Sennheiser HD1 and Sennheiser PXC 550 are wireless headsets famous for their exceptional sound quality and performance. So, in this article, we are going to see the comparison between Sennheiser HD1 vs PXC 550 to find out which one that’s actually better for the money. Although Sennheiser HD1 is great, Sennheiser PXC 550 is newer and comes with more benefits.
What we will discuss in this article include:
– Which model that is more portable and comfortable to wear
– The connectivity and features on each model
– The comparison of the sound quality
– The battery life of Sennheiser HD1 vs PXC 550
– Which headset that is generally more recommended for you
Sennheiser HD1: Design and Comfort
In terms of design, Sennheiser HD1 is a slightly tweaked version of Sennheiser Momentum Wireless. It is made from premium-quality materials, and it has a retro design which looks stylish and feels incredibly comfortable. The leather ear cups are so soft and gentle. They provide a snug fit without pressing the ears.
The headband is covered in leather, too. The leather looks and feels very nice. The headband has a gap in the middle which allows some air circulation. Hence, the top of your head won’t get too hot. However, just like the case with most other over-the-ear headsets, the ear cups of Sennheiser HD1 do get rather hot after a few hours. So, it is a good idea to take the headset off every once in a while.
Sennheiser HD1 vs PXC 550 is foldable. You can fold the ear cups inside so that the whole thing turns into a compact form. This is very convenient for storage and traveling. The headset itself is quite light at just 9.3 oz. You don’t really need to buy any additional accessory, as the box includes a zip case and drawstring pouch.
Sennheiser HD1: Features
Sennheiser HD1 comes with a neoprene zip case and also a drawstring pouch, so you don’t need to buy any additional accessory. The neoprene zip case is great when you need extra protection, whereas the drawstring pouch is handy when you just want to carry the headset in a simple and convenient way. The box also includes a stereo audio cable for wired listening and a Micro USB cable for charging.
On the headset itself, Sennheiser HD1 has one button which works for both power and pairing. This is a bit frustrating at times. If you press the button a little bit too long when trying to turn the headset on, it will go into the pairing mode, hence adding about thirty seconds to the turn-on process. Also, the button is flat, with just slightly raised dimples on the flanks. Hence, the button is sometimes difficult to find.
There is also a slider switch on the headset. Fortunately, this one works well and is actually practical. The slider allows you to play and pause music. You can also use it to answer an incoming phone call. It slides back and forth for volume control. Sennheiser HD1 connects wirelessly to your smartphone, tablet, and laptop via Bluetooth 4.0. However, if you want to save some battery life, you can just use the headset with the included audio cable.
Sennheiser HD1: Performance
Sennheiser HD1 is more than capable for listening to podcasts. It is also great for playing complex music, such as an orchestral movie or game soundtrack. It has crisp high-end sound, so every detail sounds so clear and accurate. It only has enough bass to deliver some enjoyable punches without muddling the mids and highs. Hence, the mids and highs are surprisingly very rich.
The sound quality is even better if you use the headset on a device which supports AptX. This technology offers a higher streaming bit rate than basic Bluetooth, so there won’t be much loss in the sound data. It will allow you to enjoy highly detailed music even though you are using the headset wirelessly.
Now, even though the sound quality is impressive, the noise cancellation performance is not. You can’t turn off the noise cancellation. It is turned on all the time. This is sometimes annoying. For example, it may reinterpret the sound of a train as strange blips that get into your ears. Well, it still works well on an airplane, but it is not very effective for crowded environments with lots of loud noises.
The battery life is very good. Sennheiser HD1 vs PXC 550 can last for about 15 hours per charge. Now, you probably won’t use the headset for 15 hours straight continuously, so you should be able to use the headset for a few days before you need to recharge it.
Sennheiser PXC 550: Design and Comfort
Sennheiser PXC 550 has a polished, professional look. It may seem a bit bulky, but it comes with a thick cushioning on the headband which greatly enhances the comfort. The enlarged oval ear cups also have thick, very comfortable leather pads. Well, all these parts add some pounds to Sennheiser PXC 550’s overall weight, but it is still very comfortable.
Compared to most other headsets in the market, Sennheiser PXC 550 is indeed more expensive. However, it is totally worth the money – one of the reasons is the excellent build quality. The headband and pads are all durable. The leather pads are snug without pressing your ears too much, and they do a decent job in blocking environmental noise.
