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KEF M500 Hi-Fi On-Ear Headphones - Aluminum-Black by Review Summary ,  Sep 8, 2015

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KEF M500 Hi-Fi On-Ear Headphones - Aluminum/Black
Report Date: 01/02/2016
Based on 48 customer reviews
Overall satisfaction: 4.5
Returned or considering to return: 4.2%

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Frequently Mentioned by Customers:


Individual Feature Rating
Comfortable4.5   average
Quality4.3   average
Sound3.9   below average
Music3.4   below average
Treble2.9   mediocre


Quotes from the Reviews - What People Say about:

Comfortable

Comfortable:
"I changed the earcup pads to the XL memory foam size and it was better, but not as good as for example the Sony or KEF in comfort level."
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"NAD VISO HP-50:Excellent sound, portability AND comfort, but the right side DID FAIL after only 48 hours."
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"Sound quality is great, they are comfortable, great bass without it overwhelming the other parts, and durable."
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"They are extremely comfortable well built and they sound fantastic."
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"Great Sound, Sleek Design and a super comfortable fit!"
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"They are well built, light and comfortable to wear."
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"SUMMARY: Nicely designed headphones with a sound signature and comfort that will receive very different opinions depending on who you ask."
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Music

Music:
"Also instrument separation in music was not as good."
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"It's like missing 75% of the music!"
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"Third, and I don't know how to exactly describe this, but the soundstage was not good to my ears at all, it sounded like the music is coming from headphones, you could not be mistaken and think it's coming from real-life, or even full-size speakers in a room; and certainly not compared to the Philips Fidelio X2 or even the V-Moda M-100."
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"Now as far as sound leakage, you're pretty much silent until you turn your music up half way (1 4 of the way if the room is dead silent) but also if you turn your music up halfway from the inside you can block out pretty much everything."
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"To protect my own ears I do not play music at a terribly high volume."
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"(I always did comparisons using high-bitrate music and a high-quality discrete PC sound card or amplifier, in a quiet environment."
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"(Note: since then those headphones dropped in price by almost half, so there must be a reason...) BUT, I will point out that the music instrument separation sounded good (not mixed up)."
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"It was the closest to the sound I would hear from the actual instruments playing live, or playing music with high-end speakers in a nice room with wood floors, for example."
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"To me, slightly exaggerated, it sounded like music playing through a metal can, that's the best I can describe it."
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"You can plug it into any devices and it will give you back a great performance of the music."
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Price

Price:
"KEF is still worth its price, especially with the prices that mediocre entities like Beats and the Momentum still command."
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"They were nice, but they seemed a little flimsy for the price."
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"Disappointed, to say the least, is the nicest way that I can put it, after reading the glowing Amazon reviews of these headphones, and then spending a lot of money on something too painful for long term use."
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"Too much bass, nice sparkling treble, but upper mid-range fatigues, sibilanceSony MDR -1R - very midfi sounding, meh at bestMomentums - excess mid bass, treble is too subdued, dark, but very warm and smooth soundingShure SRH-940 - Top tier detail and relatively neutral, true high end qualities for $300, problem, very ugly, cheap plastic cracks within a year, mid base is recessed which makes it sound a bit hollow and thin, but great sound for the priceAKG K550 - uneven treble, large sound-stage but somewhat unnatural, not the best for small headsB&W; P5 - not a fan of B&W; speakers or house sound."
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"Soundstage is the best I have heard in closed back models, at any price range, yet still far from the openess that open back models offer."
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"These are still nice headphones, and I plan on keeping them, but I don't think they are a particularly good value for their $300 price."
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"I really seriously wouldn't waste money on these - probably the P7 is really great but too expensive for me for my needs (something portable and that sounds great)."
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"They were nice, but they seemed a little flimsy for the price."
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"Both M500 and Momentum are quality headphones with excellent sound at their price point."
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Quality

