KEF Porsche Design Space One Wireless Headphones Review
The audio brand KEF live and breathe style and luxury. From their floor stand bohemouths to the portable Bluetooth speakers right through to their headphoines, their products ooze premium. Which was exactly my first thought when the KEF Porsche Design Space One headphones landed on my desk.
Right from the beginning of the unboxing experience, right through to holding the headphones in your hands, everything felt and looked good. Inside its initial box you’re greeted with a nice box that’s lined with felt to keep the carry case free from blemishes. Inside is your beautifully presented Space One headphones as well as a smaller carrying pouch for your 3.5mm aux cable and microUSB charging cable. Surprised that there was no USB Type-C.
The headphones themselves are covered in a smooth to touch material and are built extremely well. The earcups are loose to hold, without feeling as if they’re going to break. There’s a very generous amount of padding where it counts over the crown and around the earcups, and it’s made from an anti-sweat leather type material. I never once felt that these were an uncomfortable set of cans, but there is a small breaking in period. They were quite tight at first. The design is subtle, yet premium looking. They won’t stand out amongst a crowd, but damn do they make you feel like a million bucks at you walk down the street.
The entire IO is placed on the right earcup. Here you can find two ports for your 3.5mm aux cable and your microUSB charging port. There are three buttons placed together for play/pause and volume and a seperate slider to power the headphones on and turn on the ANC. The first click enables power and use with a wire, while the second click turns on Bluetooth and ANC together. There’s no mixing and matching unfortunately, although the cable works in the Bluetooth/ANC mode, but the battery will likely die faster due to the unused Bluetooth signal being sent out of the headphones.
In terms of button placement, these will take some getting used to. They’re not in the best position unfortunately, and things like holding down the volume up button to skip track ended up with crooked finger placements. The power slider is also in an awful place. I had to remove the headphones physically from my head before changing modes.
In terms of audio quality though, the richness in the audio is somewhat unbeatable. Anything that was thrown at it whether it was rock, pop, hip-hop or a podcast, the sound stage was very full and extremely well controlled. However, for some music types some more bass would have been beneficial. What’s annoying is that there is no companion app for mobile to adjust things like the EQ, which can be found on similarly priced headphones like the Bose QuietComfort 35 IIs or the Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless. Some more input from the bass frequencies would have been nice. But that’s not to deter you from the listening experience, these headphones still sound absolutely superb under the right genre of music.
Battery life has been quoted by KEF at around 30 hours which is what we kind of expected. That’s with Bluetooth and ANC active. My experience, wearing these for around four hours a day commuting to and from work, never saw me reaching for the charger until it hit the weekend. There are vocal prompts every time you turn the headphones on. It’ll say Battery Medium, or Battery Low, but this was enough of a guide for me.
So with that being said, if you’re after a great listening experience from a set of headphones that look absolutely gorgeous, then look no further. But, at the same time I find it hard to recommend them based on the fact that the button placement is so bad, and the lack of bass and adjustable EQ for precise sound design. They’re currently coming in on Amazon slightly cheaper at the time of writing this review than a set of Sony WH-1000MX3s and much cheaper than the Bowers & Wilkins PX Wireless (my favourite top spot right now) so there is that to consider too. For more information, head over to the KEF website.