Sennheiser MM 550 X Bluetooth Headset

Listening to music via Spotify, on my androphone, with a Bluetooth headset, I suddenly realized how this simple activity has changed in the last decade. For good, for evil, this is another debate. I have no other pretension than to speak here about the high-end Bluetooth headset from Sennheiser, the MM-500X.

Sennheiser is one of the leading names in contemporary hi-fi and offers a wide range of listening solutions, ranging from simple headphones to a hi-fi mastodon. We are here in the high end, which is indicated from the outset on the price tag: 400¤.
The helmet is presented as a travel helmet, and indeed its manufacture and the accessories accompanying it confirms it. Not only is the helmet foldable to hold it in a supplied pouch, but it is also equipped with a mains charger with adapters provided for different types of electrical outlets (UK, US, etc.) history not to have to clutter d An extra adapter, or worse, forget it. The accessories also include a 3.5 mm / 6.3 mm jack adapter, a special airplane jack adapter and an audio cable for situations where Bluetooth is not required or impossible.
The installation and operation of the headset is very simple according to Themotorcyclers, you must first pair it with your Bluetooth transmitter, which was done without any problem on my androphone as well as a pc with Bluetooth USB stick. Then, a simple on / off button on the right earphone of the headset allows to activate it. Around this center button are two volume control buttons as well as two others to move forward / backward music track, or move in movie playback, for example.
There are also two additional buttons to activate the NoiseGuard and SRS (surround sound quality) modes. Finally, it is possible to distinguish a microphone on each earphone: it allows, of course, to speak during a phone call but it is also used when using the NoiseGuard mode. Indeed, this one allows to filter certain frequencies history to isolate as well as possible the listener of the external noise. The MM-550X is a closed helmet, which already makes it possible to create a certain insulation, but under more extreme conditions (the plane, for example), Sennheiser promises a calm and precise listening of what has been chosen, Hear, and not the surrounding noise.
The test makes it possible to establish that indeed the sensation of isolation is present, but not absolute: some background noises can sometimes be perceived, but nothing very important. In any case, since the helmet is a travel helmet, hearing a (slight) background noise is acceptable.
It will also be noted that even if the helmet is closed, it remains very comfortable and does not heat much, long sessions of listening are quite conceivable. The sound insulation is therefore quite good. The temptation to go out on the street without cable between headphones and sound source is important, but also very dangerous, I would not recommend it at all.
The sound quality is excellent, and for having tested on different devices, with various pieces of music and videos, I did not find any noticeable difference between the Bluetooth and cable modes. The first cuts appeared after a distance of more than five meters from the source, but I was sometimes able to get a good connection one floor below. The Bluetooth connection is of course of short distance, it can be said that it fulfills its job perfectly. The sound is faithful to the Sennheiser “sound”, ie relatively neutral. This is not a helmet that will blow your brain through its powerful bass, it will leave it to the geniuses of marketing Dr Dre’s friends.
Of course, that says portability says battery. The big problem of current mobile technology. To return to my example of beginning of article, the question was “which device will fall in the harbor the faster: the telephone, or the helmet”? This is not particularly a defect of one or the other, but it’s just a problem inherent to the entire current mobile fleet. When it’s finished with retina screens and other quad-core processors for smartphones, it might be smart to design a device that holds more than a day in frequent use, and that does not take a night to be recharged. But this is another debate.
The MM 500-X is announced with an autonomy of nine hours, in reality, it will be necessary to count a little less, especially if one interrupts frequently and one forgets to cut the connection which seems, it remains constantly Active. In other words, keeping the whole of a transatlantic flight on a battery, moreover in the NoiseGuard mode, will be very difficult, but in this case we can use a wired connection: we do not move very much, in general. By the way, if the headset is used with a cable and without the NoiseGuard / SRS modes, the battery is not solicited at all.
The Sennheiser MM 550-X is technically an excellent product. The sound resolution is stellar, the Bluetooth works perfectly, the quality of the phone calls / Skype is excellent. But I would like to ask myself, for the reasons mentioned earlier, about the true utility of such a product, especially if one takes into account the fact that a “true” stereo headphones, like the excellent HD 598 (to stay with Sennheiser) provides superior sound quality and listening comfort. Naturally, this helmet, open, has no nomadic vocation, but is offered at 40% of the price.
This helmet is therefore advisable to those who, first, have the budget, and who absolutely need this kind of product. If they do not move too far from an electrical source, they will find in the MM 550-X an excellent product. We will advise all others to think a little more about their priorities.