Hi-fi Corner: KEF’s stylish M400 give you bass with balance

kef m400 headphones kep manual
KEF’s virgin venture into headphones, the M500, became one of our favorite pairs in their class, with plush comfort, elegant styling, and brilliant sonic performance. It would have been tough to top them, so when KEF decided to issue its latest effort, it didn’t even try. Instead, the company took a left turn, creating a lighter, sportier, more mobile offering dubbed the M400.

At $250, the M400 can be seen as a soft step down from their predecessor — the M500 run a cool $300 — but the headphones are more about attracting a different kind of listener than a more price-conscious one.

Related: Klipsch R6i earphones expand into snazzy new on-ears

Few (if any) headphone makers have escaped the mighty reach of Dr. Dre’s stylish (if overpriced) Beats brand cans, and KEF is no exception. Apart from being lighter and more compact, the new M400 are a little flashier than KEF’s first effort, especially when you trade the classic black cans for one of the three vivid color options, including Racing Blue, Sunset Orange, and Champagne White.

And style isn’t the only change for the M400. Although the 40mm drivers match up very similarly to the M500 on paper, there’s a fairly distinct change in sound signatures here as well. While the headphones keep the same balance we expect from KEF in the midrange and treble, the bass is definitely boosted here — enough to be thunderous when called upon, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on your preference. The headphones also lose just a touch of presence and clarity in the upper mids when compared to the M500.

That said, there are plenty of gorgeous moments to be enjoyed with the M400 — these are from KEF after all — providing balance, detail, and rich warmth at the center of the sound across a wide variety of genres.

Those looking for a smooth ride, modern styling, and a bit more bass than the M500 will definitely want to give KEF’s latest a try.

A version of this post first appeared on our “brother site” Digital Trends.

Food & Drink

NFL Hall of Famer Terrell Davis Is Behind Defy, a CBD-Infused Sports Drink

Everyone seems to be getting in on the CBD game these days. One of the latest? NFL Hall of Famer Terrell Davis, who created Defy.
Food & Drink

George Dickel Releases 13-Year-Old Bottled In Bond Tennessee Whisky

“We wanted George Dickel Bottled in Bond to be rooted in authenticity, quality, and truth, reflective of the values we feel are most important when making Tennessee’s finest whiskey."
Podcast

The Craft, Art, and Journey of Woodworking, According to a Master Craftsman

On this episode of The Manual podcast, we talk with Gary Rogowski, director of The Northwest Woodworking Studio in Portland, Oregon.
Grooming

How to Get Rid of Blackheads: Treatment and Prevention Tips for Men

There’s nothing worse than looking in the mirror and seeing a blackhead standing sentinel on the plain of your well-groomed skin.
Living

Designers Share Their Unique Ideas for Rebuilding Notre Dame’s Iconic Spire

From a glass roof garden to a stained glass ceiling, these concepts are as wild as they are cool.
Living

LumiPod is the Pre-Fab Circular Bedroom Suite You Can Put Almost Anywhere

Put a bed and bath anywhere from your backyard to your mountain lot.
Living

Rivendell Comes to Life at Tree House Constantia

Elrond and his elves may not live here, but this one-of-a-kind retreat still offers the opportunity to get fully immersed in nature.
Living

Grovemade Introduces Extra-Large Felt Desk Pad and We Are Here For It

“But, what are the benefits of using a desk pad? Because doesn’t it seem like a sort of superfluous thing to have on hand?” To those questions, we answer: Many and no.
Living

The LooLoo is a Bathroom Stink Preventer and Night Light in One

Stuff happens. Specifically stinky, wake-the-dead-only-to-re-kill-them-with-the-horrendous-stench stuff.
Living

The Best Latex Pillows for Neck and Back Pain

Do you toss and turn at night? A latex pillow might be just what you need.
Living

JaxJox KettlebellConnect is the One Kettlebell to Rule Them All

This one kettlebell can do the work of six kettlebells, allowing you to streamline your at-home gym equipment.
Living

The Sexy, Sleek Look of a Bugatti is Now Available for Your Home

Each piece has curves inspired by the legendary automaker’s sleek cars.
Living

A Review of the Floyd Sofa, a Minimalist’s Perfect Perch

The Manual received a sample of the Floyd Couch and we tested it by putting it together and binging Netflix for nearly two weeks.
Living

Tumble Creek Cabin is a Net-Zero Vacation Home Nestled in the Cascade Mountains

Sustainable and stylish, Tumble Creek Cabin is the perfect weekend escape