My featured gadget this week: the Sennheiser MM400 Bluetooth Headphones. When I bought these headphones more than three years ago, most folks didn’t know what Bluetooth was, and still fewer were using headphones that incorporated the technology. Well, now most folks know that Bluetooth is a wireless standard that allows short-range communication between electronic devices.
I live in a very walk-able town, Birmingham, Michigan, so I tend to walk a lot. While doing so, I’m usually also singing at the top of my lungs. What am I singing? Whatever is playing on my iPhone. The iPhone is usually tucked away in my pocket, and it communicates wirelessly to my MM400s. I control everything from the buttons on my headphones, including the volume level and the song I want to hear. If I get a phone call in the midst of my street performance, I merely press a button on the headset and voila! I’m talking to the caller. When I finish the call, the music picks up where it left off. This is all part of something known as the Bluetooth A2DP standard.
Devices like these are pretty standard these days, but three years ago they were still kind of novel. So what makes these headphones so great, you ask? Well, for starters, the sound quality is tremendous — close to what I’ve experienced on standard wired headsets. Second, the little rechargeable battery in the unit lasts for 8 or 9 hours, so my singing performance is rarely interrupted (much to the chagrin of my fellow Birminghamians). Third, the headphones can be connected the old-fashioned way, via wire, and I have used this option sometimes to connect to in-flight entertainment systems and other sources that are not Bluetooth enabled. Finally, I rarely experience any radio interference or dropouts with these headphones. I’ve owned several Bluetooth headsets before these , but the MM400s are by far the best.
Before writing this post, I went on Amazon to check the price and availability of these headphones so I could pass that information along. Well, it seems that the MM400 is being discontinued in favor of a new model MM400-X. The new one looks pretty much the same to me, but I’m guessing it is somehow improved. At any rate, I’m still happy with my 3-year old model. I’ve worn these things around town in the rain, snow, and sweltering heat with nary a problem. I’m sticking with ’em.
The MM400 and the new MM400-X both retail for about $200. I bought mine used (factory refurbished, through Amazon) for $99.00. I see that similar offers still exist there. I also see that many other manufacturers have introduced new or updated Bluetooth headphones since I bought mine. You would do well to check out the reviews and otherwise research the alternatives before investing in a pair of your own.
If you have these cans, or if you get them, let me know what you think!