Audeze MM-500 Open-Again Studio Headphones: Evaluate | Digital Noch

Audeze MM-500 Open-Again Studio Headphones: Evaluate | Digital Noch

Rather a lot has occurred since Audeze despatched me a pattern of the MM-500 to evaluate; the corporate was bought by Sony which is a big endorsement of your entire crew primarily based in California that has been one of many key manufacturers within the Head-Fi revolution over the previous decade.

The previous 12 months weren’t precisely quiet both for the corporate with the discharge of the LCD-5, Manny Marroquin Sequence, and the Maxwell gaming headset that has grow to be essentially the most profitable product within the firm’s historical past.

40 % of Audeze’s gross sales come from the gaming class which explains why Sony discovered the corporate to be such a novel alternative; billions of {dollars} are spent annually by customers on gaming and Sony, the producer of the main console out there, noticed a possibility to supply the most effective headset.

For Audeze, the acquisition offers them entry to a advertising and marketing price range that high-end audio producers can solely dream about, and retail publicity on a world stage that can quickly make customers acquainted with their full lineup. Not a foul deal.

Audeze shall be becoming a member of us quickly on the eCoustics podcast to debate the acquisition and what it means for headphone business.

Audiophiles who’re accustomed to the LCD sequence of headphones can be mistaken in the event that they assume fashions just like the MM-500 are simply an extension of these merchandise; Audeze’s engineers had a really completely different set of targets when designing them and that features the supposed viewers.

Merchandise just like the LCD-5 are designed as a vital listening platform for audiophiles who want to tailor the general sonic presentation with their very own DACs and headphone amplifiers.

Audeze MM-500 are available a tough journey case.

The MM-500 had been designed for studio work and that’s fairly apparent if you open up the packaging; the headphones had been shipped in a tough case that was designed to take a number of abuse. Internally, the headphones are nestled in foam with extra foam help between the ear cups and there’s a separate compartment for the cable and carry bag.


The MM-500 will remind a few of the LCD-MX4 or LCD-4Z after some type of steroid injection; the development is usually aluminum and metal with the gimbals, headband, cups, and adjustment rod housing all utilizing heavier gauge supplies than different Audeze fashions.

The primary listening session confirmed that Audeze has designed these for the pains of studio use; the hinges have a lot heavier pins and the entire stress factors have been strengthened.

The ear cups have a gunmetal gray aluminum shell with a black steel grate and the micro-XLR housing seems to be a lot heavier than earlier fashions; which is extra proof that Audeze needs those that spend a substantial sum of money on these to really feel that they won’t crumble with heavy utilization.

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Even with the studier design, the MM-500 manages to weigh slightly below 500 grams which signifies that they aren’t decidedly heavier than the LCD-4Z or LCD-5.

The vast headband is efficient at spreading out the load which allowed me to pay attention for hours with out feeling a way of bodily fatigue.

The headscarf has a leather-based suspension that matches the pad coloration effectively and provides the MM-500 a definite black/gray industrial end; Audeze even made certain that the horizontal bars within the driver seen by way of the black display contained in the cups match the general look of the headphones.  

The ear pads are a departure from the more moderen LCD fashions and look extra like the sooner LCD-2 pads that are barely thicker within the again than the entrance; that truly helps create a reasonably good seal while remaining eye glasses pleasant.

The opening on the within of the pads is a contact on the small aspect so these with massive ears could really feel the leather-based rub in opposition to the ear generally.

Audeze MM-500 Professional Headphones with cable
Audeze MM-500

The cable that ships with the MM-500 is Audeze’s normal 6-foot cable with the 6.35mm jack on the southern finish and a pair of micro-XLR connectors on the northern finish.  

The cable is 20 AWG OFHC copper for low impedance and excessive present capability; the decrease portion of the cable makes use of a 4-strand Litz braid and the higher sections are two strand twists from splitter to the connectors. 

The premium cable choices for the LCD sequence (besides the LCD-1) can even work with the MM-500 for these wanting a balanced connection.

Cable for Audeze MM-500 Headphones


The MM-500 make the most of Audeze’s 90mm planar magnetic driver with the Fluxor magnet array, Neodymium N50 magnets and the Uniforce diaphragm.

The nominal impedance is eighteen ohms with a sensitivity of 100dB/mW and a really helpful enter energy of >250mW.  

This makes the MM-500 driver the next impedance, greater sensitivity model of the 90mm driver discovered within the LCD-5.  

The ability dealing with is spectacular with a most of 5 watts whereas sustaining a THD of <0.1% @ 100dB SPL at 1kHz. The frequency response is listed from 5Hz to 50kHz which can also be fairly spectacular.

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Audeze MM-500 Professional Studio Headphone Kit

One design choice that can influence those that could need to use the MM-500 with moveable gear was the choice to terminate the cable with a 1/4″ jack which is mostly not discovered generally on these varieties of units. There are some that provide it however it isn’t a giant quantity.

One can all the time buy a 3.5mm terminated cable to be used with the MM-500 and I used a pair I had readily available, however the inclusion of both a second cable or an adapter for this objective would have been appreciated. With the target market being professionals, it does make sense why Audeze went with such a termination.


Audeze MM-500 Manny Marroquin Headphones on stand

What’s actually attention-grabbing in regards to the Audeze MM-500 is that it was designed from the bottom up for mastering work and the sonic signature was tuned by Marroquin reasonably than by Audeze.

What does that imply?

