beyerdynamic MMX 300 Headset Review
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beyerdynamic MMX 300 Headset Review

May 6th, 2014 James Leave a comment Go to comments

Overview

 

The second headset to come under the microscope here at pcG from German manufacturer beyerdynamic is the beyerdynamic MMX 300. The MMX 300 is effectively the MMX 2’s bigger brother (much bigger brother!), with the MMX 300 being the range topping headset in beyerdynamic’s Gaming/Multimedia range. The MMX 300 is a closed back, circumaural (over-ear), stereo headset with a swivelling boom microphone and is described by beyerdynamic as a Premium Gaming and Multimedia Headset! The headset has a frequency response of 5 – 30,000 Hz with a nominal impedance of 32 Ohms.

 

beyerdynamic MMX 300 - box (front) beyerdynamic MMX 300 - box (back)

 

The MMX 300 comes in a large grey (not the most exciting of colours to choose!?) box with a large image of the headset on the front. The front of the box also features a cut-out allowing you to see within, although this is not the headset that you can see it’s actually the carry bag that’s included. You can also see from the font of the box that the beyerdynamic MMX 300 comes with an extremely impressive 5 year warranty. Highlighted on the front of the box is the following:

  • Great wearing comfort for hours of gaming pleasure
  • Closed-back design for maximum noise isolation
  • Crystal-clear sound of headphone and microphone
  • Handmade in Germany

The back of the box shows another image of the headset and goes on to list the Technical Specifications (see Specifications/Features below).

 

beyerdynamic MMX 300 - bag beyerdynamic MMX 300 - bag (open)

 

Within the box is a beyerdynamic branded carry bag with something rattling around inside (I guess that’ll be the headset!).

Within the bag there’s no additional packaging (which is a bit of a surprise, especially considering the cost), in fact there’s nothing here other than the headset and a Product Information leaflet!

 

beyerdynamic MMX 300 - product information

 

At the time of review the beyerdynamic MMX 300 is retailing for approximately £250 and comes with an impressive 5 year warranty.

 

Specifications/Features

courtesy of beyerdynamic

Headphone

Transducer type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dynamic
Operating principle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Closed
Frequency response . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 – 30,000 Hz
Nominal impedance . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Ω per system
Nominal SPL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 dB
T.H.D.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . < 0.2%
Power handling capacity. . . . . . . . . . 100 mW
Sound coupling to the ear . . . . . . . . Circumaural
Ambient noise attenuation. . . . . . . . approx. 18 dBA
Headband pressure. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.5 N
Weight with microphone and cable . 380 g
Cable length and type . . . . . . . . . . . 2.5 m, straight cable
Connection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mini stereo jack plug
(3.5 mm), 1/4" adapter
(6.35 mm)

Microphone

Transducer type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Condenser (back electret)
Operating principle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pressure gradient
Polar Pattern . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cardioid
Power supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . AB powering
Supply voltage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.5 – 9 V
Current consumption . . . . . . . . . . . . < 0.5 mA
Nominal impedance . . . . . . . . . . . . . approx. 1.5 kΩ
Open circuit voltage at f = 1 kHz . . . 20 mV / Pa
Frequency response . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 - 18,000 Hz
T.H.D.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.2% at f = 1 kHz
Max. SPL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 dB
Microphone output . . . . . . . . . . . . . unbalanced

Dimensions

Length mic boom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . approx. 150 mm
Capsule diameter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 mm
Connection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mini stereo jack plug
(3.5 mm)
Ring and tip: AF,
sleeve: ground

* Additional details available here

 

First Impressions

 

First impressions (ignoring the somewhat dull packaging) are very good indeed, there’s no doubt about it the beyerdynamic MMX 300 is one good looking headset, one of the best I’ve seen in fact! There’s also no doubt that this is a premium headset, backed up by the fact that beyerdynamic provides a mammoth 5 year warranty!

 

beyerdynamic MMX 300

 

Taking a look at the left ear-cup we see the non-detachable swivelling microphone, it can be swivelled into position close to the mouth when in use and stowed vertically when not. Attached to the left ear-cup we also find the captive audio cable, the cable itself is non-braided and approximately 2.5 metres in length. The cable itself seems to feature some kind of anti-twist property, that actually seems to work rather well! Each ear-cup features a smart Carbon Fibre effect covering, that really gives the MMX 300 a smart/premium and stylish look.

