Fantastic sound with excellent range, balance, and stereo separation. Solid design with comfortable fit. Two cables, both with inline remotes.
- Bottom Line
Excellently designed, the Beyerdynamic MMX 300 is the best-sounding wired gaming headset we've ever tested.
Most wired gaming headsets hover in the $50 to $150 range, and we've seen few a wireless models break the $200 mark. The Beyerdynamic MMX 300 is $349, which makes it more than double the price of the excellent Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset and even pricier than the wireless Astro Gaming A50. That's because Beyerdynamic is a high-end headphone company, not a gaming accessory manufacturer, and its pedigree among audiophiles is strong. The MMX 300 is simply the best-sounding gaming headset we've tested to date, offering an impeccable listening experience with fantastic stereo imaging and a sense of space we haven't heard elsewhere in this category. It's our Editors' Choice, but whether it's the right headset for you depends on whether you can justify the price.
The MMX 300 doesn't look like a gaming headset. It looks like a high-end pair of headphones with a boom mic attached. It's completely black, with large, round plastic earcups mounted on anodized metal arms connected to the headband. The arms let the earcups tilt up and down and pivot slightly left and right for a comfortable fit, but they don't fold inward for storage. The headband is generously padded and covered in leather, and you can remove the padding thanks to hook and loop fasteners that keep it in place. The earpads are also large and plush, and covered in felt. The result is a comfortable, solid fit that you can wear for long periods.
The left earcup holds the boom microphone, a foam-covered capsule on a flexible metal arm. The arm is mounted on the back of the earcup on a plastic disk that can rotate nearly 360 degrees and has firm click stops to set the arm position securely.
A recessed 3.5mm port on the bottom of the left earcup connects to either of the two included audio cables. This port can be a bit finicky, because the plugs on the two cables are meant to be clicked in securely, deep in the well holding the port. The plugs are surrounded by soft rubber, so the firm pressure needed to click them in feels a bit unnatural. If you don't push the plug in deep enough, you'll still get audio through the earcups, but the microphone won't work; this is an easy fix, but you need to be aware of the issue.
Accessories and Components
The MMX 300 comes with a shorter cable for connecting the headset to a mobile device or game console (through the headset port on the controller) and a longer cable for connecting to a PC or any other device. The shorter cable is 3.9 feet long and terminates in a four-pole 3.5mm plug. An inline remote sits about a foot down from the earcup and features a volume wheel and microphone mute switch. The longer cable is 8.2 feet long and terminates in two three-pole 3.5mm plugs. It has its own in-line remote, which provides the same function as the shorter cable's remote but works with the separate headphone and microphone connections. This is the first time we've seen an inline remote offered on the longer PC cable. Both cables are thick and sturdy.
Besides the two cables, Beyerdynamic includes a hard-shell zip-up case and a 0.25-inch headphone adapter.
The headset combines hardware and design elements from Beyerdynamic's excellent DT 770 Studio headphones for sound quality, studio microphones for the boom mic, and Aviation headsets for noise isolation. The DT 770 Studio is much less expensive than the MMX 300 at $180, but the company's gooseneck capsule microphones (like the Classis GM 105) easily retail for at least $170, and Aviation headsets (like the HS 800) often cost upward of $800. It's clear that the frame, padding, and microphone account for a big part of the MX 300's price tag.
The MMX 300 is very capable at handling music, as you might expect from any headset based on the fantastic DT 770 Studio. It plays The Knife's "Silent Shout," our bass test track, at maximum volume without a hint of distortion.
The synth drumbeat in Erasure's "Chains of Love" sounds powerful and thumpy without overshadowing the lilting vocals or keyboard licks. It's a full, clean sound that lets the dense mix come through without missing any details, a distinct rarity in often bass-heavy gaming headsets.
White Zombie's "More Human Than Human" also demonstrates impressive amounts of power and clarity, with snares popping out with distinct sharpness even over the thunderous bass drums. While Rob Zombie is no Andy Bell, his vocals are also prominent and easy to pick up over the grungy metal sound. On all of these tracks, the MX 300 offers a sense of space and depth that other gaming headsets, even the excellent Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset, can't touch.
Game and Voice Performance
Star Wars: Battlefront II sounds excellent on the MMX 300. The soundtrack is full and sweeping, and dialogue is clear regardless of how frantic the action is. The different blaster weapons sound distinct, and environmental sounds like forest creatures and crashing spaceships are clean and detailed. While the headset doesn't have any simulated surround tricks, its stereo imaging provides a fantastic sense of horizontal direction.
Forza Motorsport 7 sounds just as impressive. The high-pitched rev of compact car engines comes through clearly against the sound of screeching tires and rain on windshields. The rumble of cars driving over rough terrain sounds deep and imposing, reaching well into the low frequencies to give a good sense of power and friction.
The boom microphone is similarly excellent. Test voice clips came through clear and clean, without any sibilance or fuzziness. It's a high-end mic on a high-end headset, and will serve you well for both team voice chat and podcasts.
The Beyerdynamic MMX 300 is one of the most impressive-sounding gaming headsets we've ever tested, beating out the Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset in build and audio quality. It also eclipses Turtle Beach in terms of price, at a hefty $350. The headset's aviation and studio pedigree help to justify it, but ultimately this is a luxury headset for users who are both hardcore gamers and dedicated audiophiles. It's a fantastic choice if you don't mind shelling out for it, and our Editors' Choice. If you want a good gaming audio experience but don't want to pay quite as much for it, the Astro Gaming A10 is an excellent wired headset available for a fraction of the price of the MMX 300.
Other Beyerdynamic Headphones
By Will Greenwald Senior Analyst, Consumer Electronics
Will Greenwald has been covering consumer technology for a decade, and has served on the editorial staffs of CNET.com, Sound & Vision, and Maximum PC. His work and analysis has been seen in GamePro, Tested.com, Geek.com, and several other publications. He currently covers consumer electronics in the PC Labs as the in-house home entertainment expert, reviewing TVs, media hubs, speakers, headphones, and gaming accessories. Will is also an ISF Level II-certified TV calibrator, which ensures the thoroughness and accuracy of all PCMag TV reviews…. More »
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