Mis à jour le 10 March 2023.
Five years after the release of the KEF Space One and KEF Space One Wireless models, the British brand has unveiled its new Bluetooth headphones, the KEF Mu7. Created in collaboration with renowned designer Ross Lovegrove, this new model promises authentic KEF sound in an original and contemporary design. These headphones are compatible with the aptX HD Bluetooth codec, features the Smart Active Noise Cancellation and Qualcomm cVc technologies, and offers up to 40 hours of autonomy. Available for €399, will they be able to match the excellent B&W PX7S2 and Dali IO-6 headphones?
KEF Mu7: packaging & accessories
The KEF Mu7 Bluetooth headphones come in an elegant cardboard box. The latter contains the hard carrying case, the headphones and several accessories placed inside a magnetic pouch. The accessories include a USB-C charging cable, a 3.5mm mini-jack cable and an airplane adapter. There is also a quick start guide and a warranty card.
KEF Mu7: presentation
Ross Lovegrove design
For many years, KEF has set itself apart from the competition with highly sophisticated designs by working with experts in the field. For example, in 2017 KEF collaborated with Porsche Design to create a Bluetooth speaker, earbuds and headphones.
For the creation of the KEF Mu7 headphones, the British brand has once again worked with renowned designer Ross Lovegrove. Their collaboration began in 2005 with the KEF Muon speakers, and continued with the creation of the KEF Muo portable Bluetooth speaker and KEF Mu3 True Wireless earbuds. Like the latter, the KEF Mu7 headphones are available in Silver Grey (like our test model) or Charcoal Grey.
The KEF Mu7 headphones have an over-ear design with large plastic ear cups. Their rounded, sculptural lines create a very attractive ensemble. Dedicated to both home and on-the-go listening, the KEF Mu7 wireless headphones weigh in at just 309 grams. The ear pads are filled with thick memory foam for optimal comfort. However, on our test model, the leatherette that covered the ear pads had a few cracks, and we were doubtful of its durability. Nevertheless, the pads can be removed for easy replacement or cleaning. The headband, although rather slim, is comfortable and can be worn for several hours without exerting pressure on the head. Finally, the elegant aluminum yokes allow the ear cups to be rotated 90° so they can be folded flat.
For the best musical experience, the KEF Mu7 wireless headphones are equipped with 1.5” full-range transducers. They are designed and tuned by KEF’s engineers to deliver a pure and precise sound. They also cover a frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz.
Bluetooth aptX HD
Equipped with a Bluetooth 5.1 module, the KEF Mu7 headphones support the SBC and AAC codecs to ensure pairing with most compatible devices. They are also compatible with the aptX and aptX HD codecs to provide good wireless audio quality up to 24-bit/48kHz. Naturally, the 3.5mm mini-jack cable means they can be used with any non-Bluetooth analog source.
To enjoy music wirelessly, the KEF Mu7 Bluetooth headphones have a battery capable of providing up to 40 hours of playback when Bluetooth and the ANC are activated. Conveniently, a quick 15-minute charge provides up to 8 hours of extra battery life.
Good news! The KEF Mu7 noise-cancelling headphones support passive use via their 3.5mm mini-jack input. This means you can listen to music even when the battery is flat.
Designed to allow you to enjoy every detail of your music, no matter where you are, the KEF Mu7 are equipped with an active noise-cancelling system. The latter uses a microphone to pick up surrounding noise and erase it. Moreover, the Smart Active Noise Cancellation technology features a specific algorithm that targets certain frequencies. As a result, it adapts the listening experience to the background noise to leave more room for the music. The ANC can be customized in 3 modes: Smart ANC, ANC or Off.
Phone calls are also optimized thanks to the Qualcomm cVc (Clear Voice Control) technology. The latter uses several algorithms offering optimal voice capture and reproduction, as well as echo cancellation.
The KEF Mu7 headphones feature several buttons to turn them on, pair them and activate the ANC. These Bluetooth headphones are also equipped with very intuitive touch sensitive controls on the right ear cup. Swiping across and vertically lets you change tracks and adjust the volume. A quick press in the center of the ear cup lets you play and pause the music, or answer and end a call. Finally, a longer press activates the voice assistant installed on the smartphone or tablet. This feature is very convenient and gives you a lot more freedom of movement. However, we would have liked an app to control the headphones via a smartphone or a tablet.
