Of all of the peripherals we use for gaming, the devices we use to hear and be heard can have a huge impact on our overall experience. Here at MMORPG.com, we have worn and tested a number of gaming headsets - everything from the audiophile-grade to the RGB-colorsplosion to the Emmy Award-winning, each with their own distinction of utility within this space. Into this vast arena, beyerdynamic introduces the MMX 150 Studio-class USB Gaming Headset. Can it stand up to the test?
Let’s find out.
- MSRP: $149.99
- Driver Diameter: 40mm driver
- Frequency Response: 5Hz - 30kHz
- Impedance: 32 Ohms
- Max SPL: 116 dB
- Microphone Type: Electret condenser
- Microphone Frequency Response: 5Hz - 18KHz
- Connection Type: USB-C, 3.5mm
- Included Accessories: 2.4m USB-C to USB-A cable, 1.2m USB-C to 4-pole 3.5mm cable, pop shield for mic
- Weight: 304g (10.72 oz)
- Available in Black or Grey
While the company’s name may not stand out to you, there is a high probability that you have seen their handiwork. After all, the beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO have been headphones of choice for live streaming juggernaut Ninja. There is a very good reason for this: beyerdynamic had been innovating and creating products in the pro-audio space for nearly 100 years! With experience like that comes a drive to uphold a legacy - a legacy that the MMX 150 was born into.
Released alongside the analogue-only MMX 100, the MMX 150 is meant to be a studio-class headset for gamers that provides both analog and digital options for connection. With a USB-C to USB-A cable as well as a USB-C to 3.5mm jack, the MMX 150 offers flexible use between environments. But, connection versatility isn’t all the MMX 150 has to offer, it also has a detachable microphone and a real-time monitoring mode beyerdynamic has dubbed Augmented Mode.
In Augmented Mode, the MMX 150 utilizes a pair of outboard microphones located on the sides of the headset to monitor your surroundings, essentially transforming the user experience of these closed-back headphones into a more open-back feel. This option is nice if you share living space with people that you don’t want to tune out, but still maintain the option to escape into an immersive gaming experience when no one is around! Before we get into how Augmented Mode impacts the user experience in gaming, we have to talk about the other stand-out feature of this headset: the microphone.
In my opinion, one of the greatest tragedies of many modern gaming headsets is the poor quality of the microphone they are equipped with. That is FAR from the case with the beyerdynamic MMX 150. The sound quality is among some of the best that I have heard in a headset mic and even rivals some stand-alone microphones that I have heard in recent years.
The quality can be attributed to the type of microphone used: an electret condenser. Condenser mics are known for producing better articulation in sound in a wide area, but usually require up to 48V from an external source to power them. With an electret condenser, the microphone capsule is able to operate at a significantly lower voltage (~2V) because the microphone’s backplate has been pre-charged at a higher volt in the factory. While the clarity is not the same as a decent condenser, it is leaps ahead of the competition.
Take a listen:
Speaking of listening, “studio-class” headphones can only be described as such if they produce that level of sound quality! So, how do the MMX 150 function in the real world?
In order to test this, I ran the MMX 150s through an audio tough test - a gauntlet of samples I run audio devices through alongside gaming experiences to test high, mid, and low end responses in a variety of environments. For this test, the selection of music includes everything from symphonic scores, technical rock, funk, and EDM (both bass heavy and ambient) to the spoken word.
After running these tests, here is what I found:
The overall audio experience with the beyerdynamic MMX 150 Studio-class USB Gaming Headset is a pretty pleasant one. In gaming experiences, the MMX 150 provided a rich balance between in-game effects and narrative beats, leaving nothing on the table in midst of explosions, gunfire, sweeping soundtracks, and environmental effects. The soundscape it provides is full, even at lower volumes - which is fantastic because these headphones can get loud!
In our audio gamut, the MMX 150 gave a good showing, but the place where it really excelled was in the more EDM-style settings or heavy bass and drums. While it performed well elsewhere, in these particular environments, the MMX 150 gets a chance to show off, providing articulate sound in the low register without bass frequencies muddying the mix or at the expense of the high or high-mid frequencies.
Before we conclude, we do need to return to talking about Augmented Mode. Overall, the mode surprisingly well! In some gaming experiences - especially open worlds that those in Destiny 2, the Augmented Mode made environments feel a bit more natural or airy. However, at higher volumes, it became more difficult to distinguish its impact on the experience. The place where it really came in handy during Discord conversation. As it turns out, being able to actually hear the volume you are speaking at while wearing headphones is… a pretty big boon to people you are sharing space with.
My experience with the beyerdynamic MMX 150 Studio-class USB Gaming Headset was, overall, a positive experience. The headset delivers a fairly broad soundscape across multiple media types. We found that it provided great quality of sounds at lower volumes even in bass-rich environments. The listening experience was only rivaled by the microphone quality - which speaks well of both!
The Augmented Mode provides an interesting option for people who want the benefits of both open- and closed-back headphones, but only want one pair of headphones. This extra feature is especially useful in settings where the user wants the option to stay engaged with their surroundings or to self-monitor during voice chat conversations. In other words, it offers a mode to hear and be heard… without being heard across the house!
Out of all of these positive features and performance, the construction of the beyerdynamic MMX 150 is probably the most lackluster part of the headset itself. However, many of the major stress or articulation points (as far as we can tell) are made of plastic that does not feel like it will be very durable over time, giving me some concerns about the MMX 150’s longevity. That being said, we have seen a number of headsets within this price bracket that have a similar build quality; I would not consider the MMX 150 to be cheaply constructed, but I would be remiss if I did not point it out. This construction does keep the headset nice and lightweight for long gaming sessions.
Coming in at $149.99, the beyerdynamic MMX 150 Studio-grade USB Gaming Headset achieves what it has set out to be: a vehicle for high-quality sound for gamers.The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.