Wearables

KEF takes the fight to Apple with Mu3 true wireless ANC earphones

KEF takes the fight to Apple w...
The Mu3 true wireless ANC earphones have been tuned by the same engineers responsible for KEF's loudspeakers
The Mu3 true wireless ANC earphones have been tuned by the same engineers responsible for KEF's loudspeakers
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With the included charging case, battery life is reported to be up to 24 hours
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With the included charging case, battery life is reported to be up to 24 hours
The Mu3 true wireless ANC earphones have been tuned by the same engineers responsible for KEF's loudspeakers
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The Mu3 true wireless ANC earphones have been tuned by the same engineers responsible for KEF's loudspeakers
The Mu3 earphones feature active noise cancellation so that listeners can focus on the music without the distractions of the outside world
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The Mu3 earphones feature active noise cancellation so that listeners can focus on the music without the distractions of the outside world
Playback control and taking calls are undertaken using a multi-function button on the earpiece
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Playback control and taking calls are undertaken using a multi-function button on the earpiece
Bluetooth audio is received by both earpieces at the same time, unlike other designs where the signal is sent to one and relayed to the other
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Bluetooth audio is received by both earpieces at the same time, unlike other designs where the signal is sent to one and relayed to the other
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Since the very first true wireless earphones were released in 2015, most of the big names in personal audio have joined the party. More recently, active noise cancellation has brought another level of immersion to the space, with Apple and Sony the manufacturers to beat. Now veteran UK audio brand KEF is challenging the top players with the Mu3 earphones.

Created in collaboration with award-winning designer Ross Lovegrove, who was also the creative mind behind the company's Muon speakers, the Mu3 earphones boast active noise cancellation technology to remove external sounds and allow wearers to focus on the music.

As with many other ANC ear candy available today, these units also sport an ambient mode that switches off the noise cancellation to allow the outside in if desired, such as when walking through traffic or to chat to friends without removing the earphones.

KEF has also leveraged its loudspeaker expertise in the development of the 8.2-mm full-range driver in each earpiece, for the promise of "pure and accurate sound on the move." Frequency response is reported to be 20 Hz to 20 kHz, sensitivity comes in at 104 dB, and there's 16-ohms impedance.

With the included charging case, battery life is reported to be up to 24 hours
With the included charging case, battery life is reported to be up to 24 hours

Mobile music lovers connect to a source device like a smartphone over Bluetooth 5.0, with support for the AAC codec but no aptX. Of note here is the fact that both earpieces receive the signal from the source at the same time, where other true wireless designs might send it to one unit and have that relay it to the other. Playback control and call-taking is undertaken using a multi-function button on the earpiece.

The 50-mAh battery in each bud will give up to nine hours of use per charge, with another 15 hours available via the charging case. And five minutes in the case will give you an hour of playback if you need to hear your tunes in a hurry.

The Mu3 true wireless ANC earphones are available for pre-order now for US$229.99, which puts them in the same kind of price range as Apple's AirPods Pro and Sony's WF-1000XM3 models.

Product page: Mu3

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