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KEF M500/M200 Impressions Thread

post #1 of 915
Thread Starter 

I think KEF represents a new face in the portable headphone/IEM market that deserves some appreciation. In light of this I thought I would start up this thread.

 

Here are the existing threads, reviews, and information:

 

M200

KEF website: http://www.kef.com/html/ca_en/showroom/mseries/m500/m200/index.html#.UfwUZZKshZ4

Review: http://www.head-fi.org/products/kef-m200-hi-fi-in-ear-headphones-aluminum-black/reviews/9155

Forum discovery thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/586909/the-discovery-thread-new-kef-m200-pg835-philips-fidelio-s2-pg-724/12510#post_9669266

 

M500

KEF Website: http://www.kef.com/html/ca_en/showroom/mseries/m500/m500/index.html#.UfwUjZKshZ4

Review: http://www.head-fi.org/products/kef-m500-hi-fi-on-ear-headphones-aluminum-black/reviews

Fullsize KEF thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/661032/kef-new-headphones

 

Resellers:

 

http://www.razordogaudio.com/collections/aiaiai

http://www.kefstore.ca/

http://www.headphonebar.com/kef-m500/

 

At this point in time I own the M500 and have a pair of M200 coming in.

 

The M500 is the most neutral on ear headphone I have owned and also the most comfortable. It offers an extremely true to the music sound that is actually detrimental if you use lower quality music and can show issues with your source equipment as well. In my case I generally use my Nokia 920 phone for portable listening and with this phone, the M500 has a bit of an upper midrange peak that needs to be adjusted for these to sound right. Off my old iPhone 4 or my Ipad mini these sound exceptional as well as off my new laptop.

 

If you look through one thread listed above you will find the most information on the M500 along with all of initial comments and comparisons. As it stands today I am confident this headphone is at least as good as or better than the DT1350 sonically while being more comfortable and it crushes the VModa M80 unless your a midrange lover only.

 

I will post a full review on the M500 hopefully sometime over the next week and will do the same for the M200 when I have it on hand.

post #2 of 915

It is an impressive entry by KEF and over a weekend home demo chose the M500 over the Momentum. More balance and the mid-bass Senn bias is hard to ignore. Both good choices, falls down to personal preferences. M500 quite receptive to source. What the source / file gives, the M500 presents. Not summit-fi but then it is designed to be driven straight from a portable source so in context performs. So triple stacks are not the point though will presumably improve the output.

 

I would rate the M500 and Mo's over the DT1350. The Beyer treble is too hot for me, but again a matter of personal preference and system synergy. You enter wallet hurt territory if you have to source / amp match to correct "issues". For me the KEF M500 does not have any inherent faults to the sound signature. Soundstage could be wider but then does better than my IEMs and depth is decent in comparison.

post #3 of 915

prices ?
 

post #4 of 915
Thread Starter 
M500 MSRP = $329 but are listed on most sites at $299 and can be had for less with discount codes.

M200 MSRP = $249 but are listed on most sites at $199.
post #5 of 915

I've had the M500 for about three weeks now and the sound they produce is addictive. The more you listen the better they sound to me.  As I stated in the other thread they have no glaring weakness to me.  There are other headphones which may be better in one area or another but if you desire a well balanced sound and a well built headphone these should be on your audition list.  The are pretty comfortable for on ear, I just don't know if I like on ear in general.  I'm more of an IEM guy for portable so I'm thinking about trying the M200. Now if they would come out with a full size over the ear......

post #6 of 915
Thread Starter 
If they come out with an over ear I will likely try it unless it's silly expensive.
post #7 of 915
Is it made in UK?
post #8 of 915
Thread Starter 
I believe they are developed in the UK but manufactured in China but am not sure if that is accurate.
post #9 of 915

My updated impressions:

 

Pros

 

 

  • Tiny (this is a good thing... portable is the word)
  • Extremely comfortable on my head until the second to third hour is reached (seems the memory foam recedes a bit).
  • They do feel "loose" on the head but are well built.
  • Sound reproduction has a warm tilt with good bass reproduction, good mids and highs that get more clear and vivid after a bit of volume.
  • Have played numerous/different genres and the headphones perform admirably.
  • Good punch and slam are provided if the track has it.
  • Can compete and surpass headphones in it's price range.
  • Don't really need an amp to make them sing!

 

Cons

 

  • Don't particularly like that one end is 3.5mm and the other is 2.5mm.
  • Vocals, especially female, sound a bit up-front/aggressive against any backdrop, and although they don't get fatiguing to my ears, to others it might.
  • For me, one of their weakness is their inability to excel at anything in particular. Some people might find them a bit boring.
  • Another weakness is that their sound stage is narrow and some pieces might sound like a bit of a mess.

 

Compared them favorably against MrSpeakers Mad Dogs as I actually preferred the KEFs on a couple of tracks but after hours of listening to both I'd still pick the Mad Dogs. They did put up a good fight though.

 

Compared to other headphones in their price range, I would pick these over Sony MDR-1R, and V-Moda M80s.

Right now, I'm doing A/B against the PSB M4U 1s and I have to say, that AS OF NOW for the same/similar price I'd PICK THE M500s!

 

In conclusion, KEF M500s == a good buy!

If whoever reads this is looking into the V-Moda M80s, MDR-1Rs, PSB M4U 1s and maybe even other "lesser" headphones, the KEFs are definitely ones to keep on the radar!

 

 

Thanks.

post #10 of 915

Compared to certain other $300 closed portable headphones, the M500 is way better than the V-MODA M-100 and Beyerdynamic DT1350! Anyone who doesn't like either of those should check out the M500!

post #11 of 915
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbusuego View Post

Is it made in UK?
Designed in UK, made in China.
post #12 of 915

Broke down and ordered the M200 so I can do my own comparison between them and the M500.  I'm just not sold on the on ear feel.  As Gelocks said they tend to be a bit loose on the head so clamping is not an issue, and the pads are very comfortable, but I've worn Etys for years so in the ear is what I'm used to.  If the M200 sound is the same then I'll be a happy camper and the 500s will go up for sale.

post #13 of 915
Sub'd
post #14 of 915

Interesting those ,200 are... I'm just gonna wait till they are on some sort of sale biggrin.gif

post #15 of 915
Can one plug directly the M200s to a device other than an apple one or is an adapter needed?
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