Sound by KEF. Design by Ross Lovegrove.
Active Noise Cancellation
Up to 24-hr use
The sound & design journey continues
Mu3 is the new chapter in the sound and design journey of KEF and Ross Lovegrove. Renowned for his innovative approach and flowing, sculptural forms, Lovegrove and KEF have already created the Muon and Muo. Mu3 defines technology as art; a design that complements KEF’s obsession with pure, accurate sound.
Pure, accurate sound…anywhere
All day, any way
Remove or reveal your surroundings
Comfort and Ease
Designed for your ears
Design by Ross Lovegrove
What's in the box
Charging case with built-in wireless charging
USB-C charging cable
4 sets of silicone ear tips (large, medium, small, short)
Quick start guide, warranty
Just got these and they sound excellent, they fit so well can hardly tell you are wearing them.
The case is very nice and I cannot believe that they have active noise canceling.
I am so glad I bought these.
4-stars only because there is room for improvement. I'm happy with my purchase and use them daily. These are the most comfortable ear buds that weren't custom fitted that I have worn. I can fall asleep with them in and wake up and not even realize that they are still in my ears. Even sleeping on my side is not uncomfortable. I also sometimes wear them inside a motorcycle helmet, which can put a little pressure from the side, and they remain comfortable . If you have comfort issues around typical ear buds and the main body fits in your outer ear without stretching the cartilage out, these are the earbuds for you.
Sounds quality is excellent. I've had many pairs of high end ear- and head-phones over the years, so I can't say that they are the best sounding ear buds I've ever heard, but they certainly have sound quality that matches the price point and beyond.
Battery life is great. I've had music running through them for 8 hours more than once (without ANC or ambient, of course). I haven't had opportunity to validate the amount of charge in the charging case or even the speed of charging from the case, but not for lack of using it, so it clearly has enough charge and charges quickly enough that I haven't encountered its limits.
It's really a shame that the case can't be charged wirelessly. I also don't like that the earbuds are totally dependent on the case. Lose or break the carrying case and your earbuds are useless until it is replaced. Perhaps fitting wireless charging into such a small form factor that charging them independently isn't possible, but in that case, a non-portable charger in addition to the battery storage in the charging case would be worth the slight additional cost, since a static charger is MUCH less likely to get lost, broken, or water damaged. It's only a matter of time before most of us send the portable case through the laundry, I'm sure.
The bluetooth implementation is where they lose points. If you only ever use one device with them, most of this won't apply, but I find the bluetooth pairing process to be seriously problematic when switching between devices. If you don't have the case with you, you cannot clear the current pairing so they cannot be connected to a different device unless the current device they are paired to disconnects. I've lost count of the number of times I've put them in my ears, walked to the other end of the house, gone outside to my workshop, and then realized that they are still paired to a device in a my office , only to have to go back inside, find the case so that I can force-unpair them, and then pair them to the new device, or go to my office and disconnect from them from the device in there. When force-unpairing, it is often really difficult to get them to pair to a new device. Sometimes only one of them will pair with the next device. Sometimes neither of them. I sometimes have to attempt to pair 5 or more times before it actually works correctly, and this is to a device that they are familiar with. It can often take 5-10 minutes to get them to pair to my phone or laptop if I don't explicitly disconnect from the previous device. Every other bluetooth device I own will happily switch between multiple devices by just telling the new device to connect to them, as long as they have already been paired once. There is no need to force my other bluetooth devices to disconnect and go into pairing mode in order to create a connection to a familiar device.
I also don't like the long-press to change volume interface. I'd rather do long press for the functions currently assigned to short press and do repeated short presses to change volume.
The active noise canceling is pretty weak. Fortunately, the passive attenuation from a good fit is quite high. ANC only really works on relatively high frequency constant noise. It does almost nothing for lower frequency noise (tire rumble, lawn mower). On an airplane, they are pretty effective against the engines and the sound of air blowing from above, but useless against nearby conversation and howling babies, though the passive attenuation is not bad for that. I'd estimate that they are about the equivalent of 12-15db foam earplugs. Leave ANC off and enjoy longer battery life. Ambient mode is noticeable, but not very useful. They don't attenuate outside sound enough that you really need ambient mode to hear, and it doesn't work well enough to hear outside noise over the sound of whatever content they are playing.
