Great sound quality
While many gamers may not prefer the convenience of a wireless headset, the MMX 150's wired quality is well worth checking out before you write it off, especially if you're also looking for a solid pair of headphones; the removable microphone makes the MMX 150 a strong candidate for doing double duty. If you only play PS5 or Xbox, you may be better served by a first-party headset if you're looking for integration or specific features, but more holistic gamers will be jazzed to know that the MMX 150 are equipped to work alongside essentially any gaming method.
The design, while comfortable, may divide buyers thanks to its retro-chic aesthetic and odd color combinations (one version of the headset is grey, black, and orange), while another odd feature, a form of transparency mode called Augmented Mode, boasts a simultaneous mix of utility and somewhat niche appeal. But nestled amongst these curiosities is Beyerdynamic’s famed sound quality, making the MMX 150 well worth the asking price.
About the Beyerdynamic MMX 150
- Cost: $149
- Style: Over-ear, closed back
- Colors: Black, Grey
- Drivers: Dynamic
- Connections: Wired (1.2m analog cable for devices with 4-pin jack connector and 2.4m USB cable for PC, pluggable)
- Microphone: Cardioid, electret condenser
- Weight: 304 grams
We received a grey version of the Beyerdynamic MMX 150 on loan from Beyerdynamic for evaluation and review. The headset was used in conjunction with game and audio sources on both a Windows 11 PC and an Xbox Series X.
What we like
Classic, comfortable design
When I first pulled the grey MMX 150—that’s grey with those orange highlights—out of their box in my office, my wife immediately exclaimed “Wow, that is ugly.” But you know what? The Beyerdynamic MMX 150 truly embodies the concept that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Between the orange Mode wheel, metal extension arms, thickly padded cups with orange rings, and drab grey plastic on the cup backs and along the band, the MMX 150 has all the charm of an old-timey pilot’s headset. This unapologetic mix of black, grey, and orange in a decidedly unsleek form factor has the same semi-retro appeal as a boxy CRT TV or a 1950’s Gretsch guitar—and I love it.
There’s also something refreshingly simple about a straightforward wired headset with one button (more on that next). The MMX 150 comes equipped with a detachable cardioid microphone and a couple of well-reinforced braided cables, all of which share the grey/black color scheme and complement the headset.
Other than the single Mode wheel/button and microphone input, there’s nothing else to worry about here: no battery, no other on-set controls, no Bluetooth, etc.
And if a pair of good old-fashioned wired cans sound appealing, you’ll be pleased to know that no concessions were made in terms of comfort. At 304 grams, the MMX 150 is light enough to wear for hours without complaint, and its big plush cups and padded band keep it comfortable, with little heat retention, throughout that time. It's also worth mentioning that the microphone is detachable, making the MMX 150 a very viable pair of wired headphones, to boot.
Simple yet familiar features
Another thing I like about the MMX 150 is how simple it is. Beyerdynamic has provided two cables—a USB-C to USB-A and USB-C to 3.5mm—meaning you should be able to connect to just about any gaming device. The MMX 150 has a single USB-C input on the left cup and depending on whether you engage digital listening over USB or analog listening over 3.5mm will determine which cable you use. Both cables are well reinforced and of good length, with the 3.5mm running a little over a meter, and the USB cable running almost 2.5 meters.
If you want to maximize your features, you’ll want to use the MMX 150 digitally (over USB). This allows you to take advantage of the Mode wheel, which can be turned to raise/lower the headset volume, pressed once to mute or un-mute the microphone, or held to activate Augmented Mode. Note that these features only work over USB, and won’t work when you’re connected via the 3.5mm cable.
Augmented Mode is an interesting, almost puzzling feature for a gaming headset. It essentially transforms the MMX 150 into a set of open-backed headphones, allowing you to hear what’s going on around you. I tried Augmented Mode while listening to a playlist of lo-fi holiday music from a Bluetooth speaker, and it indeed made the music, my typing, and all kinds of subtle things easier to hear.
There’s no question that muting the microphone, adjusting volume, and initializing Augmented Mode work as intended over USB. And after some consideration, I can see why some gamers might want a form of transparency mode on their gaming headset. Maybe you’re keeping your ears open for your kids or pets, or maybe you want to be able to chat with someone you’re playing locally with in the same room. It isn’t a feature that a ton of folks may take advantage of, but it doesn’t detract from the MMX 150’s value either.
