Sennheiser’s VMX 200 is one kostspielig little Bluetooth headset. Its $150 MSRP is higher than the other guys’ flagship mobile-phone headsets, like the Motorola CommandOne, Jabra Supreme and BlueAnt Q2, all of which are good-to-stellar performers, and stuffed to the gills with features.
Taking the pricing into consideration, one might expect the VMX 200 to have near-perfect manners, and at least as many bells and whistles as its competitors, if not more. Right?
Out of the box
As expected, pairing the VMX 200 to both an iPhone and a Samsung Galaxy Nexus provided no surprises. There wasn’t an overabundance of accessories in the box — it didn’t come with any sort of case, an almost unheard of omission among premium headsets.
Few headsets are as sharp-looking as the VMX, though it may not be the most stealthy model out there. The metallic faceplate tended to pick up scratches easily.
Ergonomics and fit
This is one of the two areas in which the headset really sparkled. Due mostly to the beautifully designed ear tips, fit was very comfortable, even for extended periods; about on par with the best-fitting headsets we’ve tried, like the Sound ID 510 and the Supreme; its scant weight didn’t hurt either. The ear hook wasn’t needed as the VMX 200 stayed put on its own without drama. Controls were pretty straightforward and cleanly designed, with an easily punchable main button on its face and volume controls on the side.
The communication abilities of the VMX 200 either elicited joy or frustration, depending on which side of the line the person was on. I had no problems hearing callers on the other end, thanks to the headset’s crystal-clear, loud speaker; probably the unit’s best feature.
My calling partners, however, were not so lucky — all complained of tinny, unclear sound from the dual microphones; and wind noise seemed to be an exceptional problem. Just for kicks, I called friends during windy conditions, and swapped between the VMX 200 and the Jabra Supreme; they unanimously told me call quality with the Supreme was dramatically better. Noise cancellation was middling — not the best at quelling background noise, but not the worst either.
Battery life is above par. Sennheiser claims six hours, and that’s about what we clocked it at.
This is why the VMX 200 had so few buttons: There isn’t any icing on the cake. None. Zip. Nada. Features like voice commands, voice guidance or even the ability to stream music through A2DP are all missing — all of which can be found on much less expensive headsets, and a few with MSRP’s less than half that of the VMX, such as the Plantronics M155 Marque.
Its stratospheric price, missing features and mediocre microphone (at best) make the VMX 200 a lackluster competitor, even taking into account its above average speaker, battery life and ergonomics.