KEF Mu7: key specifications
Design by Ross Lovegrove
Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz
Smart Active Noise Cancellation
Clear Voice Capture (cVc)
Bluetooth 5.1: SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD
Battery life: 40 hours (Bluetooth and ANC activated)
See all the KEF Mu7 headphones’ characteristics
KEF Mu7: listening conditions
To test the KEF Mu7 Bluetooth headphones, we chose to pair them with a smartphone and an aptX HD compatible FiiO M7 DAP. We listened to Hi-Res music on Qobuz. After pressing the dedicated button for a few seconds, the device quickly appeared in the list of available devices and the pairing was completed within seconds.
KEF Mu7: our impressions
With the track Blue in Green by the iconic jazz man Miles Davis, the different instruments were perfectly positioned. The bass in the background was bright, the cymbals clear and the piano natural and precise. The highs were pronounced, but the notes of the trumpet sometimes lacked a little precision. The KEF Mu7 were more at ease in the midrange, which was full of details and nuance. These headphones offer an excellent reproduction of vocals. This was the case, for example, on the song Hey Jude by the Beatles, where the artist’s voice was brought to the surface without overpowering the instruments. We had no difficulty visualizing the artists performing on stage in front of us.
The KEF Mu7 headphones also excelled with Billie Eilish’s Your Power. The strings of the guitar were perfectly complemented by the artist’s voice. Each strum, breath and word were perfectly highlighted, offering a very immersive listening experience.
On the House of the Dragon original soundtrack by Ramin Djawadi, we found that the bass lacked the depth and impact to give the sound substance. It is a shame that there isn’t a dedicated app to customize the KEF Mu7s sound signature using an equalizer.
Lastly, the KEF Mu7 wireless headphones offered very good voice reproduction. When listening to a podcast and making a phone call, voices were clear and well-defined. Moreover, the CvC technology was very effective, so we were undisturbed when making phone calls, even in noisy places.
Regarding the noise-cancelling, the KEF Mu7 performed well in an open-space office. The sounds of the keyboards and mice were properly cancelled out, even at low volume. For effective noise reduction on public transportation or in a crowded street, you’ll need to turn up the volume to fully enjoy your music.
KEF Mu7: compared to…
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
Sold for €349, the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 offer an even more sophisticated noise-cancelling system. The latter has 11 levels to adjust its strength. However, the KEF Mu7 headphones win when it comes to battery life, with up to 40 hours of playback, which is twice as much as the Bose model.
Read our review of the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 on the Son-Vidéo.com blog.
Marshall Monitor II A.N.C
With a slightly lower price tag (€359), the Marshall model reveals a richer sound reproduction in the low frequencies, where the KEF Mu7 offers a more balanced and detailed result. As for battery life, the KEF Mu7 once again wins the match with an extra 10 hours of battery life. Furthermore, the KEF model has the undeniable advantage of supporting the Bluetooth aptX HD codec for better wireless transmission quality. Finally, these two models have a completely different design: a look reminiscent of Marshall guitar amps on the one hand, and a more chic and contemporary design on the other… A matter of taste!
Want to know more about these headphones? The Son-Vidéo.com team has tested them for you: Review: Marshall Monitor II A.N.C.
KEF Mu7: who are they for?
The KEF Mu7 are designed for those looking for a pair of versatile and visually appealing Bluetooth headphones. The active noise-cancelling makes them perfect for everyday use in noisy environments such as public transport or an office, but also in calmer places and at home. Their long battery life (40h) and the ability to use them passively also make them a good choice for travelers used to long journeys.
KEF Mu7: conclusion
Ideal for everyday use, the KEF Mu7 Bluetooth headphones are convenient and versatile. They offer a neutral and balanced sound that perfectly enhances vocals. Their Bluetooth aptX HD compatibility, active noise-cancelling, long battery life and luxurious design are all real assets.
The unique design
The rich and detailed mids
The ability to use them in passive mode
The ease of use
We would have liked
A control app with an equalizer
A transparent mode
More impact in the lows
Better quality ear pads