Looking for a set of noise cancelling headphones? Here’s why the Sennheiser PXC 550-II are my go to headphones for travel!
When I started looking for a replacement for my original Sennheiser PXC 550 travel headphones I was lost in a huge range of options. But after looking around and checking out heaps of options I kept coming up short on a pair that matched their spec and style.
In the end the Sennheiser PXC 550-II was the obvious choice – the same noise cancelling headphones I’ve loved and used on the road for over 3 years, but with some tweaks and upgrades…
REVIEW: Sennheiser PXC 550-II Travel Headphones
Farewell PXC 550s!
Up until a few months ago I was rocking the original Sennheiser PXC 550 headphones, and they’ve be my go to headphones of choice for just over 3 years.
But in the last 6 months the ear cushions had deteriorated and I was about to replace them (you can easily grab replacements online), until I accidentally sat on them.
And that was the unfortunate end to them – I totally snapped one of the joints and after 3 years of loyal service and bouncing around the world with them…they were done!
My first thought was why not just grab a set of PXC 550s again? I know they work and I know they last the distance.
Instead though I opted to give the new Sennheiser PXC 550-II range a go – from what I read they built on the awesome features of the originals, but brought in some new features and tweaks, which would hopefully make an already awesome product, even better.
So what’s new?
- Upgrade to voice assistant compatibility
- Improved noise cancellation
- Improved noise cancellation controls
As you can see they’re only minor tweaks, but like I said – the originals were already an epic set of headphones!
Built In Features
When it comes to high range travel headphones with such a large array of options out there, you’ll be stoked to know the PXC550-II range comes with all the built in features you’ll need – from an epic 30 hours of battery life (and I’ve given this a really good testing!) through to touch controls and even integration with voice assistants:
- Foldable design
- Adaptive noise cancellation
- Up to 30 hours of battery life
- Voice assistant compatible with Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri
- Touch controls – including volume and skipping tracks
- Compatibility with the Sennheiser app – great for customising your audio experience
Fro a lot of people wireless headphones are now the go to – and luckily the PXC-II is fully setup for wireless audio and can easily be paired to 2 devices, which for me is my phone and laptop so I can easily switch between the two.
However, as someone who is pretty dubious about bluetooth in terms of long term use and health I rarely use the wireless feature (except on phone calls) and the I’m glad they still offer a wired option.
…and for long haul flights the included aeroplane pin adaptor is a genius move and make them a must have travel accessory!
Style & Comfort
One of the key reasons I was so stoked on the original PXC 550s was the smooth looks but more important the comfort level – even for prolonged periods on long haul travel days.
Luckily the new PXC 550-II model has changed very little in the style front and is still super comfortable too. What I’ll say for those buying them for the first time is it’ll take a few days for the ear cushions to soften up, but once they do they’re really snug.
Another key feature of the PXC 550-II when it comes to travelling is the foldable design and they are actually pretty compact.
Combined with the included case they easily slip into my carry on bag. As a bonus they also switch on and off via this folding design too, so you wont accidentally store them away whilst they’re on – great for prolonging battery life.
Noise Cancelling Features
By far the best feature of the PXC 550-II (much like the originals) is the noise cancellation feature and the new 550-II with adaptive noise cancellation helps you block out any background distraction and focus in on on the audio.
Whether that’s really getting into the tunes you’re playing, the work you’re editing or simply focusing on the podcast you’re listening to it’s amazing how much of a bubble you can put yourself into!
In fact I often find myself chucking them on without any actual audio – especially in airports – simply to drown out the everyday bombardment of noise and gives myself a little peace and quiet.
…and the amount of screaming kids on planes I’ve managed to zone out is worth every penny!
Not Just For Travel
And of course the PXC 550-II isn’t just for travellers – they’re an incredible set of headphones for anyone looking to upgrade their current audio setup!
In fact they’re also my go to headphones for video editing as well – again due to the fact not only do they boast professional standard audio output, but the noise cancelling features allow me to block out external distractions too!
As you’d expect from an idustry leader like Sennheiser the build quality is solid and having put the originals through 3 years of hardcore travel I’m confident that the PXC-550-II model is going to last the distance too, in fact hopefully for even longer!
The bottom line is that the premium price tag (they retail at US$349 / £299 /AU$549 – although there have been some awesome sale deals lately!) gives you professional audio quality, solid construction, top fo the range noise cancellation and an array of additional features that will make them a permanent addition to your lifestyle – whether that’s jetsetting or simple listening to your favourite tunes.