beyerdynamic MMX 2 Headset Review
Here we have the first of two new (well, new to pcG that is) headsets from German manufacturer beyerdynamic. The beyerdynamic MMX 2 is a stereo, digital, multimedia Gaming headset by German speaker specialist beyerdynamic, founded in 1924! Yes that’s right some ninety years ago.
The MMX 2 is effectively beyerdynamic’s entry level Gaming headset with its bigger brother being the MMX 300. The MMX 2 is a closed back, supraaural (on-ear) headset with a frequency range of 18 Hz – 22,000 Hz. It features a Noise cancelling microphone at the end of a 150mm boom. The MMX 2 also comes with its own USB sound card, that also adds volume and Microphone mute functionality. beyerdynamic states that the MMX 2 is ‘Universal for all multimedia applications, but specially optimised for PC games ‘.
The MMX 2 came in a relatively plain box with a image of the headset and the USB sound card on the front. Note compatibility with both PC and Mac.
The back of the box shows another image of the headset, a couple of images of the connections/plugs and the microphone. A full set of technical specifications is also listed (please see below for more detail).
The inner packaging is pretty basic with the headset and the USB sound card found in separate plastic bags. With the entire contents resting within a cardboard surround. Packaging was more than adequate for a lightweight headset, but slightly disappointing considering beryerdynamic’s pedigree…
In addition to the headset itself and the USB sound card we find a Product Information Guide and a couple of documents outlining the Guarantee.
At the time of review the Beyerdynamic MMX 2 is retailing for approximately £80 and comes with a 2 year warranty.
courtesy of beyerdynamic
Transducer type: dynamic
Transducer type: condenser (back electret)
Connection: PC/MAC 1 x USB Type A(M); Cable length 1.5 m
SPECIFICATION SHEET – MMX2_DB_E_A2.pdf (pdf, 390.13 KB)
If first impressions are anything to go by then we’re not off to a good start. The beyerdynamic MMX 2 headset doesn’t look all that interesting to be fair, its design is simple and basic. The hard plastics used in the manufacture also let it down. This certainly doesn’t feel like a premium headset. Which is at odds with the beyerdynamic name as far as I’m concerned…
The left ear-cup features a swivelling microphone boom that’s approximately 150mm in length. This boom can be positioned vertically when not in use and swivelled into position when desired. Both ear-cups feature a small degree of swivel (both horizontal and vertical), but it’s not much!
The right ear-cup has no additional functionality to speak of and features the same MMX 2 logo as the right.
The headband is the flexi affair with a fixed hard plastic outer-band and a flexible inner-band, this actually works well and the MMX 2 is more than capable of accommodating a good range of head sizes. There’s also a byerdynamic logo printed on the top of the headband, but still the overall look and feel again doesn’t give you the ‘feel good factor’.
Each of the closed-back ear-cups feature nice cushioning (but not memory foam) with velour covers. Due to the size/design of the MMX 2 these cushions are going to sit on the ear (supraaural) and not around the ear (circumaural).
The swivelling, noise cancelling microphone attached to the left ear-cup can be swivelled into position near to the mouth and out of the way when not in use. The boom is also flexible to allow for better positioning closer to the mouth, if needed. While the boom is indeed flexible and it stays in place when positioned, its flexing is somewhat of a disappointment; it just feels a little cumbersome, requiring a fair degree of effort to move. At the end of the 150mm boom we find a foam bobble or windscreen, helping to keep unwanted noise and moisture away from the microphone.
The optional USB sound card also features a side mounted volume control and a most welcome microphone mute button and LED (blue) indicator. The in-line control box is found at the end of a 1.5 metre non-braided cable. The MMX 2 headset simply plugs directly into it by way of its x2 3.5mm Jack plugs (Audio & Mic).
As the beyerdynamic MMX 2 would be classed as a mid-range headset it will be paired up with the on-board audio of our Test Motherboard the MSI Z87-G45 GAMING, this MB from MSI features a Realtek ALC1150 chipset with MSI’s Audio Boost technology.
The optional USB sound card was also tested and was connected directly to a USB 2.0 port of the motherboard.
The beyerdynamic MMX 2 was simply connected to the on-board audio via the two (headphone/mic) 3.5mm Jack plugs, the additional 6.35mm plug was not used.
