For frequent travelers, the noise cancelling headphones are a prized companion accessory. I personally find flying a much nicer experience when I can listen to my music or movie with as little of that cabin drone as possible.
Sennheiser is rolling out a new high-end headphone option for those who love sound, hate outside noises, and prefer to go wireless. Last month the microphone and headphone manufacturer announced a partnership with the Dallas Mavericks NBA team to make the upcoming MM 550 headphones the official traveling headset of the team.
Having the headset being attached to the Mavs won't increase your vertical (at least it did nothing for mine), but we decided to check out what aural qualities the MM 550 has at a recent pre-CES event.
First of all, it support wireless Bluetooth A2DP, so you don't need to deal with cords if you have a music player that supports the standard. If you're out of juice from all the wireless and noise cancelling use (which we're told lasts 12 hours), the headset also supports a cord for the old fashioned method.
We tested the noise cancelling feature in the busy and noisy room we were in and found the cancellation effective, though we'd have to take it on planes, trains and automobiles before we can say if it bests other competing offerings.
What we found particularly innovative was a technology called TalkThrough, which eliminates the need to remove the headset from your head if you need to hear someone talking to you. A quick press of the button activates a feature that pipes the audio from the outside world into the headphones. Amazingly, this feature works at the same time as noise cancellation. We tested this feature at the booth as well, and were able to clearly hear the Sennheiser representative talk amidst all the ambient noise.
The Dallas Mavericks have these now, but for the rest of us, these are set to ship in the second half of November for $499.95.