Price (RRP): $399
KEF may be known for its speakers, but the English high-end audio company is now showing the world what it’s capable of doing in headphones, and turning out one of the best pairs we’ve ever heard.
What are they?
The first pair of headphones we’ve seen from a brand that isn’t known for headphones, the KEF M500 have big shoes to fill, as the KEF name is one synonymous with high quality speakers.
Design wise, there’s an aluminium frame holding the headphones together, with the headband and ear pads covered in a memory foam textured to feel like padded leather.
KEF’s M500 cups can rotate in position, and a hinge just above the cup allows the cans to be folded up, compacting the headphones in size.
The ear pads on the M500 appear completely flat and with a pattern of speaker dots cut out from them, but underneath you’ll find a typical cup holding the pads up, making your ears protected by a fabric that hugs your ear loosely as you wear the cans.
The cable for the headphones is removable, and connects to the headphones via a 2.5mm headset jack, executing on the end for the media player or phone in the standard 3.5mm headset connector.
Two cables have been included in the pack, both flat to be tangle-free, though only one has a remote with this remote only working with iOS devices like the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.
A 3.5mm to 6.25mm headset jack is included, as is an aircraft jack converter, while the headphones and its accessories can be stored in a supplied plastic case.
How do they feel and sound?
Headphones are big business for companies renowned for sound, but not necessarily so for KEF, which has just entered the world of portable sound.
Only two pairs of headphones appear to exist from the company, with the M200 providing earbuds (though local availability isn’t known) and the M500 going for a full headphone experience.
The latter of those two is what we have in here at the moment, taking the aluminium-framed headphones out for a spin by slipping them on and plugging in.
First, though, the feeling, and in regards to design, these are simple headphones that aren’t likely to attract as much attention as say a pair of big and heavy Beats. There’s no outlandish paint job and the only thing that will draw someone to know what pair of headphones you’re wearing is the “KEF” logo on each side.
Other than that, though, it’s just black and silver, a look that comes off as professional and simple, and won’t take over your fashion statement.