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Audeze MM-100 headphones next to a cable and iPhone.
Chase Bernath / SoundGuys

Audeze MM-100 review

Affordable Audeze headphones with some drawbacks.
By

Published onApril 8, 2024

6.1
Audeze MM-100
The bottom line
While the Audeze MM-100 offers great build quality and planar magnetic drivers at a reasonable price, these headphones fall flat in performance. Some mixing engineers will appreciate the focus on mids, but most people should look elsewhere.

Audeze MM-100

While the Audeze MM-100 offers great build quality and planar magnetic drivers at a reasonable price, these headphones fall flat in performance. Some mixing engineers will appreciate the focus on mids, but most people should look elsewhere.
Product release date
2023
Price
$399 USD
Dimensions
Ear cup: 65 x 45mm
Cable length: 2.5m
Weight
475g
Model Number
‎211-MM-1100-00
What we like
Build quality
Low impedance
What we don't like
Heavy
Limited sizing options
No 3.5mm adapter included
Over-emphasis on mids
6.1
SoundGuys Rating
Rating Metric
Our Rating
User Rating
Isolation / Attenuation
1.1
-
0.0
Durability / Build Quality
7.0
-
0.0
Value
4.0
-
0.0
Design
8.0
-
0.0
Connectivity
6.5
-
0.0
Portability
4.0
-
0.0
Feature
5.0
-
0.0
Comfort
8.0
-
0.0
MDAQS rating
Learn more
Timbre
4.3
Distortion
4.1
Immersiveness
3.1
Overall
4.1

Audeze is known for making headphones that cost thousands of dollars. With the MM-100, Audeze is lowering the barrier to entry for professionals with a more affordable approach. This headphone is a cost-reduced little brother of the well-regarded MM-500 open-back, designed in collaboration with award-winning producer and mixing engineer Manny Marroquin. So, has Audeze successfully reduced the cost without cutting performance? Find out in our Audeze MM-100 review.

Editor’s note: this is the first version of the article. Updates will follow as the market changes.

About this Audeze MM-100 review: We tested the Audeze MM-100 over one week. The company provided the unit for review.

The Audeze MM-100 are ideal for producers seeking a headphone that reveals detail in the midrange of mixes. Anyone seeking planar magnetic headphones with a high-end design that don’t break the bank may appreciate the Audeze MM-100.

What’s it like to use the Audeze MM-100?

Audeze MM-100 on man facing right.
Chase Bernath / SoundGuys
These bulky headphones are suitable for professional applications.

The Audeze MM-100 headphones are made from premium materials, and the magnesium, steel, and leather design looks and feels professional. These headphones will not look out of place in any studio or listening room. However, the hefty materials can have a negative impact on portability and comfort. At 475g, these headphones are heavier than most and are large and bulky.

Audeze MM-100 headband clasp showing three holes for different sizes.
Chase Bernath / SoundGuys
The headband adjusts to different sizes using the punched holes in the headband.

The headband is adjustable via punched holes, with a limited adjustment range. The default size fits my head perfectly, and I don’t have comfort issues wearing these headphones for hours at a time. If your head doesn’t match one of the headphone’s sizing options, you won’t have a good experience with the MM-100.

As expected for studio headphones, the Audeze MM-100 has no water or dust resistance. The ear cups rotate but don’t fold, and a soft pouch carrying case is included. These headphones are designed to stay at your listening station all the time.

How do the Audeze MM-100 connect?

Audeze MM-100 input on both ear cups.
Chase Bernath / SoundGuys
You can connect the cable to either ear cup.

The Audeze MM-100 comes with a braided 3.5mm TRS to 6.35mm TRS cable that is 2.5m long. There is no adapter included to plug the cable into 3.5mm devices. You’ll need to source an adapter to use the headphones with your portable devices. The headphones have an impendence of only 18 ohms, so they can easily be driven by a phone or laptop.

How well do the Audeze MM-100 block out noise?

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Since these are open-back headphones, they aren’t designed to block out noise. You can hear pretty much everything around you while wearing these headphones. Similarly, anyone sitting next to you can hear what you are listening to.

Also note that these headphones passively amplify noises from your surroundings in the 1-3kHz range, which we’ve seen happen with a few other open-backed designs.

How do the Audeze MM-100 sound?

