Design, Build Quality
Audeze describes the MM-500 as being “Elegant, comfortable and durable”. Personally I really like the design and it looks a lot like the Audeze LCD-5 to be honest. The MM-500 uses the new headband though it’s not in carbon. The MM-500 comes with Audeze’s adjustable spring steel headband, and a machined aluminum structure. The earpads are not the ones of the LCD-5 and they look closest to the ones on the LCD-2. According to Audeze, the MM-500 pads feature their extra-plush premium leather earpads.
The cups and yokes now have a grey, soft, metallic finish. To me it’s a wonderful design of the headband, cups, yokes connectors and the grill. Even the mirror-like material of the drivers on the inside of the cups looks fancy. I personally find the MM-500 to be a stunning headphone.
“Hand-crafted in our Southern California workshop to provide years of reliable comfort in a package that calls out to be held, admired and listened to.”
The MM-500 looks and feels smaller, just like the LCD-5, but we’ll get to that in the next chapter. With the Audeze MM-500 you also get the refreshed, modern version of the iconic A-labelled Audeze grill.
Build-quality-wise I never had any issues with any of my Audeze headphones. After a few months of listening to these, everything is still looking perfect. The finishing also looks perfect to me, and even the pads are perfectly symmetric (they line up nicely).
Fit, Comfort and Isolation
Where the LCD-5 was lighter with “only” 420g, the new MM-500 is a bit heavier again. It weighs 495g, which is substantial for a headphone. That said, the headband perfectly distributes the weight over the top of your head, and I even find it to be a comfortable headphone. Even for long listening sessions. After say 4h of listening, there’s not one specific part on my head that hurts, in fact nothing hurts at all. The LCD-5-style headband is doing a great job here.
“Putting on the MM-500 makes me feel confident to deliver the best mix” – Manny Marroquin
The side pressure of the cups and head band is reasonably high (like with the LCD-5), but I personally like that. If you have a larger sized head, you will probably need to get used to it or try to soften the MM-500’s side grip. The pads also are nicely soft and spongy, and they hold the ideal position perfectly, without becoming too warm or itchy. Do note these pads are still glued on, Audeze style.
I probably have smaller than normal head and I have used up 3 clicks (bars) on the MM-500’s headband adjuster. So that means there still is a lot of room to adjust the band. I think even small heads will manage to get a perfect fit, and that’s not something that can be said of all headphones (I’m looking at you Meze). In case of need you can also lock the cups in place, so you don’t accidentally change the earcup position and ruin the fit(/sound).
All-in-all a very comfy headphone even at 495g. I’ve been wearing it multiple days for 6h straight, and never felt the need to take it off from a comfort point of view. Of course if you’re not used to this kind of headphones, you might be in for a surprise. For your reference: the Meze Elite weighs about 430g, the Hifiman Susvara 372g, the Kennerton Thror 390g and the Rosson RAD-0 even an impressive 677g. So all-by-all, the MM-500 is one of the lighter high-end planar magnetic headphones.
Isolation-wise the MM-500 performs as expected. This of course is a fully open headphone and as such a lot of sound, music and noise will leak in and out. I’m usually alone in my listening room and office when using headphones, and I doubt I’ll ever use the MM-500 on the go, so that’s perfectly acceptable for me. Using it with other people (not using IEMs or headphones) in the room, might result in them hearing your music and complaining about your poor musical choice. But that’s the case for all open headphones.
And now finally the part on sound, let’s get started!
Sound – Intro
In one of the next chapters, we will hook up the MM-500 to several different sources. Here we get the general description of how the Audeze MM-500 sounds, based on a lot of different sources and amps. The Audeze MM-500 was designed by Mr. Marroquin to get studio quality whenever you want and wherever you are.
You need to hear everything at its most natural and pure – exactly when you need it – anywhere, anytime. Manny knows the importance of headphone listening in today’s world: studio to stage, cafe to beachfront, canal to jetway, the MM-500 is the reference to the soundtrack of your life.
Audeze Describes the MM-500 as “truly the next level of performance in pro audio” and they consider the MM-500 to be a step up from their own LCD-X. Addictive like your favorite pair of sneakers.
The part on sound continues on the third page. Click HERE or use the jumps below
Page 3: Sound General, Basics, Sources
Page 4: Sound – Comparisons, Conclusion
Page 5: Full technical Specifications