The right ear-cup is the same as the left and has no additional functionality to speak of.

 

beyerdynamic MMX 300 - left beyerdynamic MMX 300 - right

 

The headband of the MMX 300 itself is made from steel, so durability should be extremely high. The leatherette headband cover can actually be removed (by way of 4 poppers) for cleaning purposes, or perhaps to replace it, which seems like a good idea. The inner part of the headband cover features a full length of padding (200mm x 30mm), although thin (around 5mm) it is surprisingly comfortable, this is helped by the headset’s relatively low weight of approximately 325 grams (without cable).

 

beyerdynamic MMX 300 - headband

 

The headband is also adjustable providing approximately 35mm of extension per side. Although this seems like a decent amount, the initial size of the headband is actually quite small. If you have a big head, then you may need to try before you buy…

 

beyerdynamic MMX 300 - extended

 

Each ear-cup features a soft velour covering with a large inner-foam, although this does not appear to be memory foam. Leather and synthetic leather ear-pads sets are also available. Due to the circumaural (over-ear) design of the beyerdynamic MMX 300 the cushions sit on the side of your head and around the ear. This not only helps with overall comfort, but also provides a level of passive, ambient noise isolation. In the case of the MMX 300 this is quoted by beyerdynamic to be 18db.

 

beyerdynamic MMX 300 - ear cushion

 

The condenser type microphone is found at the end of a 150mm flexible (pipe cleaner style) boom allowing the microphone to be positioned pretty much anywhere you should want it! It says in position too…

The foam bobble helps keep unwanted noise and moisture away from the microphone, so things like breathing, a slight knock, even sniffing are less likely to be picked-up.

 

beyerdynamic MMX 300 - microphone (away) beyerdynamic MMX 300 - microphone (extended)

 

A great start then for the beyerdynamic MMX 300, but there’s something missing here (especially if this is a Gaming headset, and it is!). Where’s the in-line control with volume control and microphone mute? There’s not none! On a headset of this price there really should be…

 

Hardware Installation

 

As the beyerdynamic MMX 300 headset is such a high-end peripheral it seems only right to pair it with a decent high-end dedicated sound card. Therefore for testing purposes I used a Creative Sound Blaster Zx sound card, that features a dedicated headphone amplifier.

 

Creative Labs Sound Blaster - Zx Creative Labs Sound Blaster - Zx (ACM)

 

For audio the beyerdynamic MMX 300 headset was connected to the Creative Labs Sound Blaster ACM via the optional 6.35mm Jack (as the ACM supports this) plug provided. The microphone was connected to the ACM via its standard 3.5mm Jack plug.

 

beyerdynamic MMX 300 - connections beyerdynamic MMX 300 - connections (6.35mm)

 

Testing Methodology/Setup

 

The beyerdynamic MMX 300 headset was tested using my own personal Gaming Rig as this is where the Sound Blaster ZX is located (it can’t be removed because there’s water cooling pipes in the way!). ;)

All settings for the Sound Blaster ZX software were left at their default settings.

The following games were used during testing:

 

Hardware Performance

 

  • Headset

 

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 300 headset; of course this is somewhat subjective.

It would be easy to sum up the audio performance of the beyerdynamic MMX 300 headset buy just saying that it’s amazing, or by saying that it is the finest sounding headset that we have yet tested here at pcG! Both statements after all, are true…

But that wouldn’t be enough would it! So why is the sound reproduced by the MMX 300 so good? Well from my point of view (which is subjective, but I do have a lot of experience in this area), it’s down to the honesty of the sound reproduced. I not going to rave on about the terrific bass, or the incredible shrillness of gunfire, or the incredible mid-range reproduction of the sound. Because there’s no stand out range, every sound produced the MMX 300 delivered with great accuracy and control. The bottom line is that it All sounds good, real good…

The MMX 300 has an uncanny ability to introduce you to sounds that you’ve not heard before, subtler in-game sounds like the insects in Survarium. The Metro Last Light benchmark sounds amazing really showing off the MMX300’s 5 – 30,000 Hz frequency range. Also the intro to Tom Clancy’s Phantoms sounds really gritty, with all of the clicks, whines and beeps really hitting home.

