The Sennheiser PXC 550 Noise Cancelling Bluetooth headphones have a uniquely advanced design. To wit, the Sennheiser PXC 550 NC controls are activated by gently touching the right earcup surface with one finger. The earcup acts as a touch-sensitive surface (like a laptop touchpad) that allows the listener to access all headphone functions such as volume setting, track skip/reverse, incoming call control and more. Not only is it intuitive to learn (slide up/down for volume; left/right for track forward/back; tap/hold for other functions) but the touch control also eliminates clumsy fumbling for recessed buttons. Call it a stylish win for us fat-fingered types.
Another great plus is an excellent app called CapTune Sennheiser has created for the PXC 550 wireless headphones. The app enables an EQ algorithm with 3 factory pre-sets ('Club"; "Movies'; 'Speech') along with a fully customizable user EQ preset. You can also adjust the amount of noise-cancellation in the PXC 550 via the app all the way from full-on attenuation for very noisy airline or train travel down to completely off for those times when you want to remain aware of your surroundings.
Either a quick tap of the app or touching the earcup directly will activate the useful 'Talk-Through' feature which turns on an external mic while automatically pausing the music so you don't have to take the headphones off to engage in a quick conversation. No more yanking the headphones off your head just to order a drink from the airline steward or answer a question from a colleague. Brilliant!
The sound of the Sennheiser PXC-550 is startlingly brisk for the noise-cancelling category with good dynamics and that distinctly smooth Sennheiser tone heard in their classic audiophile cans like the HD650. Good acoustic extension at both ends of the frequency spectrum with clean focus on the midranges deliver the kind of musical clarity old 'NC' headphones simply could not muster. The impressive midrange space gives voices and singer/songwriter fare (and phone calls) excellent intelligibility. The even-toned presentation maintains a thin veil towards the uppermost highs that effectively keeps stridency out of your ears. It's a round sound suitable for music of all styles.
The Sennheiser PXC550 charging time from empty to full status is less than 4 hrs and the battery run-time in wireless ANC mode is 20 hours (30 hours using the included 'wired' cable with ANC engaged). Easy NFC Bluetooth pairing with either Android or Apple devices makes going wireless a quick breeze.
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