on January 3, 2012
I bought these less than a year ago - they are like my 10th pair of Sennheiser PX 100s over the last dozen or so years. That tells you two things 1) these are so good as far as portable headphones go (earbuds skeeve me out --my ears are too sensitive) that I still buy them over and over
2) They short out almost on cue after about a year (when only one ear works the other dies out and if you jiggle the jack the dead ear sputters back a bit but not much) - I thought with the new cord maybe they fixed the problem, maybe it's built-in obsolescence? Maybe I'm too rough on them? I'm a city lad and wear them a lot for running and speed walking - I don't step on them or anything, GOD! I'm so MAD! I don't want to have to fork over $60 every year for new headphones... it's bull!
on June 4, 2012
I own a ridiculous number of headphones. It's like I have a headphone fetish. Weird! But why? A different headphone for every purpose. The purpose of these is "walk around headphones to use with my iPhone". And for that purpose, they are great!
They sound good, lots of bass for the size/weight/price and are comfortable for long listening sessions. I bought the one with the mic so they work with the iPhone for voice calls (it is my understanding that sometimes people use their iPhones to "talk" to other humans). (all joking aside, every once in a while I do the same).
They fold up for putting into a backpack, and even include a little travel bag.
I'm a fan of the single wire solution. Less wire to get tangled and pulled when moving about or scratching your chin.
I'm a HUGE fan of the open air HD555, HD585, HD518 headphones, which are huge and really useful for using in the comfort of your home, or at work. But these little ol' PX 100-II are good for walking around town, at work, talking on the phone. They fold up to put away so you can have them with you.
Gizmodo recommended these as their favorite "wear all day" lightweight cans, and I couldn't agree more. I bought them 'cause Gizmodo said to, and now I'm a satisfied customer.
P.S. My ears don't have that extra bit of cartilage to hold in earbuds, hence my search for the perfect lightweight good-sounding headphones with mic.
on July 18, 2013
Not quite an audiophile but could be said that I'm somewhere in the ballpark. I refer to myself as "mid"fi". I admit I listen to 320 KBPS MP3s over FLAC given the disk space I save. I use a solid state headphone preamp, and don't own vinyl. I own Grado SR80is, Ultrasone HFi-580s, and use entry-level audio equipment like the Fiio E9/E7 combo pream/DAC with my Audioengine 2 powered speakers, and a Cowon J3 DAP. Play electric & acoustic guitar and audio quality matters to me significantly. So you may hate me because I'm not analog enough for you, but I'm okay with that.
WHY THE PX100IIi?
Sick of IEMs and dozens of earphones that would last a maximum of 1-2 months, I figured I'd give the Sennheiser PX100IIi a shot for use with my iPhone. Yes, I'm well aware that the iPhone has horrible audio quality. But I needed a headset with remote volume and button functions for managing calls and music.
When I got the PX100IIis (I'll refer to them as the PX for sake of brevity), I was highly concerned with the thin cable gauge. Figured these things would last as long as the other 30 or so IEMs I've purchased that all lost a channel due to cheap cable design -- especially at the point of contact with the TRS pin or earphone.
Well lo and behold, this headset lasted me an entire year of daily use before it lost a channel from cable issues. That in itself is extraordinary, as I used these daily for guitar practice, music and phone calls. They were on my head more than they were off. Most portable headphones last me less than a month, and I'm not abusing my gear.
SENNHEISER STANDS BEHIND THEIR PRODUCT - THANK YOU :)
Sennheiser has a brilliant 2-year warranty, so when my right channel went after about a year, I sent in the headset and about a week later received a brand new replacement set. Easy peasy. I am simply enamored of their excellent customer service. If anyone from Sennheiser is reading this, you've just earned yourselves a loyal new customer.
Time for some brass tacks. Let's break down the good bad and ugly about this model:
Better than any IEM I've used. This was the first attribute that impressed me because I was not expecting high-end sound from a portable on-ear headset, despite the Sennheiser name. While it cannot be compared to my higher end Grados and Ultrasones, the drivers and their housing do a remarkable job delivering rich, balanced sound, decent bass, good headroom and clarity/detail. Next best thing to top of the line headphones. I listen to many genres, but mostly blues and blues rock/funk, and these headphones are aces for mid-range, while staying balanced. When I plug them into a decent DAP like my Cowon J3, they shine at delivering quality sound and really show off their capabilities. As you know, your audio source itself is probably the single most important factor, so make sure you choose a quality recording to appreciate these headphones. Again, I wasn't expecting such quality for portable phones.
