Originally Posted by Change is Good
Still waiting on your comparisons with the MDs. I know they aren't as good, but was hoping these can be a portable alternate to them....
I have so many things on my head that I always forget! This is a copy+paste from what I had written this weekend.
Driven from my Icon HDP --> Lehman BCL.
Began with Amber Rubarth - Washing Day (Flac). BOTH headphones provide this warm, intimate relationship that you wouldn't want to let go off ;-)
Amber sounds delicious on both headphones, in fact, her voice sounds more up-front to me on the KEFs than on the Mad Dogs but clarity, and details can be heard better from the Mad Dogs.
Bear in mind, Mad Dogs DO NEED POWER to sound as tasty as I'm speaking of while the KEF provides a similar sound/signature without the need to bring out the guns! (this is definitely a pro!)
Audio quality wise, can live with both listening to this track.
Continued with Daft Punk's - Get Lucky.
To my surprise, the KEFs provide good slam, good attack throughout the whole range! Bass sounds excellent, vocals sound excellent and I'm glad to say it's all very clear and natural sounding! Sound stage provided on this track is excellent (DP always do make great recordings though...). Same song on the MDs actually sounds MORE laid back (as if bass slam was lacking behind), very enjoyable but prefered the KEFs on this track.
Fiona Apple - Better version of me.
MDs do so wonderful with vocals, it's mesmerizing... and it happens with this track. Instrument separation and detail is off the charts. Piano sounds natural and excellent, bass line is extremely tasty and powerful. One of the best showings on the Mad Dogs to my ears. The KEFs also do excellent on this track though! Bass line is even MORE palpable here! Yes, it "slams" a bit more without muddiying everything to bits! Vocals also excellent but overall sound it is definitely a bit more closed in, so in more congested parts (from 1:33 - 2:00) it sounds good but doesn't top the Mad Dogs. Other than that, it's REALLY a toss up!
J-King y Maximan - Ella me pide something
Now, if you think the KEFs, looking so little and fragile don't do proper sub-bass, YOU ARE MISTAKEN! LOL! This puppies can indeed go low and provide the sub bass you need. This track in particular I like because it alternates octaves in the bassline both being powerful and rhytmic in order to keep on going "el perreo" (a street slang word on how these type of music is danced...). Vocals sound a bit shrill though, but it is due to the recording. On the other side, the Mad Dogs definitely go as low as the KEFs BUT overall it is definitely a bit more laid back on it, especially the vocals, so it is a bit more forgiving here... Again, another toss-up.
Kaskade - Fire in your new shoes
After listening to the previous tracks, had to keep the energy going... the KEFs do OK here too. Good clarity, attack, details and speed! It can keep up no problems with tracks like these. Yeah it does sound a bit warm than on let's say, my Denon-modded D5000s/Perfect Sound D901s/Signature DJs/etc. but it's the nature of the headphones. The Mad Dogs though kill it on this track. The bit wider sound stage comes to the rescue! The KEFs sound too closed-in here while the Mad Dogs give the track a bit more room to breathe so definitely prefer the MDs.
Going on and on with other genres (Salsa, Merengue, Hip hop), the story repeats, where on some tracks I prefered the KEFs and others the Mad Dogs BUT... here is where it gets interesting (to me at least! LOL)... in order to get proper enjoyment out of the KEFs, I NEED TO PUMP UP THE VOLUME! The KEFs to me sound WAY BETTER at higher volumes!!! At low volumes the attack and clarity seems lacking, heck even missing and this is why I was saying before that they were "boring"! I usually don't like to blast my ears off (unless I'm comparing headphones ;)) so that's not good for me. At lower volumes they are just too warm, they don't excel, they don't hit your face... at higher volumes they come alive! The Mad Dogs are just naturally good sounding even at lower volumes... well, at least to me!
All in all, the KEFs are good, similarly sounding to the Mad Dogs, maybe a bit more warmer (especially at lower volumes), but can provide good attack, clarity and details when cranked up.
Sound Quality is a toss up so I cannot rank it. though if you value sound stage/separation, that might be a problem on some tracks.
Comfort, definitely the Mad Dogs take the cake... (the KEFs become uncomfortable to me after 3+ hours... and yes, I have headphones on my head for at least 6 hours a day at work...) but this will probably vary per person too (I use glasses...)
Build, Both are alright. I do hate the 2.5mm entry on the KEFs though... I wanted to use my V-Moda cable on both headphones! LOL!
For $250, the KEFs are a good buy if you want an very good sounding on-ear, highly portable, easily driven, good-looking headphone!
If you don't mind portability, if you want more comfort, and if you are going to be using an amp and don't care about looks, still would recommend the Mad Dogs! ;)
Oddly enough, I'd still pick the KEFs over some other headphones such as Sony MDR-1Rs (fatiguing upper-mids for me...), V-Moda M80s (look good, sound good, but missing highs...), etc.
So again, good effort from KEF!
Wonder if they'll come out with a full over-ear one soon... Hmmmm... that'll be one to watch! ;)
Sorry for taking so late for my impressions.
A couple of pics:
Resting... BTW, Orquesta Macabeo's CD is VERY good! (Salsa music! ;-))
Yup, they are very tiny! I'm always surprised by things like these producing much bigger sound than expected...
Mad Dogs! Don't you dare bite the KEFs!! BAD DOGGY!!! :p
Between headphones (boxes on the left contain: Denon LA5000, Spider Moonlight, Beyer case for the Mad dogs)
On the right: JVC HA-SZ2000 (for sale :p), Spider PowerForce (for sale also ;)) and in the bags Perfect Sound Dido D901 and Monster N-Pulse... not seen).
Ultrasone Signature DJ is out of the room taking a stroll.
Equipment, Lehman BCL, Nuforce Icon HDP, Audio Technica cheapo turntable and Lexicon Omega Pro Interface for when I decide to record something... :p
Edited by gelocks - 7/29/13 at 8:55pm