Headphones review - Logitech UE 9000 vs.AKG K845T vs. Philips Fidelio M1BT vs. Sennheiser MM 550-X v

Author: Ivan Tichý | Last change: 2014-08-04 12:05:51

As this blog gets to 3rd position in google for Philips and AKG headphones I decided to post this article in English. Hope it helps millions of undecided people. Some ugly words for NSA: terrorism, how to make a nuclear bomb, how to kill a president, TOR, hack, hacker, PU-239 for sale.

When ordered..

Ordered from amazon.co.uk. Boxes arrived, first thing – it is dirty (from warehouse). It just does not look good.
For Sennheiser MM 550-X it was dirty even in the box . I can really imagine how the factory (in China) looks like. When connected to PC instead of name I see just a MAC address. No impact on functionality but it is strange. Look is standard, maybe a little bit odd (design). Have lot of buttons.
Comfort – standard for over ears headphones. There is a box for storage or traveling included.
Philips Fidelio M1BT – nice box. I was surprised by the comfort of these non over ears headphones. I assumed it is going to be uncomfortable but it is not. Instead of standard blue-red LED for Bluetooth there is white-blue. When installed to PC Windows asked me for restart because of new device. Strange. I had to go to Bluetooth devices and connect to A2DP profile to get them connected.
AKG K845BT – normal box, nice headphones. I ordered white version. There is a metallic grey piece of metal on each side – this will (after some time) loose its color and look like old, worn.
Btw – when you connect apt-x enabled headphones you will get a message on your PC there is apt-x enabled device (means higher quality).
Bluetooth range is slightly better with Class 1 dongle, but, I would recommend you to use standard Bluetooth 4.0 Class 2 dongle (easier to obtain). AKG has a little better range.
For Sennheiser there is no AVRCP profile installed (why?). 

Sound

Sennheiser MM 550-X

High frequencies are more sparking, sound come a little bit from behind. It is quieter (by feeling). Mid frequencies are a little bit muffed or veiled. For example Johny Cash looses a little bit from his voice color. When connected with a cable and even over Bluetooth these headphones plays quitter.
I tested NoiseGard feature – which is active noise canceling ability. OK. It does something, but.. I found it not useful. It is not good enough to be used for its purpose. It is removing just low frequencies.
Pressing a button on headphones you can e.g. recall last contact on Skype.
You can shake your head anyhow and it holds its position. When the battery is low it starts beeping. That is annoying. Battery can be removed and charged separately – maybe you can buy a spare battery and charge one and use the second . MicroUSB port is in the battery pack. Disadvantage – when you unplug the cable you will remove the battery (cable holds stronger than the battery in headphones). Overall feeling – cheaply produced. Are foldable.
And.. MicroUSB cable (when connected) is heading back instead down or ahead. This is stupid. Nice chance to damage the cable or headphones. Charging and listening at the same time is supported.
Sennheiser MM 550-X headphones have the best voice / call quality when microphone is used for Bluetooth headphones with unfoldable microphone. Yes, listening quality goes down when you switch from “stereo headphones” to “hands free” even when you use apt-x. The quality is the same as standard Bluetooth profile for handsfree. For the best voice quality you have to use wires headphones of dongle based headphones with foldable microphone in the front of your mouth. Period.
And last point – my girlfriend told me it looks ugly. Do you want to look ugly? I am disappointed – for the price, it is not best in anything. Poor sound, poor active noise cancelling. OK – controls are fine, that is really good. And mic for calls.
Sound over cable. They have input with 2.5mm jack ! OMG. I did not test it. There is a cable probably in the box, but.. I do not care. 