I really like the fact that these are open backs -- the design really contributes to nice headroom, realism and experience, and I also think it's healthier for your ears. Not a big fan of closed backs despite their ability to nullify leak (to others). This was one of the contributing factors for choosing this model. Unless you require 100% sound isolation, 0 sound leak for quiet environments, or particularly thundering bass for your dubstep, I can't see why I would ever go with closed backs. I'm a big Grado fan, and I'm sure I'd like the higher end over-ear Sennheiser / Bayer Dynamic products.
*SINGLE CHANNEL CABLE (can't recall the audiophile term for this, but you know what I mean)
I Like that they use a single cable from the left channel as opposed to a Y cable. I love my Grados but if I could find a single complaint it would be the awkward Y cable design, which can be annoying beyond words.
*MOLDED TRS RUBBER JACKET
The TRS is fitted with a sturdy molded rubber jacket that certainly is one of the factors that extended the integrity of the headset for the first year. The TRS and the earphone interfaces are the two places where I have traditionally experienced the highest number of wiring failures in other brands. So despite the thin cable gauge, these held up marvelously.
*MOLDED RUBBER HOUSING AT LEFT CHANNEL
Again, an inherent weak point was addressed by Sennheiser. Where the cable meets the left earphone, there is a small molded jacket that certainly helps maintain durability of cord tugs.
SMART FOLDING DESIGN
What's cool is that not only do these fold, but they snap into place when folded due to an interlocking groove design. Moreover, each earphone conveniently flips 90 degrees, so that once folded, it is flat as possible. They are very light, but they do not feel cheap. The plastic housing feels like some high quality composite material (perhaps not as durable as the nylon polymer used for plastic handguns, but certainly different than cheap, flimsy plastic). The composite seems to be durable in the way of flexibility as well. While I wouldn't try wishboning these, I would expect they can be pulled to angles that exceed most envelopes for plastic. This is important because snags are going to happen.
The metal hinges feel sturdy and give a satisfying resistance and snap when pulled into or out-of place. The sliding adjustable headband sits inside a composite plastic chassis, and the band itself is some sturdy thin metal alloy -- likely aluminium.
The undercarriage of the headbands provide two aesthetically pleasing and comfortable pads that have the appearance of leather. While not actually leather, I was surprised that they never degraded or fell apart on me as do most such materials.
I find this headset very comfortable for long listening periods. Not too tight. not too loose. Easy to adjust. They do not sit well, however, if I wear them any other way than directly over the center of my head. If I'm wearing a brimmed hat, I need to angle them on from behind my neck, and they do tend to slip. Not a big deal, and I'm sure I could find some hack to keep them on.
These will need to be replaced eventually. They will fall off or lose their grip around the drivers. No big deal -- Sennheiser sells replacements.
No matter how careful you may be, wires will always get snagged on something. I plan to purchase some type of break-away interconnect/patch cable so that the burden of any pulls is absorbed by the patch, and then separates. Saw a product like this, need to research.
Next suggestion would be to purchase an alligator clip for the cable. Just another insurance policy to help reduce snags, and keep the cable close to your body.
Unlike most casual users, I prefer longer cables because their added versatility allows me to use them with my guitar gear like headphone amps. This chord is a standard length. Haven't measured it, but it's not long. I have a quality patch extension cable, so this is not an issue for me, but wanted to mention that the chord is average albeit adequate length. If I had to guess I'd say 3 feet.
They are modern and good lookin; stylish without making a statement like large over-ear headphones. Nice matte black finish with tasteful silver accents (Senn logo and the adjustable headband). I feel like an alien wearing my Grados in public, so these are the model of choice when in public.
The remote control always worked for me, and my callers always heard me clearly, unlike the many other headsets I've gone through. The remote is well built, and seems to have a larger mic screen at the top than other remotes I've seen. The buttons are sturdy and give you a satisfying click. They are not vague or spongy. Best remote performance I've found on any iPhone headset.
So there you have it. A summary of the best portable headphones I've ever owned -- and also the best remote/mic headphones I've used with the iPhone. I was concerned about their price given the standard life cycle of other portable headphones I've owned, but their surprising durability paired with Sennheiser's dependable 2-year warranty service have more than justified the price. I love these. Do not hesitate on this one. It's a no-brainer IMHO.
on November 25, 2011
I bought these headphones about 4 months ago after much deliberation and couldn't be happier! I wanted headphones with good sound quality, that were NOT noise canceling, were able to make/receive iphone calls, and were comfortable. These headphones not only meet that criteria they exceed it!
