Sennheiser PXC 550 Headphones
Expensive audio equipment, but does sound as expensive as it should?
Audio experts Sennheiser’s new wireless range of headphones are designed with the serious audiophile in mind. These are expensive, high-quality headphones with ample technology used to ensure the best in both comfort and sound. But are they worth the cost?
The PXC 550 are the mid-range model out of the Sennheiser wireless series, with the Momentum and Urbanite series filling in the rest of the range. These over-ear headphones are impressively designed, with ample cushioning on the headband and the ear cups.
They’re quite sturdy too. With a combination of high-quality plastic and aluminium used throughout, along with synthetic leather and a tough headband adjustment section, they’re sure to endure regular use, as well as being chucked in a bag when needed. A hard, cloth-covered case is included too.
The design is very minimalist, with the ear cups sitting snug against the side of the head and offering small, unobtrusive buttons on the underside of one of the cups. The design of cups is a point of interest here, as they’re ovoid and fit around the shape of the ear more precisely than conventional circular ear cups.
This fitted feel does wonders for noise cancellation, but Sennheiser has also included its own unique noise cancellation technology called NoiseGard Hybrid, which actively measures the external ambient environment noise levels and increases power to the antinoise function – which, according to the blurb, will create a phaseinverted sound field to cancel out any unwanted noise. We’ll leave you to look up the details regarding that.
As such, the PXC 550 does a wonderful job of immersing you in whatever it is you’re listening to, be that games, movies or music. Having Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity means it’ll happily talk to any of the devices currently available, and the built-in, in-line microphone will allow you interrupt the music to take any calls from the device.
The right ear cup acts as a touch-sensitive control for the media on the device you’re connected to. So a vertical swipe on the ear cup’s surface will alter the volume levels, horizontal swipes move forward or back through tracks, and taps act as play and pause. You can even double-tap the rear of the ear cup to push external/outside noise through the headphones, via the microphone. That way you’re not likely to miss an announcement on a train, for example.
There are plenty of other features that the PXC 550 boasts, such as powering off simply by folding the ear cups flat, configuring them to automatically pause when you take them off, and resume playing when they’re replaced back over your ears. And the battery is rated to last up to 30 hours off a single charge.
Despite the impressive use of technology, we weren’t all that moved by the sound quality. While still extremely good, we must admit to having heard better sound reproduction from a gaming headset that costs a fraction of the price the PXC 550 is selling for. Don’t get us wrong – the sound quality is certainly very good, but it could be better.
Considering this is a headphone set that costs £329.99, we were expecting something quite remarkable. The noise cancellation, and connective technology is great, but the result is a slightly less than wonderful audio experience for such expensive headphones. In short, if possible, it’s best to test the Sennheiser PXC 550 before committing to a purchase.
Great use of technology, but not so great sound quality
There are tons of features, but the audio quality isn’t as great as you’d expect
The design and quality of the PXC 550 is as good as you can get