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KEF unveils Mu3 true wireless headphones with active noise cancelling

KEF Mu3
(Image credit: KEF)

UK Audio specialist, KEF, has just introduced the Mu3: the company's first set of true wireless headphones that also boast noise cancelling. They're designed by Ross Lovegrove – of KEF's high-end Muon speakers and bijou Bluetooth Muo fame – and engineered by the firm’s Maidstone acoustic team.

2021 sees KEF celebrating its 60th anniversary too, so why not mark it with some new high-spec wireless earbuds to rival Apple's AirPods Pro? The audio performance benefits from KEF's specially tuned active noise cancellation technology, promising to eliminate external noise without altering the details that bring your music to life.

Each sculptural enclosure contains an 8.2mm full-range dynamic driver and the ergonomic design also promises a comfortable and secure audio experience. The Mu3s are apparently balanced in the ears by smart weighting, which KEF assures us stops them from falling out. They also come with a choice of four subtly different sized ear tips to give the most tailored fit for your ears – ie. the perfect seal for noise isolation and security.

The Mu3 wireless earbuds also boast Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity further enhanced by the introduction of simultaneous transmission, where both earphones receive a signal at the same time (rather than the more common approach where audio is sent to one earpiece and relayed to the other, therefore running the risk of latency) for improved true wireless audio on both Android and iOS devices. 

KEF Mu3

(Image credit: KEF)

KEF promises a simple setup, automatic pairing and an ambient mode too, where at the touch of a button active noise cancellation is disengaged and instead, the audio picked up on the microphones is filtered in, providing the wearer with instant awareness of their surroundings. The IPX5 splash-proof rating actually beats the AirPods Pro's IPX4 rating for water ingress and the high-capacity, quick-charge batteries boast a full day’s listening (a claimed nine hours of playtime with a further 15 hours in the charging case) even with noise cancellation engaged.

They'll be available by the end of February, priced at £199 ($230, AU$300) – slap bang in AirPods Pro and Sony WF-1000XM3 territory. Are they set to become the best AirPods alternatives on the block? There's tough competition at that level, but we're very interested to find out...

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Becky is the newest staff writer on What Hi-Fi? and can most-often be found writing, reviewing and drinking coffee in the listening facility, or at her desk next to a stack of mags. (She is probably wearing in-ears, so don't be put off if she's unresponsive.) She supports Chelsea even when it hurts, and her other half is a football writer whose skill both amazes and irritates her.