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Bass-heads, take note.
Headphones are knotty beasts. On the one hand, most people don’t really think about them. On the other hand, they wield the single most important influence over how much enjoyment you get out of your iPod--besides a well-chosen playlist, of course. And if you’re using an iPhone, a decent headset is doubly important. Not only are you listening to audio with it, but an inline mic that allows you to take calls certainly beats holding the phone up to your ear, particularly if you’re the multitasking type. Sennheiser’s MM 50-IP is a wired iPhone headset that offers good sound quality, along with a remote for playing, pausing, or skipping iPod tracks.
The interchangeable silicone “ear sleeves” come in three sizes. Unlike other in-ear models, the MM 50-IPs are inserted relatively shallowly into the ear canal, which is a trade-off. While this makes them easy to insert and remove, they don’t offer as much noise isolation as ’phones that seal the ear. They were fine for general use, but in noisy environments, outside sound drowned out the MM 50-IPs. Fans of bass-heavy rock, electronica, and hip-hop will probably love them, although users interested in more delicate music or accurate sound reproduction may be frustrated by the booming bass and muffled highs.
Calls sounded good on the headset, and in that case, we appreciated these ’phones’ emphasis on the lower tones. We found that caller’s voices were easier to hear, particularly on busy city streets. The inline remote functioned without problems, but we do wish the button itself were easier to locate by touch--it’s mounted flush, and we often found ourselves fumbling to find the button. Callers reported our voice was picked up clearly by the mic and couldn’t easily tell the difference when we switched between the headset and just holding the iPhone up to our ear during conversations.
Audio idiosyncracies may frustrate some, but the MM 50-IPs are easy to use, and the two-year warranty should inspire confidence in heavy iPhone users.
REQUIREMENTS: iPhone, iPod, or other audio device with 3.5 mm audio jack
In-ear design offers some noise cancellation. Easy to insert and remove. Bass-heavy response was great for phone calls.
Heavy bottom-end sound. Flush-mounted remote button is hard to find by feel.