When you’re using the 3.5mm cable, the MMX 150 becomes truly passive—you can’t even adjust the volume using the Mode wheel. Just plop them on your head and get to it.
Excellent sound quality
Whether you’re using the more fully fleshed-out USB mode or simpler 3.5mm connection, you’ll be happy to know that the MMX 150 delivers where it counts. They sound excellent, and not just for games.
As usual, I started my listening tenure sampling some of my favorite music over Spotify across a few devices (laptop, smartphone, etc). Compared to our top-rated headphones, the Sony WH-1000XM4, I was truly impressed with how robust the MMX 150 sounded.
No, this $150 headset doesn’t sound as good (nor does it boast the same level of audiophile customization/EQ options) as the XM4, which are a $350 set of headphones, but it sounds as good or better than many headphones in this price range. I listened to some choice tracks from a couple of my favorite albums, Moving Pictures and Houses of the Holy, and was fully satisfied with the frequency balance and audio quality on display here.
That same fidelity translates over to games. I played some lower-end PC titles (Diablo II, Jackbox 7) and found good preservation between sound effects and background music. Likewise, newer titles on Xbox Series X—including Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5—sounded excellent, even without the ability to utilize my usual Dolby Atmos for headphones audio format.
The MMX 150’s sound fidelity isn’t perfect, however. At higher volumes, more treble-leaning sounds (like Jon Bonham’s fierce cymbals or the screeching of an Aston-Martin’s tires on dry asphalt) can occasionally hit your ears with a bit too much force. With no native method to adjust EQ, you may want to configure settings on your soundcard or in your console’s audio menus to reduce high-end frequencies if you like to crank the volume up.
However, other than this occasional wince-inducing quality (and I’m aware I turn the volume up louder than most folks), the MMX 150 sounds splendid. Bundled up in its retro-chic design and minimalist feature set are some rock-solid speakers that refuse to rage quit.
What we don’t like
Microphone could be better
For what you’re paying here, I wasn’t expecting a world-beating microphone from the MMX 150, and in truth, it’s probably the headset’s weakest link. It’s not at all a bad microphone, and in a recording comparison I found it to be at around the same level of quality as the $99 Xbox Wireless Headset, but it also isn’t of the same quality as the speakers.
If you mostly play single-player games or the occasional more casual multiplayer title, you (and your teammates) likely won’t have any issue with the wholly average microphone quality found here, as it’s essentially perfectly satisfactory, just not as crisp and reliable as higher-end mics. But if you’re leading guild raids or directing a squadron and your every utterance needs clarity, you might want to invest in something a bit higher end.
Should you buy it?
Yes, especially if you’re a multi-platform gamer
For what you’re paying, the Beyerdynamic MMX 150 has a lot going for it. Whether or not you like the design from an aesthetic standpoint, it’s super comfortable. It also sounds great—as good or better than many $150 wireless headphones—and, thanks to its collection of connection wires, it’s compatible with PC, Mac, game consoles, mobile devices, and so on. Basically, if you can game on it, the MMX 150 will work with it.
However, it also has some eccentricities that may make it a worse choice for certain gamers. If you only play within a single ecosystem, like an Xbox or PlayStation console, you could get more features or functionality out of a less flexible but more “focused” headset, such as the first-party options from Microsoft and Sony. And like many gamers, you may be specifically looking for something that’ll free you from wires—most of our favorite gaming headsets are wireless, after all.
But there’s something to be said for a comfortable pair of gaming cans that will never run out of battery and work in every possible use case, especially when they sound as good as the Beyerdynamic MMX 150. If you don’t mind the somewhat boxy design or the lack of wireless or Bluetooth functionality, these present a considerable value for certain buyers.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Editor, Home Theater@Koanshark
Lee has been Reviewed's point person for most television and home theater products since 2012. Lee received Level II certification in TV calibration from the Imaging Science Foundation in 2013. As Editor of the Home Theater vertical, Lee oversees reviews of TVs, monitors, soundbars, and Bluetooth speakers. He also reviews headphones, and has a background in music performance.
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