Audeze MM-500 Announced June 3rd, 2022

MM-500 01


I’m super excited for this - if Audeze can deliver sub 500g headphones with the performance of their larger older brethren, this is seriously good news for those of us who want to wear their headphones all day.


I’m excited for this too. Did you notice the pad design? It looks like the classic LCD design instead of the LCD-5 pads. I found the older design to be more comfortable than the LCD-5 pads. I’m wondering if this will essentially be a lighter LCD-X with a Parallel Uniforce diaphragm.

Shame it has his name on it… other than that for the price it’s probably an interesting headphone to try out. Wonder if they’re more similar to the X or 5 sound wise.


Very interesting. I wonder if most of the weight reduction is due to the transducer being 90 mm vs 106 mm of the LCD-2 and LCD-X? Or maybe the machined aluminum structure?


I wonder if these are the vegan pads being rumored and if they are interchangeable with the 5’s. Not that I am longing for a different pad, the current ones are fine.
Same goes with the headband as they look not carbon fiber… could be more comfortable for some out there.

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Definitely going to following this with interest. Currently using the 2021 LCD-X for mix work when it goes into the wee hours. No real info yet other than stats and Manny’s anecdotal testimony, except for a small blurb int the marketing material *“Whether you’re stepping up from our own LCD-X or from another brand…” , but Audeze’s marketing toward the pro audio world has always been a little strident.


Was at NAMM Show yesterday, spoke with a few members of the Audeze team about the MM 500.

Few details about the new MM 500 they shared with me. The MM 500 is single sided like the LCD-5 but the diaphragm, magnet structure and trace are different. The MM 500 uses the diaphragm of the LCD-X.

I asked if the MM 500 was like how the MX4 was like a combo of the LCD-X and LCD-4, was the MM 500 like a combo LCD-X and LCD-5 and they said no. The MM 500 is not attempting to fuse existing Audeze headphones but it was brought about with Manny’s input.

They had a few pairs ready to demo at their booth with a few different setups. They also brought in a soundproof booth and inside was the MM 500/LCD-5 being powered off the Weiss DAC502. Plus the Crbn was in the booth as well.

Few pics I took with the MM 500 next to the LCD-5. Headband is metal and the cups is machined aluminum on the MM 500. Also solid leather vs the leather plus holes in the LCD-5.

Pads are indeed different from the LCD-5 pads. The LCD-5 needs a perfect seal whereas the MM 500 pads were chosen to maximize surface area. Sankar said the rationale was in a pro audio environment, the seal needs to be quick and consistent. Since the LCD-5 and MM 500 are a different size cup compared to existing LCD lineup, the pads on the MM 500 are little different from the other LCD pads but going from memory, resembled the LCD-X 2021 pads just resized.

And the soundproof booth with Manny inside rocking the MM 500.


Manny mixing in the box.


Did you get the chance to hear the MM 500? If so, how did they sound?


Yup! Got a chance to hear it Friday and went back yesterday with a buddy of mine, he brought his LCD-X 2021 so he could have a more familiar comparison.

For me, I primarily listened on the Weiss DAC502 with the LCD-5 next to it in that booth. Then yesterday went back with the buddy and we had the LCD-X we could use as well to a/b. The MM 500 kinda rocked, definitely a step up in clarity over the LCD-X.

The LCD-5 unsurprisingly was still better than the MM 500 but for a fraction of the price, the MM 500 seems like a great choice. Sound wise it was seemingly sticking with a response closer to the LCD-5 except in the treble which sounded closer to the LCD-X.


Got to hear the MM500 at Pacific Audio Fest, so here are some impressions:

So first of all, can I just say that with the MM500, Audeze has made the best looking headphone for the Resolve aesthetic. It’s black and grey! - with a sturdy, no-nonsense, industrial look to it. What could be more to my taste than this? Okay the Meze Liric is the other one that really speaks to me in the looks department, but damn does the MM500 look and feel great.

Comfort is acceptable, although I think once again for my bigboi audiophile head the clamp force is still a bit tight. I did try the LCD-5 with the newer less clampy headband and it’s much better than the one on our demo unit, so at least that’s encouraging.