Philips M1BT

The do not give such “space” and “depth” feeling. It is caused by the fact it is not over ears type. It looks good. Elegant design. Does not hold so good on your head when you shake your head.
I spent long time comparing them to AKG K845BT. I found myself to enjoy these more. When testing I just lost focus and listen for tens of minutes. This never happened with AKG. There headphones serve the sound more directly into your ears. Lower-mid and higher-bass are present. Man voice sound more realistic and contains something what is missing with other headphones. There is less space and detail.
You do not feel like sitting in a huge church with great acoustics (AKG) but rather like sitting in a room with a good Hi-Fi stereo. It is more intensive. I like it more than AKG in more than half of songs I tested.
Sound is surer, more confident, direct. Very very low bass tones are missing. That is domain of AKG. In a technical way they are more sensitive around 80–100Hz. Good for rock/metal music, jazz, man voice/singer. High tones have tendency for sibilance.
Sometime I heard clamping then new song started. But this is (I would say) stupid feature of Bluetooth. Sound very good over cable too.
Over Bluetooth I can hear some small whispering – typical for Bluetooth handsets. AKG and Sennheiser do not have this problem.
Does not support charging and listening at the same time. 

AKG K845BT

White, looks cool. There is one piece on each side which is painted grey. They type of grey which will scuff down. And then it looks like old crap. That is the tax for nice design. They are massive but very light. Very comfortable but – they push me to the top of my head. When shaking head they move a little bit.
Sound. Huh, good, very good. Space, detail, high frequencies are brilliant. There is something present that is missing for other headphones. Each headphones have their own sound, color, signature. This is not just about more bass or less bass. You can fix this with equalizer. This is about the feeling you have when you listen to your favorite music.
Honestly. Do you listen to Bach, Verdi? Probably not. But I tried that. Here you can hear the changes. On Philips M1BT it sounds like small church. With AKG you are walking on a big piece of land and the sound comes from everywhere. I can hear things I have never heard before in the same sound source. You are almost not able to consume all the sound. But. There is always but. Bass, and I mean normal bass, is not so good. Sub bass, head and ears vibration with some Dubstep song – wooow, cool. But normal usual music – Philips M1BT is better. AKG has a hole in normal bass and very low mid frequencies.
They do not sound so good over cable. I would say that over Bluetooth there is huge frequency correction to get good sound. Speakers themselves are not so good probably.
Mechanical part. It is all about design. They are not so robust. They will wear, might break in the part which holds speakers. There were some cosmetic issues on headphones (paint, shape). It looks like handmade prototype. I found some delay in control and sound (watching a movie – sounds is slightly behind video). There is no such issue for Philips M1BT.
Voice calls. Better than Philips M1BT, almost as good as Sennheiser MM 550-X. Good enough. Cannot say the same for Philips M1BT.
Does not support charging and listening at the same time.
And.. you cannot skip song with AKG. Sennheiser MM 550-X and Philips M1BT support this. Philips SBH7150 do not.


AKG K845BT have better electronic and Philips M1BT have better drivers (speakers).

I found that AKG K845BT do not support apt-x on some web pages. But I got message it is supported and being used. Then I found apt-x support for AKG K845BT on some web pages. 

Philips SHB 7150

Good and cheap alternative without apt-x. Great value for its price. I was surprised with quality of sound. 

Examples of tested songs:

  • Hans Otto – Bach: Toccata & Fugue In D Minor, BWV 565 – AKG K845BT is best, definitety.
  • Neumann, Czech PO – 4 Allegro Con Fuoco – Philips M1BT and AKG K845BT at the same level.
  • Roger Norrington: London Classical Players – Symphony No. 104 in D, „London“ III. Menuet. Allegro – Philips M1BT and AKG K845BT at the same level. 
  • Justus Frantz, Piano; Claus Peter Flor; Bamberger Symphony Orchestra – Piano Concerto No.24 In C Minor, K503 III. Allegretto – Philips M1BT and AKG K845BT at the same level.
  • NIN Everything – AKG K845BT wins, high frequencies are more clear. Bass sond is soft, maybe too much. Philips – I hear sibilance for high tones.
  • Johny Cash – Personal Jesus – Philips M1BT wins. With AKG Johny looses something from his voice. 
  • Prodigy – Spitfire – AKG wins.
  • Daniel Landa (man singer, rock) – Philips wins.
  • Parov Stelar – Flame of Fame – AKG wins.
  • Sonata Arctica – Somewhere Close to you – AKG wins.
  • Soulfly – Arise – Philips M1BT wins, really wins.

