35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2006
One negative review here to date. Check out the UK site for more reviews, all of them (to date) are 4 to 5 stars. Check 'em out:
My take on these:
-Bright, clear, crisp sound.
-No sound leakage! THis is a huge plus, living in the city. I had these suckers blasting on the F Train and the person sitting next to me heard NOTHING from me (granted, NYC subways are full of noise to begin with, but if it WERE quiet he'd still hear nothing coming from my direction).
-Nice industrial design. Very cool.
-Comfortable enough, though not as comfortable as the over the head types.
-Snug fit, won't droop off the head.
-Contrary to "N. Wadhwa" review, the PMX 200's CAN be worn even if you need to rest the back of your head on a seat: the headband can be pushed upward and against your head while still keeping the ear pieces snug against the ears.
-Closed design will be hot in the summer. Exercise with these and your ears will drip with sweat. Not the fault of Sennheiser's design, but a negative if you plan to exercise with these (better off with the PMX 100's if you want something "cooler" on the ears).
-Bass is not great, but I find deep bass on phones in this price range too often means muddy sound, so not a big negative here, IMO.
-Plug is the tall vertical type not the superior short stubby kind. So it can get damaged more easily. Why the short, stubby plug is not universally standard on portable headphones is a mystery to me.
Compared to the Sony MDR-G57's (since I own those, too): Sony's have more bass, but muddier sound. Sennheiser's have superior sound overall and look better, too. Sony's have superior stubby gold-plated plug.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2007
I'm willing to bet that, like me, most people serious enough about music to drop the cash for an iPod (or similar portable music player), probably own, and actively use, more than one set of headphones/earbuds. I'll also go out on a limb and presume that this is because these people tend to choose 'phones/buds based on both what they're listening to, and/or under what conditions (a three-hour flight one day, a five-mile run on another). In my opinion, no one design is going to "do it" all the time for a lot of people. Of course, getting as crazy with headphones the way a certain infamous dictator's wife did with shoes would be neither healthy nor productive. For most, picking a decent pair each of earbuds and headphones will cover at least 90% of your listening needs/desires.
I'd been living with the standard-issue earbuds that came with my 60GB Apple iPod Photo for a while. They are, in fact, not half-bad for general listening, but, like most 'buds, they were lacking in terms of isolation in noisy environments such as subway cars and certain other indoor environments. My first "alternative" purchase was a pair of Audio-Technica Import Series clip-on 'phones (ATH-EM7). Definitely among the better clip-on designs, and very good tonal quality, but still lacking in terms of isolation. I rejected the idea of more-conventional "cans" since I don't care for the bulk or weight; they're fine at home, but awkward (and, IMO, dorky-looking) when outdoors.
I'd been looking at the PMX 200s for a while, checking out other reviews here and elsewhere. On a day when I was rather weary from racing around the city working on various jobs (I'm a freelance computer tech), I decided to drop into a shop that I knew stocked the 200s (J & R's Portables store), and make a five-minute "informed impulse" purchase. (Rule #1 when buying something as personal as headphones: make sure the place you buy them from has a fairly liberal return policy.)
The Good Stuff:
- Acoustic isolation: For isolating phones (as opposed to noise-canceling), these hit that delicate balance between compact design and decent ear coverage for a reasonable acoustic "seal." I've always liked the don't-muss-my-hair concept of behind-the-neck-band designs, but I never heard a pair of 'phones of that design that I really liked the feel or sound of until trying these. As with one other reviewer, these 'phones passed the "F-train Test." (Users' results on other lines with older, noisier subway cars-the J/M/Z lines come to mind here-may vary, of course.) ;-)
I do like the fact that these 'phones attenuate just enough outside noise to allow enjoyment of the music without sealing you off entirely from the outside world. I think Sennheiser struck a near-perfect balsnce here.
- Fit: These phones tend to stay put, once you've fitted them comfortably (which is rather important; see under The [Slightly] Bad). Between the isolating faux-leather-covered ear cushions and flexible ear-clips, these phones won't be slip-sliding away (and that's the only vague song reference I'll be making here, so relax).
