Testing and Conclusion
Testing gaming headphones is usually quite challenging with results being more opinion based. You simply can’t convey in print how things sound, at least without some very expensive audio equipment. Fortunately the MMX 300s are based on some very well-known studio headphones which gives you access to a wealth of sound comparisons that are just a Google away! Here is how I put them through the paces over a three week period.
I tested the MX 300s with my Sound BlasterX AE-5 Pro Gaming Sound Card, a Creative Sound Blaster X7 Amp/DAC and with the SilverStone Ensemble Series EB03 and EB01-E Audio Amp DAC set. The MX 300 headset requires no additional software or driver only requiring you select the correct cable.
When first testing I had some difficulty getting the mic to respond. It turns out this is a common issue due to the design of the connector. More pressure than I would have expected was needed to get the plug firmly seated into the headset. One thing is certain; it is not going to slip out easily.
Mic testing was done in TeamSpeak. In game audio revealed my voice chat to come across quieter than expected but clear as a bell.
For audio testing the Beyerdynamic MMX 300 was hooked directly to my PC via the Creative Sound Blaster X7. The X7 is an ultra-High Resolution Audio (HRA) device that acts as an external USB DAC and a powerful audio amplifier using the Audio Technology: SB-Axx1™ decoder. I fired up Battlefield One and went to work. I immediately found that sound clarity and separation exceeded my expectations. I was using the built in surround mode and found directional sound incredibly distinct with a nice bass rumble to accent the action. It almost feels like cheating to have such an easy time hearing in game details such as incoming footsteps and reloads with greater distance and distinction!
Next I tested with some of my favorite tracks and found the MMX 300 to be far superior to any gaming headset in the lab. Classical, EDM and acoustic classics were confidently presented with an impressive sound stage and a range I am not used to in this market. I quickly switched over to a range of FLAC files I use for testing and found I was equally impressed with the clarity and sound stage reproduction.
Next I moved over to one of my favorite travel toys the Fiio X1. It may be getting a bit long in the tooth but I still enjoy lossless tracks through its Professional quality Texas Instrument PCM5142 DAC and Intersil ISL28291 OP amp. The MMX 300 headset immediately responds to the lower power and volume rivaling my trusty Sennheiser HD6xx headset.
Finally I fired up my SilverStone Ensemble Series EB03 and EB01-E Audio Amp DAC set for some sound quality/range testing. I feels odd to look forward to this higher end pairing but I often find budget friendly headphones show glaring weak spots when hooked up to higher end gear. Again the MMX 300s shrugged the test off like a lazy Sunday drive delivering crisp playback at every level tested and able to handle more power without distortion. I held back as they can get loud quick and I didn’t want to hurt them.
I should mention that I finally gave in and tested the MMX 300s back to back against my HiFiMan HE 560s, you know "just for fun". I can report the response was much closer than I would have ever guessed.
Nice job Beyerdynamic!
Sure a dedicated mic and a spendy headset may be an alternative when you start to get at the MMX 300 price point but as my testing progressed I found that I just didn’t bother to switch out my headphones when moving between games to music. The MMX 300s handled the transition easily.
Bridging the gap between a gaming headphone and an audiophile headphone is a daunting challenge. Beyerdynamic has shown with the MMX 300 gaming headset you can get a headset that confidently handles both gaming and audio like a pro. You just have to pay a bit more for the privilege.
Simply put the Beyerdynamic MMX 300 Gaming Headset is the best gaming headset I have ever used or tested. It even gives more expensive headphone setups a run for their money in all of the important aspects. It may cost more but the MMX 300s may be the only headset you will ever need to own.
Best in class sound quality
Comfortable oversize ear cups
Audiophile level sound stage
Exceptional build quality
Aftermarket parts support
High cost of admission
Cable connection is finicky
Microphone is not removable