Conclusion

So.. there is no winner. Yes, there is a looser – Sennheiser MM 550-X. Please go home. And then? AKG K845BT or Philips M1BT? I cannot say. AKG is better for voice calls if you need it. Philips is better in most other cases. Do you prefer design and you are young? AKG K845BT. Do you prefer mode decent design and more stable sound results? Do you want good sound over a cable ? Philips M1BT. Do you want good quality for low price? Philips SHB 7150. Do you need wireless headphones mainly for voice calls? Logitech H600, H800.
I was afraid that Philips M1BT are not comfortable, but is is OK for 1–2 hours. Than it starts to be uncomfortable.
It would be good to have comparison to Logitech UE 9000. There are still some available but I just cannot have everything. And they are heavy.
One technical thing – a had no problem to have more than one Bluetooth headphones active close to each other. Headphones sometime disconnect from source. Not so often. I would guess it caused by interference of many headphones in one room. 

EDIT: Finally I took used Logitech UE 9000. They offer sound quality of Philips M1BT and comfort of AKG K845BT. Disadvantages: slightly heavier, maybe not so clear or direct as AKG and Philips, slightly stupid controls, do some uncomfortable sounds when connecting. But the overall score is better. Weight: Philips M1BT 183g, AKG K845BT 289g, Logitech UE 9000 363g.

Headphones Type How you look Foldable Comfort Sound Baterry life Mircophone/calls Controls Bass Mid High Design Price Price EUR Price CZK Active noise reduction
Sennheiser MM 550-X over ears, closed Idiot + + Not tested ++ ++ + + + -- 382 10419 present, but unusable
AKG K845BT over ears, closed very good, cool design, modern style o + + Tested: >12hours + + ++ ++ ++ ++ 190 5175 N/A
Philips Fidelio M1BT closed very good, very elegant, style o o ++ Tested: >12hours o + ++ ++ ++ ++ ++ 163 4451 N/A
Logitech UE 9000 over ears, closed very good, elegant and modern at the same time o + ++ Not tested Not tested + ++ ++ ++ ++ N/A Production ended. Production ended. N/A
Philips SHB7150 over ears, closed not so bad -- + + Not tested -- o + + + + ++ 94 2544 N/A
Logitech H600 closed, no Bluetooth, wireless normal ++ Tested: 6 hours +++ N/A -- o o + 55 1500 N/A
Logitech H390 closed, USB wired normal -- o N/A +++ + -- + o ++ 33 890 N/A

Later experience

  • Philips M1BT – I have problems with Bluetooth connection (unstable, interference) (after a few days).
  • Philips M1BT – For long use.. the comfort is not A+.
  • AKG K845BT – body is creaking :/ (a few days of usage).
  • The difference between apt-x and non apt-x is .. almost nothing.
  • AKG K845BT is better for classical music.
  • I always come back to Philips M1BT when comparing to others.

.. and finally I took Logitech UE9000

Photos: http://ivih.rajce.net/…es_Sluchatka

Comments

Pedro on 2014-07-21 13:16:31 wrote:

Some another tag for NSA: rocket system BUK for sale

Ivan on 2014-07-21 16:32:28 wrote:

.. used long range BUK for sale. Used but like a new.

Eri on 2014-08-22 18:36:21 wrote:

M1BT supports charging while listening

Ivan on 2014-09-17 20:29:33 wrote:

Logitech UE9000 has significantly shorter battery lifetime. One day at max.

JW on 2014-11-04 21:10:46 wrote:

Hello Ivan, great review, thank you! May I ask where did you buy Philips M1BT in Czech? I could not locate them. Also would love to try them AKG vs M1 and compare, as I am not sure over/on ear how comfy it will be for me. Any idea if there is some shop in Brno that offers them to try on?

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