Not long after Audeze released their professional headphones MM-500, made in collaboration with sound engineer Manny Marroquin (hence the MM in the name), the American manufacturer is ready with a new, more affordable model. Namely the MM-100.
The MM-500 did not go unnoticed. I myself fell head over heels for them when I tested them recently, because in addition to sounding neutral and detailed enough to serve as a tool for sound engineers, they have such a seductive sound quality that I just sat there and listened and listened. And listened. In the bass range, they seem to outperform the top-of-the-line LCD-5, and despite their weight of almost 500 grams, they remained comfortable during extended use.
The MM-500s are also somewhat more expensive than most people can afford or want to pay, and now Audeze is looking to offer sound engineers a budget version. The new MM-100 headphones fulfil this need.
The MM-500 has been developed by and for studio engineers, to reveal the full substance of a recording. Something that also provides pure enjoyment for "ordinary people".
The MM-100 is also made in collaboration with Manny Marroquin, so it would be reasonable to assume that the sound balance is probably about the same.
Planar magnetic headphones
Audeze only makes planar magnetic headphones, and the MM-100 is no exception. This requires a much larger diaphragm surface than in dynamic earcups, and in the MM-100 Audeze uses the same drivers as in the MM-500, with a 90 mm diaphragm.
The weight is reduced to 375 grams, down from 495 grams in the MM-500. These are therefore among the very lightest headphones from Audeze.
Tested by professionals
Audeze claims that the MM-100 has been tested by numerous top artists alongside Manny Marroquin at Larrabee Studios in Hollywood. With high accuracy throughout the entire frequency range, to provide stable results that artists and technicians can rely on.
The magnets in the drivers should provide high clarity with “class-leading low distortion”, while making the headphones easy to drive.
The frame is made from an alloy of magnesium and aluminium for high rigidity and low weight, while the ear cups and headband are filled with gel for comfort.
The ear cups can be rotated in and laid flat, making them easier to take with you when travelling.
New standard in performance?
‘I’m so excited to make studio-quality audio available to a wider audience,’ said Manny Marroquin, according to the press release. – ‘Everyone who works in audio needs a headphone they can rely on, in or out of the studio,’ he added.
The goal of the MM-100 is to set a new standard for headphone performance aimed at a wider audience. We at the editorial team are also very excited about this model. If the MM-100 manages to give a good touch of what the MM-500 delivers, then this could well become the model against which all others are measured.
Audeze MM-100: Price and availability
The Audeze MM-100 will be available in May, and the price in the US is set at $399. We’ll be back with more information, and of course, we’ve already ordered the headphones for review.
More info: audeze.com