The solution is to wear the 'phones in the traditional in-ear arrangement: put them in upside down and loop the cords back over your lugholes. Sennheiser clearly has this in mind, because the configuration minimises clothing snags that could yank the buds out while you're walking and practically eliminates body-cable noise.
Also available in white
The MM50s come with the medium-sized sleeves already fitted, but we found them just too large to be comfortable. Switching to the smaller pair made for a better fit and better noise reduction. That's an entirely personal judgement, of course, but it shows that it pays to try all the options, not make do with the default, as it were.
With the right sleeves and a wide selection of musical genres on the old iPhone, we took a trip on the tube. The MM50s won't rid you of background noise altogether, but the reduction makes a big difference to your listening enjoyment. And to your aural health too, we'd say, since it permits you to hear what's being played without pushing the volume on your player right up.
On regular 'phones, even that doesn't come close to drowning out the roar of an arriving underground train, but the MM50s got there with the iPhone volume on 50 per cent. As we say, the noise isn't eliminated, but it's muffled sufficiently for you to hear every bit of your songs. And you can still pick up station announcements unless you want to be totally lost in music.
Purists might not call the results hi-fi, but it was plenty good enough for us. Elsewhere, in rather more quiet surroundings, the MM50s produced a very pleasant sound with a good bit of bass oomph. We'd have liked the higher frequencies to be a little clearer, but that's not to say they're muddy or missing.
A rather bulky dongle, yesterday
Rock, pop, folk, country and classical - the MM50s handled them all with aplomb. We've never found standard iPods phones particularly bad, but the improvement here should be clear to all.
Loop the other way and all is good
If you look the headphones around the back of your neck then the different lengths make more sense. Also that way you can easily run the cord down under your shirt to your pocket where its nicely stashed. Saves having to faff around trying to loop the buggers over the backs of your ear. :)
Good for the HTC Touch HD too!
I had these delivered from Amazon today for my HTC Touch HD and they're great! The stock HTC headphones were designed with giants or dumbo-eared individuals in mind as the phones themselves are HUGE and uncomfortable.
With the HTC, though, the mic button has no functionality when using the MP3 player. When using the phone, it can be used to answer calls, a short press puts the call on hold and a long press hangs it up. Otherwise, when there's no call in progress and no incoming call a long press on the button brings up the voice dial function.
Definitely a good buy and far cheaper than the article suggests - got mine for just over £37!!
I have these
or last year's version, anyway. Great sounding headphones but the snagging problem is incredibly annoying. I find the rubbery texture of the cables create a ratchett effect on the inside of my coat, pulling the cable down slowly as i walk along, until I have to yank a length of cord up at the top to free up my head.
The button/microphone is very badly placed - it continually catches on my collar and yanks the left-hand earpiece out.
Having said that, I'm not sure what could be done to improve these problems - smoother cables would move easier but pick up more rustling noise, and the microphone can't really go anywhere else...
I've had these for a couple of months - the button aside, I can't fault them at all.
The sound is a lot more pleasing to me than the Bose in ears I was using previously and like Sebastian, I prefer the asymmetric cord.
Not had chance to try the mic yet, partly out of the fact it seems to hang a hell of a lot further from my mouth than the mic on the standard iPhone headphones.. Still dislike the tiny, hard to feel for button on these though.. The amount of misclicks I make when I do find it is an annoyance too, since I often find myself stopping tracks by accident, rather than skipping on or back as intended.
Had my MM50 for two months
I have used a pair of MM50 daily for two months and I think they are great! And I actually prefer some of the features that aren't appreciated in this review, probably because I mainly use it as a handsfree.
I had previously two revisions of the V-Moda headset, both littered with design and build quality problems (the jack failed after two weeks on both, the cylindrical mic always pointed in the wrong direction and the on/off button was hardly locatable at all -- not even on the second revision). So I tried the MM50.
-Nice weight and fit (works very well under a helmet when snowboarding)
-Reasonable mic (sometimes too low volume, don't know if it is the MM50 or iPhone)
-Asymetric cords -- I LOVE IT -- the rubber on the cords makes it stick and earphone at the end anchors nicely around the neck (typical handsfree setup)
-The on/off button is easily operated without looking at the mic, even with leather gloves
-The cord tangles a lot less than the v-moda
I have experienced that the buds yank out of the ear, but only when I catch the cord. I find that the rubberised cords actually reduce the "pull" from clothing (when used as a handsfree).
My verdict would be that this is a solid everyday handsfree which is also great for listening to music. If you use it mainly as a stereo headset and only occasionally to talk, I can imagine that you might find better alternatives.