headphones

Sennheiser MX W1 Headphones Review

The MX W1s seem to be more of a tech demo than an actual consumer item.

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Tour

Sennheiser's MX W1s are a set of in-ear headphones that resemble the average Bluetooth headset.

Vanity

Below is the side view of the MX W1s. The big ear piece is the ear bud and the small rubber bit above it helps stabilize the headphones in your ear.

Side Image
Random-shaped bits of plastic, or sophisticated listening device?

Since Sennheiser is nice, they've provided a helpful diagram of just what all these parts are (it can be found here, if you're curious):

Additional Features 1 Image

Even with the help of the above diagram, it might not be immediately clear how in tarnation you wear the things. Allow us to elucidate: the big ear piece fits under your tragus like any other in-ear headphone. The small bit at the back leverages the unit against the inside of your concha. Since you're most likely dazzled by our Wikipedia-granted knowledge of ear parts, here's another helpful illustration from Sennheiser.

Additional Features 2 Image

Next on our journey of the MX W1s is the control pendant.

Additional Features 3 Image
Once you know how this thing works, it's hard to avoid comparing it to some parasitic alien.

What you do is strap the pendant itself onto your media player, using the rubber band around its midsection. This, of course, increases the girth of your media player, making the entire shebang a bit less portable. From there, just plug it in as normal. On the pendant's top and bottom you'll find a charging port and on/off/connect button respectively. On the pendant's face you can also see a blue LED that will blink at you intermittently when you attempted to connect it.

Additional Features 3 Image
Once you know how this thing works, it's hard to avoid comparing it to some parasitic alien.
Additional Features 3 Image
Once you know how this thing works, it's hard to avoid comparing it to some parasitic alien.

The last stop on our tour of the MX W1s is the charging cradle. You can drop the headphones in this, then connect this to the charging cable in order to charge both head phones and the transmitter pendant at the same time. Also, it will hold a charge so you can power up your headphones on the go. The button on its front serves to turn charging on and off.

Additional Features 4 Image
Witness the charging cradle. When your headphones are charging, the white area around the button will glow orange.
Additional Features 4 Image
Witness the charging cradle. When your headphones are charging, the white area around the button will glow orange.
Additional Features 4 Image
Witness the charging cradle. When your headphones are charging, the white area around the button will glow orange.

That's about it for the MX W1s, which can be a bit confusing to the uninitiated, simply because they look nothing like actual headphones. As always, we close with a shot of HATS wearing the headphones, so you can picture what you, noble reader, would look like with them on.

HATS-Front Image
HATS-Side Image

In the Box

In the MX W1's box is packed full of junk. The astute will find the MX W1s and their receiver, a charging cradle, a leather carrying case, a USB cable, and a plug with four different socket adapters.

In the Box Image

Durability

The MX W1s don't have a lot to them. They're elongated blobs of plastic with two protrusions and a hatch on their back for the battery. The hatch is kind of tricky to get off and we actually broke a piece on one of our review models (luckily they were broken anyway). In addition to the sleeve over the ear piece, there's a rubbery bit at the back that helps it stay in your ear. If that piece pops off, which it does with greater ease than we would've liked, it becomes nearly impossible to wear these things.

There's also the charging issue that we ran into. Sennheiser claims the first manufacturer's line had an error that caused the headphones to stop charging properly after a short period of time (we ran into the issue second day we had them). Providing you send them back to Sennheiser, they'll mail you a replacement. While we're glad this return policy is in effect, it doesn't erase the chance there's a pair of busted headphones in any given MX W1 box.

All this being said, the MX W1s also have a big durability advantage: no cord, really. Many cord durability issues stem from the cord being attached to your head. When your media player rolls around in your pocket, it tugs on your ear pieces and you tug back. This can cause wear and tear at the junction between cable and plug. Due to its design, the MX W1 circumvents this issue.

Aesthetics

The MX W1s aren't the most attractive set of headphones we've seen. Really, you need to ask yourself if you're willing to look like you're wearing two Bluetooth headsets. Most people can't even pull off a single Bluetooth headset without looking the part of the fool. If you are one of those fortunates, however, we still have doubts you won't look like a sci-fi movie extra from the front view. Really, the only benefit to wearing two Bluetooth headsets is that, should you get a call, you can have a conversation normally without people on one side of you thinking you're insane. Unfortunately, the MX W1s don't have a microphone, so this ideal scenario will never occur. We'd honestly recommend trying these on and checking yourself out in the mirror first.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Tour & Design
  2. Performance
  3. In Use
  4. Value & Comparisons
  5. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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