Like other Audeze headphones we’ve reviewed, the MM-100 uses planar magnetic drivers tuned for accuracy, targeting a very different response from typical consumer-oriented headphones. Like near-field monitor loudspeakers, they have an analytical sound that reveals lots of midrange detail and doesn’t deliver a typical “casual” listening experience.

Reviewer’s notes

Editor’s note: this review uses a hover-enabled glossary to describe sound quality based on a consensus vocabulary. You can read about it here.

Objective Measurements

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As you can see in the chart above, the Audeze MM-100’s frequency response under-emphasizes bass and treble when compared to our “legacy” Studio frequency response target curve. Throughout the bass and sub-bass region below 200Hz, the response is as much as 5dB down compared to our curve, which is less than typical open-back headphones. Also of note is the under-emphasis of treble frequencies above 4kHz. The result of the under-emphasis on bass and treble is a focus on mids, particularly around 3kHz.

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Aided by the planar magnetic drivers, the Audeze MM-100 add very little harmonic distortion. This means the headphones can accurately reproduce sounds without noticeable added harmonics.

Multi-Dimensional Audio Quality Scores (MDAQS)

The chart below shows how the sound of the Audeze MM-100 was assessed by the Multi-Dimensional Audio Quality Score (MDAQS) algorithm from HEAD acoustics.

This chart shows the MDAQS results for the Audeze MM-100 in default mode. The Timbre score is 4.3, The Distortion score is 4.1, the Immersiveness score is 3.1, and the Overall Score is 4.1).
The headphones score highly in Timbre with good Distortion but less well for Immersiveness.

Despite their atypical frequency response, the Audeze MM-100 scores well overall on MDAQS. Distortion is not a problem here, and the Timbre scores well.

Timbre (MOS-T) represents how faithfully the earbuds reproduce the frequency spectrum and temporal resolution (timing information).

Distortion (MOS-D) represents non-linearities and added noise: higher scores mean cleaner reproduction.

Immersiveness (MOS-I) represents perceived source width and positioning: how well virtual sound sources are defined in three-dimensional space.

See here for an explanation of MDAQS, how it works, and how it was developed.

Should you buy the Audeze MM-100?

Audeze MM-100 headphones on a white and purple table.
These headphones are designed for a specific niche.

Most people shouldn’t buy the Audeze MM-100. For $400, there are plenty of other great studio headphones worth considering. The Audeze MM-100 is only for a specific niche of mixing engineers or audio editors who want planar magnetic headphones for super analytical listening.

Audeze MM-100Audeze MM-100
Audeze MM-100
Planar magnetic drivers • Premium magnesium and steel design
MSRP: $399.00
Mixing headphones that don't break the bank.
Designed alongside Grammy award-winning engineer Manny Marroquin, the Audze MM-100 headphones aim to provide professional performance at an affordable price.

What should you get instead of the Audeze MM-100?

Sennheiser HD490 PRO headphones on man facing left.
Chase Bernath / SoundGuys
The Sennheiser HD 490 PRO is versatile and relatively affordable.

In this price range, my first choice of studio headphones is the Sennheiser HD 490 PRO, $399.99 at Amazon. These headphones have a more even presentation across lows, mids, and highs. They also offer some excellent features, such as swappable velour and fabric ear pads and the inclusion of virtual mixing room software.

If you want to save a few bucks, you can check out the Beyerdynamic DT 900 PRO X, $269 at Amazon. These Beyerdynamic headphones are incredibly comfortable and have a frequency response well tailored for professional audio work.

If you are set on planar magnetic drivers, take a look at the HiFiMan Sundara, $299 at Amazon. These headphones are often sold for less than the Audeze offering. For more options, check out our best studio and open-back headphones list.

Frequently asked questions about the Audeze MM-100

No, you don’t need an external amplifier to use the Audeze MM-100. They have an impedance of 18 ohms and a sensitivity of 98 dB/1mW (at Drum Reference Point). You will need a 3.5mm adapter to use the included cable with your phone or laptop, but the output level is fine.

Even with an adapter, these aren’t the best headphones for gaming. For most games, you want to hear a deep sub-bass for immersion in explosions and other action sequences, and you don’t get that with these headphones.

These headphones are designed and assembled in the United States.

Yes, the cable is detachable and can be attached to either the left or right ear cup.

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