Can KEF take up the battle with Bose and Sony about the noise reduction streak?
In the wake of our test of what we considered as the four heftiest wireless headphones with noise reduction , a readers proposal appeared to look into KEF Porsche Design Space One Wireless.
These seem to blend in the middle of the Bose, Sony and others segments, with promises of noisy sound, good noise reduction and a price tag of just over $ 500.
Porsche … design?
Let’s take the outside first, and we may have to say that we are not very motivated by what the designers of Porsche have been getting. Space One makes us quite big and lumpy, especially since they do not have any natural rounding of the earlocks, such as the Sony WH-1000XM2.
With the risk of letting a little politically incorrect: KEF Space One looks like a headphone designed by men for men, both in appearance, color and material choice. There is black leather, hard plastic and aluminum all around, and the impression is enhanced by the fact that the headphones are not collapsible and accompanied by a rather huge carrying case.
Both 1000XM2 and Bose QC35 will be considerably more compact in your luggage if you want them on the go. In the case, we also find two cables, one with and one without a microphone, as well as an adapter and charging cable.
If you prefer physical control buttons, you will get your wish fulfilled here.
KEF has joined Porsche Design on Space One Wireless. We may not be overrated about the design.
For those who are allergic to headphone touch controls, it’s ok to know that KEF has gone for a control solution that only consists of physical buttons and knots. Here is primarily a three-way pushbutton switch: Off, Bluetooth on, and silencing.
In addition, we find a standard control solution as we know from the remote controls under the ear of most wireless ear plugs the last ears, with three buttons. Here, a variety of short and long presses are used to achieve what you want, but the system is quite logical and largely as we know it from other similar solutions.
The only thing that can be a bit challenging is to find the right button, but it also resolves after some addiction.
Space One Wireless is a rather heavy-duty headphone, something we assume is partly due to the use of metal in the bucket. KEF gives 330 grams, while our weight taps into 315 grams. Anyway, considerably more than, for example, Bose QC35 II (235 grams) and WH-1000XM2 (275 grams), and approximately on par with B & W PX (320 grams).
The comfort is still quite good. The soft leather pads are made, and it’s also a little better inside than the Sony headphones, making them chopped less clinging around the ears. However, they do not quite reach either Bose or B & O for comfort, in the opinion of the undersigned.
Soft pillows make Space One comfortable to wear. The weight of the set itself, however, is high.
Medium noise reduction
The shock absorption is, in turn, approved. Space One Wireless does a great job of removing the dirt from the air conditioner in the office, but avoids chopping more of the more so-so sounds – like keyboard or call crashes – than market leaders.
It also applies outdoors, by car and by public transport. Smooth during the course is generally fairly easy to handle, but most of the other things go through more than in some of the others.
KEF Space One Wireless is a fairly massive headphone.
The shock absorption, by the way, generates a small amount of electronic noise, but you only hear if it is relatively quiet around you and you do not play music in your headphones. It is also a very low-frequency and non-alarming form of noise.
Unfortunately, we have unfortunately not had the opportunity to try them on planes, but will update if the impression should change after it has been tested.
It is also worth mentioning that the passive insulation here is quite powerful, so even without the noise reduction enabled you will experience a certain dampening of the ambient noise. They are nice, however, some sound, so if you play high in the office landscape you will eventually be able to get complaints from colleagues.
The KEF Space One case takes considerably more space in the case or case than Sony WH-1000XM2 (th). This is mainly due to the fact that the KEFs are not collapsible.
Very engaging sound
The sound is nevertheless the most important, and here we think KEF is doing well. This is engaging and warm fun sound that should appeal to many. Space One Wireless has first and foremost a sound signature with heavy, heavy and dry bass.
They have a pleasant rounding at the top of the register, which, admittedly, will be a bit of the good for some.
The middle is rich and nice, but we think they lack some air and breath to reach all of our favorites from Bang & Olufsen.
We miss the earliest definition and resolution in the tweeter, but at the same time, you can play very loudly without being obnoxious or cunning to listen to.
In summary: Consistently good sound, lots of bass, but does not have the big and airy sound image that the B & O Beoplay H9 and H9i have. However, the gap is fuller, which probably will better suit some types of music and not least taste.
Compared to the Bose QC35, Sony WH-1000XM2 and Bowers & Wilkins PX, the undersigned chose KEF if the sound was the only thing that meant something, though.
The battery life is also very solid, with 30 hours of wireless playback and noise reduction, and 40 hours of wireless playback, respectively. It’s right with our experience: They last and last without us, and it’s definitely a mitigating factor when we judge them as a bit massive in the design.
Otherwise, Bluetooth connectivity has performed smoothly during the test period, and Space One Wireless also has no significant audio and video sync issues when watching video.
These headphones are primarily purchased for the sound quality and not for the design. They are not directly ugly in any way but become lumpy and a little boring compared to, for example, the B & O Play H9i or B & W PX.
But they sound the cannon and are getting into the top three of the right sound quality.
They sound engaging and a little warm, with a bass that can be safe to keep it real. Without it becoming “shrill”.
I would have liked something more sharp, where compared to B & O, it is not as clear and detailed.
The middle is quite forward and clear, maybe a little demanding for some. But for some types of music this is something that gives good listening pleasure, in my opinion.
If you put on Kari Bremnes or other artists with a solid and powerful voice, it’s not long before the freezing is forced.
All in all, this is a headset that does much right. The noise cancellation is a few notches under the very best, and besides that, the price is quite scratch, in addition, you do not get particularly good design for the money. But cracking good sound raises the totals right outside the pallet.
KEF Porsche Design The Space One Wireless is a very hard-wearing headset. They sound very good and not least engaging, although purists may think they have a bit too rich midrange.
Unfortunately, the shock absorption is not quite at the same level as market leaders, but it is also not worth mentioning over battery life, which is at the very top of this segment.
The price is perhaps our biggest appeal here. For $ 500, you’d rather do something extraordinary, and we do not think KEF is able to flip neither Beoplay H9i down from the soundtrack or Bose and Sony down from space as number one on noise reduction.
They still make it solid in all areas, and should definitely take into consideration if you have a few thousand flaps burning in your pocket and are looking for a good pair of all-round headphones.
“Very good sound and sound noise reduction at a not too affordable price.”
- Engaging and full sound
- Very good battery life
- Stable Bluetooth connection
Things to think about
- The focus is in the lower parts of the registry
- Not exactly elegant and web design
- Non-collapsible; hard case
- Weaker noise reduction than the very best
- Some noise from the electronics by noise suppression enabled