KEF M500 and intra M200 headphones: 1 test, 2 new references!

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After more than 50 years spent developing some of the most legendary loudspeakers in the audio galaxy (LS3/5a, Blade…), the British KEF is attacking the headphone market for the first time… The result? A pair of in-ear and headphones that go by the name of KEF M200 and KEF M500. Discover the test in preview!

Respectively offered at 199 and 299€, the KEF M200 and KEF M500 helmets share a very refined design, whether in terms of the materials used, or the technical solutions adopted. Before getting to the heart of the matter, here is a quick overview of their technical characteristics.

The KEF M200 intra headset adopts an aluminum frame, and 2 transducers each with a neodymium magnet and a dedicated chamber. Comfortable, it benefits from the Secure Arm system ensuring a perfect fit on your ears. Its iDevice-compatible microphone and remote control allow you to control your music library and take phone calls. It comes with a storage pouch, an airplane adapter, and 3 pairs of silicone tips. Impedance of 12 Ohms and sensitivity of 95 dB.

For its part, the closed on-ear KEF M500 headphones are just as impressive. Its light and robust aluminum alloy structure has been studied to guarantee an optimal acoustic ground, so that the transducers can fully reveal their character. With a diameter of 40 mm, these use a neodymium magnet and an aluminum-plated coil ensuring respect for timbres and good power handling. As comfortable as you want, this M500 is fitted with shape-memory-treated ear cups and a detachable flat anti-knot cable. Cord with microphone and iDevices remote control provided.

Mouth watering? U.S. too ! So when KEF exclusively lends us an M500, we necessarily make you enjoy it 😉! We feverishly open the beautiful black box, to discover a pouch containing the helmet and its accessories. First grip, and first positive feeling: the helmet is robust, very robust even, while remaining particularly light. The earcups can rotate, but also tilt slightly to match the shape of your hearing aid. Moreover, once the headband is adjusted and the headphones are in position, there is truly exceptional comfort, which does not exert ANY pressure on the ears (this is surprising at first sight).

In terms of comfort, nothing to complain about, it’s almost perfect. To test its sound, we associated it with an iPhone 4S containing WAV files encoded by us in 16 Bit/44.1 kHz. First of all, whatever the style of music, the KEF M500 delivers a clear, controlled and precise message across the entire bandwidth. The bass is deep, does not smudge, and never disturbs the balance of the other registers. The treble is lively and detailed, without being aggressive. However, there is a slight tendency to exaggerate when the volume is at max, but rare are the headphones not to suffer from this defect. Note also the beautiful reproduction of the voices, the very natural choirs, and the realism of the string instruments. Everything is well articulated, coherent, and leaves a rather enjoyable “live” impression, supported by superb spatialization.

Subtle, lively and robust, this KEF M500 helmet does not disappoint, especially at the price at which it is offered.. We like its sturdiness, its versatility, its finish… It is also very difficult to find faults with it. No matter how hard we look, at this price, we can’t find! Availability within 3 weeks.

The pieces chosen for this test are:

VA – 4000 Volts of Stax & Satellite
Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
Iam – Martian Arts
Cesaria Evora – Cesaria

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