The beyerdynamic MMX 2 was tested using our Intel Test Rig, running Windows 7 64bit (service pack 1) with all necessary Drivers installed. No software is supplied or required for full functionality of the headset, therefore a fresh install of Windows 7 was not performed.
The following games were used during testing:
- Battlefield 4
- Metro Last Light
- Trials Fusion
- Survarium (Beta)
- Metro 2033 (benchmark)
- Unigine Heaven (benchmark)
- Unigine Valley (benchmark)
The performance of a headset is predominately based upon what it sounds like, therefore what we have here is my opinion on what I think about the audio performance of the beyerdynamic MMX 2 headset; of course this is somewhat subjective.
From a pure audio performance point of view the beyerdynamic MMX performs very well. The sound produced is both clear and bright, with no emphasis on any particular frequency. This makes it a good all round headset, but a little more emphasis on bass would have helped to make a it a better Gaming headset. It didn’t quite deliver in those all important moments like when the tower falls in Battlefield 4 (Siege of Shanghai), or when the attack approaches during the Metro Last Light benchmark. Being a supraaural headset there’s also a little less immersion as the ear cushions sit on your ears and not around them, meaning that feeling of ‘being there’ is not quite there (if you know what I mean). There also seems to be a lack of volume/power when using on-board sound. I could quite happily listen to the MMX 2 on full volume all day, so if you like it loud the MMX 2 may not be for you. The situation actually improved a little when using the supplied beyerdynamic USB sound card though…
Sound via the USB sound card actually seemed a little better than without, although I feel this was down to the fact that the USB based solution seemed to be able to deliver a little more oomph when compared to the solution aboard our Test motherboard. This gave the overall sound that little bit of extra punch that it needed.
Using the USB sound card means that you also get a dedicated volume control and a microphone mute button. While the microphone mute button and its associated LED worked well, the volume plus and minus buttons are actually quite hard to press/locate, as they’re too flush to the surface of the control box. The control box also seems to make a good rattle too (no that’s not a misprint), as there seems to be something inside the control box that’s just rattling around (not good!?). It did seem to function perfectly well though…
The comfort level of the MMX 2 is best described as adequate, which is strange considering its light weight of only 155g (without cable). The issue for me is the fact that I don’t tend to find supraaural (on-ear) headphones comfortable during long (2+ hours) Gaming sessions, this is purely because of the the pressure (although light) put on the ears by the cushions. After an hour or so it just starts to get, not so much uncomfortable, just irritating. I found myself wanting to constantly re-adjust the headset position in an attempt to improve the current comfort level…
The beyerdynamic’s microphone performed flawlessly; picking up my voice well and keeping un-wanted noise to a minimum. It was described by an on-line buddy as the best he had heard my voice sound! Saying not only was the microphone quality very clear (via Razer Comms), but it also sounded very much like me. High praise indeed.
This is a difficult Final Thoughts to write, not because the beyerdynamic MMX 2 hasn’t performed well, because in many ways, it has! But being from beyerdynamic and for the price (approximately £70) I expected so much more…
Starting with the un-boxing, I was already disappointed, I know it’s beyerdynamic’s budget option but, everything about the whole un-boxing process made me think that I had just purchased the headset from my local supermarket and paid around £14.99 for it! Getting the headset in the hands doesn’t help; yes it is lightweight, but it feels so cheap, no soft touch plastics here! Everything about the design of the MMX 2 shouts, BUDGET! And it’s not even cheap (by any stretch of the imagination).
Luckily the performance comes to the rescue, with the MMX 2 performing admirably considering its lightweight and its small Drivers. The sound produced in-game is very clear and well rounded with all of the sounds well represented from gunfire to explosions, voices and even music. Just a little more bass would have given it a more of a Gaming edge. Surprisingly the supplied USB sound card performed well also, giving a little extra oomph to the sound, that seemed to be missing with our on-board audio solution.
Overall comfort is also a bit of a let down (for me!) due to the MMX 2’s supraaural design. For me the pressure exerted on the ear (albeit light), overtime just becomes a little uncomfortable. This meant that after an hour or so of Game-play I found myself constantly re-adjusting the headset in an attempt to find a little more comfort.
I think that if you gave anybody this headset and asked of its origins, very few would think that this headset comes from a major, prestigious, headset/speaker manufacturer in Germany! Even less would believe that it cost approximately £70!
Unfortunately the beyerdynamic MMX 2 just misses out on an award this time…
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Many thanks to beyerdynamic for providing this sample for review