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Sennheiser PXC 550-II: Bose and Sony rival gets upgraded

Geared toward the frequent traveler, the PXC 550-II noise-canceling headphones add Bluetooth 5.0 and other small improvements.

The Sennheiser PXC 550-II ships in October.

Sennheiser

The Momentum 3 Wireless isn't the only new noise-canceling headphone in the Sennheiser line this fall. The company also announced the PXC 550-II, an upgraded version of its well-received PX 550, which was targeted at the same crowd who buys Bose and Sony noise-canceling headphones. The PCX 550-II will be available in October for $350 or £299. There's no word yet on Australian pricing, but that price converts to roughly AU$540.

I was able to get an early listen to the Momentum 3 Wireless, but not this model. The biggest changes are the addition of Bluetooth 5.0, support for the AAC audio codec, and a new button that allows you to access your voice assistant of choice, including Siri, Google Assitant and Amazon Alexa. The headphones still seem to charge via micro-USB, not USB-C, which is a bit disappointing. And they appear to have the same design with only a color change -- they're all black now.

Read: Hands-on with the new Sennhesier Momentum 3 Wireless

The original PX 550 came out in 2016 and you can pick it on Amazon for $230. I liked it and gave it high marks, but it kind of got lost in the shuffle as Bose and Sony duked it out for noise-canceling supremacy in recent years with the QuietComfort 35 II and WH-1000XM3 respectively.

sennheiser-pxc-550-ii-folded-up

The headphones fold up and flat.

Sennheiser

The Momentum 3 Wireless is the more exciting new headphone, but the PXC 550-II should also be impressive. I look forward to trying it out in the coming weeks and posting a full review.

PXC 550-II Key specs

  • Fold-flat design
  • Adaptive noise cancelation
  • One-touch access to virtual assistants such as Siri, Google and Alexa via Voice Assistant Button
  • Bluetooth 5.0 compliant, supporting SBC, AAC, aptX, and aptX low-latency codec
  • Triple-microphone array for speech clarity when giving voice commands or making calls
  • Operation via touch pad and voice prompt interface
  • Up to 30 hours of battery life, with USB charging
  • Personalize settings and audio modes via Sennheiser Smart Control App
  • Carrying case, USB charging cable, audio cable and in-flight adapter included
  • Two-year warranty
  • Price: $350
  • Available in October