Sennheiser MM 450 Noise-canceling Bluetooth® wireless headset
Great sound in the air and on the ground
Jon Schroeder was Crutchfield's videographer for several years. He helped us refine our video production process and discover our new video "voice." He and his family had an opportunity to relocate to Baltimore, where he continues to lend his artful eye to making corporate videos.
Before taking a cross-country flight recently, I had the chance to grab a Sennheiser MM 450 noise-canceling Bluetooth headset to try out. I wanted to give them a real test — eight solid hours of airborne listening.
Making the Bluetooth connection
I charged the headset the night before liftoff by connecting it to my laptop's USB port. Once it was fully charged, I quickly paired it with my iPad® using Bluetooth so I could give the 450's a good listen before my flight.
By simultaneously holding down two buttons on one of the ear cups and then entering a pass code into my iPad, I was able to pair the 450's to my tablet in about 15 seconds. After that, I never had to perform the pairing process again — my iPad remembered the 450's from that point on.
A pre-flight audition
That night, I listened to an entire ballgame from my iPad with the MLB At Bat™ app while I fixed dinner and did the dishes. It felt liberating to be untethered by any wires while working in the kitchen and still have the ability to crank the volume without worrying about bothering anyone else.
When I needed to talk to my wife or son, I simply tapped the "talk through" button on the side of the ear cup to clearly hear what was happening in room without having to take the headphones off.
Testing the range
I even kept the headset on when I let my dog out into the backyard. With the iPad on the kitchen counter, I was able to walk 50 feet outside before the signal started to break up. There was never any static of interference when I pushed the 450's to their signal distance limit. The audio would simply click off when I got too far away, and snap back on again when I moved closer to the house.
Great sound on the ground
When the ballgame was over, and after dinner had been served, I enjoyed the documentary "Microcosms" on my iPad using the Netflix app. Bruno Coulais' orchestral soundtrack came across magnificently on the 450 and I was truly impressed by the sonic spectrum that the headset could reproduce without a wire in sight. A surprising amount of bass thumped through the on-the-ear-style ear cups, and the highs were well-defined and balanced.
The comfort factor
Both of the ear cups were super-comfortable too, and the adjustable headband stretched out to encompass my rather large noggin. So before my test flight had even begun, I had already logged close to six hours of comfortable Bluetooth listening without any sign of battery fatigue from the MM 450's (or ear-fatigue).
Compact for travel
Before I hit the road to the airport, I folded the headset flat and packed it into its included soft case. I also packed the charging cord, although I didn't anticipate using it for many hours after just charging the headset.
The Sennheiser MM 450 headset folds flat for travel.
Phone calls and boarding calls
While waiting at my gate, I quickly paired the headset to my smart phone and was able to quell the din of airport noises with some soothing tunes. I called my wife to say goodbye again before it was time to board, and her voice came through loud and clear through both ear cups. And while I'm not exactly sure where the microphone is on 450, it picked up my voice well, and she could hear me just fine on her end, too.
Music in the air
Once I was finally up in the air and cleared to use electronic devices, the MM 450 impressed me yet again with its noise-canceling abilities. By holding down the Sennheiser NoiseGard™ button for two seconds, I heard the thunderous drone of the jet engines dissolve into a barely noticeable background hum.
Left with my music and podcasts unmarred by harsh noise, I was able to make a long flight a little more comfortable. Add to that a lack of wires and ear pads that were easy on the lobes, and the Sennheiser MM 450 headset proved to be great for both airborne and earth-bound listening.