Don't buy these for the software-based audio processing, basically. Buy them because you want good sounding, wireless earbuds with excellent battery life and exceedingly good comfort.
Despite my complaints, I would absolutely buy these again. I haven't encountered any wireless ear buds that don't have at least as many defects, and most of my issues could be addressed fairly easily in a future version.
I just received these today. Let me just first say, they were extremely easy to pair via Bluetooth to both my iPhone and with my Lenovo laptop on the first attempt (no apps, no troubleshooting, just plug-and-play and both earbuds worked with the laptop, which was always an issue for my old Bose earbuds). However, I wasn't able to switch between devices quickly and had to fully disconnect them then reconnect to a different device. I also didn't really have any issues when putting the right ear bud away and switching to a single bud or back to dual.
The fit is pretty comfy, but took some getting used to, initially they feel like they're going to fall out, but they actually stay snug and they're even smaller than I anticipated. But after a couple of hours these standard rubber fittings start to get a bit uncomfortable.
As for the sound quality... I have mixed reviews. When paired with my iPhone, the sound is actually pretty solid, it's clear, crisp and pretty clean. There's the slightest bit of an echo and it feels a bit muted or muffled; but still far better than other earbuds I've tried. The range is impressive with sufficient bass, and it's a true stereo experience, although I found the max volume tops out rather quickly but is generally sufficient, particularly with the noise-cancellation on. Unfortunately when paired with my laptop, there was a distinctly different sound, which was highly muffled, pretty low quality and far less enjoyable. My gut reaction is that these were designed with the iPhone in mind and there may be differences in codec, which makes me wonder how these would perform when paired with an Android phone (hopefully other reviewers can weigh-in on this). I also happened to simultaneously purchase a set of the KEF M100 wired earphones (which indicate "Made for iPhone") for work/travel and as a backup in case I run out of battery. The M100's sound simply amazing on my laptop and perform even better than the Mu3 when connected to my iPhone, presenting with greater depth and crisper tones, so I know the issue is not the audio source. Full disclosure, I also own a pair of KEF LS50 Wireless II bookshelf speakers which are simply amazing (and the main reason I decided to try-out these KEF earbuds).
The noise-cancellation is pretty darn good, it will definitely block-out any low-volume or moderate ambient noise, I also like that it's very easy to switch from ANC back to the ambient setting. I haven't yet tested it on any phone calls. And although I like that the controls are simple and no frills, I don't love the volume control which requires a long press and takes a few seconds to engage. The quickstart guide wasn't entirely intuitive at first (like a long press on the right/left buds results in volume controls +/- respectively). Note that the left ear has ANC and volume control, and right ear is, play/pause, volume, and a double-tap = next track.
In summary: Overall, I'm really happy with these earbuds. They deliver excellent sound at a reasonable price, solid noise-cancellation, good fit and low profile, all with superior battery life.
- great value (on black friday sale), nothing else delivers like these at this price point
- easy to connect to a single device
- sounds fantastic with iPhone/Apple devices
- comfortable and smaller than anticipated w/relatively low profile
- excellent battery life of 9 hrs posted (not yet tested, but almost 2x my old Bose)
- relatively simple controls
- non-iPhone audio inputs seem to deliver inconsistent/muffled sound
- unable to switch between different devices quickly
- volume controls require a long hold/press and take about 2-3 seconds to engage, which often result in inadvertently pausing or advancing tracks on the right earbud
KEF really delivered with this. The promise of neutral sounds was not some excuse for underperformance. I've heard things in music that I've known for decades that I'd never heard before - even those I've listened to on pricey over ear headphones. The clarity, perfect amount of treble, bass and mids made me want to go through my entire library of music again. Other speakers or headphones gave me listener fatigue, but this lets me listen for hours and hours. Not to mention how comfortable they are to wear. Noise cancellation is sufficient for me, even in a noisy train. I didn't buy these for calls. I was looking for the best possible music reproduction in wireless headphones, and I'm really happy with them.
In this price range these are the best that I have heard. Neutral with buoyant bass. Like the other reviewer these fit my ears like a glove. Highly recommended.