After first listen, I found myself saying to @taronlissimore and @netforce that the Audeze MM500 is more ‘HD650-like’ than the LCD-5, and by that I mean that I actually think it may have a more agreeable tuning for certain ranges. I know there were a lot of comparisons to the HD650 when the LCD-5 came out, but in my view there is enough of a difference in the upper mids/treble with a stronger emphasis to 3khz on the LCD-5.

The key thing with this is that it’s all about relative balance. While the LCD-5 is a technological marvel, and in many respects it’s the flagship headphone I’d personally buy today, its stock tuning without EQ or DSP is a bit shouty for me with slightly hot upper mids. This results in those upper midrange harmonics being emphasized over the resonant harmonics in the treble above it. I think this is also why you may have seen some folks saying it’s ‘dark’.

The MM500 has a similar sound in the sense that the relative balance is still quite ‘midrangey’ - again in a way that could be compared to the Sennheiser HD650. And this is where I found the MM500 to be slightly less forward in the upper mids by comparison to the LCD-5. Once again, this tricky part of the tuning is all about the balance between 3khz and 5khz+, and this is where I found the MM500 to sound a bit less glarey than the 5, making me think it’s got a better balance for what we might call the ‘ear gain’ transition.

So, overall I’d say it’s a bit more in line with the kind of smooth balance I like. Still midrangey, still chilled out in the treble, and very much in line with Audeze’s ‘new’ sound signature, where they’re a lot more clarity-focused than the previous models. If you’re expecting it to be a smaller and lighter LCD-X, I think the tonality is different enough that you may even be disappointed. But for those wanting more clarity - where the LCD-X is a bit withdrawn, the MM500 delivers. Make no mistake though, the X has the more forward upper treble, so there’s a sense in which the mm500 is less ‘exciting’.

As for detail and technicalities, I thought it was pretty good! I think again it’s more similar to the LCD-5 in the sense that it sounds tighter for its initial leading edge, with great control during busy passages and better instrument separation than the X.

In my view, the MM500 marks a nice alternative to the LCD-X 2021, and slots in nicely between it and the LCD-5. I’m looking forward to getting one in to have a longer listen soon!


Thanks for the impressions! I’m looking forward to hearing this thing and comparing to my 2021 LCD-X. I love my X, but it’s comfort is rather meh; if the MM-500 performs as well, is more comfortable and takes to a bit of EQ tweaking, it might replace the X.

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Damn no other activity on these? Can’t even find a proper review on youtube yet.


We just got our review unit in and I saw @Resolve was listening and measuring so there should be some new news soon!

I believe Audeze started shipping production units this week as well so most likely there will be quite a few new impressions next week,


Awesome, looking forward to seeing the data and getting Resolve’s and others listening impressions!

Here’s the video impressions from Pacific Audio Fest:

The nice thing about this was that we actually got a chance to listen for a longer period of time.

In any case, we did also get one in and I was able to do some measurements. Sure enough they match my impressions.

So it’s similarly ‘midrangey’ to the LCD-5 with chilled out treble, with a very subtle difference in the relative tonal balance between upper mids and treble, even though the overall ear gain level is similar. But this is again why I think for folks who liked the LCD-X 2021, the MM-500 is likely not the headphone you’re after - or at least not without EQ - because the LCD-X 2021 is more relaxed in the upper mids and emphasized in the treble by comparison. I would personally prefer a bit less energy at 3khz and a bit more in the treble, but it’s not far off for what I like.

For those comparing the LCD-5 to the HD650, the MM-500 is actually closer to the HD650 in my opinion, just not as technical as the LCD-5.

Sound signature smoothed to the same degree as the target (apples to apples):

Comparison the LCD-5

You can see once again it’s very similar to the LCD-5, just with a few subtle differences in the upper mid to treble balance. But in short, the sound signature on the MM-500 is very “midrangey” to my ear as mentioned, but not in a bad way.

I’ll have a full review out soon.


Had to make an account finally after months of lurking to say that much ear gain is not what I expected after listening to it at CanJam London. Very interesting, thanks for sharing!


It looks like the tuning of MM500 between 1-5khz shares some similar trends with Focal Clear but less honky and smoother

I’m looking forward to seeing you compare it to the LCD-X for technical performance (especially bass slam and imaging); would be fun to know how they perform EQ’d to the same target as well. Based solely on the graphs, it appears it would be easier to EQ the MM-500…

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