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Headphone Sessions 12/8/2011: beyerdynamic MMX 300

The pinnacle of gaming headphones!

It may not come as a surprise that HeadRoom has some pretty hardcore gamers on staff.  Being a headphone geek and a gamer leaves us in the unique position of wanting gaming headphones that actually sound good! Wait! Is there really such a thing?!  Indeed there is... Mike, one of our resident gamers, has been running these beyer headphones for some time now and has some great things to say! The beyerdynamic MMX 300 is, in our not-so-humble opinion, the best gaming headset on the planet! Amazing audio quality, extremely comfortable ergonomics, and a rugged design all in a singularly steampunk-esque package.  No, this review is not all sunshine and rainbows, so be sure to read the final disclaimer below. However, the MMX 300 is likely the closest thing to an ‘audiophile quality’ headphone currently available in the gaming world. Essentially the MMX 300 is the beyerdynamic DT 770 with an attached microphone and a slightly different carbon fiber look to the ear cups; this is a good thing because the DT 770 is no slouch headphone. The most impressive MMX300 audio feature derived from the DT770 is the excellent clarity and precise detail of high frequencies.  Sounds sparkle and dance with a quickness that's hard to find in many audiophile headphones. We were actually able to detect compression and distortion artifacts present in the game soundtrack during cut scenes, explosions or voice acting due to the incredible resolution of the MMX 300.  The high frequency extension can actually be a touch bright and even slightly grainy depending on the game's sound quality. Mid-range response remains decent, but may lack some warmth in the vocals and gunfire can sound a bit thin on occasion . However, this should not be completely discouraging or a total deal-breaker for the hard-core gamer. The bass of the MMX 300 sounds tight and punchy with accurate texture and detail. It certainly doesn’t boom or overwhelm the audio like most gaming headsets. In fact, we found the bass borderline lean during big explosions. However there is debate among gamers that too much bass response can be distracting in fast-paced online FPS (First Person Shooter) gaming. HeadRoom's conclusion is this headset nails bass quite well; not too 'boomy', not too thin, just right. The condenser microphone on this headset is also professional grade. The voice chat transmission quality is crystal clear and highly intelligible. The adjustability of the mic boom is nearly infinite, so you can always position the mic exactly where you need to avoid the dreaded “heavy breathing into the mic” syndrome. For PS3 users, the USB device has a handy mute button to kill your chat at any time. We do feel beyerdynamic MMX300 headphone benefits significantly from extra amplification. Used directly out of computers, the sound felt very dry, tonally flat, and vanilla boring; it just doesn’t muster the same quickness and authoritative punch without being powered via a dedicated headphone amp. [caption id="attachment_2299" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Beyerdynamic MMX 300"] Beyerdynamic MMX 300[/caption] Overall it’s hard to beat this combination of terrific sound and build quality, not to mention the wide and spacious sound-stage image considering this is a sealed-back headphone. By the way, you can use the MMX 300 to listen to your favorite music too with superb results. If you are serious about gaming and serious about absolute best sound quality in the category, the Beyer MMX 300 is one of the only options we know of well worth its high price tag. NOTE: PS3 / XBox CONNECTIVITY DISCLAIMER! If buying the beyerdynamic MMX300 headset for use with Sony PS3 or Xbox 360, prepare to be slightly disappointed. Plugging the supplied USB device into your PS3 -- or the headphone outputs into your Xbox controller -- will only provide the voice chat of other online players. It does NOT send the game soundtrack audio to the headphones. They only way to hear the actual game audio is to use a headphone amp and the composite (red/white) audio output from your console. Or, better yet, use the optical output of your console to a DAC/headphone amp for the best sound quality. Some hardcore gamers take things even further and add a second headphone amp to combine the chat audio into the game audio for the very best seamless audio experience. Features:
  • Full size circumaural design
  • Sealed headphone to help with noise isolation
  • Velour earpads
  • Leather headband
  • Cable 2.5m (8ft) terminated in dual ⅛” mini stereo plugs
  • USB device w/ 1.5m (5ft) cable terminated in full size standard USB type A
  • Carrying case
  • 5 year warranty

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