UE6000 vs. M-100 Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Comfort- UE6000 Although heavier and larger, the UE6000 has less clamping force and, more importantly for me larger, deeper, plusher cups that fit around my ears better. I could wear these for hours. After an hour or so, I felt some discomfort with the M-100.
Build/appearance- M-100 The industrial design and innovative hinges of the M-100 are a thing of beauty. I enjoy just looking at my white M-100s and will be adding my blue shields shortly. The UE6000 is not an ugly headphone. It looks to me like a copy of the Denon D600 design which I think is fine, but nothing special. Regarding build quality, no comparison. M-100 is a solid piece of electronic machinery complete with riveted stainless steel. The UE6000 seems to have a sturdy headband, but I worry about the cheap plastic cups and battery compartment.
Bass- I have to call this a draw. UE6000 bass seems deeper and more authoritative. M-100 bass is also deep and authoritative, yet also tighter and I feel the drivers pushing air at high volume with bass boost.
Mids- M-100 Both provide excellent mids. Compared to other headphones I have heard (not top-tier summit-fi) Detail/resolution in the UE6000 is an 8 out of 10; M-100 is a 9 out of 10.
Highs- M-100 The UE6000 has highs I would consider very close to neutral. This works extremely well with current popular music that seems to have a treble emphasis, smoothing out those highs and providing a highly pleasurable listening experience that is by no means dark and can even sparkle somewhat. The M-100 fills in the small bit of rolloff that is missing from the UE6000 and smoothly extends the highs almost to brightness with absolutely no harshness- quite an accomplishment.
Overall sound- This is really a close call for me. I initially purchased the UE6000 as something to hold me over until the M-100 came out and it turned out to be much more than I expected. I expect to continue to listen to both headphones and have no intention of returning either, which is saying something because I have returned several headphones in the past few months while waiting for the release of the M-100 including: M-Audio Q40, Audio Technica ATH_PRO700MK2, Sennheiser Amperior, Denon D600, Denon D400 and Sennheiser Momentum. I have also auditioned dozens more. All of these returns were based on sonic flaws I felt were dealbreakers, so you could say I consider the M-100 and UE6000 as close to the perfect headphone for me that I have found.
Both present bass in a way that is exciting, enjoyable and adds to the rest of the frequency range. Both have clean, accurate mids. Both have enjoyable silky smooth highs. In the end, I must give a slight edge to the M-100 based on the silky-smooth extended highs that are incredibly detailed. If I can compare the M-100 to any other headphone on the market, it would be an Ultrasone Signature Pro and I would actually say the M-100 is superior. While there is slightly less resolution than the Sig Pro, the M-100s highs are much smoother with zero sibilance and the M-100 has a superior bass presentation to the Sig Pro. Somehow, V-Moda managed to engineer a headphone that I believe can truly sound amazing with every genre.
I congratulate both companies on developing amazing products and look forward to enjoying both for years to come.
OK, I read your review in closer detail *I skimmed the last time*.
"The M-100 fills in the small bit of rolloff that is missing from the UE6000 and smoothly extends the highs almost to brightness with absolutely no harshness- quite an accomplishment."
^ this + similar mids to the UE6k = win to me. Even if the mids are a bit withdrawn, the UE6k's mids were well within my realm of acceptance.
The "almost to brightness" seems like it would be good for me coming from the SRH940, but I can see why some people (reviewers from CNET and Engadget) might not like it. It shall be interesting to see what Tyll has to say about it since he seems to be particularly picky/unfavouring about "bright" headphones.