Design and Build Quality
When it comes to weight, these headphones are on the heavier side, weighing in at 459g. This is only 40g lighter than the Audeze Maxwell, which is a noticeable difference as these headphones do not fall off when leaning forward. However, compared to other headphones considered comfortable, such as the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro (380g) and the HiFiMan HE-4XX planar magnetic headphones (405g), these headphones are still relatively on the heavier side. If you’re looking for a light, ultra-portable headphone, these may not be the best choice. Overall, while the 40g difference from the Maxwell is noticeable, these headphones could have been more comfortable if they were lighter. In terms of materials, the MM-100 headphones feature magnesium yokes and grilles, a spring steel headband with a light layer of padding, and an adjustable pleather suspension strap to help distribute weight. The earcups are smaller than traditional Audeze studio headphones, making them more portable, and they can tilt and swivel for added comfort. The earcups can also be swiveled to lay flat on a desk. The memory foam pleather earpads have a gel-filled top layer to help keep your ears cool. Overall, the materials used in the MM-100 headphones are designed for comfort and portability.
The design of the MM-100 headphones is based on the tried and true design of the Audeze Maxwell headphones, with adjustments made to accommodate the open-back headphones. I have been using the Audeze Maxwell for 6 months and they still look and feel the same as when they were first purchased, indicating that the MM-100s are built to last. Overall, the MM-100 headphones are well-designed and durable.
The MM-100 headphones, like the Audeze Maxwell, use an adjustable suspension strap to fit well, despite not having a vertical earcup adjustment. However, the strap only has three settings on each side, so some users may need to adjust the settings on each earcup differently to achieve a comfortable fit. The clamping force is just right, keeping the headphones in place without being too tight. The earpads are glued to the headphone and are not removable like the Maxwells, so users cannot replace them with Wicked Cushions replacement pads. However, the earpads are comfortable, with memory foam and a gel-filled top layer to keep your ears cool. After extended use, some discomfort may be felt due to pressure on the upper ear and heat from the pleather earpads. A lighter weight and shorter audio cable with a 3.5mm plug would be appreciated for use with a smartphone. Overall, the MM-100 headphones are well-designed and durable, but some adjustments may be needed for extended comfort.
The MM-100 headphones have a bump in the sub-bass and bass, providing the type of bass response that I had hoped for, but did not get with the Audeze Maxwells. The bass is punchy and fast, with a low sub-bass extension that is enjoyable without being muddy. The mids are clear and forward, with emphasized vocals and forward instruments that make it easy to hear detail. The treble is very good, without any noticeable roll-off at the top, although some notes may come off as sharp in certain songs. The soundstage is narrow, likely due to the forward vocals and instruments, but the imaging is excellent, allowing you to pinpoint where different instrument sounds are coming from. Overall, the sound quality of the MM-100 headphones is great, with strong bass handling, clear vocals and instruments, and good treble that may sometimes sound harsh to treble-sensitive listeners. These headphones provide a fun listening experience that is different from traditional Audeze headphones.
The MM-100 headphones have a unique feature that allows you to plug the audio cable into either the right or left earcup, and it will work just fine. However, this also means that if you want to buy a replacement cable, you’ll need to make sure it’s compatible with the MM-100’s internal wiring. With an impedance of only 18ohms and a sensitivity of 98dB, these headphones are easy to drive and can be used with a smartphone without the need for an external DAC/amp. However, the stock cable terminates in a 6.35mm plug, so you’ll need an adapter to use it with devices that have a 3.5mm jack. It’s also worth noting that the V-moda mic may not work with these headphones and could cause issues with your device. Overall, the MM-100 headphones are easy to connect to different devices and provide a stable connection.
Important Note Regarding Adapter Cable for the Audeze MM-100
Previous Audeze marketing material for the Audeze MM-100 stated that a 6.35mm to 3.5mm adapter cable would be included with the Audeze MM-100 headphones, however it is important to note that an adapter cable is not included. Audeze has confirmed this via an email message and stated that the error was due to a misunderstanding with their marketing department.
Some people have reported receiving headphone units that have the audio channels swapped when audio cable is plugged into the left earcup. I did not experience this issue, but I recommend that you test your headphones when you get them using this audio channel test youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TWJaFD6R2s. Audeze has responded via a forum post that users experiencing this issue should make sure to plugin the audio cable into the earcup connector all the way in until they hear a click and that should correct the audio channels being swapped problem. If you tried Audeze’s recommended fix and you still have this issue you should contact Audeze for a replacement unit if it’s something that bothers you.
At $399, the Audeze MM-100 headphones are a great value for Audeze studio headphones. However, it’s important to note that these headphones have a new Audeze sound signature that is more in line with the MM-500, rather than the traditional Audeze sound. There are other headphones available at a lower price point, such as the HiFiMAN Sundara and the Drop + HiFiMAN HE 4XX planar magnetic headphones. However, the MM-100s are built better than the Sundara and have a sound that some may prefer over the HE-4XX, despite their smoother presentation and better soundstage. Ultimately, whether the $399 price tag is a good deal will depend on your sound preferences and what is important to you. If soundstage is a priority, then these headphones may not be the best choice as there are other options with better soundstage available.
The Audeze MM-100’s are easy to recommend for their sound quality, forward presentation of vocals and instruments, and build quality. While they may not have the widest soundstage and may not be the most comfortable for extended listening sessions, they offer a fun listening experience at a reasonable price point.
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