A few weeks back, KEF invited us in an event that marks their entrance in the Philippines. Many of you may not have heard of them yet, but KEF has been around for quite sometime now.
They are known for their high-end audio solutions — from speakers, and now, headphones.
Now we’re taking a look their M100 HiFi headphones, a Php6,000 pair of earphones that aimed for iOS users.
Will the M100 succeed in this saturated market? That’s what we are going to find out.
In a hurry? Here’s our video review!
Design, Build Quality and Features
The KEF M100 is well-built for the price. The cables aren’t flat, like what we see in most rugged headphones, but it doesn’t feel flimsy or easily breakable. The cables are light and uncomplicated that it doesn’t have any annoying feedback sound when you bump the cables.
Although, it sure is hard to untangle, but I can deal with that.
But I do love its design. The M100 comes in Racing Blue, Sunset Orange, Champagne Gold, and our review unit, the very sleek-looking Titanium Gray. The color variants, also presented by the Blue tone’s first name, were all inspired by race cars. The M100’s designed by Studio F.A. Porsche, the folks who make sports cars.
Speaking of cars, the design of the case that holds the drivers were derived from a race track. The rounded corners replicate every maneuver TURNS, plus, the diamond-cut chamfered edges replicates the road itself. The cans themselves doesn’t only look good, but they also feel good. They are made from premium metals, which feels sturdy and well-built, but doesn’t feel heavy. It’s lightweight, and with such understated design — having this on feels like you are wearing nothing at all.
The main cockpit houses the built-in microphone, with a decent quality, but not the best. The sound it captures is a little distorted, but still perfect for hands-free phone calls. We also have here the three control button; two for volume up and down, the other one is for play/pause music, answer/hold/hang up a call — all can be done by rapidly pressing the button at particular repetition. The buttons themselves were also made from premium material; they are constructed in rubber, with satisfying press each time I interact with it.
KEF used a 10mm neodymum drivers inside the M100’s angled shell, which is engineered to minimize distortion, with good virtual soundstage.
If you’re a bass lover and a big EDM fan, you might be better off with something else. But if clarity and sound precision is top priority, you can’t go wrong with the M100.
With that said, the drivers produce well-balanced sound. The highs and mids are so crispy, which makes it perfect for listening to acoustics, jazz, and live music. You can clearly hear the cymbals and snares, and visualize them from wherever they are coming from. Voices, guitar solos and even piano plays are crispy as hell.
Bass or low-ends are present, but not as thumping as what some might like.
On the other hand, Noise-isolation is fine. You can still hear the car’s engine if you’re traveling, but you’re completely deaf on people talking in your environment. The volume is also on the middle of the road, which makes it unadvisable for daily commuters.
The KEF M100 is one of the firsts that is coming in the Philippines. I do Believe there’s something more from this British Hi-Fi audio solutions maker.
With the M100, I can safely say that the brand has a bright future in the country… it sure won’t go mainstream, but the growing community of audiophiles in the country would surely love these folks.
For the Php6,000 price tag, you’re getting a Hi-Fi set of in-ear headphones, with good sound clarity, and a subtle but luxurious design. Some folks might find the price over the top, but for those who value clarity and branding, this thing is the one to get.
- Sound Quality
- Control Buttons
- Non tangle-free cables