Although Sennheiser HD1 vs PXC 550 are not completely similar in terms of design, Sennheiser PXC 550 has a collapsible design, too. The ear cups can swivel so that the whole thing turns flat. Then, you can put it into the included carrying case. There is just one case, but this case is versatile enough to serve many purposes. The case is quite slim and portable, and is quite protective as well.
Sennheiser PXC 550: Features
Now, let’s take a look at the included accessories inside the box. After opening the box, you can find the headset along with a carrying case, a USB cable for charging, an audio cable that has an in-line remote control, and an IFE adapter for use on an airplane. Well, Sennheiser PXC 550 gives you pretty much everything you need, so you probably won’t need to buy any additional accessory.
The headset still has physical buttons for the Bluetooth, ANC, and Effect Mode. However, it now has touch controls for play/pause, volume control, next/previous track, and forward/backward within a song. You can also use the touch controls for accepting/rejecting calls, muting the mic, and activating/deactivating the TalkThrough feature. TalkThrough allows other people around you to speak through the headset’s built-in mics. At first, the control may seem confusing, but it is actually very practical once you get used to it.
When used wirelessly, Sennheiser PXC 550 draws power from its built-in battery. However, whenever you run out of battery, you can still listen to your music using the audio cable. However, you can’t use the NoiseGard feature when using the headset with an audio cable.
If there is one single feature that puts Sennheiser PXC 550 way above Sennheiser HD1, it is the NoiseGard feature. NoiseGard allows you to adjust the noise cancelation level of the headset via the CapTune companion app. You can increase its power to block all kinds of environmental noise. You can reduce the level if you still need to hear some things from the outside world, such as a flight announcement. This is a very useful feature.
Sennheiser PXC 550 connects to your smartphone, tablet, or laptop wirelessly via Bluetooth 4.2. The newer technology brings noticeable improvements on the performance and sound quality. Not dramatic, but noticeable. The pairing process is very quick and easy. It apparently allows a higher streaming bit rate, as the music sounds quite richer and more detailed.
Sennheiser PXC 550: Performance
Sennheiser PXC 550 has a wide frequency response range of 17Hz – 23kHz. The sound is impressive. The very first thing that you will notice right away is the superior soundstage clarity and depth. The sounds are all clear, accurate, and detailed. It is very immersive, so you will enjoy this headset’s performance not only on music but also movies.
The noise cancelation performance is definitely better. Even when playing a music track with lots of space between the instruments and vocals, you won’t hear any hissing or static noise. It is completely silent.
The battery life of Sennheiser PXC 550 is even more impressive. According to the company, this headset can last for up to 30 hours from a single charge. That is twice longer than Sennheiser HD1’s battery life. If you only use the headset for about four hours a day, the headset will be able to last for a week before you need to recharge it again.
Sennheiser HD1 vs PXC 550
- Closed back, around-ear design featuring Bluetooth 4.0 technology and immediate pairing to smart devices using NFC connectivity for wireless freedom. Connectivity Technology: Wireless
- Bluetooth Supported Profiles -- A2DP + AVRCP + HSP + HFP
- Sensitivity as per 121 TR 9-5:- 44 dB V/Pa , impedance: 18 Ω. 22 hour battery life with both Bluetooth and Noise Gard activated to insure performance during long commutes or plane flights
- Technology uses 2 built-in microphones working seamlessly to improve voice quality and remove external noise during phone calls.2 year global warranty when purchased from an authorized Sennheiser dealer
- Its especially low profile was optimized for the use on mobile devices.Fitted with jack plugs on both ends, the cable is completely detachable and can be replaced if necessary
- Bluetooth 4.2 wireless technology in an ergonomically designed lightweight, comfortable and collapsible travel headset perfect for travel. Connectivity Technology: Wireless
- NoiseGard adaptive noise cancellation ensures superior sound quality in every environment
- Intuitive user control and convenience thanks for voice prompts, touch controls, NFC pairing, smart pause and automatic on/off
- Triple microphone array delivers business class communications with exceptional vocal clarity..Sennheiser sound signature quality with selective sound modes to enhance the listening experience
- Impedance:Active 490 Ohm/ Passive 46 Ohm. The PXC 550 wireless is fully compatible with CapTune, sennheiser's premium quality music player and powerful sound tuning app to perfectly adjust the feel of your music to your personal preference
Between these two models, Sennheiser PXC 550 is definitely more recommended. It comes with great improvements. It has better noise cancelation performance, and the noise cancelation is now adjustable. It also has better sound quality and longer battery life.