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Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless

Noise-canceling Bluetooth® headphones

45 Reviews | 3 questions - 12 answers

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Overview

Our take on the Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless

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.  

Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless

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.

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.

Product Highlights:

  • 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

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

Featured Video

Great headphones. Tried Bose which were very comfortable, but these are just as light and comfortable. Tried Sony which had better sound and these have better sound to match. Three noise cancelling settings give plenty of options.

Bill, Elberton, GA

Reviews

Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(45 Reviews)
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Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

General
Fit Style Over-the-ear
Earcup Type Closed
Earcup Width x Height 2.91 x 4.144
Noise-canceling Yes
Mic For Taking Calls Yes
iPhone Control Yes
Lightning Connector No
Android Control Yes
Frequency Response 17-23k Hz
Sensitivity 110 dB
Impedance 46 Ohms
Weight 8.2 ounces
Cord Length 56"
1/4-inch Adapter Included Yes
Storage Case
Charging Case No
Volume Control Yes
Parts Warranty 2 Years
Labor Warranty 2 Years

Product Research

Features

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.

Specifications:

  • 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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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

After researching various head phones, I thought the Sennheiser's were possibly the best! [ Randy  Aug 17, 2018 ]
Sennheiser makes terrific audio listening equipment. I have been buying their product for years, and who better to purchase Sennheiser products from than Crutchfield. It's a win-win proposition. [ Robert  Aug 07, 2018 ]
Price and tap to switch [ Bruce  Aug 06, 2018 ]
I have purchased Sennheiser earbud head phones before and they make excellent head phones. There products are top notch. There sound are very very crisp and clear. Nothing cheap about this company. [ RUBIN  Jun 30, 2018 ]
Brady's advise [ Robert  Jun 11, 2018 ]
I was looking for high-quality, noise-cancelling headphones and Sennheiser is a name of great quality. [ Vincent  Jun 08, 2018 ]
I have other Sennheiser headphones and I think they are among the best out there. So when I wanted noise-cancelling headphones, they were my first option. [ elmer  Jun 06, 2018 ]
Review in flyer. Touch to turn off feature. [ John  May 16, 2018 ]
Discussed with Maverick and seemed to meet criteria I was interested in and he did a great job explaining. [ J  Apr 14, 2018 ]
I got a Sennheiser headset, 20 years old, and it still works well but it does show its age.. The Sony headset lasted five years before the ear pads fell apart. [ Dean  Mar 06, 2018 ]
I have been a fan of Sennheiser products since I bought my first pair of HD 598's three years back. They are well made and still work perfectly. The only reason I am buying a new pair is because I wanted the additional Bluetooth and noise cancelling capabilities for being out and about. [ Samuel  Jan 17, 2018 ]
Read a favorable review [ DAVID  Dec 29, 2017 ]
Great quality with other Sennheiser products I've used [ PAUL  Dec 14, 2017 ]
After researching and reading many reviews for noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones the PXC seemed to cover most of the qualifications I was looking for. [ SB  Nov 27, 2017 ]
quality and features [ Rafael  Oct 26, 2017 ]
friend told me about them [ Mollie  Sep 12, 2017 ]
expert suggestion [ Eric  Sep 01, 2017 ]
My HDR175 model would not work with our new Samsung tv so I ordered the new wireless PXC550 model to hookup via the Bluetooth feature on the tv. Love our Sennheiser [ Laura  Aug 02, 2017 ]
For my stereo [ Stewart  Jul 20, 2017 ]
To use with devices for travel etc. The pic 550 wireless had best reviews one Bose quiet comfort. [ Alexander  Jul 10, 2017 ]
Good balance of excellent sound quality and convenience of Bluetooth and ANC. They also have a nice app that is setup to work with Tidal for Hi-Fi. [ RAJ  Jun 18, 2017 ]
I needed a private listening device where I could clearly hear voices in movies that I watch. [ Charles  May 14, 2017 ]
Online recommendation [ stevenson  Apr 20, 2017 ]
Best in Class [ David  Feb 14, 2017 ]
the best headset on the market [ Anatoly  Feb 09, 2017 ]
For the noise cancelling feature [ Wesley  Jan 27, 2017 ]
I Like the HI. QuaLitY of SennHeiser! It's My 1st Time $ Buying These H.-PhoNes.â?º [ Barry E.  Jan 21, 2017 ]
I have a pair of wired Sennheiser headphones that sound great. So, when it came time to replace my Plantronics Backseat Pros, I decided to give these a shot. I will be using them in an open office environment and on travel. [ NICHOLAS  Jan 08, 2017 ]
My girlfriend tried them and said they were awesome. Also my QC35 wasn't connecting well to my Samsung S6. [ Nicholas  Dec 27, 2016 ]
best mix of sound quality, convenience and communications features [ Joshua  Nov 28, 2016 ]
Sennheiser has a good reputation for quality in headphones. I am replacing a Bose headphone set which failed in with less than 2 years of light use. Like that Sennheiser offers a 2 year parts and labor warranty compared to Bose's 1 year warranty. [ Roger  Nov 17, 2016 ]

3 questions already asked

It's okay. the App lets you adjust it. Very good sounding Headphone. Excellent Bluetooth Sound Think my 1More Triple Driver in-Ear Ear Bugs have better base [ JULIUS  Jun 29, 2018 ]
It has enough bass for me but you may have different requirements. [ Richard A  Jun 28, 2018 ]
I can't personally answer as I bought these as a gift. However, the person who received the headphones really, really likes the headphones. [ CARNIE C  Jun 28, 2018 ]
The bass isn't overly powerfull. It is realistic and not artificial. Perfectly balanced for a multitude of music styles. [ Stephen  Jun 28, 2018 ]
These headphones - PXC 550 - have very good sound - they are not bass heavy but have a well rounded, balanced sound. I am a bass player and am not disappointed. I like tight bass not boomy bass and these are not the latter. I really have enjoyed these headphones - they are great for air travel using the noise cancelation. Would I buy them again? Absolutely! [ MIKE J  Jun 28, 2018 ]
Yes. Good headphones. Noise cancelling is OK...not as good on airplanes--difficult to assess ahead of time. [ Laurence  Jun 28, 2018 ]
They do a good job on most noise. [ harry  Jun 11, 2018 ]
You will in fact hear both the car horn & your neighbor's lawn mower! These headphones do not block out noise, they muffle noise to a comfortable level! I had the Bose prior to purchasing these and I'd say they they both perform about the same. The main difference that I noticed between the two is regarding fit! The ear cups on the Sennheiser are surprisingly small. I have small ears & can't imagine how these can be comfortable for people with normal size let alone large ears. The Bose were definitely more comfortable in this sense! I use mine exclusively for air travel and other than fit, have been very happy with my purchase. You can still hear crying babies and muffled voices of people chatting, however at a very acceptable level. Given a choice, I will however purchase a pair of Bose if I'm in the market fo NC headphones again! [ Stanley  Jun 11, 2018 ]
Transient sounds are not suppressed as much as sustained ones. So if the horn varies rapidly like an alarm, it will be significantly more audible than if it is sustained blaring. [ Mark  Jun 11, 2018 ]
Yes, they are perfect for that. I wear mine on airplanes all the time. They cancel out the engines and wind noise beautifully yet the announcements come right through. [ Byron  Jun 11, 2018 ]
I have not been in that specific situation, but I can tell you that the 550's are so amazing that my son's teenage friends argue over who gets to use them on a regular basis. You can't go wrong [ Jonathan  Jun 11, 2018 ]
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