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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.

David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Kobo e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Headphones, Bluetooth speakers, mobile accessories, Apple, Sony, Bose, e-readers, Amazon, glasses, ski gear, iPhone cases, gaming accessories, sports tech, portable audio, interviews, audiophile gear, PC speakers Credentials
  • Maggie Award for Best Regularly Featured Web Column/Consumer
David Carnoy
2 min read
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The Sennheiser PXC 550-II ships in October.


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.


The headphones fold up and flat.


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