on February 13, 2010
I was in the market for a headset for my iphone 3gs to replace the ear bud ones that came with it. Those sound pretty bad. The Sennheiser MM-400 by contrast, sounds great. One of my pet peeves with cell phones is having to hold the thing up against the side of my face. That gets uncomfortable after a while. Since the iphone also includes a very nice ipod feature, I also wanted a headphone that will do full justice to my music. The Sennheiser mm-400 does all of that and does it very well.
This Sennheiser produces top tier sound, and the stereo blue tooth works perfectly with my iphone. Sound quality is impressive and my high bit rate mp3 music files sound like real music...not the tinny sounding stuff that the standard Iphone ear buds produce. They are not an active noise cancelling headphone...for that you have to buy the next model up from sennheiser, the mm450. They do isolate you from external noise by their very design though. They are a closed back design and seal onto your ear to block out noise. I have worn them for hours at a time and they have never felt uncomfortable.
The headphone has intuitive buttons on the right earcup for adjusting the volume up and down as well as changing audio tracks and turning the headset on and off. The changing tracks function does not work at this point with the iphone, but that is no fault of Sennheisers. Apple chose not to implement that particular control function in the iphone with their current bluetooth firmware. That could change in future releases. Being able to keep my iphone in my pocket while listening to music and still being able to adjust the volume is very handy. Being able to change tracks would be nice as well.
Making or answering a call with the headset works great. If I'm listening to music and a call comes in, the iphone beeps and a touch to the main button on the headset stops the music and answers the call. Voice quality, both on my end and on the side of those who are talking to me is excellent. They have said they can't tell I'm talking on a cell phone at all. The mic is built into one of the earcups and is not visible externally. It works though.
The user replacable battery has a very long life. I have used the headphone for several days without it needing to be recharged. Recharging can be done through a USB port in a computer or through the included wall plug. You can also buy an extra battery from Sennheiser and swap out a depleted one for a freshly charged one if you will not have access to a charger for an extended period. The battery is rechargable outside of the headphone as well as while installed in the headphone.
For occasions when you prefer to use a corded headphone, the sennheiser comes with a cable that allows you to do that, deactivating the bluetooth system. For example, on an airplane when you can't use wireless devices, place your iphone in the airplane mode and use the wired headphone connection. That turns off the cell phone and blue tooth capabilities of the iphone and allows you to use it strictly as an ipod for audio and video.
The MM-400 can synch with and remember up to 5 different devices. Once you have made the initial synch, just turning each device on within range will link them.
Included in the box is a nice zippered travel pouch for carrying the headphone plus it's charger/cables. The headphones fold compactly for travel and are robustly constructed with lots of metal construction that has a quality feel to it. That bodes well for long lasting durability.
on May 12, 2010
These are better than I expected. They sound very good, much like the PX-200 II headphones that I bought and tried out. I didnt like the stupid king size volume knob on the 200's so I upgraded. (was sennheiser counting on that ?!? HA!) The construction of the headphones looks very good, It looks like they may withstand some constant use. I guess we'll find out later. The sound is very even across the frequency spectrum; dont expect harsh highs or deep pumping bass. I am usually a bass head, so I have to adjust the EQ. The headphones can handle plenty of bass boost without distorting. Bass therefor is acceptable to me, given that the rest sounds great and detailed.
The headphones fold up nicely and have a soft case included, which I didnt like at first. But when I saw the size of the hard case that came with my brother's bose headphones, I decided that the soft one has its benefits too (like not being too thick). Comfort is OK. I fell in love with the comfort of the over-ear headphones, and these end up being a tad tight. Even the bose ON-ear has a type of memory foam that hugs the ear. The mm 400's are not that cushy, but you get used to it.
Pairing was a little akward, but for some reason I always have a problem with bluetooth: detect, pair, connect, double connect etc. argh. I tried the bluetooth Jabra Halo headphones and pairing was soooooo easy. I would have kept those, but the lowest volume setting is louder than I normally listen to. The senn's have this little bluetooth button on the bottom that has some other purpose besides the center button; so be sure to read the manual for that one.
