Friday, September 22, 2017

Sennheiser PXC 550 Headphones


Meet my new travel buddy: the Sennheiser PXC 550. After some weeks of intense use, it is time for me to review this bad boy!

From all my travel essentials, noise-cancelling headphones are my favorites, along with the granny socks to prevent thrombosis, but that is a different story!

Sennheiser was kind enough to gift me these beautiful headphones and I couldn't be happier! I literally jumped with joy when I put them on for the first time. No more being stuck to a cable, no more jaw cramps, no more annoying in flight crew announcement that make you want to punch someone in the face because your eardrums just got blown to pieces.

My first noise-cancelling headphones were from Bose. I remember vividly the feeling of spending that much money. At first, it hurt a little. But after all the countless hours I've been in noisy environments, I can tell you it was money well spent! My Bose died on me, because I used and abused them. The leather on the ear cups was peeling off, making me look like I put make up on the wrong places. Not very flattering at all.

Time to move on! Sennheiser is an amazing brand that a lot of us musicians use. We have microphones, in ear monitoring and so on. I knew that their headphones would be of great quality, and I can tell you that I was not mistaken.

Being a bit skeptical at first about the whole wireless thing, I can tell you now that I am an avid fan. Remember that time that I dropped my phone in the toilet in New Zealand? Well, that won't happen anymore because I can leave my phone somewhere safe (I don't own the water resistant iPhone, yet).

Let's move over to the technical details for all the geeks among us. I will give you my direct opinion on them. I've had about 3,5 weeks to test them for you guys. My noisy surroundings are my band mates, the generator in the bus, and my worst enemy: Mr. Air Conditioner.

So far I have tested them with my phone. The biggest con I will tell you now, is I can't seem to connect them wirelessly (is that even a word?) with my MacBook. Still working on that.

Wireless

Such a joy I didn't think I would experience. Moving back and forth through the bus and leaving my phone somewhere while still being able to enjoy music. Visiting the toilet without dropping my phone in the pee hole. Nice! I love me some spaghetti, but only when it is made with pasta, not cables.

4.2 Bluetooth Technology

200% faster than previous Bluetooth technology. Higher quality than ever before. This is my first time using wireless headphones. No complaints from my side. The quality is insane.

Touch Sensitive Trackpad

Welcome to the future of headphones! On the right ear cup a touch sensitive trackpad is integrated. Once you have figured out the different swipes, you can change the track, answer calls, switch off noise-cancelling, go louder or more quiet. Brilliant! Love it. Downside is the trackpad being located on the right side as it might not be as comfortable to use for left-handed people, compared to right-handed people. Just my two cents.

2 Stage Adaptive Noise-Cancellation

There are three modes in which you can put your headphones. Noise-cancelling off, I and II. I like to have it on II.

Speech Clarity

It can filter out and identify surrounding noises to make sure that the person you are talking to can perfectly understand you. The headphones have three built-in microphones for hands-free calling. I have tried it and love it!

Lightweight

The headphones without the cable weigh 227g. I find that they feel very lightweight. The pressure on the jawline is ok. I am quite sensitive in that area because of the fact that that is where I have a lot of tension in my body. Being a singer and having had braces for a long time, made me a bit sensitive.

Oval Shaped

Fits perfectly on my pointy elf ears. I have considerably large ears. They fit nice and snug in the PXC 550.

Built-in Limiter

This means that it avoids sudden and extreme sound level peaks. A great feature that I still have to test when I am flying back home in a couple of days. One way to make me very aggressive would have to be those in-flight announcements. Right when you are really in to the movie that you are watching, they tell you to fasten your seat belts. I know, it is important, but they could also turn down the volume a bit without damaging my hearing.

Captune App

You can adjust the way the music, movie and speech sounds through this app. I can imagine Oliver would love to play with this. I am quite happy with how the music sounds.

Fold Control

By turning the ear cup you can switch the headphones on or off. No more power button. It folds together nicely to be stowed away in a sleek looking case.

Design

Totally up my alley. The shape is perfect. Not too many details, sleek and classy.

Cons

  • Have difficulty connecting to my computer
  • Trackpad location on the right side
  • Quite expensive

Verdict

The pros outweigh the cons by far. I would recommend anybody to invest in good quality headphones. High quality comes with a high price. Friends of mine that also own these headphones love them as well.

The trackpad is amazing, great sound quality, no more strangling in cables, and no discomfort while wearing them. Looking cool while wearing them can also be considered a plus. ;)

All in all an amazing set of headphones that I whole heartedly can recommend. Do you guys own noise-cancelling headphones? Which brands do you love?

PXC 550 retails for $399.00

*PR Sample
Pictures by Isaac, edit by me.
Camera Canon 5D Mark IV
Lense 85 mm 1.2
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5 comments

  1. Thanks for this review, I appreciate reviews where there are more personal feelings rahter than technical details...just 2 questions...Noise cancelling features are in your opinion better than the bose ones? Any comments about autonomy? Have a good day!

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  2. This is a very thorough review. It's refreshing how you list the technical details and translate those to their practical use, while adding your personal experience without coming off as too subjective.

    I own a pair of wireless Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones - the AudioMX HB Q3. I purchased them last year because I had to spend a lot of time in hospital waiting rooms. I can't read with the noise around me and the radio would always be a generic station - while reading, I can only bear music I know extremely well. This was ideal, I could listen to Epica. Heard The Holographic Principe many many times then! I'm happy with these headphones, they serve their purpose, but if I were in your shoes and had to use them more often, I would probably go for a pair like the Sennheiser. I used to have Sennheiser (cabled) headphones and loved them (one of the ears came loose).

    What exactly is the problem when connecting to your Macbook? Does your Macbook's Bluetooth not find the headphones?

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  3. Is nice to see this review for us headphone lovers,sennheiser really allowed me to enjoy Epica's discography in a whole new level, prior to my HD 558's I've just used cheap earbuds and beats, and I didn't know what I was missing. Suddenly tiny details appeared and in many songs and everything sounded more alive overall, I totally agree with you, when you buy sennheiser you can be sure that your getting the highest quality in terms of sound, I would totally recommend everyone to expend in their high end headphones, specially in the open back designs (HD600,HD800,HD599) I'm sure you'll fell goosebumps the first time you try your favourite tunes on them, like I did when I listened to Cosign to Oblivion ,it was such a rewarding experience,even a tear or two rolled down my cheek when I heard all the detail in Simone's beautiful voice.

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