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Musical Fidelity MF-100 review

Musical Fidelity MF-100
Our Rating :
£88.88 from
Price when reviewed : £119
inc VAT

A neutral sound with surprisingly powerful bass, but it’s a little expensive

The MF-100 is the first pair of on-ear headphones from Musical Fidelity, a brand best known for high-end audio amplifiers. Designed to sound as natural as possible, so that nothing is added or subtracted from the mix, the MF-100s are the antithesis of modern bass-heavy Beats headphones.

With its restrained appearance, the MF-100 looks more like a pair of headphones designed for home listening than portability, but the MF-100’s lightweight, great sound isolation and inline microphone make them equally well suited for pairing with a smartphone. The adjustable headband is made from soft-touch plastic, with a leather cushion creating a comfortable fit.

The MF-100 comes with two pairs of ear pads in the box, so you can choose between leather and Alcantara. Unfortunately, the pads are incredibly fiddly to swap over, and it took us almost 15 minutes to tuck the surrounding material neatly inside the ear cup. This does mean that the ear cups won’t accidentally fall off when in transit, though. The ear cups sit on your ears rather than over them, and they can get a little warm after a prolonged listening session. Happily, the cups don’t let your music leak into the outside world. The ear cups do a great job at isolating you from exterior noise too, so you won’t need to increase the volume to painful levels just to drown out the sounds of your fellow commuters.

As with any pair of headphones, sound quality is far more important than looks or accessories, and thankfully the MF-100 does sound good, as long as you want a neutral sound. Musical Fidelity has deliberately tuned the 40mm drivers to deliver a flat response, treating bass and treble equally in the mix. This certainly helps balance the high-end, which sounds crisp and detailed without letting hi-hats and cymbals sound too sharp.

Musical Fidelity MF-100

The MF-100 still manages to deliver bass when a track calls for it, but the sound isn’t dominated by the low end. This will come as a relief to many, as there are far too many companies pushing bass-heavy headphones, but if you do want your cans to rattle your skull, the MF-100s won’t be for you.

Our main criticism was with spatial impression. All of our test tracks felt somewhat enclosed, compared to other on-ears which create a much wider sound. The MF-100s have to be driven harder than other headphones too, and we had to have the volume on our MP3 player a little higher than normal.

At £119, the MF-100 is reasonably priced for a pair of neutrally balanced over-ear headphones. However, there’s stiff competition from the Grado SR80i headphones, which cost £20 less and have a wider soundstage when we’ve used them. Even so, the Musical Fidelity MF-100 is a very good pair of headphones.




Typeon-ear headphones
Active noise-cancellingno
Power sourcenone
Frequency response20-20,000Hz
Impedence64 ohms
Plug type3.5mm stereo jack plug
Inline volumeNo
Cable length1cm
Extrasspare ear pads, in line microphone

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