Sennheiser MM 30G In-Ear Review

_DSC1187-EditSennheiser introduced the MM 30G in-ear headset at CES this year. It’s targeted at Samsung Galaxy smartphone owners, specifically those of Galaxy S2 and upward. There’s little reason, however, why the MM 30G shouldn’t work with other Android smartphones. The MM 30G includes an inline remote with microphone, so you can use it to both control music as well as to take calls.

The Sennheiser brand is well-recognised around the world. They are renowned for their wide range of audio products, including some in the audiophile grade department. It’s great to see a brand name product introduce an official headset replacement for the bundled ones that come with Samsung smartphones. Sennheiser kindly sent the MM 30G for review, so we’ll see how well it performs.

The MM 30G comes in a transparent plastic package which showcases the earpieces and inline remote. The package makes it clear the MM 30G is designed for Samsung Galaxy devices. A sticker on top, however, allays the concerns of LG, HTC and Sony smartphone users. The MM 30G will work for them. Indeed, the MM 30G ought to work, to a lesser or greater degree, with most Android smartphones and tablets. iPhone and iPad users can get the equivalent MM 30i model, which has been in the market for some time.

_DSC1190-EditThe MM 30G is very small, and very light. We’re talking about 11g light here, so it’s not going to be very noticeable.

As a in-ear design, the MM 30G’s earpieces fit into your ear canal, as opposed to earbuds type which rest in your outer ear. Considering that the MM 30G is also so small, you can sleep on your side with the earpiece in your ear, and not feel any discomfort.

I’m particularly fond of in-ear headphones. They are typically small and unobtrusive. The MM 30G uses silicon tips to provide a secure and comfortable fit in the ear canals, as well as to block out external sounds. In this way, in-ear headphones let you hear music better and clearer without having to turn up the volume. The MM 30G comes with two extra sets of silicon tips of different sizes, so you can find the best fit to suit your ears.

The MM 30G’s small size, light weight, and soft silicon tips all come together to lend a comfortable wearing experience. You can easily use the headset for an extended period of time without feeling soreness or discomfort to your ears.

The three button inline remote is about 6″ down from the left earpiece. The + and – buttons protrude out more than the middle multi-function button, so it’s easy to feel them apart. Exactly what these buttons do vary from phone to phone. You can check Sennheiser’s compatibility information for details. In general, the + and – buttons control volume, while the multi-function button will pause/play music, take/end calls, and change tracks.

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The microphone in the inline remote is quite sensibly placed at the top, facing upward. It enables the MM 30G to pick up your voice clearly. Indeed, the MM 30G’s microphone performed quite well when I made some calls with it.

A big thing about Sennheiser’s headphones is their audio quality. The technical specs list a frequency response of 17 Hz to 20 kHz, 16 ohm impedance, and SPL of 106 dB at 1kHz/1Vrms. Specifications are one thing, how do they actually sound?

At the MM 30G’s price point, don’t expect audiophile grade quality. There is a decent bass volume, reasonably extended down to the sub-bass levels. The mids are somewhat subdued. The highs are smooth, though a little too sparkling and bright for my liking. The MM 30G has a V-shaped type of frequency curve, and some people may like that. I personally find the sound to be a little too coloured. There’s not much of a soundstage to talk about. Overall, the MM 30G is pleasant and enjoyable to listen to. It’s heaps better than earbuds that come bundled free, or even those few ten-dollar kinds. However, considering the price point and the high expectations one will have of Sennheiser, the MM 30G can only be described as satisfactorily good.

There’s a little, though not too much, microphonics from the MM 30G’s cables. The cables are otherwise quite good. There’s a nice rubbery texture to it, and it’s not prone to tangling, although the kinks tend to stay in there. The y-splitter looks to be well made, as is the 3.5mm L-shaped audio connector.

The Sennheiser MM 30G is retailing for S$89. Yes it’s quite affordably price, so despite my criticism of its sound quality, I think it’s still good value.

Conclusion

The Sennheiser MM 30G is a compact, very light, in-ear headset with inline remote and microphone which works great with Android smartphones and tablets.

Pros:

  • Very small, very light
  • Comfortable to use for extended time
  • Good quality build

Cons:

  • Sound quality is not great

The sound quality is a tough call to rate. I would have expected more from Sennheiser. However, at this price point, the MM 30G is pretty good, and I’d still recommend it as a upgrade over stock headphones typically bundled with smartphones.

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