Two Very Different Siblings
There is another difference you may have immediately spotted from the pictures above; the M1000ANC has thinner padding than the BT-600ANC and uses thin material to cover the drivers while the BT-600ANC uses mesh. These two changes certainly have an effect on the audio flavour provided, in addition to the fact they are running different hardware. The Dirac Virtuo Spatial of the M1000ANC is designed to give an more open sound than headphones usually offer and indeed they do so very well. There is a toggle to enable or disable the feature, something you may switch on and off depending on the music you are listening to. The M1000ANC has been what I wear on the bus when headed back and forth from work since I reviewed them, and I have are quite a number of headphones to chose from at this point.
The BT-600ANC on the other hand moves the audio right up to your ears, instead of sounding like the band is sitting away from you, it sounds more like you are right up there on stage with them. The bass becomes clearer but doesn’t overwhelm the mids and highs and in some ways makes the audio from the M1000ANC sound a bit washed out. You can disable the Dirac feature but it doesn’t quite match the feeling you get from the BT-600. As Audio preferences as very personal you will have to decide which type of sound stage is right for you, however I’ve retired the M1000ANC in preference to the BT-600.
The other huge difference is the ANC, which is by far more effective on the BT-600. This may be in part to the design of the earcups, as the microphone remains of such quality and neither are recommended for taking phone calls on … though you certainly have that choice. The three levels of ANC cycle modes at the click of a switch, from off, to a low setting which is good for suppressing most background noise to high which is downright dangerous if you are walking around. On high you pretty much won’t have any audio queues about your surroundings and even loud trucks can sneak up on you.
The BT-600 doesn’t need a toggle for Dirac which helps with the simplified controls. There are three rubberized buttons that control power, pairing, and ANC level, all clustered towards the top of the right earcup. This is much easier to work with than the sliding ANC toggle on the BT-600, which is separated from the Dirac button which is separated from the power/pairing button, and is a superior design. As with the M1000ANC there are haptic controls on the BT-600 activated by tapping or dragging your fingers on the outside of the earcups. This allows to deal with phone calls, pause or resume a track, skip ahead or back and both incremental and continuous volume control. You can also temporarily mute your audio and ANC by cupping the right exterior with your palm, if you run into someone you actually want to talk to.
Overall it is quite a bit of headset for $100, but how does it stand up to some stiffer competition?