- Sound: this comes last because this can get rather subjective, easily given example by the widely-divergent opinions others have here regarding the 200's bass response: some think it's great, a few others think it's "just okay", and still a few others seem to ask, "WHAT bass?" I'll just talk about the "gestalt" of the 200's overall sound quality: it's really, really good: from lows to highs, the listening experience is very "solid." (Note: the very word "stereo" is taken somewhat roughly from the Greek, meaning "solid." A good two-channel hi-fi system, at its best, provides the listener with a convincing musical sound field before her or him that's greater than the sum of its parts, not just drums on the left, guitars on the right, and somebody's voice vaguely in the middle.) The bass on these 'phones is pretty much where it should be to sound convincing, neither anemic nor overpowering. Hardcore bass freaks MIGHT find the 200s a tad underwhelming if they like their bass "overwhelming", but, besides simply "being there", the 200's bass definition is pretty much spot-on (which is a Good Thing for certain MP3 files that may have had the life squeezed out of them for the sake of taking up as little space as possible on a portable player). High frequencies are extended without being excessively bright, and vocals have an unforced detail and richness to them. The 'phones, IMO, don't seem to be genre-specific: as I listen to everything from orchestral and chamber music to hard blues and rock, the 200s don't play favorites.*
The (slightly) Bad:
- Comfort: Again, the thing to know about 'phones like these is that comfort is a subjective thing, something borne out by the other reviews here: some people got a decent fit with them as soon as they broke them out of the box; others seemed to be in so much pain they'll be ready to confess to crimes they didn't commit if they were made to wear them for longer than 20 minutes.
I say, "it's all in the adjustment." Just slapping 'em on won't always get you a comfy fit; they can be made to feel comfy for wearing a few hours straight, but you can also set them up to induce a headache within a half-hour or less. In other words, fitting these 'phones on isn't quite idiot-proof. Take a few moments to tweak them when putting them on, and I'd imagine that, in most cases (though not all), a pleasing fit can be had.
The Truly Bad:
Nothing so far
In a nutshell: highly recommended
(*In terms of sound quality, a good pair of headphones, of sufficient resolution, can have an unintended side-effect: you get more than an inkling of how good-or bad-your fave recordings are. If you're picky like me, you might find yourself playing with your player's EQ settings a bit more than usual with these phones. Muddy high end? Tubby, congested bass? Don't blame the "messenger"; it could be the studio mixdown of the recording, or it could be the digital transfer when you ripped the files from your CDs. Don't go nuts with this, however: a famous golden-ear audiophile-type once famously opined, referring to classical-music recordings specifically, "The worse the sound, the better the performance." Not a hard-and-fast rule, of course, but something to keep in mind when you're madly punching your iPod's EQ control to make a sonic silk purse from a studio-born sow's ear.)
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2006
Throughly enjoy these headphones. I haven't had the problems as described by others. I find the sound to be rich and dynamic at an affordable price. As far as comfort goes, I think that probably varies from person to person, but I think they feel great. These are good headphones for walking around (ie.--to and from work, to the train, etc.) They work well on city streets as they minimize exterior noise, without blocking it out completely, so you can maintain awareness of your environment. My experience has been very positive.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2006
These headphones are very comfortable. This is important if I'm going to wear them all day at work and its why earbuds are hard for me. Now I spent more money because I wanted better sound. These headphones deliver. The sound that comes from these is very natural. Don't expect the bass to blow you away and if you're used to headphones that emphasize the bass, you may not like these. Not to say the bass is bad. I put "Feel Good Inc." on and even at the "1″ setting I listen to my music on generally (yes, I really like the lowest setting. I don't want to be deaf.) the bass in that song was very good. If I crank the song up a bit I can really appreciate the entire range of these headphones. They have a great seal on your ears and I find I can hear a lot of detail in my music that I don't generally hear. The sound is crisp and clean and I'm used to muddy. And while not all that important, they are very nice looking and look like they are high quality.
What's Not So Good?
