KEF takes on Sony with new Mu7 wireless ANC headphones

KEF takes on Sony with new Mu7 wireless ANC headphones
(Image credit: KEF)

The Sony WH-1000XM5 have some new challengers. KEF's Mu7 are a similarly high-end pair of wireless noise-cancelling headphones with a typically stylish design and bags of features. So should Sony be worried?

On paper, yes. The Mu7 are designed by KEF's longtime collaborator Ross Lovegrove, the man behind other KEF products like last year's Mu3 wireless earbuds, the £140,000 Muon speakers and the Award-winning Muo Bluetooth speaker. That means the Mu7 get KEF's staple flowing, sculptural look.

They're made of aluminium, which should make them feel more premium than the Sony XM5 and Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless, both of which feel less luxurious than their predecessors. The headband promises to be lightweight, providing a snug acoustic seal while exerting minimal ear pressure. The ear pads are made from memory foam and mould to fit your head, while they also rotate to let the headphones fold flat.

Your colour options are Silver Grey or Charcoal Grey. 

But there's a lot more to these than just a natty design. They've been "custom-tuned by the KEF engineering experts", with the 40mm full-range drivers promising to reveal "even the most subtle acoustic details". KEF claims they also preserve the integrity of a recording with little intervention.

We'll reserve judgement until we've reviewed them for ourselves, but they do support up to 24-bit/48kHz audio files thanks to Qualcomm's aptX HD wireless codec.

KEF Mu7 wireless ANC headphones

(Image credit: KEF)

The active noise-cancellation (ANC) uses filters to capture background sounds before using a specialised algorithm to target individual frequencies. For calls, your voice is isolated by Clear Voice Capture (cVc) to minimise other sounds.

The right ear cup features a capacitive touchpad that you use to answer calls, skip tracks and adjust the volume. 

Bluetooth 5.1 is the order of the day, while the battery lasts for an impressive 40 hours – that's 10 more than the Sony XM5. You'll also get eight hours' use from a 15-minute fast charge. And if you want to listen wired, there's a 3.5mm headphone port (though you'll need an adapter to use with most modern smartphones).

So how do they compare for price? At £349 (about $389, AU$619), the KEFs are cheaper than the Sony XM5 (£380 / $399 / AU$550) – though the latter are regularly discounted – but pricier than the Sennheiser Momentum 4 (£300 / $349.95 / AU$549.95). The KEF Mu7 are available now – look out for a full review soon.


aptX HD Bluetooth: What is it? What devices and headphones support it?

Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless vs Sony WH-1000XM5: which headphones are best?

Also consider the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2

Best over-ear headphones: wired and wireless over-ears for all budgets

Joe Svetlik

Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.

  • Barbapape
    I oredered these mu7 cause i was impressed with KEF's LS 50 wireless ii.
    Unfortunatelly i was largely dissapointed. I expected much better sound from KEF. Before these headphones i was using sony WH 1000 mx4 and and they have much better sound quality than KEF mu7. I do like the design and the quality but sound should be no.1 in reviewing headphones so i don't understand how mu7 got so high numbers in reviews i've seen before buying them.
    Also, there are no app for them which is amazing for a 400€ headphones 🙄
    I've been using them only for few weeks and i intend to give them more time, if something changes i'll edit this review but so far a big no no.