About the Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless
Versatile wireless headphones designed for travel
The Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless headphones power off when you fold them up for storage.
Versatile wireless headphones designed for travel
Noise-canceling headphones are always my go-to recommendation for air travel. And the Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless headphones are tailor-made for frequent flyers. Their noise-canceling circuitry automatically adjusts itself to your surrounding environment. You can block out everything from a crowded airport to a loud plane engine. Built-in Bluetooth lets you tuck your phone away, listen wirelessly, and move around the airport freely. Then on the plane, you can use the included cable to enjoy in-flight entertainment.
While I didn't have a chance to take them on a trip, I did spend a couple weeks listening to these 'phones wirelessly at my desk. They hug your ears with super-soft, oval-shaped earpads. The relaxed fit and laid-back sound signature make them pleasant and easy to wear for long periods of time. I listened to podcasts and playlists for hours at a time, with zero fatigue. I'm sure they would stay comfortable while you binge-watch shows or movies on longer flights.
Dial in the sound and noise cancellation with Sennheiser's mobile app
Sennheiser's “Captune” app lets you manually adjust the level of noise cancellation. It's a free download for Apple® and Android™. At my desk at Crutchfield HQ, I dialed in the settings to eliminate distractions and stay productive, but I could still hear well enough for a web designer to grab my attention.
I also used the app to adjust the sound of the music. The relaxed-sounding default balance of frequencies worked well for an old-school soul playlist. But I wanted a little more energy for the upright bass and bluegrass banjo plunking that fuels Devil Makes Three's album Redemption and Ruin. The app took me through a series of different tweaks and sound curves, and asked to pick my preference. At the end of the process, I had a customized sound preset with some extra adrenaline, thanks to a slight lift for the low end and vocals.
A first impression from "Crutchfield Demo Days"
Our "Demo Days" crew recently set up a number of noise-canceling headphones in a room reserved for employee relaxation. Fellow writer Benn Grant provided some feedback on the PXC 550 headphones:
"I'm on the hunt for noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones so I jumped at the chance to try out the Sennheiser PXC 550s. It was late in the day and no one was around.
"I was transfixed the minute I pressed play on the indie rock band I'd been listening to. Every instrument stood out individually — and I was hearing instruments hidden in the songs I'd never heard before. I spent the next 30 minutes playing all my favorite songs from every genre while people filtered in and out. If they were talking to me, I couldn't hear them.
"When I started playing ‘One More Time' by Daft Punk, I couldn't help it, I started to dance. Who cares if anyone walked in and judged me! Reluctantly I returned the headphones and walked away with a huge smile on my face. I felt like I had just been on a really great first date.”
— Crutchfield writer Benn Grant
Touch panel earcup controls and other handy features
The Sennheiser PXC 550s offer some nice conveniences, starting with the “track pad” control panel on the right ear cup. By swiftly swiping my finger, I could change the track or adjust the volume. A quick tap turned off noise cancellation and turned on the “Talk Through” feature. Tiny mics pick up external sound — allowing me to hear co-workers without removing the headphones. (I could see this being helpful for when a flight attendant comes by to take a drink order.)
You turn on the headphones by rotating the earcups and clicking them into the listening position. You can then click them back into their “fold-flat position” for easy storage — the included zippered carrying case would easily fit into a carry-on bag.
- closed-back, over-the-ear design with Sennheiser's clear, detailed sound signature
- Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity for wireless music listening and phone calls with compatible smartphones
- aptX® decoding provides high-quality music streaming from compatible devices
- NFC-compatible for one-touch pairing with compatible devices
- Sennheiser's NoiseGard™ Hybrid technology provides active noise cancellation
- level of noise cancellation adjusts to your environment
- built-in rechargeable battery offers up to 20 hours of wireless use with noise cancellation
- earcup touch controls let you answer calls, play/pause music, skip tracks, and control volume
- triple microphone array captures your voice for crystal-clear phone calls
- "Talk Through" feature lets you quickly hear external sounds by tapping earcup twice
- free Captune app for Apple® and Android™ allows you to adjust settings and view headphone battery life status on your phone
- select from preset sound modes or customize your own setting
- soft, specially shaped earpads for long-lasting comfort
- fold-flat design for compact storage
- detachable 3.5mm headphone cable with remote/mic for wired use
- up to 30 hours of noise-cancellation with wired listening
- 1/4" adapter included
- airport adapter
- USB charging cable included
- includes durable travel case
- frequency response: 17-23,000 Hz
- sensitivity: 110 dB
- impedance: 46 ohms (wired)
- weight: 8 ounces
- warranty: 2 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # 506514
What's in the box:
- Wireless over-ear headphones
- 56" Straight cable with in-line mic/remote (right-angled 3.5mm plug)
- 50" USB charging cable (Type A USB on one end and Micro-B USB on other end)
- 3.5mm to 1/4" Adapter
- Airline adapter
- Zippered storage case
- Quick Guide
- Safety Guide
- PXC 550 Compliance Information
- Feedback card
Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless reviews
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More details on the Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless
Features & specs
|Earcup Width x Height||2.91 x 4.144|
|Mic For Taking Calls||Yes|
|Voice Assistant Access|
|Frequency Response||17-23k Hz|
|Parts Warranty||2 Years|
|Labor Warranty||2 Years|
Overview: The Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless headphones are ideal for traveling, offering high-fidelity sound and adaptive noise cancellation. These over-ear headphones are lightweight with specially-shaped ear pads for hours of comfortable listening. The headphones come with a USB charging cable, a straight audio cable with in-line remote/microphone, and 1/4" and airline adapters. The ear cups swivel to fold flat for easy storage in the soft zippered travel case.
