The weblog for Nooz you need. Period.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Since I now have a phone that plays MP3 files - and I have to tell you I really, really like that part of the phone after using it - I wanted a decent pair of stereo headphones for it. The ones that Verizon sells with the Music Essentials Kit suck, quite frankly. I couldn't use them to answer phone calls because people couldn't understand me, and they sounded like cheap car speakers. I didn't want to experiment and have the same problem all over again, so I hunted around and found something: Sennheiser MM 50s to the rescue!

I ordered these from an online vendor and they arrived this afternoon. The MM 50s cost me about $35.00 with shipping. The picture in the above link doesn't do these little bad boys justice, they are sleek and invisible in your ears. The headset comes with three different sized earpieces, and they almost literally disappear into your ear. I'd bet that anyone who ever tried earbuds and hated them (such as myself) would love these little cans.

How well do they work? They're amazing. If you're not familiar with Sennheiser's products, they are well known for producing good to audiophile quality head and microphones. I think $35.00 US is rather a paltry sum for the sound quality when listening to music. Voice calls will take a little getting used to, as the rubber ear sleeves block outside noises extremely effectively. The few phone calls I have made since trying them out were done in stealth, so the callee wouldn't know I was on a headset. The fact that no one said anything about me being in a tunnel or hard to understand is a promising sign, but we'll see what happens when I'm out and about.

I don't know if you could get away with these on a plane or train, but I don't get on those very often so I don't care. The sound is very clear, with good bass response and clear highs. You can turn them up loud enough to do hearing damage without distortion, which could be a bad thing for people who like it loud. You won't know you're going deaf because it's so much fun. I'm hearing things in my MP3 collection that I haven't heard on my bigger Sennheiser HD 590s.

The one problem that came up was my discovery that if I plug them into the phone as I normally do (by using my thumb to press the jack) they do not connect properly and the sound is distorted and quiet, since the electrical connection is not perfect — much as if you pull a headphone jack out just enough to break the connection. I don't know if this was the headphone jack or the phone's design, however... your mileage may vary. Highly recommended.

posted by Mark  5/23/2006 10:31:00 PM

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