Sennheiser MB660 MS: This wireless, noise-cancelling headset can be used for listening or phone conversations, or for when you just need things to be quieter.
I compared it to a set of Bose QC35, Plantronics Voyager 8200, and Sennheiser PXC550, which are in the same price range and with reportedly similar capabilities. The Sennheiser PXC550 and MB660 look identical but are not. If you are looking for a headset for use with Skype, Lync, or other telephony applications on a computer, focus on this unit (MB 660 MS) or the Plantronics set. The PXC550 and Bose sets are not so good at that.
I have been using it intermittently for about a month, in an office setting and while traveling by air.
- Touchpad control with context-sensitive swipes, taps, and holds. It's easy to do something without meaning to (like hanging up the phone, redialing, turning on or off music, turning off noise-cancellation). Very annoying, and almost a deal-breaker right there. It took me several days to get used to them, after which they were fine
- There are some mechanical controls (a button and two mechanical slides) for less-frequently used functions. These controls are TINY. It's hard to even find them, much less see what they are set to.
- Music sounds great. Clearer than the Bose or Plantronics sets. comparable to the other Sennheiser
- Noise cancelling is very good. Not quite as good as the Bose.
- On/off switch when you fold/unfold them. If they're folded they're off. Not folded, on. No worries about whether you left them on to run down the batteries.
- Bluetooth connection to phone works well, pairs easily, and has reasonably long range.
- USB/dongle connection to computer works well with Skype and Webex.
- Comfortable to wear. I have a large head and fairly large ears, and the earcups fit over nicely and seal well, and my ears don't overheat
- Comfortable to listen to. They don't make that pressurized feeling that Bose users sometimes report (I noticed it also)
- Battery life seems good. Sennheiser claims 30 Hrs. I've used mine for about 20 without a recharge. Recharges with a standard micro-USB cable.
- Feels solidly made. Hinges, slides, and swivels move smoothly, and feel like they could stand some aggressive use.
- Comes with a hardshell carrying case. The case is comparable in robustness to the Bose case, and is much nicer than what comes with the Plantronics or the other Sennheiser.
- Though it can connect to a computer via the computer's internal bluetooth, telecoms apps like Skype and Webex don't work well with this unit unless the connection is made through the (included) bluetooth/USB dongle.
- The noise cancelling is adjustable, in case you want to dial back the effect. The adjustment can only be made via a phone using the Sennheiser app.
- Can also be connected to phone or computer by USB cable or standard audio cable. Automatically turns off bluetooth when a cable is connected, which is good for use on airplanes.
- Standard audio cable works even when the battery has run down, so it can be used for listening to music in that situation. Probably would not work for phone calls. I have not tried either.
- The Sennheiser app can be used to adjust equalizer settings on other speakers that connect to your phone, such as the phone's internal speakers or a car's bluetooth. Each speaker is adjusted independently.
- There is an auto-pause feature that is supposed to pause your music when you take off the headset. I found that it stops and starts the music inconsistently. That feature can only be turned on or off using the app, and by default it is off.
- A much less expensive alternative is the Audio-technica ATH-ANC7B SVIS. It is a step below the Bose in sound cancelling and a step below the Sennheiser in sound quality, needs a wire for connections and doesn't have the fancy digital features. But at <1/2 the price it is quite serviceble.