NoiseGard: The PXC 550s feature Sennheiser's proprietary NoiseGard Hybrid adaptive noise cancelling which shuts out the noisiest environments, creating your own quiet space. Two microphones on the outside of the ear cups work as a feed-forward active noise cancellation system to reduce high-frequency noise, while two microphones inside the ear cups act as a feed-back active noise cancellation system to reduce noise in the low-frequency band. There are two NoiseGard settings to choose from: NoiseGard attenuates the ambient noise to the maximum extend, while Adaptive NoiseGard varies the noise cancellation effect depending upon the intensity level of the ambient noise. You can also turn off NoiseGard when noise cancellation is not needed.
Bluetooth: The headphones feature Bluetooth version 4.2 for listening to your mobile devices wirelessly. They support the following profiles: Headset Profile (HSP v.1.2), Handsfree Profile (HFP v.1.6), Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP v.1.3), and Device ID Profile (DIP v.1.3). You can immediately pair the headphones with compatible Android devices using NFC (Near-Field Communication) by simply touching them together. The Bluetooth range is approximately 33 feet (10 meters). The headphones feature aptX audio coding for high-fidelity wireless audio performance.
Touch-sensitive Panel: On the outside of the right ear cup is a touch pad that allows you to control your music and phone calls with taps and swipes. You can control the volume up or down with vertical swipes. You can pause and play your music with a single tap, skip to the next or previous track with a forward or backward swipe, and fast forward or rewind a track with a forward or backward swipe and hold. Phone controls include accept/reject a call, put a call on hold, and switch between 2 active calls.
Sound Effect Modes: There are several Effect Modes to choose from to enhance the quality of the audio depending upon what you're listening to. You can choose from the following modes:
- Movie: For more exciting entertainment (best for movies)
- Club: For more room impression (best for music)
- Speech: For higher intelligibility (best for audiobooks or podcasts)
- Director: When using CapTune, the Director Mode lets you create a custom sound effect using Boost, Spatial, Reverberation, and DLC adjustments.
Call Enhancement: The Call Enhancement feature utilizes Sennheiser's VoiceMax technology to make your phone calls clearer and more intelligible. You can activate and deactivate Call Enhancement on the headphones or through the CapTune app.
TalkThrough: The TalkThrough feature allows you to communicate with others around you without having to remove the headphones, even while NoiseGard is on. Tapping twice on the touch pad activates TalkThrough. If you are playing music via Bluetooth or the USB cable, the music pauses. If you are listening using the audio cable, the music is muted.
CapTune: The Sennheiser CapTune smartphone app allows you to optimize the performance of your PXC 550 Wireless headphones. With CapTune, you can personalize the sound of the headphones with different sound effect modes, adjust NoiseGard, activate Call Enhancement for clearer calls, and activate Smart Pause (plays/pauses your music or accept/end calls by taking off or putting on the headphones). You can also view the remaining battery life of the headphones on your device. The app is compatible with iOS (9.0 or later) and Android (4.1 and up) devices.
Voice Prompts: The PXC 550s feature voice prompts that provide audible confirmation of certain actions, such as pairing, power on/off, and effect modes, and volume maximum/minimum. When using CapTune, you can change the voice prompts from English (default) to German, French, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese, Russian, or Korean.
Fold Control: For convenience, the headphones turn off when you fold the ear cups out flat for storage. Likewise, when you fold the ear cups in, as if you're ready to put them on, the power switches on. A click sound and the voice prompts are heard as you twist the ear cups to indicate the power has been turned on or off.
Battery: The Bluetooth and NoiseGard features are powered by a 3.7-volt, 700 mAh Lithium-Polymer rechargeable battery. The battery charges in approximately 3 hours via USB (5V 345mA), using the supplied USB charging cable. A full charge supplies enough power for 20 hours of listening with Bluetooth and NoiseGard on. With Bluetooth turned off, the battery will last an estimated 30 hours with NoiseGard on, with or without audio cable. The battery level can be monitored through a 5-LED meter on the headphone.
USB Cable: In addition to charging the battery, the included USB cable can be used for listening to audio. When you plug the headphones into your computer using the USB cable, you can play music through the PXC 550s. The touch panel controls and Smart Pause feature are active during USB playback.
Audio Cable: The included 56" audio cable lets you listen to your music in 2 modes: active and passive. When you plug the 2.5mm end of the audio cable into the headphones, Bluetooth is deactivated. An in-line 1-button remote/microphone allows you to play/pause your music and make/accept/end calls. The cable terminates into a slender right-angled 3.5mm plug that is compatible with most smartphone cases. Two plug adapters are included: a 1/4" adapter for listening to your home audio components, and an airline adapter for listening to in-flight entertainment while traveling.
- Frequency Response: 17 Hz - 23 kHz
- Impedance: 490 Ω (active); 46 Ω (passive)
- Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 110 dB (1 kHz, 1 Vrms)
- Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): <0.5 % (1 kHz, 100 dB SPL)
- Dimensions (Ear Cup): Width 2.91", Height 4.144", Depth 1.86"
- Weight: 8.2 ounces
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