BeyerDynamic MMX300 Headset
Thanks to CaseKing for supplying the sample.
CaseKing is one of the few companies out there, which will not just sell anything. They only offer hardware that performs well and is of high quality. The shop offers quite a few exclusive parts and devices from all around the world and it is also the official distributor for a long list of well known manufacturers. Their assortment has grown greatly in recent years, while great service and support is still a very important part of the shop philosophy. The website may be in German, but due to great demand, an English version is in the works.
Beyerdynamic known for their quality headphones have now expanded their business to included gaming headsets as well. The first in the new gaming line from beyerdynamic is the MMX 300 which features a boom microphone and durable design. The MMX 300 headset looks like a fake carbon fiber version with microphone of the DT770 that many of us know and cherish. Design wise the MMX 300 stands out from the crowd because of its fat pleather covered headband along with aluminum cup holders. Quality costs and the MMX 300 is no exception, at $299/€299 this headset is one of the most expensive on the market today.
Unfortunately for all Europeans, beyerdynamic have a ridiculous 1:1 conversion rate of $ to € which means we get to pay 30% more than the Americans. So if you want one you better get a friend to grab one while he or she is in the States. This is especially funny considering that the headset is made and assembled in Germany.
That beyerdynamic is all about quality can come to no surprise to anyone who has ever laid hands on some of their designs even the packaging is well made.
The rest of the bundle is quite neat. You get a manual, USB sound card, 1/8" to 1/4" adapter.
Beyerdynamic include a USB sound card with each set of MMX 300s. The USB sound card is nowhere near as well built as the headset itself, and does not feel that sturdy.
Like most of the other details on the MMX 300s the mini-jacks are of a very high standard. The cable also seems thicker and better assembled than those featured on Razer and Sennheiser headsets. A 1/8" to 1/4" adapter is also included in the bundle if you wish to use the headset with a headphone amplifier instead of the headphone outs on your sound card.
Beyerdynamic went for the carbon fiber look with the MMX 300s, and it is semi successful. It does make the headset look distinctively different than any headphone beyerdynamic produces, but on the downside it does make them look a little tacky.
The headband is one of the best built I have ever laid my hands on. It has a metal interior and the outside is covered with decent quality pleather. The size adjustment mechanism feels both precise and sturdy unlike that featured on most of the plastic fantastic headsets out there.
You cannot help but notice the metal cup holders and headband assembly. It gives this headset a solid feel and look. The metal parts are a nice touch and it also means that the headset is almost indestructible, at least compared to its all plastic competitors.
The microphone is mounted on a flexible boom and is easy to adjust.
Like the other higher end beyerdynamic designs the MMX 300 uses big fat velour pads.
Another nice detail is the cable damper mounted on the headphones. It is bigger than normal and attached on the inside of the cups.
The carbon look-a-like exterior is a bit ugly even though the imitation is well made.
The beyerdynamic MMX 300 headset is really interesting because it is beyerdynamic's first go at designing a gaming headset. The MMX 300s bear a close resemblance to the company's well performing DT770s which have been around for ages. It is clear that the MMX 300s are not a set of DT770s with a microphone attached. The MMX 300s are way easier to drive and have a slightly deemphasized low end compared to the stock DT770s thus giving them a more mid centric sound. Sound stage performance wise this headset is ahead of the pack. Compared to the Razer Carcharias and Megalodon the MMX 300s are just so much better in all aspects. Before we began critical listening, the headset had been burning in for over 200 hours.
Besides in-game tests done with a Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic this headset was also tested with the following DAPs: Cowon D2, HiFiMAN HM-801 (standard amplifier module) and via line out to FiiO E5, and last but not least on the iPhone 4. What surprised me was just how easy these headphones are to power. Out of the XtremeMusic you get an extremely pleasing sound quality, and the story is the same even when powered from an iPhone 4 which has a less powerful amplification stage.
Unlike many other higher end headsets from big manufacturers beyerdynamic are producing the MMX 300 in Germany along with their other headphones, and not getting them produced off site by some OEM vendor. The top notch build and assembly quality makes the MMX 300s almost unbreakable. Everything about the headset just feels so incredibly well made and there is no slack in any of the joints.
While the amount of bass is good for theatrics in games and music listening it does not serve a purpose when it comes to competitive gaming. I think there is something to be gained by turning down the bass for gaming with this headset in order to let the mids and highs be even more pronounced. This is easily done with the equalizer of any modern sound card. The MMX 300s are slightly warm sounding with a boost in the bass department and a focused midrange. For "fun" gaming where you are just playing against the computer the bass is great because it adds to the thrill. For online games where positional audio is important it can be a bit too much.
The midrange conveys details way better than any headset I have ever heard. This is great because 90% of the in-game positional clues exist in this frequency scoop. The high end is not bad either it is just less detailed. Detail wise it is good enough for gaming because you are clearly able to distinguish critical sounds from background noise.
The USB sound card sounds like that of any other mid end solution I have come across in the past year. The trouble with the USB sound cards in general is that you have to fit both a DAC and two amplifiers inside it. To add to the problem, the USB port can only supply 5V and 500-900 mA, which means the manufacturer have to use chips that are suboptimal due to these limitations. Another issue with USB attached audio devices is high amounts of jitter. Currently the MMX 300s are not available without the USB sound card which is a shame because it is barely usable and is most likely the most expensive part of the bundle.
Value & Conclusion
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This headset could easily have been our all time favorite because it combines so many great virtues. Its greatest vice besides the hefty price tag is without a doubt the 1:1 conversion rate going on at the moment. In Europe this headset is available for a staggering €299 and in the states it sells for the same amount just in Dollars. Considering the exchange rate between the two currencies, Europeans are effectively paying 30% more than buyers in the USA.<br />
Besides the obvious pricing issues the beyerdynamic MMX 300s proved to be quite a treat for the ears. Compared to other headphones and headsets costing around € 200-300 they can definitely hold their own even when it comes to music reproduction and detail retrieval. It is clear that the MMX 300s have a slightly modified sound signature compared to the other beyerdynamic models I have come across, but I suspect this is to make it better for gaming.<br />
The bass is quite prominent and has a tendency to drown some lower midrange details, but this is easily remedied by using an equalizer.
i know you said that these phones don't require a lot of power but did you happen to test the sound with its own amp?
There is a version Headzone Game at USD 1290 and it mentions the headset is MMX300, so is that the exactly same headphone as this USD 299 one? the amp/decoder alone cost USD 1000?!?
The tricked out amp/dac is worth USD 1000. The MMX 300s are the same.
omg, in your opinion how much MMX 300 can benefit from that $1000 amp compared to usb soundcard? $1000 is crazy, already can buy a lower mid range A/V Receiver.
I think the DAC/amp beyer are using has some kind of virtual surround processing capability but I have not looked that much into it.
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