use the headphones to hear and communicate. Listening to some lively folk on an ipad was good and these headphones compared favourably with any other headphones or speakers i could test them against. An additional plus point is that it comes with flat, tangle free cables and a 1/4 inch converter. The whole fold and fit into a hemispherical zip up case that offers good protection and convenience if putting away or in luggage etc. My teenage son is an able musician and has an iphone on which he has loads of music: we both listened to a few tracks and found the sound quality variable, but that may be down to the original source of music it contains.