Sennheiser MM 550-X Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v0.9
Reviewed Mar 22, 2016 at 12:00 am
Sennheiser MM 550-X Wireless Picture
Test Methodology v0.9
5.9
Mixed Usage
5.1
Critical Listening
5.8
Commute/Travel
6.6
Sports/Fitness
6.2
Office
6.3
Home Theater
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise-Cancelling Yes
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Sennheiser MM 550-X Wireless are lightweight, comfortable headphones that unfortunately fail at delivering balanced audio reproduction and efficient noise isolation. They don't leak much sound but, disappointingly, allow a lot of ambient noise to seep into the ear cups.

Our Verdict

5.9 Mixed Usage

The MM 550-X are compact over-ear, noise canceling headphones ideally for traveling and commuting. Unfortunately, they're lacking a strong isolation performance and their sound quality may be a deal breaker for some.

5.1 Critical Listening

Sub-par for critical listening. They have a sharp and poorly balanced sound with a small Soundstage. They lack an exciting bass and their treble range is too harsh for most.

See our Critical Listening recommendations
5.8 Commute/Travel

Below-average for commuting. They're compact and easy to carry around but don't block a lot of noise.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
6.6 Sports/Fitness

Average for sports. They're lightweight compact and wireless. However, they're a little unstable for high-intensity exercises.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
6.2 Office

Decent for office use. They will only reduce a little bit of office chatter but on the upside, they don't leak much.

See our Office recommendations
6.3 Home Theater

Average for home theater use. Their sound quality lacks a little excitement, and if you don't have an aptX-ready source, then the latency delay will be noticeable.

  • 5.9 Mixed Usage
  • 5.1 Critical Listening
  • 5.8 Commute/Travel
  • 6.6 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.2 Office
  • 6.3 Home Theater
Pros
  • Lightweight, compact design.
  • Don't leak much sound.
Cons
  • Poor noise cancelling.
  • Bass lacking.

Check Price

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The MM 550-X have an understated, compact design that is smaller than most other over-ear headphones. Their all-black color scheme has a few silver accents from the Sennheiser branding and the metal frame. The headband is covered in a faux leather material that looks high-end and matches the padding of the ear cups.

6.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.41 lbs
Clamping Force
0.79 lbs

The MM 550-X provide a decent amount of comfort. The small ear cups encompass the ear surprisingly well and the padding used is soft. They are lightweight and don't apply too much pressure to the head. Unfortunately, there is only minimal padding on the headband and ear cups. This prevents the ear cups from molding well around the ear, which can be a little uncomfortable, and especially after long listening sessions.

8.3
Design
Controls
Ease of use Average
Feedback Above-average
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Noise Canceling Control Yes
Talk-Through Yes
Additional Buttons No

Button layout and functionality is quite good but a little cramped. All the controls available can be found on the ear cups. Noise cancelling, Bluetooth, SRS, Volume, call/music and track skipping are all present but unfortunately cramped on the right ear cup, which is slightly disappointing.

7.5
Design
Stability

The MM 550-X are stable enough for use while doing sports. They're not designed for high-intensity physical activities, but the lightweight ear cups do not sway much while running or jumping. They're tight enough to maintain a stable fit easily during casual listening, and the wireless design prevents them from being pulled off your head because the audio cable got hooked on something.

6.1
Design
Portability
L 4.53 "
W 7.28 "
H 2.95 "
Volume 97.34 Cu. Inches
Stand required N/A

The MM 550-X are fairly portable. They're smaller than average over ear headphones and fold up into a more compact format that's easy to store and transport. However, they still take up a moderate amount of space in a bag and wouldn't comfortably fit in a jacket pocket. They are somewhat cumbersome to carry on your person.