Listening in the apple store sold me, but there were also a few surprises. The battery can be removed and recharged outside of the headphones. You can buy a backup just in case. Also, the charger is just a plain old USB charger, so I can use the incredibly small charger that comes with the iphone (plus the micro USB cable, of course.) in addition, the included charger comes with attachments to use all over the world, so this one comes with me to europe, and I can use it to charge the iphone. :)
One small thing. The first time I used the headphones was with my mac (snow leopard) and the sound was horrific. It was obviously compressed and I blamed the Senn's. My heart fell and my throat closed. BUT... no problem. A quick search later and I found out that the mac was to blame. The simple fix involves a terminal command found on the next line:
defaults write com.apple.BluetoothAudioAgent "Apple Bitpool Min (editable)" 50
These are the values you can use at the end and what they mean:
30 - Low audio quality
40 - Medium audio quality
48 - High audio quality
58 - Excellent audio quality
PS I bought these refurbished. Work great and... HALF the price. Cant beat that!
on March 22, 2010
I had been looking for a headset with these features for quite some time:
* On-the-ear (as opposed to over the ear or in the ear)
* Telephone compatible
* Pretty good stereo audio
That's all I needed. On-the-ear so I can use it with hearing aids in place, and pretty good audio is good enough for my burnt out musician's ears ;-( I use it to listen to web radio and also take calls from my business cell phone with a push of a button.
Wireless Bluetooth wasn't my requirement, but I'm glad it's there.
Most important to me is speach intelligibility, and the quality of my voice to others. I vouch for the first, and others have confirmed the second. I've read others' reviews raving about the audio quality and I won't contradict it. The audio is better than I can appreciate.
While writing this I'm happily switching between Pandora and Live365 through my BlackBerry. Using my laptop Bluetooth I listen to Shoutcast or go directly to streaming websites. My new MM-400 handles it all.
Below is my original review followed by my long term impressions. I lowered my rating from five to four stars because I have not had success using them as a headset for phone calls.
I am delighted with this item for use as headphones. I bought mine refurbished from a marketplace seller for about 1/3 of the full retail being charged by Amazon at the time. The sound is as good as any cans I own. You will not be disappointed at the audio quality. These should meet even the highest expectations for audio quality. Volume levels are almost the same as listening to my iPod while wired. They don't get super-loud, but they have decent volume and the quality does not diminish at high volumes.
They are quite compact. More compact than I guessed from product photos here and elsewhere. The fit is fairly snug, but not to the point of pinching or being bothersome. They are very light, as light as normal headphones. I was a bit worried that the battery, built in amp, radio, and other gadgetry would weigh them down but they are not noticeably any more heavy than any other portable headphones. The look and apparent build quality is really impressive. I was also a bit worried that they would have a goofy-looking blue or blinking light on them. Thankfully, they do not have any silly lights on them while in use.
Even my refurbs included the 1/8" jumper wire for use with non-Bluetooth hardware, the international charger, the USB cable, the airline adapter, the case, the manual, and the software CD. A very complete package. It's pretty rare to buy an item without need for some overpriced accessory. Sennheiser is all-class for including all of these items with the cans.
The killer feature is Bluetooth. Listening to my music without the headphone cable and hearing quality and detail at this level is astounding. It's as big a step as going from cassettes to an iPod regarding the technilogical "wow" factor. This is the kind of thing that makes you feel like you are living in the future. There is no doubt that we'll all look back at a time when headphones had cables and snicker. The convenience is really incredible.
So far I've used them with my iPod touch, and my iPad. Pairing could not be easier.
A few reviewers mentioned that they experienced audio delay while watching video. Using my iPad, there is zero delay; the audio is perfectly in sync with the video. Perhaps this is a consequence of software on some devices? I'd recommend that anyone having trouble with delayed audio update the software on their computer or phone or device. These have no delay issues with my iPad or iPhone (iOS 4.2 running on both devices).
