With the KEF Mu7, KEF becomes the latest high-end audio brand to offer an over-ear wireless headphone with active noise cancellation. The company has been extraordinarily bad about keeping this announcement a secret, however; the Mu7 has been listed on the company’s website for at least a week, even though the news officially dropped only today.
From the documentation that’s been provided to date, it looks as if the Mu7 will come closer than either Bowers & Wilkins’ or Focal’s efforts when it comes to achieving high-tech feature parity with Sony’s WH-1000XM5 noise-cancelling headphones. KEF’s cans feature a capacitive touchpad on the right-hand earcup that will allow users to answer calls, skip tracks, and adjust the volume with finger taps and swipes.
The Mu7 feature 40mm full-range dynamic drivers “custom-tuned by KEF engineers to bring consistent voicing while on the move,” according to the manufacturer, and deliver frequency response from 20Hz to 20kHz. The headphone has a Bluetooth 5.1 radio onboard and it supports the SBC, AAC, aptX, and aptX HD codecs. That last codec supports high-resolution (up to 24-bit/48kHz) streaming from compatible devices. Sony’s equally high-resolution LDAC codec is apparently not supported.
KEF says the Mu7’s active noise cancellation “uses multiple filters to capture the environmental noise around the headphones and applies a specialized noise cancelling algorithm that targets certain frequencies and adjust the noise cancellation to be much more effective.” That’s a lot of words to say the Mu7 have adaptive noise cancellation.
The KEF Mu7’s industrial design is credited to Ross Lovegrove, who also worked on KEF’s $225,000 Muon loudspeaker and its $230 Mu3 ANC in-ear headphones. KEF credits the Mu7’s aluminum frame for its light weight–just 10.9 ounces–although the leatherette covering the memory foam earpads suggests the level of luxury B&W offers with its Px7 S2 rather than Focal’s (admittedly more expensive) Bathys.
Power is supplied by a Li-ion 1100mAh battery rated to deliver 40 hours of wireless playtime with ANC engaged, and KEF says a 15-minute quick charge will yield 8 hours of play time. A USB-C cable is provided for charging; a 3.5mm audio cable and an airline adapter are also included.
The KEF Mu7 is available now for $399.99 in silver or charcoal finishes. We’ll publish an in-depth review of the new noise-cancelling headphone as soon as we land a sample.
Michael is TechHive's lead editor, with 30+ years of experience covering the tech industry, focusing on the smart home, home audio, and home theater. He built his own smart home in 2007 and used it as a real-world test lab for product reviews. Following a relocation to the Pacific Northwest, he is now converting his new home, an 1890 Victorian bungalow, into a modern smart home.