Come visit the premium side of gaming headphones

The world of gaming headphones is crowded, and trying to pick one can be overwhelming. The starting advice is always that you get what you pay for, although even that doesn’t hold true, with some lower-cost headphones stomping more expensive models in terms of both features and sound quality.

That brings us to the Beyerdynamic MMX 300 gaming headphones. They’re $350, and are unapologetically aiming for the audiophile audience. The fact that these are high-end headphones was part of the pitch when the company sent us a pair to try out, and this is a headset that seems at home in the recording studio and on your PC or console.

And again, you get what you pay for. The headphones themselves are soft and adjustable, and hold your head tightly without feeling painful. They disappear after only a few minutes, which makes marathon sessions comfortable. The microphone is held firmly in place vertically until you need it for a game, in which case it can be tilted down and adjusted however you need it. Everything about the hardware’s construction, including the adjustable arm of the microphone, screams quality and comfort. This is a luxury item, in other words.


The same can be said of the sound quality in actual use, although that can actually be a downside in some cases. Inexpensive or midtier headphones can often be forgiving to games with heavily compressed sound, or to music that’s been mixed with an eye toward volume rather than clarity.

Bad sound has nowhere to hide when you’re using headphones of this quality, although games and music with good sound design come to life in a way that’s extremely satisfying. Think of it this way: Good sound is going to sound great, and bad sound is going to sound even worse. Headphones of this quality tend to emphasize the extremes in either direction, but the ability to better enjoy games with superior sound design is worth the cost of also having mediocre sound becoming more noticeable. You’re going to hear more of everything, and that has its pluses and minuses.

The MMX 300 headset also emphasizes space in whatever you’re listening to, which means the headphones work great in games like PUBG, where direction and proximity of gunfire are important. Some songs, if mixed properly, can also make you feel like you’re standing among the band while they’re performing.

It’s very cool, and that strong sense of physical presence is something that’s usually missing in less expensive headphones.

The headphones also come with two sets of cables, one with a single 3.5 mm jack and another with the headphone and microphone jacks separated. Using the cable with a single 3.5 mm jack presented problems hearing sounds when connected to the audio interface in my home studio, and the company suggested I switch over to the cable with the two adaptors. That fixed the issue.

This is a situation that most players won’t encounter, but it’s worth pointing out, since these headphones are going to be more attractive to people who need high-quality audio reproduced in multiple ways. The cabling itself is thick, with a pleasant rubbery texture. Nothing about the package, including the carrying case bundled with the headphones, feels cheap or disposable.

That’s what you’d expect for $350, a price range that’s likely out of reach for many gamers. But the design and features aren’t really aimed at most gamers, as Beyerdynamic is clearly leaning into the luxurious nature of accessories in this price range. This is significantly more expensive than most gaming headphones, but the MMX 300 headset is also significantly better than most gaming headphones. The design also avoids any loud colors or garish designs that designate this as a gaming product, which is a welcome shift from headphones that look like they’re pulled out of a Mountain Dew ad.

It’s true that you get what you pay for, and in this case you’re going to pay a lot, but you’re also going to get a lot.