I need to sell my expensive wired headphones before everyone finds out about these. The future of portable music is here. These are worth every penny. They are a steal at the refurbished price and worth the new price.
Note: someone has added the tag "noise canceling" to this item. The MM400 does not have noise canceling technology. They do isolate some sound, but not as much as full-size closed cans, and definitely not as much as noise canceling headphones. They are on-ear closed non-noise-canceling Bluetooth cans, nothing more.
Edit after over a year of use:
I still use these several times per week. The audio quality is great and it's tough to beat the wireless feature. I really like the fit, comfort, and the ease of use. The controls on the right ear are easy to use and work very well.
I have two complaints.
first, they are not much good as a phone headset. I recently purchased an iPhone. Callers on the other end complain of having difficulty hearing me. The microphone on these headphones pick up a lot of background noise easily. They are even pretty bad in a quiet environment. They are still great headphones and will work in a pinch to pick up a call, but the microphone is not very good.
Second, they only have a 2-3 hour battery life. I have run them completely dead on several occasions. Replacement backup batteries can be found, but the batteries cost over $40.
Third, I wish they were open headphones. These are a wireless version of the PX200. I'd love it if they made a wireless version of the PX100. These block a lot of outside sound which makes them bad for walking on a multi-use (cycling, jogging, walking) path. They are advertised accurately as a closed design, but I just want to share my experience.
I still highly recommend them as headphones, especially for use with iPod touch or iPad. They are great for listening to music around the house. If you are looking for a quality headset for telephone conversations, I'd consider a different model. I am currently shopping for a replacement because I really would like to have a pair of bluetooth cans that work well for making and answering calls.
on June 29, 2011
I have enjoyed Sennheiser Headphones and earbuds for decades now, and still associate the brand with the most thought out, audiophile tested and approved pinnacle of personal audio.
I just bought a gorgeous 4G Samsung Infuse phone and wanted to upgrade my bluetooth headset as a second present to fully enjoy the abilities of my new phone. My previous bluetooth stereo headset was a RocketFish behind the neck type. It had it's own built-in 5 setting equalizer, with which I found a perfect setting and kept it for all music types.
I did extensive research on several popular websites and decided to get these Sennheiser MM-400s. The reason being that in addition to being in a completely different category of quailty than the RocketFish (more in line with Bose or Beats by Dr. Dre), they also incorporate a built in mic. for receiving phone calls while automatically putting your music on pause and then resuming upon disconnecting from the call. Not an uncommon feature, but a great addition to premium sounding headphones. They do not have noise cancellation like the MM 450s, but I didn't need that, as I won't be using them in planes or other noisy enviornments.
I think the reason that these headphones sound so realistic and create a spacial separation (seemingly inside your head) of not only different instruments virtual positioning within the music but also discernibly notifiable sonic separation of high and low sounds being completely clear and separate - with a strong midrange - is because of the larger more audiophile satisfing transducers. I can associate this difference in performance by comparing it to a high megapixel point and shoot camera versus a large glass lens Digital SLR which captures depth, color and detail in a way that no small lens could, especially if it were made of plastic instead of glass.
A key for my enjoyment of these performers is the use almost album per album of the equalizer in my phone, in my case reachable by hitting the menu button while listening to a track and selecting settings and then equalizer.. which opens a menu of about a dozen choices. It becomes a greater discovery and more personalized experience if you select how you want to "hear" the music, or better yet, how you feel it sounds best to you.
Don't push the volume up to full on either the headset or the phone volume while using these. I found that about 75% to 80% of maximum on both the headset and the phone is very loud and is sending enough signal and power enabeling the quality drivers of these phones to be almost too loud but I've experienced NO DISTORTION at these settings!
