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Transform your Journey - Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless headphones deliver long-haul performance and a smart travel experience - Page 15

post #211 of 222

OK I owe Sennheiser an apology. I really needed to play with ALL of the features of this headphone more. I will have to update my review to include all of the features and more real world use of those features.

 

The latest feature I had not actually tested was using the USB cable as an audio cable. I was working away at the office and decided to see how it worked today. All I can say is this feature kicks serious @$$. Suddenly I have a lossless format that charges the headphone while I listen to music, it sounds even better than the already excellent Bluetooth and it is fully functional with all of the 550 features including auto pause when I take the headphone off. It also gives me a more robust and fool proof way to use the headphone as a headset in that unlike BT which is finicky with communication applications USB is bullet proof. Did I forget to mention I can still be BT'd to my phone while using this with USB to my computer? :wink: so I can answer my phone while listening to music on my computer through USB, while charging the headphone, and it will auto pause the music on the computer while I take the phone call.

 

As I continue to delve into the depths of what this headphone offers I can't help but think it bests ANY other ANC/BT headphone at this point in time including the heralded Sony MDR-1000X which is the current Head-fi darling. Even if the 1000X has better ANC, unless that is the only requirement a person needs I think the 550 equals or bests it in every other regard except for maximum volume level. If you then add in all the functions and features that the 550 has that are missing on the 1000X I think the 550 is simply a better option for most people.

 

I'm not suggesting people sell off their 1000X if they have already bought one but I do think that Sennheiser is getting the short end of the stick in the ANC/BT war right now.

 

Actually I can even understand why this is the case. Sennheiser has packed so much into the PXC550 you can't easily appreciate what is can do even when you use it regularly. It takes time and need to really see just how much it does. It's kind of like sports cars. You can have an American sports car like a Corvette and compare it to something like a Porsche or (insert exotic car name) and on paper they might stack up for most big features. But only the person who owns and uses the cars daily will learn to appreciate ALL of the features each car has to offer.


Edited by dweaver - 12/14/16 at 2:33pm
post #212 of 222


I fully agree with you. The inability to maintain two connections was a deal breaker for me and the MDR-1000X. The PXC-550 comparison reviews I have read or watched have missed many of the Sennheiser features that are actually useful. For example, I find the ability to double-tap the earpiece to mute music and amplify ambient sounds far more comfortable that continuing the hold by hand over the ear cup. Several reviews miss this feature altogether. The USB DAC support is something that is also consistently missed and with the Sony, you have to plug in the audio cable to do anything but charge the headphone.

 

After two weeks, my biggest ergonomic issue is with the single tap hand up feature. It really should be a double-tap as you have to be very careful when muting/unmuting or changing the volume that you don't hang up the call.

post #213 of 222

I'll be honest, it took me a LONG time before I appreciated the PXC 550 for what it offers.

 

On first impressions, the MDR-1000x had:

 

A more 'solid' and hefty build

A more solid carrying case

Superior ANC

Simple and effective controls

Simpler connection

 

However, on closer examination, the PXC-550 actually had:

 

A less squeaky build which was more comfortable for me

A carrying case that can actually properly carry the accessories

Inferior but adjustable ANC which didn't have the pressure sensation

An insane amount of controllability (i.e. phone dial was the biggest for me)

Ability to use 2 devices at once

 

Both have its merits. I miss the MDR-1000x at times, but then again, the PXC 550 is just as good, just on different things.

post #214 of 222
OK I have to show some ignorance and just ask, what is the phone dial feature? I will have to check it out...
post #215 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by dweaver View Post

OK I have to show some ignorance and just ask, what is the phone dial feature? I will have to check it out...


​When music isn't playing, slide your finger to the rear and hold it there. If done correctly, it'll say 'Voice Dial'. On Android, it launches Google Now.

 

The manual really is worth reading. A lot of things in there you won't know unless you memorise the damn thing.

 

Oh, forgot to mention one thing that really is the biggest problem with these headphones: you cannot use them unpowered. I know that it can (try using the 2.5mm cable and listen to it without rotating the cup), but the lack of a power button means that if you rotate the cups, it must be on.


Edited by dazzerfong - 12/15/16 at 10:25pm
post #216 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by intlsubband View Post

Don't get me wrong - I agree with you - but good luck convincing fellow audio freaks that the tiny DAC inside the head set is just fine! smily_headphones1.gif

Back to the subject at hand, are there any impressions of the sound quality and NC performance of the headphone?

So, I just ordered the MB 660 UC MS (same hardware as PXC 550 according to Sennheiser's techs I spoke with). And I've been researching DACs for use with iPhone (7) and PCs... is this a moot point with this headphone? How good is the DAC in the 550/660, and it is subject to the codec, right? (I understand first subject to audio file first... and audiophile last, lol.) Would a portable DAC like the Dragonfly Red or [insert recommendation here] help at all when the PXC 550/MB 660 is connected via hardwire to it?
post #217 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmack View Post


So, I just ordered the MB 660 UC MS (same hardware as PXC 550 according to Sennheiser's techs I spoke with). And I've been researching DACs for use with iPhone (7) and PCs... is this a moot point with this headphone? How good is the DAC in the 550/660, and it is subject to the codec, right? (I understand first subject to audio file first... and audiophile last, lol.) Would a portable DAC like the Dragonfly Red or [insert recommendation here] help at all when the PXC 550/MB 660 is connected via hardwire to it?


​Absolutely zero point to run a DAC and/or amp through this. Unless you suck the battery dry and use it in 100% passive mode (which is not possible with the PXC 550 without running the battery dry), it will always be run through the internal ADC and amp module.

post #218 of 222

I absolutely love the function to have the PXC 550s connected to both my laptop (usb cable) AND mobile phone. Superb feature!

I own a ifi micro iDSD and would like to drive the Senns through the DAC, it's a pity that the Senns cannot be turned off for passive listening. I assume that this could be implemented in the SW, e.g hold effect mode button 10 seconds when headphones are on. 

post #219 of 222
You can turn off the ANC on the Senns, I have done that many times.
post #220 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by dweaver View Post

You can turn off the ANC on the Senns, I have done that many times.

How do you turn off ANC in passive mode?
post #221 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by trellus View Post


How do you turn off ANC in passive mode?

 

ANC can only be turned off with the headphones on. Unfortunately, there is no way to choose passive mode; out of battery is the same as passive mode. I hope this clarifies:)

post #222 of 222
Quote:
Originally Posted by dweaver View Post

You can turn off the ANC on the Senns, I have done that many times.


​He's not talking about toggling the ANC, he meant turning the entire system off and letting it run without the internal amp.

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