6.5
Design
Case
Type Soft case
L 6.30 "
W 7.87 "
H 2.95 "
Volume 146.48 Cu. Inches

Comes with a soft case that will protect the headphones from scratches and minor falls. The case also stores ll the provided gear for the headphones comfortably. However, the soft case fabric will not shield the headphones from hard falls, high physical stress or water damage. It also adds quite a bit of bulk to the headphones making them less portable.

6.0
Design
Build Quality

Build quality is decent but not great. The metal frame, though thin, feels sturdy and flexible enough to handle a decent amount of stress and the ear cups are made out of dense plastic. However, the joints seem weak and susceptible to breaking and their lightweight, smaller design seems geared more towards portability than durability.

7.0
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 4.15 C

Design
Cable
Detachable Yes
Length 4.86 ft
Connection 1/8" TRS

Comes with a 1/8" TRS with no in-line controls and a USB charging cable.

Design
Front

Design
Angled

Design
Side

Design
Rear

Design
Top

Design
In The Box

  • Sennheiser MM 550-X Headphones
  • Audio cable
  • Carrying case
  • USB cable
  • (EU) power adapter
  • (UK) power adapter
  • (AU) power adapter
  • (US) power adapter
  • Airline Adapter
  • 1/8" to 1/4" Adapter
  • Manual

Sound
3.3
Sound
Bass
Std. Err.
9.08 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
76.06 Hz
Low-Bass
-14.72 dB
Bass
-2.49 dB
High-Bass
-0.17 dB

5.1
Sound
Mid
Std. Err.
6.58 dB
Low-Mid
0.13 dB
Mid
6.16 dB
High-Mid
9.2 dB

4.0
Sound
Treble
Std. Err.
7.03 dB
Low-Treble
-0.55 dB
Treble
2.38 dB
High-Treble
6.8 dB

6.0
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Error
8.42 dB
Openness
8.8
Acoustic Space Excitation
2.8
Correlated Crosstalk
0.06 dB

5.8
Sound
Imaging
Phase Error
157.83 °
Driver Mismatch (Amplitude)
0.76 dB
Driver Mismatch (Frequency)
2.4 dB
Driver Mismatch (Phase)
31.88 °

7.7
Sound
Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
0.352
Weighted THD @ 100
5.415

Isolation
4.1
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Overall Attenuation
-8.62 dB
Bass
-1.59 dB
Mid
-4.54 dB
Treble
-21.48 dB
Self-Noise
17.25 dB

The ear cups provide decent passive isolation in the treble range. However, in the mid and bass regions, where the active noise cancellation should be the most effective, these headphones do poorly. Especially in bass, where they don't kick in until 100Hz.

7.2
Isolation
Leakage
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
38.56 dB

Very good leakage performance. The leakage profile is very narrow (just surrounding 2kHz). The leaked audio is not too loud.

Active Features
7.5
Active Features
Wireless
Type
Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
Obstructed Range
41 ft
Line of Sight Range
104 ft
NFC
No

The MM 550-X offered an above-average wireless range when the Bluetooth source was obstructed. As long as there a not too many walls these headphones would be a good option for moderately sized offices. They won't be the most far-reaching in direct line of sight, but unless you're often outdoors or in large open spaces, it shouldn't be much of a concern. Unfortunately, they're not the easiest to pair and don't offer NFC. Also, the Bluetooth version and codec are a little outdated so you may experience latency issues when watching videos.

6.4
Active Features
Latency
Base Latency
120 ms
aptX Latency
81 ms
aptX(LL) Latency
N/A

7.2
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Battery Life
6.9 hrs
Charge Time
2 hrs
Auto-off
Yes
Audio while charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No

The MM 550-X have mediocre battery life but are fully charged within 2 hours. They won't be the best headphones to take on long road trips or lengthy flights, but you can squeeze about 7 hours of use when all the features are enabled and at regular volumes. However, they take about 60 mins of not being in use before they turn off, which doesn't save much save power.

0
Active Features
App Support

No compatible app.

Sennheiser MM 550-X Wireless Price

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