There are reviews on other websites that the blue light, virtually most of the right side of the headset blinks when in a bluetooth connection and can be thought of as distracting to others....well, guess what? if you insert the cd rom which comes with the headset, it links you via internet to a very thorough users manual in which you can find a way to disable this feature among many other bits of information you may find increase your user personalization/interface with the headset, if desired.
Well, I think I've said enough. Now it's up to you to take my suggestion and start really enjoying your music, or TV, or home sound system wirelessly and therefore not teathered to anything and free to move about and enjoy your music in motion.
In conclusion, I highly recommend supporting manufacturers of high end products like these so as to reinforce their efforts to enhance, invent or re-invent products for OUR future enjoyment!
on February 12, 2013
I really liked this product. Sound quality was very good.
Here is why I am never buying another Sennheiser headset, nor would I recommend anyone do so:
The battery in my mm400 died after about 1.5 years. Not great, but not totally unexpected. I purchased another for $60... that's right $60. For. A. Battery.... FOR HEADPHONES. It was also very tricky to find a replacement. I tried to order one directly from Sennheiser and was given a 2-week runaround, so I canceled that order. Eventually I found one new from B&H.
That replacement battery worked fine for about 5 weeks. After that, exhibited the same problems (would not hold a charge, etc).
I was told by Sennheiser support that batteries are "consumables" and have no warranty.
That's right. No warranty for a $60 replacement battery. I got 5 weeks of normal use out of it and then it died.
Given the prospects of endlessly buying new batteries to feed the Sennheiser machine, I've decided to look for a manufacturer that actually supports the products it sells. This is really a shameful practice.
After sending my headphones, battery receipts, all fully noted with the business card of a Sennheiser rep I met at MacWorld, I was pleased to receive a brand new, and better version of this product plus a new extra battery. It appears they will work with you if you are persistent. Their official policy about batteries as noted above remains the same. but they may choose to cut you a break as they did me. I have updated my rating to reflect the fact that this product is a very good one when the batteries are working.
on March 12, 2012
I made the switch to the MM 400s from the older Bose around-ear headphones about 2 months ago.
Bose® Around-Ear Headphones for Personal and Portable Listening
The Bose had a great sound with vivid bass. These MM 400s can't match the bass on the Bose. But it is better in every other respect.
Sound - While it won't thrill you with the bass, the rest of the sound (especially the highs) are phenomenal. I would say better than the Bose. So if you don't mind the lighter bass, and are more interested in the other features, read on.
Bluetooth - Considering the cost of this headset (I got refurbished, works great) is comparable to a good set of wired headphones, and you can just use the included wire to use it as wired headphones anyways, this seemed like a no brainer. All the advantages to having bluetooth, without any of the drawbacks... I did notice a slight sound quality increase when plugging the MM 400s into my iPod versus connecting to bluetooth. But the difference is so slight that I always use the bluetooth.
That being said, the bluetooth is not flawless. Don't expect to be jumping between devices in a flash. I connect to my laptop at work for music and phone calls (we use the Lync system via headset for phone calls now), I connect with my ipod touch (3rd gen has bluetooth) to listen to music and watch video, and I occasionally connect to my work blackberry for cell phone calls. After struggling with getting the MM 400s to pair with all of these devices, I contacted Sennheiser, who told me you cannot pair with multiple devices at the same time. I have a mini Jabra earpiece that connects to 2 devices no problem. These MM 400s WONT PAIR WITH MULTILE DEVICES AT ONCE?! I was shocked when the guy told me. This is by far the biggest drawback to the product. It is a real pain having to connect and disconnect and disable bluetooth on one thing and enable another.
Remote Control Ability - I have to say, I didn't think I would ever use the buttons on the side of the headset to skip tracks and adjust volume, but I found myself using them all the time. And here is a huge advantage I hadn't even thought of when I bought these: I'm a skier, and I don't have to fuss with my device on the slopes anymore. I just use the buttons on the side of the headset. Unbelievably convenient in a situation where it is annoying to pull out your device every couple of minutes.
