Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sennheiser MX 55 for iPhone: A Personal Review

Ever since I bought my iPhone, I've always been on the lookout for a decent and yet affordable earphones. No offense I have nothing against the stock headset shipped with the iPhone. In fact I like it especially for the built-in mic with the clicker switch :-) except for its lack of bass and sometimes the music/movie audio doesn't sound that "full"/rich, if you know what I mean. And sometimes, I just want to experience a more rich audio experience out of my phone, playing the songs that I like or simply watching a movie on it.

But the main problem is that we all know the iPhone (1st Generation model) has a recessed headset jack which most earphones can't fit. And being in Malaysia, there're not much choices to choose from as supply of brands like Sennheiser and Shure (aside from Altec Lansing) is either scarce or the price is too expensive. With the V-Moda headsets being sold at a hefty price tag of RM300+, I rather get a decent 2.1 system for my computer instead.

So, I was at Seoul about a month ago (sorry folks, photos of that coming soon...I hope) and I happened to visit this techmarket-thing in COEX which sells all kinds of tech stuff (much like our LowYat here). And I bumped into these nice pair of earphones for my iPhone....the Sennheiser MX 55 Street.

Some promo pic I managed to Google out

Most importantly, on its packaging there's this nice sticker which indicated that the earphones are compatible with the recessed jacks on the iPhone....Yippee!!!

The essential sticker for me to part with my money :-p

And being Seoul, Korea, the place with the fastest internet connection on planet earth, I pulled out my iPhone and began googling for info (free WiFi almost everywhere here) about the earphones right away....especially for its price back in Malaysia. Not bad....in Malaysia it's priced at a whopping RM200 on average (and that is if there's stocks) while in Seoul it's only RM150 after conversion. Read the reviews next (most of them positive) and off I went to the cashier carrying my new baby :-)

OK...time for the review.

Once the plastic packaging was opened, you'll find a nice case with the Sennheiser brand logo etched onto it for you to store your MX 55 (yes...the earphones are inside as well....duh :-p). Basically you keep the earbuds in the case and you wind the cable around it. Quite a good application to me as this won't cause your cable to get tangled up by itself or with the earbuds which needs you to spend bout 5 minutes to free them.

The case with the cable wound round it.

As for the earbuds, they are designed with the new Twist-to-Fit 'wings' which will cling to your ears and hold the earbuds in place, preventing them from falling off, which happens quite often with the stock Apple headset. The first time you use them, you'll feel some slight pain caused by the "wings" but once you get a good fit out of them (alternative sizes for the 'wings' and earbud rubbers are included as well), you should do fine. I prefer to use the MX 55 with the earbuds sponges/foams fitted in as I feel its more comfortable.

Overall, there's sufficient bass and the mids and highs sound very rich too. I noticed a huge difference in the audio quality between the MX 55 and the stock headset although the MX 55 is just RM30 more expensive (about US$10). Be it listening to music (from jazz to classical to pop to rock) or watching "Transformers: The Movie", what sounded flat (mainly due to lack of bass) on the stock headset turned out well on the MX 55.

The earbuds with the 'wings' with custom-sized rubber for perfect fit

As you can see, this version of MX 55 doesn't come with a volume controller. If you happen to Google for it, you'll find that it should come with a volume controller. For that, it's MX 55 VC Street, which altogether is a different product and might be more expensive than just MX 55 Street... I think. Do look out for the iPhone compatibility sticker on the packaging.

The instrumental factor for my purchase - compatibility with the recessed head jack

Beautiful babes! :-p

Nicely fitted in :-)

Review Summary

Great sound quality
Good fit and won't fall off (once 'tuned' to fit my ears)
Compatible with iPhone recessed jack!!! YES!!!
Great design and accessories
Only RM30 more than stock headset

No mic for handsfree use
No volume controller (the one found on the MX 55 VC Street, which might be more expensive....needs confirmation on this)
Twist-to-Fit 'Wings' cause slight pain for new users
RM30 more than stock headset....nah that's OK :-p

Overall, I am a happy customer with a good product and money well spent :-) By the way, I still use the stock headset when I'm driving :-)


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Busy Busy Busy....

