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Sennheiser MM 50 iP Headset For iPhone - Sennheiser MM 50 iP Headset For iPhone

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell



Our Score:


So, it has the features and the comfort, can the MM 50's deliver a sonic performance to be proud of? Given these are a more entry-level offering you won't benefit from clarity to match the likes of Etymotic, Shure or even Sennheiser's own more expensive models, but it should go without saying that they're still head and shoulders above the ear offending nastiness of the iPhone bundled set.

On first inspection it's immediately apparent that the MM 50's are deliberately bass heavy. This makes for quite a departure from the flatter and crisper sound of the Etymotic hf2s, to the point where the same track can sound radically different when listening on the MM 50s. Primal Scream's 'Uptown', from the new album Beautiful Future, illustrates this well, with the bass line on the MM 50's becoming rather over powering and all encompassing to the detriment of the vocal line and overall composition.

Of course, for the intended market this probably isn't a bad thing, but the promotion of bass over everything else creates a boomy and muddy sound that comes across slightly un-natural and forced. It also means percussion driven tracks, like 'Reckoner' from Radiohead's recent album In Raindows, sound rather flat and lifeless.

On the flip side, it does add a nice level of punch and drive to Hip-Hop, Dance and R'n'B. Take the driving bass drum from Daft Punk's 'Human After All' - it's so loud and dramatic it feels like you have a bass drum wedged between your ears. If this sounds good to you, you'll probably like the MM 50's a lot.

This doesn't negate the fact that there isn't a great deal of subtlety here, though. High frequency clarity is passable but nothing special and when confronted with complicated compositions, like 'Reckoner', or a classical piece like 'Jupiter' from Gustav Holst's The Planets, the MM 50's sound a little dull and uninteresting.

Our only other concern with the MM 50 iPs is that the build quality isn't that astounding. Protection around the wire entries on each earphone isn't exactly heavy duty and neither is the wire itself. Given the lack of a protective case, you'll want to be careful how you treat them.


If you're after a relatively inexpensive but generally good iPhone headset to replace the bundled offering, the MM 50 iPs make a good case for themselves; they're well designed, comfortable and the headset functionality is well delivered. Moreover, if you like your music bass heavy, you'll enjoy the sound they deliver, too. We do feel, however, that the bass bias is a tad excessive while the build quality isn't up to the standards normally expected in this price range. Neither of these issues are deal breakers, but they're factors definitely worth considering.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Value 7
  • Sound Quality 6


August 18, 2008, 1:27 pm

I don't have an iPhone but I do have an iPod Touch. Would the bass heavy sound that these earphones exert be alleviated a little by setting the music EQ to 'Bass Reducer'?

Andy Vandervell

August 18, 2008, 1:34 pm

Quite possibly, yes - but to what extent I couldn't say. In any case, if you're using the touch you may as well look at the CX 300s since they're the same thing sans microphone.


August 18, 2008, 3:49 pm

I was using the CX300's on my iPod Touch and picked up the MM50s last week for my iPhone. They do sound different which was a shock as I would say I prefer the CX300's as these are a bit bassy. Overall though its a massive step up from the bundled Apple ones so I'm happy for now. Paid 㿔 online instead of 㿨 from Apple direct so not toooo bad.


August 18, 2008, 6:16 pm

Agreed with the general theme here. I find the MM 50 iP's very bassy, too much so for my liking (then again I'm an Etymotics fan) but for a good, well priced alternative to the HF2's these are a steal.

Besides ANYTHING that gets owners away from those shocking white buds should be given a humanitarian award in my eyes...


August 18, 2008, 8:47 pm

Wish I had seen the HF2's before now as well as I may well have gotten them instead. Been listening to the MM50's all day now and have to say I have got used to them a bit, but still, very very bass heavy. Strange as all the reviews I read before never said this. Wish I had waitied for the TR Review though.

Andy 4

August 20, 2008, 3:02 pm

Hey Andy - great review, but when are you guys going to review the Beats by Dre? desperate for a decent UK review.


December 23, 2008, 11:52 pm

I actually think these headphones are not bassy enough and I'm not a massive Dance / Hip-Hop listener. I had a pair of CX300's which died and I then 'upgraded' when I purchased an iPhone and I find the bass on the MM50IP to be lacking. I even sent back the first pair thinking there was a fault but the replacment is the same. Do you think I have two faulty pairs. I'm certainly not looking for too much bass but when comparing them to the CX300s they're definitely not the same.


December 4, 2010, 4:09 pm

Hi, I'm a sound engineer, I always use HD25-1's for my work and as result when comes to personal use I look for something a lot more lightweight and subtle. I purchased the MM50 for listening to music on my iPhone. On the whole their pretty good! I do however agree that they are quite keen on 250Hz and lower but I find as most portable music has a rather thin 256 bit rate it's not that bad. Unfortunately, I do have a concern. I'm on my 3rd set in less than a year. The iphone ring on the RCA micro jack (3rd ring) has failed on the last two sets I've had after only 4 months of use. You would think that would only stop the iPhone controls but annoyingly they still work and it the sound that suffers. It goes into a restricted 1 channel mode and is unbearable to listen too! I have been using Sennheiser products for almost 2 decades, they've always been bulletproof! So I'm totally miffed by this consistent problem I have experienced so much so I'm taking it up with my area Sennheiser Trade rep to see if there is a known issue. Anyone else experienced similar?

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