For starters, while they’re typically balanced sounding from a tonal perspective, they’re actually not as a impartial as one thing just like the Audeze LCD-5 and so they supply a barely completely different coloration than the LCD-X which has been actually fashionable with mixing engineers up to now since they had been launched.

The bass vary will not be fully impartial sounding and while the sub-bass has good depth, there may be some extra emphasis within the 100Hz – 250Hz vary that’s fairly audible. This sub-bass total is effectively managed with good readability however there may be not as a lot influence as one would possibly count on.

These searching for reasonably visceral influence gained’t not essentially discover it right here however it could unfair to say that the sub-bass is simply too tender or not outlined.

The aforementioned emphasis does intensify the kick-drum however it’s nonetheless a reasonably gentle diploma of emphasis that does return to a extra impartial place reasonably rapidly.

The mid-bass will not be as clear sounding or textured because the MX4 or LCD-5, however it’s nonetheless excellent in comparison with most headphones the MM-500 is extra conscious of EQ than these two different headphones. Slight modifications whereas mixing shall be extra audible by way of the MM-500

Total, the mid-bass could be very near the LCD-X when it comes to each texture and determination.

The midrange efficiency of the MM-500 is excellent with glorious readability and a really excessive stage of decision. The tonal stability is way nearer to the Audeze home sound; texture could be very near the efficiency of the LCD-X which is barely heat but in addition a tad thinner total.

There’s a very open high quality to the sound total and that diploma of thinness makes devices separation extra pronounced. For these which can be mastering, the tonal stability, readability, and texture make it extraordinarily simple to select particular person voices within the combine.

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Audeze MM-500 headphone adjustment

Male vocals have sufficient weight and texture to sound pure, however they don’t have as a lot emphasis total as feminine vocals that are pushed barely ahead with higher element.

The tuning is nice for strings the place the higher strings want a contact extra vitality than the decrease to sound pure. Piano tonality can also be fairly good.

Treble efficiency was constant all through the vary with excellent prime finish extension and a really clear tonal presentation. This was additionally the area the place every amplifier both labored extraordinarily effectively or fell reasonably brief — utilizing tube amplifiers took away some prime finish readability and element and left me feeling that I used to be lacking a few of the prime finish sparkle that I desire.

The RME and Bryston amplifiers in my assortment had been the most effective performers with the MM-500 as a result of that they had greater than sufficient energy and neither added their very own colorations to the combo.

Audeze MM-500 bottom connection

Percussion snap with each was crisp and cymbals had been reproduced fairly realistically.

Soundstage efficiency was excellent when it comes to width and depth which gave vocals a number of room to maneuver across the soundstage and there was sufficient top to correctly reproduce the precise positioning of devices.

When listening to a binaural recording of 4 guitarists, the instrument separation was extraordinarily correct permitting me to correctly place every one on the stage.

Seating the orchestra was a neater activity due to the specificity of each performer with out overlapping and the stereo separation was glorious.

What sort of amplifier must you contemplate?

All through the evaluate course of, one factor that basically stood out was how the MM-500’s efficiency was extremely depending on my selection of amplification; some amplifiers just like the Bryston BHA-1 and RME ADI-2 FS BE excelled with the Audeze headphones while others just like the Earmen Champ, Yulong Aquilla2, Burson Funk and Bottlehead Crack struggled compared.

The Earmen Angel and iFi Gryphon had been each fairly good if a conveyable amp is desired, however bear in mind that the MM-500 does its greatest work with a excessive present amp able to delivering at the least 500mW so smaller moveable amps could wrestle with both energy supply or battery life.

Audeze MM-500 Headphones Headband Top

Ultimate Ideas

The elephant within the room for anybody contemplating a headphone at this worth level or one of many prime fashions from Audeze, is how does one choose between one thing just like the Audeze MM-500, LCD-X, LCD-MX4, or LCD-5?

And perceive that the MM-500 belongs in the identical dialog with all of those.

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The foremost factors of differentiation are the tuning, construct high quality, and utility.

Between the MM-500 and LCD-X, there’s a particular uptick in robustness and sturdiness with the MM-500. That shouldn’t be misinterpreted because the “LCD-X” is fragile.

The LCD-X additionally makes use of a bigger 105mm driver with bigger ear pads that didn’t rub in opposition to my bigger ears in the identical approach because the MM-500.

The LCD-X presents extra of the Audeze home sound and it turned very evident that the MM-500 is a way more impartial sounding headphone total.

The LCD-4MX is twice the value of the MM-500 and the efficiency hole is actually evident between the 2 with regards to decision, presence, a fuller sounding mid-bass and decrease midrange, and a extra tightly outlined soundstage.

Audeze MM-500 Professional Headphones Side

The MM-500 supply higher sturdiness for lots much less cash and a thinner sounding tonal stability.

The LCD-4MX are additionally far more tough to drive and never precisely supreme for moveable sources and a strong Dongle DAC.

The flagship LCD-5 are $4,500 USD and for that sum of money, one ought to count on reference caliber efficiency in nearly each approach. They provide superior transparency, element, spaciousness, pace, and determination.

None of that may be a dig on the MM-500 which presents 66% of that stage of efficiency for beneath $1,700.

For many who require a high-end mastering headphone that gives distinctive construct high quality, excellent sound high quality, and is conscious of EQ — the Audeze MM-500 is likely to be the most effective worth for the cash in your entire Audeze lineup.

The place to purchase: $1,699 at | Amazon

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#Audeze #MM500 #OpenBack #Studio #Headphones #Evaluate

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