After reviewing a couple of good wired headphones before on here, I wanted to find some wireless headphones to see if they could also be as good as wired headphones! Today, I bring you the review for the Sennheiser MM 550-X Wireless Travel headphones! These are one of Sennheiser’s “Premium Wireless Headsets”, that connect via Bluetooth to your nominated device and since they are “travel” headphones, I would expect they come with some form of decent noise cancelling for when travelling.
The Sennheiser MM 550-X headphones come in a rectangular-shaped block package. There is a clear view of the headphones neatly folded up inside the package and of course, descriptions are provided all around the package about the headphones itself. Inside the package were the headphones itself, plus a wide assortment of accessories that also came packed inside a neat headphone travel carrying case!
The assortment of accessories include multiple USB wall chargers for different country’s power plugs, and even in-flight adapters for when traveling in an aeroplane! Now you may be wondering what these wireless headphones are doing in a transmission-disabled zone? Well the headphones also come with a 2.5mm headphone jack for those moments when you really have to be wired-in! This really does show that Sennheiser was committed to these headphones being travel ones!
One thing that I was surprised with was that it came with an installation disc! How long have I not seen one of those for! I don’t even have a disc reader/writer on my laptop!
Design, Form Factor and Appearance of the Headphones
The headphones are made of a nice soft-leather, which encompasses the headband and the ear pad cushions and just like most headphones you can buy today, they also are able to be extended depending on your head size.
What I find quite surprising is that these wireless headphones are also very lightweight! In fact they only weigh 179 grams! It’s quite surprising because they would have had to incorporate noise cancelling technology, the Bluetooth chip, and even the battery (which surprisingly also lasts long enough), all in one small and compact form factor! Kudos to Sennheiser here.
The headphones’ ear pads also fold back for easy storage into the supplied carrying case.
Touching on just the above points, these Sennheiser headphones are already making a great travel companion!
Sound Technology and Quality
The Sennheiser MM 550-X headphones come with technologies built-in to help improve the sound quality being played from them. There is the NoiseGard 2.0 for active noise cancelling in loud locations, SRS surround sound for immersive listening, and the headphones also make use of apt-X, which promises CD-like quality sound over Bluetooth on supported devices.
When testing the sound quality on these headphones, I base it on previous headphones reviewed. These Sennheiser headphones have a nice balanced sound output, and while the NoiseGard 2.0 active noise cancelling works, you can hear a bit more outside noise than the Beats Studio headphones which also has active noise cancelling. This is probably because of the smaller ear cups compared with the Beats Studio headphones, which makes the passive noise cancelling a bit better. And because the Sennheiser has active noise cancelling, you will be using the built-in battery in order to make use of it.
Speaking of the battery, if you do happen to run out of juice on the headphones, you can continue to listen to your tunes via the supplied 2.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable! That is a huge plus, as you don’t have to rely on the battery to be able to pump out those tunes! However, the only drawback with a dead battery is that you won’t be able to make use of the active noise cancelling feature, nor the SRS surround feature, nor the TalkThrough feature which allows you to communicate with people around you without removing the headset.
The built-in microphone is first of all “invisible” according to Sennheiser. I would like to agree on this….
The built-in microphone allows you call someone directly from the headset itself, or to make use of the TalkThrough feature. This feature allows you to keep your headset in place while you press a button, and you will be able to hear the people around you clearly while you talk to them! Nice feature to have, especially in noisy environments where you will have the benefit of being able to hear the other person speak!
When I pressed the Bluetooth button on the headset, my Nexus 5 brought up voice command which told me to choose who I wanted to call by saying “Call” and the person’s name. This was pretty convenient when I was in another part of the house and my phone was on my desk in another room, to let me call someone straight from the headset!
The Sennheiser MM 550-X headphones have a supposed range of up to 10 meters.
Controlling your music playback
The Sennheiser headset comes with volume and playlist controls integrated on the ear cup to save you from grabbing your mobile phone/gadget to do just that.
A couple of potential uses (situations in which I found these headphones useful) for the Sennheiser MM 550-X headphones are:
- Listening to tunes while mowing the lawn – used instead of ear plugs while also being productive (the headphones)
- Listening to tunes while vacuuming the house – eliminates the tangling of the audio cable
- Listening to tunes while in bed – removes the need for a cable
- Listening to tunes while travelling
- Plus many more that you can possibly think of…
The Sennheiser MM 550-X headphones come with a micro-USB rechargeable battery that is also exchangeable. So if you buy another battery for these headphones, you can interchange them when one is dead. Again this is very useful when travelling and you don’t have a power source. In my case, since it is micro-USB rechargeable, I would just plug it into my portable battery pack and voila!
The battery life is supposed to last around 10 hours according to Sennheiser, and I found myself finding a power source at around the 7 hour mark, after it was fully charged. How did I record the 7 hour mark? I wrote down how many minutes/hours I used the headphones for after it was fully charged, then added it all up when the battery was depleted.
Overall, the Sennheiser MM 550-X headphones are a very capable set, especially for travelers. Sennheiser has really pushed these headphones to be travel ones, from the wide assortment of accessories that came with the headset, the superb sound technology (apt-X, SRS, NoiseGard 2.0 etc.) and the TalkThrough technology. Even if you aren’t a seasoned traveler, the more-than-decent sound quality and the wireless nature of these headphones make for a great cable-free option when listening to your tunes, or even to just make phone calls!
For more information on the Sennheiser MM 550-X Travel headphones, please visit: http://en-nz.sennheiser.com/wireless-bluetooth-headset-stereo-mm-550-x-travel