Comfort - skiing with the headset brings me to another good thing to know, this headset SQUEEZES your head. I also put a pair of ski goggles around the headphones, but I wouldn't have needed them unless I fell on them. I play tug-a-war with my 120lb American Bulldog with these things on and they never budge. The downside is, all of the pressure starts to hurt a bit after several hours. When I wear them at work for too long I find myself taking them off and a big wave of relief hits me. This can be offset by bending the headphones back slightly (at your own risk. I only bend the metal band. Dont try to bend the plastic!). This seems to help at work, but also makes them feel like they might fall off if you move suddenly. They tighten back up though after a little while so you will need to rebend.
Phone Calls - Call quality is great. My one complaint is the mic on the MM 400 picks up everything. It sounds normal when you talk into it (or so I have been told by people on the other end) but if anyone in the room with you talks, you can hear them like they are on speakerphone.
At the end of the day, I am very happy with my purchase. I am disappointed I'm unable to switch to a cell phone call from listening to music on my laptop or iPod. But I certainly feel like I'm living in the future when I am using this handy wireless headset.
on April 10, 2012
I find these things simply amazing for sound quality and they fit very comfortably with the adjustable size. I bought or tried several other brands and the biggest problem I had was they fit too tight. These are comfortable to wear for hours of listening and the sound is incredible. I thought all the other brands I tried had decent sound but these are far better. I don't regret what I spent on these at all. They easily sync up and I have had no problems at all.
I always read some of the worst reviews for the products before I buy and I don't know why some people had the problems they did. Many said too tight. They are adjustable quite a bit and I certainly don't have a small head. Some say sound was bad. I find it exceptional. All the sound is crisp and quite a bit of bass comes out for headphones. Some said parts broke or wore out. I have not had them long enough to know that but will update this if it becomes an issue.
on October 11, 2010
I bought the refurb of these and for $85 it's a great deal. These are exceptionally well built headphones with a very complete accessory package. They work perfectly with my iPhone 4, even the track advance and rewind function.
The sound is very detailed. I love Sennheiser sound, so I may be biased, but they are rich and clean sounding. I have many headphones, several Sennheiser, two Grado and even a high end pair of Westone UM-2s with custom ear fitting. Of all of them I still rate the PX100 as the gold standard for a combination of detail, range and listening comfort. I think it's the open air design that I love. Other than those, these are the best sounding closed headphones I've used. I also have Audio-Technica and Sennheiser noise canceling phones and these are better sounding than either of these and offer almost as much noise attenuation.
I have only two complaints.
1. They are pretty tight on my big head. This may be why the sound is so good, but I notice the pressure after a while. I hope this will get better as they break in.
2. They are a bit too strong in the bass for the iPhone. I can't find an EQ setting that gives me the just right amount of bass. With the EQ off the bass is very detailed, you hear each note in a bass guitar, but it's a bit overpowering and I find myself turning them down because the bass gets hard to listen to. If I use the base reducer setting they are more comfortable for longer term listening, but lose the bass detail. I think this is more a flaw in the eq settings on the iPhone than the headphones, but it's there none the less. If you love bass you will love these headphones.
UPDATED: One month later. They have broken in and the bass is perfect now. Still clear and detailed, but now smoother and not boomy. The head band has softened As well. These are great headphones, no reservations.
The bluetooth pairs in an instant and has a solid 10' or more range.
For $85 these are a steal.
on April 17, 2011
I work out of my house and always use a cellphone. I really have a need for reliable wireless headphones that I can use to move around with. I have tried Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and now Sennheiser. The first three were, I feel, of shoddy construction for the price; they all broke within a few months. The Sennheiser is of better construction and the best sound quality, but it keeps interrupting my calls with a beep, about 15 seconds of silence, and then a reconnect. This happens once almost every call; they can hear me on the other end, but I cannot hear them.
I paid good money for this set. I would very much like to find a reliable, well-constructed blue-tooth headset that works. Until then, I guess I will continue to use Sennheiser.