Been extremely busy lately....allow me to justify the delay in my post :-p

Exactly a month ago, I was bedridden for the entire week due to a bad virus...man, it's been a long time since I've seen my family doctor (bout 2+ years i think) and for this past month, I've seen him TWICE!! "Woi, so free to see me ar?"....what a joker. But we had nice chats though, regarding the errr......virus and of course his ballooning belly :-p

Right after that, had to rush for my preparation for my conference in Seoul (more posts and photos bout that when my shoulders are less heavy :-) ). 6th July, I was off to Seoul. Didn't have much sleep over there...been making full use of the free hours to go sightseeing and shopping....no not for me, but for all the females in my family :-(

Came back on the 12th and the new semester has started...need to prepare the work for the new sem and therefore - Busy Take #2

And last week, Monash had its 10th and 50th Anniversaries celebration (Congrats by the way) and postgrads were supposed to run the shows - presenting seminars and of course the poster competition - Busy Take #3

Now that it's over, I have the time again to do my research work...still being sleep deprived :-)
Although my PhD studies is effectively due in May next year, it seems that all related parties have confirmed that I'm gonna finish before CNY next year. And since CNY 2009 falls at the of January, that means I have about.....hmm let's see....exactly half a year to write another 2 papers and also my thesis (of which I have only completed the front cover and the General Declaration part). Let's hope I'm not personally finished by then too :-p I shall psycho myself by saying that I have the confidence to complete that on time...hopefully. *Fingers crossed* - Busy Take #

And come November, I'm supposed to perform at the Heat Pipe Symposium. What to sing? Hmmm...."Release Me" by Engelbert Humperdinck
sounds like a good choice :-p

Alrite, gotta get back to work...

Oh, go watch Dark Knight if you haven't seen it. Darn good movie. "Why so serious??? *cackle* " :-p

Cheers from the monk who ate beef and drank wine in Seoul :-p

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Small cars...great engineering...

Hey guys, sorry for the long delay for this post. I was down with a very terrible flu virus last Tuesday after attending a seminar at Sime Darby Convention Centre and had been bedridden since then till Sunday....and the schedule this week didn't even permit me to post a single word.

Talking about the seminar, it was about the software Matlab that I'm using for my research now and that the distributor of the software, Mathworks has been organizing this yearly Matlab Day to promote the software among educators and researchers as well as people from the industries. This time round, the venue has been changed to the Sime Darby Convention Centre in Mont Kiara as opposed to the Sheraton Hotel in Subang for the previous 2 outings.

However, this year's seminar was a tad too boring for me except for some interesting facts on how to speed up the codes execution and also on the auto-generation of C codes from the M codes. What really got me awake during the seminar was the opening speech/keynote.....quite regretably to say....haha

The speaker was speaking on some general problems in certain car models that ignited some of the great engineering solutions in the automobile industry and that is exactly what I want to share with you today.

1) The Subaru 360. The first mass produced car by the company in 1958 and the interesting thing about the car was that it was only powered by a 2-stroke 356cc engine. With an engine half the capacity of a typical Kancil, I think that should Subaru continues its production today, it would have garnered some sales in conjunction with the hike in petrol price :-p And with a top speed of 60mph (approx. 96.5km/h), I don't mind driving this car everyday to uni at all. Till today, who would've thought that a 2-stroke engine car had ever existed on our Earth, especially one that is smaller in capacity than some of the 'kapchai' motorcycles ridden by those mat rempits today :-p

2) The second car that I'm gonna talk about is the Mini Cooper, no not the one driven by Mr Bean, but rather the new one produced under the BMW family of 4-wheelers. Again, plagued by space constraints, this car has one thing that other cars don't...no the hefty price is one thing but it, till this day is the only car with an all-electric steering wheel. Yup, it doesn't have the conventional mechanical-axle to turn the wheels when you the driver turns the steering. That's really good engineering to me, well at least till the day the battery runs flat and that you'll beg that you have a battery pack attached to your body like Iron Man....you know....just in case :-p

So all in all, engineers are smart people who drive the world with their great innovation prowess....just too bad that I'm not one of them :-p

And before I end, to my beloved cute-adorable-irritating sis, Happy Birthday to you :-) God bless... and may you be well and happy and good...haha