Customer Review

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feels like a step into the future, 20 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Sennheiser MM 450 Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Headset (discontinued by manufacturer) (Electronics)
I was recently in a large electronics store and was struck by the number of different parts of it that were selling headphonse: they were there in the "traditional" location of the HiFi department - but they could also be found with the MP3 players, with the mobile phones, in the "travel" department, as 'headsets' in the computer department and - in ruggedised form - with sports equipment. However, it's surprisingly difficult to find one set of headphones which come close to doing everything we would like them to do and do it well. I'd like to recommend these as a candidate.

Before we do anything we have to do some charging up. We can use the USB connection provided either your computer or the supplied USB mains adaptor can give us the power from the mains. A full charge will give you enough juice to last for at least 8 hours and up to 20 - depending on the mode you are using. The mains adaptor has all the attachments to work with sockets around the world.

In their least remarkable mode you can connect up these headphones with their supplied wire and connect them to an ipod, a stereo system, an in-flight entertainment system or whatever else you have lying about. Adaptors to make this easier are supplied. Sound quality is good from a firm bass right up to the high end - my definition of a good set of headphones is that they should frequently surprise you at some new detail of music you thought you already knew; these do.The fit is comfortable enough to wear for hours at a time and they don't leak excessive amounts of music out or outside noise in. These are not subtle little devices which nobody will notice you are wearing - but equally they are not giants that make you look like an audiophile from 1975: you look like somebody who loves music but still cares about looks. So far so good.

But I suspect this is not what made you interested in these headphones so we will move to the next stage and remove the wire. We need to assume that you are working with a device which supports Bluetooth of course. And it has to have been paired up with the headphones. Working with an I-touch, a Nokia E63 mobile and a couple of laptops running Windows 7 and XP I found this to be no problem (the iTouch or an iPhone will, I believe, need to be running version 3.1 of its OS or later however). The first thing that impressed me at this point is the wireless sound quality. It sounded every bit as good as it did with the wired connection and I was able to wander several metres from the source device without running into any problems. I could use the controls on the right earpiece - usually - to adjust the volume, or change the track. Technically you need to have a device, and playing software, which supports something called the "AVRCP profile" to do this. If you are used to walking about with headphone wires which catch on your jacket, tangle in your pocket and pull on your ears then this is a wonderful liberation - do take a moment to dance around the room. In the future all headphone will be like this, no? If you have multiple paired bluetooth devices around you then the MM450s will play music from only one of them at a time. Getting the right one to play the music may involve a little juggling but this all seemed to work in a fairly intuitive way.

But we can go further with the MM450s. Try activating the "Noise Guard" and ambient noise around your recedes while you get to hear the music even clearer than before. This does use a little more power and it can leave you feeling a little isolated - but it is a great feature if you like to create a bit of personal listening space in a noisy environment like a plane or train. What is particularly great is to activate the noise guard and then turn the listening volume *down*. Instead of hearing more noise from outside you just hear the music less loud. Finally you can turn the music off altogether and just use the noise cancelling.

A final step is to try making a phone call. The headphones gracefully handle the sound of incoming calls or texts and the buttons on the earpiece allow you to accept, end or reject calls. You have a microphone built in somewhere which will pick up your voice and, I am told, people at the other end can hear you clearly - even in a noisy environment. As you hold a conversation with thin air people will look at you strangely. That is because you are a technological trail-blazer of course - one day they will all be doing it. The other type of conversation you might want to have is with people around you - and here the headphones can be switched to "talk-through" mode so that you can hear your interlocutor rather than the music.

The headphones can fold down to fit in the supplied case and they seem to be built pretty robustly. I have not yet had a chance to try them while out running and there is a possibility that they may not play well with moisture or sweat - so you might want to consider alternatives if this is important to you. For all other others: if music quality AND convenience of use if important to you then I would recommend these as a wonderful treat.
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Comments

Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Jan 2010 23:59:13 GMT
jimi/jimmy says:
Hi, dont know if you will be notified of this comment. If you are please could you help me in telling me how the headphones pick up the sound? I only want ones that can pick up my ipod that is in my pocket and my guitar amp (that has a headphone adapter thing for the output) Would these headphones work with these things or do they only work with bluetooth devices such as iphones or laptops? If you can answer please email me at james_vandyk@hotmail.com Thankyou!

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Mar 2010 00:50:31 GMT
I don't know if you will read this, James, but you should probably be aware that there is some sound latency when using Bluetooth A2DP. You may find this latency to be very disturbing. If you use the headset in "wired mode" you will have less latency.

Posted on 17 May 2010 10:52:47 BDT
C. Campbell says:
Hi, I read on a review that when using the wire instead of the bluetooth, you cannot use the built-in mic on the headphone. Instead you need to hold your mobile phone to your mouth for talking. Could you please confirm this assuming you are notified with this comment. Thanks alot.

Posted on 22 Feb 2011 10:44:26 GMT
Along with your review and the opinion of several others, I bought the MM450s. My disappointment is that I can't get the headphones working with my notebook computer. It is running Windows 7 Ultimate and no matter how I try, I can't get it to load drivers. I have looked high and low on the internet, with Sennheiser, but for now, I have no solution. Just a really expensive set of headphones that I don't seem to have support for. If anyone has a suggestion...

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Feb 2011 19:17:56 GMT
Victoria says:
Hi Nicholas. I have now had these headphones for a while and have used them successfully with a several machines running Windows 7 (home premium). Normally I have have had no problems. However the headphones depend on a number of drivers being properly installed, not corrupted and not conflicting with anything. If you are having problems (and the headphones work on another pc if you can test) then I would try removing and re-installing your Bluetooth drivers. If that does not work you might need to try a fresh install of Windows 7.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Feb 2011 21:41:05 GMT
Many thanks for the comment. I did review all of these options, even the re-installation. I did manage to solve the problem though... I installed a toshiba bluetooth deliver on my HP touchsmart and it did the trick. If only I could swap between a laptop Skype call and an incoming android call.

Thanks again!
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