Beyerdynamic is known for making top quality audio products. Their MMX 300 is no exception. Though the $400 dollar price point is steep, you can take comfort in knowing that out of the box the headset is top of the line. There are no drivers, no updates, just a standard headphone and mic audio jack that can either be plugged directly into your computer, or can be streamlined and placed into a standard USB input. The design is comfortable, it fits well over the ear and the steel metal band is easy to adjust. Though the construction is top-notch, what really shines about MMX 300 is its premium sound quality. Beyerdynamic is known for their aviation headsets and it’s clear that they’ve applied their extensive background in aviation to create an utterly outstanding product for gamers and audiophiles everywhere. There are no gimmicks, no frills, this headset is exactly what it claims to be: crystal clear audio quality and superior hardware that once experienced will make you wonder how you gamed this long without it.
I’ve been testing these headphones extensively for approximately two months now. I’ve spent hours gaming and listening to music, doing recording tests, talking on Skype, Ventrilo, Mumble, and more. I’ve received comments from friends and gaming compatriots in my tests claiming that it’s almost like I’m in a soundproof booth talking to them, even when explosions are bellowing through the headphones at their maximum. The microphone is amazing at locking into only what needs to be heard, cutting out a lot of outside interference/background noise and focusing instead on the user’s microphone interaction.
"Though the construction is top-notch, what really shines about MMX 300 is its premium sound quality."
I took the time to compare the MMX 300 to a couple of my favorite headsets: the Plantronics Gamescom and the Astro A40’s. In both cases the MMX 300 out-performed both of these headsets acoustically and in terms of comfort -- I’ll go into exactly why a bit later, but considering that both of the comparisons are marketed as premium gaming headsets, contain their own drivers, mixers and USB connections I have to admit it was a breath of fresh air to be able to just plug and play the MMX 300 without any concern for driver updates or anything else.
Let’s talk in-depth about sound. The quality of the MMX300 is absolutely outstanding, you don’t have to be an audiophile to realize that, but there’s a bit of a catch. Though the sound isn’t compressed, I noticed that its sound stage varied in terms of quality. Low range bass was picked up perfectly, but it came at the sacrifice of mid-range. For example: explosions and gunfire in a game like Battlefield: Hardline and the roar of zombies in titles like Dying Light are picked up so dynamically they’re almost real, but game soundtracks tended to suffer just a tad because they were washed away by overwhelming sound effects. I also noticed that music experiences varied as well due to this fact. Electronica, rap, dubstep, metal - really anything with deep low-end bass was a treat to listen to, but other, more mid-range music like jazz and rock suffered a little in terms of bass quality. Treble and mids are very well balanced lending to a neutral sound that efficiently manages to pick up on low-end as well. Given the fact that these are marketed as gaming headphones I am willing to overlook a lot of the disparity in music and say that Beyerdynamic really honed in on just the right levels to best suit gamers.
"The quality of the MMX300 is absolutely outstanding, you don’t have to be an audiophile to realize that, but there’s a bit of a catch."
The MMX300 has brilliant isolation, cutting out almost all outside noise. Putting on the headphones immediately flushes out anything in the background and immerses the player in the world of gaming bliss, boosting sound and drastically improving the user experience. It made my wife’s world a nightmare seeing as it was almost impossible for her to get my attention, but I found it to be the perfect headset for late-night gaming sessions that didn’t require my attention to be focused on anything or anyone else.
Comparing the sound of the MMX300 to the Plantronics Gamescom and Astro A40, there’s simply no competition. I will say that I did end up putting the MMX300 into the Astro Mixamp Pro that I have lying around but I did this mainly for optimal sound control. The Gamescom is my go-to headset simply for ease of use, and when swapping between the MMX300 and the Gamescom I immediately noticed how flat the Gamescom’s sound is. I noticed a similar occurrence when using the A40’s as well, but it wasn’t quite as apparent. Furthermore, going from simulated Dolby surround to true surround with headset options configured in game was an evident improvement. Doing so did away with any simulated reverb and made sound much more clear and focused.
The MMX300 has velour fabric surrounding the cups of the headphones themselves. This adds comfort and breathability, which is something most closed headsets lack. Though still not quite as breathable as open headsets, the MMX300 chose to focus more on isolation, so it’s a bit of a system of give-and-take: sacrifice isolation for breathability or vice-versa. Personally I didn’t mind the build of the MMX300 one bit. It didn’t get too hot, caused no sweat, and I found that they maintained a comfortable temperature range even during long (3-4 hour) gaming sessions.
"This is easily the best gaming headset I’ve ever used. Its price point will definitely be out of the range of a lot of users, but those that are capable of purchasing the MMX300 will know that it’s not money squandered."
The cups of the headset surrounded my ears flawlessly. There was no pinching or pressure and the headband wasn’t too tight. This was a huge improvement compared to the Plantronics Gamescom which is horribly uncomfortable when worn for anything more than a period of a couple hours. It didn’t quite match the comfort-level of the Astro A40’s, but it was very close, and I still found the MMX300 the preferable option when considering everything else it has going for it. The MMX300 is very good at staying in place once configured. The adjustable siding clicks into place with ease and doesn’t move at all, something that my Astro A40’s did quite frequently. The microphone is on a swivel that can be rotated up or down and the extension itself is also quite pliant making it easily adjustable in a variety of configurations.
The MMX300 has what is easily one of the best microphones on the market for a gaming headset. Assuming my internet connection was stable enough (thanks for nothing, Comcast) I was heard flawlessly during Skype calls, and still experienced decent quality when using Ventrilo or Mumble. In-game mic use varied a bit, but that’s mainly due to how good the VOIP was in the games I was playing. At one point while playing Evolve I actually got a comment from a user asking what kind of mic I was using. He was convinced I was using a standing desktop mic like an AT2020 (Audio-Technica). Once I told him the brand he immediately complimented it. I’ve never once had that happen to me in my entire (twenty-something) history of gaming. That’s a true story, and a testament to how well built this headset is.
Obviously this blows my two comparison headsets out of the water, especially the Astro A40’s which are known to have notoriously poor mic designs. The MMX300’s mic had better isolation, positioning, and sound than both the Gamescom and the Astro A40 as well. It was really no contest in this regard. This is easily the best gaming headset I’ve ever used. Its price point will definitely be out of the range of a lot of users, but those that are capable of purchasing the MMX300 will know that it’s not money squandered. You’ll be comfortable in knowing that dollar for dollar this is without a doubt one of the best, if not the best, wired gaming headset money can buy. Great job, Beyerdynamic, you’ve truly managed to impress me.
Review by: Palmer Sturman