If you want a truly accurate, honest and awesome sounding headset then the MMX 300 is one of (if not) the finest available. Paired up with a dedicated sound card like our Sound Blaster Zx, the MMX 300 has the ability to give you a real kick in the ass!

 

  • Comfort

 

Thanks to the circumaural design the MMX 300 sits very much around your ears and on the side of your head. This coupled with the large ear-cups means that no pressure is brought to bear upon your ears. In addition to this the MMX 300 features a good degree of padding on the ear cushions (approx 20mm) meaning that your ear sits well within the space created. Of course all of this contributes to the overall comfort, which as you would expect is extremely good. The headband features a good deal of padding and the clamping force is also tight (to aide in that passive noise isolation), but not too tight to feel like a vice (here’s looking at you Ear Force Z Seven). Considering the overall weight of the MMX 300 (325 g – without cable), it’s very comfortable indeed and I experienced no issues with discomfort even during Gaming sessions lasting 3-4 hours.

 

  • Microphone

 

The MMX 300’s microphone performed admirably using our VOIP program of choice (Razer Comms) and I had no complainants from my on-line buddies (well not regarding my voice anyway!). The flexible boom is really a joy to use, meaning you can place the microphone anywhere you like and it stays perfectly in position.

There’s something missing though, especially when you consider the price! In my opinion there should really be an in-line control with a least a microphone mute and possibly a volume control also. These features are really useful for Gamers and the MMX 300 is supposed to be a Gaming headset; shame…

 

Final Thoughts

 

I have really enjoyed my time with the beyerdynamic MMX 300 headset. OK I admit the packaging was not up to much considering the premium nature and premium price! But there’s no doubting its build quality, the headset feels bullet proof, and it must be as beyerdynamic offer a 5 year warranty! It looks good too, no it doesn’t shout Gamer it’s subtler than that, it’s cool that’s what it is…

But at approximately £250 it’s not enough just to look good, I would expect it to sound good too! Hold on I would expect it to sound better than good… In fact I would expect it to be the best sounding headset that I have ever tested at that price!

Luckily it is! Yes that’s right I said it; the beyerdynamic MMX 300 IS the best sounding headset that I have ever heard. But of course I need to try and quantify this (and of course this is somewhat subjective). If there was one word that I would use to sum up the excellent sound produced by the MMX 300, it would be; DETAIL! After all they say the devil’s in the detail. You get the impression that you hear so much more with the MMX 300, subtler sounds come into play, background music seems to have real depth. The lows are deep; the rumbling as the attack approaches during the Metro Last Light benchmark again has real depth and detail. The highs are shrill too, gunfire is as chilling as ever especially in Survarium, where the gun-fire sound is some of the finest I’ve heard. All of this is also delivered with such control, that you can’t help but be impressed. But some folks don’t like honesty (which is what the MMX 300 delivers), some prefer bass, bass and more bass, if that’s you then the MMX 300 is not for you (that’s not to say the MMX 300 is lacking in bass though).

From a comfort point of view the MMX 300 scores very highly, especially when you consider is not insubstantial weight (380 g – with mic & cable). The high level of comfort is due to the large closed back ear-cups and large foam cushions (20mm deep), meaning that the cups sit very much around your ears and not on them. The force exerted by the metal headband is just perfect too, giving just enough force to ensure the cushions sit flush on the side of the head; while providing a good degree of ambient noise isolation at the same time.

The microphone performed well during testing with no complaints from my on-line friends. But there is one thing missing in fact I guess it’s really two things! A Gaming headset really needs a mic mute function and it would also be nice to have a in-line volume control. Both of these are missing from the MMX 300, and at an asking price of approximately £250, they shouldn’t be…

Of course the price is the beyerdynamic MMX 300’s big stumbling block, £250 is a awful lot of money for a headset! But considering that we are talking about one of the finest headsets on the market today, I think, we should cut the MMX 300 a little slack…

 

Verdict

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  Design/Quality pcGameware awards the beyerdynamic MMX 300 a Silver
Performance
Value
Overall

 

Many thanks to beyerdynamic for providing this sample for review

 



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