1) First, and most important, the sound quality is amazing! I've listened to everything from Nicki Minaj to the Zac Brown Band as well as numerous audio books and the sound quality is excellent across the board. I will admit the sound is a bit bass heavy, but I don't mind that at all, and really it only emphasizes bass thats already in the music. The narrators of the audiobooks I've listened to sound crystal clear with no clipping whatsoever.
2) I was not looking for noise canceling headphones for a few reasons, the main one being I have a 2 yr old that I wanted to be able to hear at all times. I also didn't like the idea of taking a phone call and not being able to hear myself speak. These headphones are definitely not noise canceling and allow me to hear my child even when played at a fairly loud volume.
3) The only thing I liked about earbuds was the ability to take and receive hands free calls so I wanted that option in whatever new headphones I purchased. The Sennheiser PX 100-II allow me to take calls and the sound quality is amazing on both ends! Not only can I hear the person calling perfectly, they can hear me just as well as if I'm speaking directly into the phone! I do wish the 3 button control on the headphone cord was located just a little bit lower on the cord, but it's a minor inconvenience.
4) The headphones are extremely comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. The longest I have worn them thus far is about 5 hours straight while doing paperwork and it was an easy 5 hours. They are lightweight, not too bulky, and my ears were not sore at all. They also stay in place well when used during exercise.
I cannot say enough good things about these headphones. I would absolutely buy them again and definitely recommend them. They truly are worth every penny!
on October 17, 2014
Love the headphones for light weight and comfort. Sound quality is fine for open ear phones at the price. Had to send three back since the wire to the micro plug connector is too easily broken. Sennheiser very good about living up to warranty.
on December 5, 2015
Pros: decent build quality at this price; very compact when folded; very light weight; good short-term comfort; iOS compatible remote on cable; powerful bass; fun, punchy, dynamic sound
Cons: poor long-term comfort (can feel pressing on parts of ears after an hour or so (I have large head); look silly on head with the ends towards earcups really angling out (again, large head here); a dark, thick, bassy sound; the midrange and treble don't stand out enough; bass distortion on some songs at higher volume
These phones aren't bad but they're not great either. They have a very warm, dark sound to them. The bass kicks nicely on most songs, but it's a one-note type of bass. You just hear the thump, not individual bass notes. This may be okay for a lot of today's pop, hip-hop, and electronic music, but for real music played with real instruments, it's not optimal. Also, when playing Wiz Khalifa's "Black and Yellow" at high volumes on my iPhone 6, I heard distortion in the bass. Something I haven't heard on any other headphones I've owned or tried. This was with extreme quality Spotify files so I know it's not the source. The midrange and treble are also very warm and smoothed over. Not natural sounding. The instruments and vocals just don't stand out, not even to a neutral level. You don't hear all of your music with these.
By comparison, I've owned the Koss Porta Pro for over a year now, and they are much better headphones overall, both in terms of long-term comfort, fit, and sound quality. The Senns do have slightly better build quality but the Koss have a lifetime replacement warranty. The Porta Pro still bring the bass, but it's a more defined bass where you can actually hear individual bass notes on most songs that have them. Also, the Porta Pro is much more neutral sounding in the midrange and treble, so you can actually hear instruments and vocals more like they were intended to be heard. With the Koss Porta Pro, you hear all of your music, clearly. They are more comfortable and secure on the head. They can be worn for hours without feeling the pads pressing on your ears (again, large head). They look much better on my large head, more in line with the lines and shape of my head, not sticking out like the PX 100-IIi. If you need a cable with a remote for iOS, they have the Koss Porta Pro KTC now.
Finally, I'm not a Sennheiser hater or Koss fanboy. I own the Sennheiser HD 598 and they sound amazing and are supremely comfortable. Best headphones I've had or tried. However, I haven't been impressed with Sennheiser's lower cost headphones, namely this one and a pair of very popular in-ear ones I bought a while back. At the under $50 price range, there are much better (and also much worse) headphones available than Sennheiser.
on October 22, 2013
I am very rough with my headphones. I've killed two pairs of Grados because I tend to take my headphones everywhere, drop them, and step on them from time to time. After using the PX-100-IIs for over a year, they are still holding up and I am using them while I write this review.