Quality:
"(I own the QC15 and for using in planes it's great, even if the sound is not excellent - in the end it's better than a higher quality sounding pair of headphone with no noise cancellation, because it so effectively removes the engine noise that you can at least actually hear just the music not the plane)."
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"V-Moda M-80:Same as M-100 - but sound quality is not as good... but less expensive."
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"But until I listen with KEF M500, I found the what I heard in the past with Bowers & Wilkins P5, is not good quality of sound."
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"Too much bass, nice sparkling treble, but upper mid-range fatigues, sibilanceSony MDR -1R - very midfi sounding, meh at bestMomentums - excess mid bass, treble is too subdued, dark, but very warm and smooth soundingShure SRH-940 - Top tier detail and relatively neutral, true high end qualities for $300, problem, very ugly, cheap plastic cracks within a year, mid base is recessed which makes it sound a bit hollow and thin, but great sound for the priceAKG K550 - uneven treble, large sound-stage but somewhat unnatural, not the best for small headsB&W; P5 - not a fan of B&W; speakers or house sound."
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"Build quality is very good with lots of metal and premium fake leather (could be real, but looks fake to me).As far as sound quality goes, I didn't listen to them much because of the insecure fit."
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"Sound quality is great, they are comfortable, great bass without it overwhelming the other parts, and durable."
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"The look and quality of the leather was great, but just because of the fit, I could not keep it on for long."
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"The sound quality is what really makes these so nice, well suited for my purposes! "
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"It uses solid materials that gives a sense of quality and durability."
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Sound

Sound:
"the headphones sound great but the construction of them is terrible."
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"(I own the QC15 and for using in planes it's great, even if the sound is not excellent - in the end it's better than a higher quality sounding pair of headphone with no noise cancellation, because it so effectively removes the engine noise that you can at least actually hear just the music not the plane)."
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"Maybe on some specific songs it can work, but to me it's unpleasant, the harshness of the treble and how it sounds digital (as in heavily compressed music that you're streaming online from a bad website and with digital artifacts).2."
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"Now, for some home theater systems for movies, like Bose makes, it can work; audiophiles say it's no good, but to some, it sounds good, no problem."
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"The reviews bashing Beats usually point to the accentuated bass...but to me I liked the bass OK, the problem was the rest of the sound."
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"The sound was weird and unnatural."
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"Sound quality is great, they are comfortable, great bass without it overwhelming the other parts, and durable."
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"I pair it with my microstreamer DAC and it sounds fantastic."
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"the headphones sound great but the construction of them is terrible."
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"They are extremely comfortable well built and they sound fantastic."
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"For example, I did not find that the well-reviewed Sennheiser Momentum was natural sounding (it was clear to me I was listening to headphones, not real-life male female voices and music instruments), nor was it warm in any way (as was strangely described in several reviews)....at least in my comparisons with other headphones."
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Treble

Treble:
"And no harsh treble unpleasant brightness."
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"But I found that it clearly lacked treble and the sound was not clear, not high-definition, and it sounded very muffled."
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"Interestingly, the QC3 sounds very warm and not harsh at all, but it lacks treble and clarity so much that the sound is not clear at all, it's muffled."
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"Maybe on some specific songs it can work, but to me it's unpleasant, the harshness of the treble and how it sounds digital (as in heavily compressed music that you're streaming online from a bad website and with digital artifacts).2."
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"So to conclude:KEF M500 = better for eyeglass wearers, commuters, recovering bassheads who still want a little bit of inappropriate thump from time to time, treble enthusiasts."
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"The Bowers & Wilkins P5, the mid tone and treble are not clear and even fuzzy."
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"As a final note before the comparison: it seems that some people want more treble overly bright headphones to have a very clear and open sound."
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"Headphones don't need a lot of harsh treble to be clear....The Fidelio X2 is PERFECTLY clear, but NOT harsh at all, and NOT bright (glad I found it!"
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"Yes, some of those may have very different characteristics, but that I tried them in my quest for warm, natural-sounding headphones that would have adequate bass but yet would also be clear WITHOUT any harsh treble or being too bright.3) I've found a very significant difference of opinion in reviews, at times wondering if I was listening to a completely different pair of headphones than some reviewers."
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"Both phones though offer better lively accurate though listenable treble in a portable can, more so than any other contender (making the B&W; P5 and Sennheiser Momentum specifically look like yesterday's news...)."
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"The lower frequencies are well balanced and do not wash out the mids or treble in the least."
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