KEF Motion One Review

Launched last year alongside the Gravity One Bluetooth portable speaker I reviewed recently, and the Space One over-ear headphone, the KEF Porsche Design Motion One is the kind of  in-ear style earphone for people who don’t just want to listen to great sound, but also be bathed in luxury.

The KEF brand may not be familiar to many people, and perhaps the same too of Porsche Design. The latter is the lifestyle arm of that German sports car company. KEF, on the other hand, is a British-based hi-fi speaker company, renowned for their very premium speakers. Very premium indeed, considering their flagship Muon speakers which cost some US$200,000 a pair.

KEF and Porsche Design came together to launch the Motion One, Gravity One and Space One. These products are fortunately priced far more down to earth, but still well-placed in the premium category, designed to appeal to certain sophisticated customers.

The Motion One is an neckband style in-ear type earphone. The neckband style is getting quite common, and I think it’s a great design that allows manufacturers to fit larger batteries and more sophisticated features without being crammed for space. The weight is shifted out from the earpieces themselves, and with a well-designed neckband, enhances listening comfort.

Everything about the Motion One looks and feels premium, starting right from the first impressions when you open up the box.

Every accessory that comes with the Motion One is immaculately packed. The main star itself, the Motion One, is packed in a semi-hard carrying case.

The Motion One has a style of understated elegance. It’s premium, but not flashy; stylish, but functional.

The neckband is covered with soft, smooth, rubber that feels good to the touch, and thin flat cables connect from the ends to the two earpieces. Those cables are long enough to serve well through any sort of head movements, without making you feel like the earpieces might get tugged out.

The Motion One is IPX5 water-resistance certified, so it’s good in a little rain, sweat, and water spray. Rubber covers all the buttons, and a rubber flap conceals the Micro-USB port used for charging the the device.

On the right-end of the neckband, you’ll find the power button, a tiny LED status indicator, and a microphone hole. These are placed on the inward facing side of the neckband.

Similarly, the buttons on the left-end of the neckband all face inward. Here, you’ll find the usual trio of control buttons: volume up, volume down, and a multi-function centre button for play, pause, and call management.

The earpieces have an aluminium build and a sandblasted anodised titanium finish. They look exquisite.

There are a few interesting things about the earpieces. The first is that the cables are detachable. The Motion One uses MMCX cables, but the connector at the earpieces are slightly different, more recessed, so that other standard MMCX connectors won’t fit in to the earpieces. Instead, you can use the provided 3.5 mm audio cable to connect into the earpieces, thus turning them into wired earphones when the Motion One’s 140 mAh batteries, which are rated for 10 hours of listening, run out.

The next is that the earpieces can be rotated so that you can either wear them when the cables coming down from your ears, or run the cables over and around the back of your ears.I personally prefer the latter style and I’m really pleased to see the Motion One provides for this wearing preference.

A nice touch is that the earpieces are magnetic, so the two sides stick to each other when you bring them together. This is convenient because when you take out the earpieces and just want to hang them down your neck, they won’t swing about excessively.

The Motion One ticks the boxes for luxury, comfort, build quality, and function. But of course the most important thing is that it must sound good. To that end, the Motion One’s 8.6 mm neodymium drivers do not disappoint. No, that would be an understatement. The Motion One sounds very impressive.

Let me start from the bottom: the bass, and which is probably the least impressive aspect of the Motion One’s sound. The bass is definitely present, accurate, and tight, but it just doesn’t stand out. It’s like destined to play a supporting role.

The mids, and the highs, however, are more versatile. They are very detailed, crisp, and I can really feel the precision, transparent, high-fidelity of the music. Overall the music is lively, and the soundstage is wide and immersive. I feel like I’m in the music, not that the music is in my head.

The KEF Porsche Design Motion One retails for S$399 at KEF Singapore flagship store, and selected authorised retailers including Analog+, Best Denki, CK Tangs, Cumulus, Decibels, Nubox and Robinsons Singapore.

Conclusion

The Motion One Bluetooth neckband style earphones from KEF, in partnership with Porsche Design, has impressive sound, as well as the luxury and style to match.

Pros:

  • Impressive sound
  • Stylish, understated elegance
  • Comfortable

Cons:

  • Bass lacks prominence

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