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Audeze MM-500
4.75 4.75 out of 5, based on 1 Review

Could this be the essential personal mixing tool?


22nd August 2022

Audeze MM-500 by Graham~

Audeze MM-500

In Short:

  • Over-ear, open-back design
  • 90mm planar magnetic drivers
  • Low impedance (18 ohms)
  • High sensitivity (100dB/1mW)
  • Maximum SPL >130dB
  • Frequency response 5Hz - 50kHz
  • Weight 495g


I have been a fan of Audeze headphones ever since I first heard them for myself at a trade show more than a few years ago. Even in those far from ideal conditions they sounded incredible and oozed quality. Suffice it to say I was excited when they introduced us to their newest line of headphones designed in collaboration with multi-Grammy winning engineer/producer Manny Marroquin, the MM Series. Using his feedback from years of experience the engineers at Audeze created Manny's first signature headphone, the MM-500. As soon as prototypes were ready Manny would take them everywhere he worked and used them in a variety of situations.


What do you get if you take a handful of fine Audeze technologies and mix in a nice splash of Manny Marroquin's studio expertise?
Answer: Audeze MM-500

Coming in at the princely sum of $1,699.00 your investment arrives safely packed in a standard Audeze travel case. Inside you’ll find the all important MM-500 headphones, a braided cable (6.3mm jack to mini-XLRs) and a certificate of authenticity/warranty cards. Where the LCD-X has an industrial look to it, the MM-500 has a more compact, sleek and stylish design. Having been built from the ground up the MM-500’s are not directly comparable to Audeze’s previous models though they are aesthetically similar to the flagship LCD-5 - note the two differ in terms of materials used & construction method.


Audeze LCD-X compared to the Audeze MM-500

The MM-500 features a lightweight chassis made from machined aluminium. These open-back planar magnetic headphones are attractive, look impressive and feel solid in the hands while being noticeably lighter than my LCD-X’s (originals). They have extra-plush premium leather earpads which makes them comfortable to wear over longer periods of time. They employ Audeze’s patented technologies such as Ultra-Thin Uniforce™ diaphragms, Fazor™ waveguides and Fluxor™ Neodymium N50 magnet arrays. Audeze claims all this allowed them to make the MM-500 slightly smaller than some of their previous models without sacrificing performance.

Designed with the modern creator and audio professional in mind, Audeze’s objective with the MM-500 was to create a trusted monitoring tool with a flat frequency response that allowed mixes to translate accurately on a consistent basis - all this in a light and comfortable package. They are intended as an alternative reference to your monitors, not specifically as a direct replacement…but to be fair, once you have a pair of headphones that you know and trust there's nothing stopping you from primarily mixing on them if you want to. As with all monitors and headphones it’s worth listening through the MM-500’s for a while to allow your ears to adjust to them before forming a definitive opinion. I didn't exactly find this task challenging since they are also really enjoyable for casually listening to music on. Once you do this though you'll find you have a clear and accurate referencing tool that sounds defined and balanced. I also found it easy to zone in on individual elements of tracks due to their great separation. They perform great at all volume levels and due to them having such a low impedance (18 ohms) I had no problems driving them from any device I tried. I found them to be unsympathetic in the sense that if your mix sounds bad they’re going to let you know. So with this in mind plus the fact that they’re lighter I feel they are a step up from my LCD-X’s. That said, the LCD-X’s are a wonderful set of phones and even though Audeze released a “new and improved” version in 2021 I have no intention of selling my older model any time soon.


The only negative I can think of is at first I found the MM-500's clamping pressure to be a little on the strong side but after a short amount of time I didn't notice it anymore. For me I’d still class them as comfortable. Your mileage may vary with this of course because obviously it all depends on individual head size but i felt it was worth mentioning.

So all things being subjective, I advise you to try them out for yourselves. Yes, you can call them a bit pricey but I noticed Audeze has an interest free pay monthly option available on their website so that's also a possibility. In my opinion they deliver exactly what they say they do and the quality is clearly there. I can't imagine many MM-500 buyers regretting their purchase, and they should sell very well. Highly recommended!

Pros
  • I really like the sleek design
  • Excellent build quality
  • Comfortable even over longer periods
  • Accurate, transparent & non-fatiguing
  • Great separation
  • Low Impedance

Cons
  • Some will find the price a little high and the clamping pressure a bit strong but that's it...




Link: Audeze MM-500

Attached Thumbnails
Audeze MM-500-img_4363.jpg   Audeze MM-500-comp_lx.jpg   Audeze MM-500-hand.jpg  

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