Sound: These are not audiophile cans. They are not as euphonic as a pair of Grados. That said, they do sound great, better than most entry-level phones. I am not an audiophile so I won't go into detail on the sound, but there is sufficient bass, defined mids, and distorion-free highs. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I rather enjoy it. Additionally, because these headphones have an open design, you can hear enough of the sound around you so that if someone calls your name, or if you are walking and a car approaches you, you will be able to easily hear it granted you are not playing music at full volume. Because of this, I wear these at work when I am at my desk in case a coworker needs to get my attention. Because of their open nature, some sound also leaks and at high volumes others will be able to hear what you are hearing, so that is a factor to consider.
Design: These are my go-to headphones for when I travel, go to work, or to class when I was a student because they fold up very small and take up little space in a backpack or bag. It does take a second to learn how to fold them up, but after a couple of tries you get the idea.
Durability: These things are built like a tank. I've had so many headphones and earphones break on me because I am too rough with them. Not these. I've stepped on these, dropped them while riding my bike, pulled the chord really hard, and they still work as well as the day I bought them. A year and three months after I bought them, I did get one tear in the chord (my fault) as well as tear near the base (again, my fault). A little bit of gorilla glue fixed both tears.
Microphone: I have had 5 different mic headphone/earbuds over the last two years. ALL of them have died on me except my PX-100s. The mic quality is very good, I use them for voice and video calls all the time and on numerous occasions the friends I speak with prefer I use the mic on the PX-100 versus other options I have.
Comfort: I happen to think I have a large head. Whereas my Grados made me uncomfortable after 15 minutes of wearing them, I can wear these for hours. That is not to say that you might not feel some fatigue wearing them after a while, but that compared to most other headphones, these are very comfortable.
Bottom line: If you need a pair of phones that fold up small, sound great, are durable, and let surrounding sounds enter, these phones are just for you. If you need phones that do not leak sound, look elsewhere.
Note: I never fluff the stars I give to items. Star inflation on amazon has led me to buy some really crappy products so I am very realistic when I give out stars. I review products for what they are, not what I wish them to be.
on December 18, 2011
I have tried every "in-ear" headset they sell and got tired of them not fitting well or even hurting! These headphones are light and the sound is excellent with my iPod Touch 4. Use for walking and riding and they let just enough sound come in so you are not isolated but still give deep rich base with clear midrange and sparking highs. Hint: On you iPod go into settings, Sounds and then Equalizer and experiment with all the different settings. You will find one that is perfect! This is a MUST DO to get the best sound from any set of headphones. Enjoy, I sure am!
on September 28, 2011
These headphones sound great, and yes, they seem to be a step up from the PX-100 pair that served me well for 5 years. As before, the bass is surprisingly good for such a small set. But it's not just bass, there is good clarity and power throughout the whole range. Different voices are nicely separated, and you can pump enough volume through them to drown out any environment without distorting (not noise canceling, just ruin-your-ears loud). If you have any lower bitrate MP3s, you're going to start noticing the flaws from the compression that you might not have noticed before.
I love the version with the inline microphone, so I can use it with my phone. The buttons don't work on Android, though (the play/pause button may work, depending on your OS, but these controls are designed for iPhone). They fit a little snugger than the older model, so they get uncomfortable after a few hours, but not terribly so.
I may be the only person in existence who loved the hard case that the PX-100 shipped with. This set ships with a small cloth bag, which is pointless. It hasn't really detracted from their portability (they go in my laptop bag with me), but I liked knowing they were protected in that hard case.
Anyway, they sound amazing, look good, work with my devices, and none of my complaints were worth deducting one star.
on August 6, 2014
sound quality on these is very good, i've had better, bulkier headphones before, but these are a nice balance of good sound quality and light weight. still light years beyond apple earbuds in terms of sound. to be honest, my hearing isn't as sharp as it once was, so my biggest concern was finding a pair of headphones that were comfortable and had some useful features. things i really like:
1. the single cord into the phones, and the good length that allows me to keep my phone in my pocket while the headphones are on my head. sounds ridiculous, but many of apple's headphone cords are not long enough for a taller person to do this.
2. the controller on the cord works like a charm. volume, track skipping, pause and play, and answer a call all with only three buttons.
3. easy to recognize left side from right. there's even a little braille bump to distinguish them.
4. so light and comfortable. could wear them all day and forget they were there.
5. well built and attractive. they fold in on themselves too for storage. all around just a well thought out design.