The behind the head design may turn some people off but. Its important to wear them correctly because the band really should go around your neck and not the back of your head. Worn properly you can lean back comfortably in a chair but otherwise you won't be able to. Also, as far as portability goes, they don't fold up or have a case. So transportation could be an issue. None of these things really affect me though.
Can I recommend these? Oh, most definitely. I always say I'm not an audiophile but I've never had any headphones or speakers that were really very good. These may change my outlook a bit as I find myself hearing things in my music I really haven't before.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2007
I always wondered what some of those harder to understand lyrics were in my favorite songs. Apparently I just needed new headphones. With these each and every nuance of the notes are sharp and crisp. And here I had figured the singers just needed to annunciate their words better.
These headphones are NOT too loud, the 115 DB these headphones produce is deliberate and precise; the base isn't to heavy, the high notes are not to piercing, yet still they are defiantly not hard to hear even at lower volume levels. But even at full volume another person can only hear the rough sounds of heavy metal or hard rock from about a foot away from me.
These headphones are light, soft, and squishy. Everyone else seems to claim that the hooks are uncomfortable, or that they squeeze/push/pinch/crush their ears. And while I don't know how frankenstein feels with them on, but even with my big head I find the pleather cushions and soft plastic hooks extremely soft and comfortable; the hooks are almost malleable and bend very easily to adjust on my ears. (although I have been kind of scared of breaking them as soft as they are) I can even wear sunglasses with them and it doesn't bump anything out of place. And with a slight adjustment of the band either up or down I can even lay flat in bed with them on and not have them come off of my ears.
I got these because of the pleather and the closed shell. I didn't want people around me where I live and work to be annoyed by my choices in music.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2007
I purchased these PMX-200s a week ago (after returning a pair of $100-Bose TriPort earbuds, which would not stay IN my ears!!). I used these with my iPod to workout at the gym almost every day this week. I also tried them with my stereo, and they sound surprisingly good. These phones are of decent construction; the neckband is plastic reinforced with metal and the ear pieces are well padded and comfortable enough for long wear (I wear mine for 2 hours straight w/o major discomfort). The sound is quite crisp and the bass is decent. Though not the noise-canceling type, they do a good job at keeping outside noise to a minimum w/o much volume. They do get "slippery when wet", but if you secure them to your ears with the plastic ear holders, they will stay put. Overall, I'm very satisfied with these phones and do recommend them to any sports lover who's sick and tired of overpriced earbuds that won't stay IN your ears. I found the best price here at Amazon ($25 vs. $50 at Target).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2006
Thanks to the previous reviewers of the PMX 200 who made this choice so easy.
Background: My lovely wife purchased a pair of FJ451 Sharper Image Noise Reduction Headphones for me, but they were terribly uncomfortable and actually added noise. I take a 2 mile walk each day along noisy roads and was looking for headphones that would at least muffle ambient noise.
Day One: First thing I like is that the plastic packaging snaps open so you don't have to fight with it like so many other electronics today. Headphones fit easily and are as comfortable as other reviewers have mentioned. I wear glasses and a NY Football Giants Cap and the ear pieces and neck band do not interfer with either. Sound is precise, clean, but warm like Polk Audio, not overly bright like some JBL speakers. During the walk, the headphones muffled the outside noise so well that I did not have to raise the volume due because of the daily rush hour traffic noise. Who needs noise cancelation?
Portability is decent. The ear pieces rotate 90 degress so that they can be stored flat with the neck band allowing them to easily fit into the side pouch of a laptop bag.
Price at Amazon is very good compared to large retail outlets.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2008
The box lies. These cans push out nearly no bass at all. If these produced bass to the same standards as the mids and highs they produce, they would be extremely good. I bought these because of their closed design. It's just a shame that they don't produce any bass. Most of the music I listen to has a fair measure of bottom end, so these really aren't up to it. They are, however good in closed, public spaces thanks to the lack of sound leakage. The construction is good, the fit is comfortable and they look decent. Unfortunately, the lack of bass is really disappointing.