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Sennheiser PMX 685i Sports In-Ear Neckband Headphones - Black/Blue, 3.5 mm, angled (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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- These sports afficianados listen to their headphones/headsets during their sports activities in order to motivate themselves further.Connectivity Technology: Wired
- Therefore these headphones/headsets have been specifically designed and tested to sound good and to stay comfortable, secure and reliable throughout the course of their activity.
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|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||FitLine Supply||Amazon.com||PHOTOTECH||FitLine Supply||Electronics Warehouse Outlet||Breezesun|
|Color||Black||Green||Black||White||Orange & Grey||Black|
|Item Dimensions||1 x 1 x 1 in||2.4 x 7.1 x 6.3 in||4.72 x 5.11 x 1.65 in||1 x 1 x 1 in||4.7 x 5.5 x 1.7 in||1 x 1 x 1 in|
|Additional Features||lightweight||sports-and-exercise||lightweight, tangle-free-cord||ios-phone-control, lightweight, volume-control||android-phone-control, ios-phone-control, lightweight, tangle-free-cord, universal-phone-control||Sports-And-Exercise|
The Sennheiser sports range is targeted at the sportsmen/sportswomen who are truly passionate about their sports and music.
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# My Use Case
I'm a 5'10" guy at approximately 200 lbs who, over the recent years, has taken up running over the recent years. I started with 1 mile outings, but lately my regular route is a 5.2 mile jaunt that I've shaved down to an average finish time of 43-45 minutes. I'm not what would be called a heavy sweater and prespire a moderate amount of sweat during workouts – "average", whatever that actually means. Earbuds work well for me for casual use, but in my initial search for a solid pair of distance running headphones, I found that unless I drop the cash for custom/foam tips, the manufacturer provided ear-tips fail to keep headphones in place during physical activity.
After giving up on earbuds, I started trying various sports earbuds with on/around-the-ear clips. Though they do their job at keeping the earbuds in place, all that ones I've tried fail to produce satisfactory audio quality. And if the sizing issues weren't enough of a hassle, my personal preferences also look for inline playback & volume controls, which narrows down the headphone candidate pool more than you'd expect.
# Initial Sennheiser Experience
In January of 2013, I read a lot of glowing reviews for the Sennheiser PMX 680is. Having gotten nowhere with earbuds, I put aside my skepticism over the neckband design and ordered them off Amazon. They had the track/volume controls I wanted, and they were co-branded with Adidas, convincing me enough to overlook the off-putting black & yellow color scheme they had. For well over a year, those headphones served me well. Mile after mile, they remained fully functional. When I lost the cable clip, I started putting unnecessary stress on the cable by winding it around my phone in various ways as a form of cable management. Inevitably, they started dropping out sound and changing the playback volume without any button presses. Accepting the fault as my own, I decided I'd buy a second pair and do a better job of taking care of them by also working out a more elegant cable management strategy.
# The Sennheiser OCX 685 Experience
When my PMX 680's died, Sennheiser had discontinued them in favor of the 685 update to their sports headphone line. Also, I didn't want to wait for the two-day shipping – there was running to be done in that time, and I wanted to have good sound on hand while I did it. I drove down to my local Best Buy to see if there was a viable option I could buy same-day, and found they had the OCX 685is (the earbuds with the around-the-ear loop clip) on sale. Willing to bank on Sennheiser's design & build quality based on the great experience with the pair I was having to replace, I decided to give them a try. I wound up running 3 miles with them – half a mile out and back home with each of the 3 different ear-tips, none of which managed to keep a good seal with my ear canal. I returned them, then ordered the PMX 685i's – the ones I *should* have ordered and waited for Amazon to deliver in the first place. Or so I mistakenly thought.
# The Sennheiser PMX 685i Experience
After Amazon delivered, I opened these headphones up and took them out on a run. They were everything I would have wanted – the same great fit & sound I'd had with the 680i's, only with a cool dark blue highlight instead of a tacky yellow. Win-win. Then, shortly after the one-month mark, I plugged them in one day and heard a static buzz before playback started in only one earbud. I removed the cable, plugged it back in, and they worked fine. A week later, I was out in the middle of a run when my phone randomly rolled the volume up to the maximum limit. I tried turning it down with the remote, but none of the buttons were responding. Over the next few days, I found all the buttons would work at the start of my run, but once I was out long enough to start sweating, the volume control buttons would stop working and only the main button for playback controls would respond. Over the past week, that main button started going on the fritz itself, intermittently pausing my music and triggering Siri.
So, I finally gave up, and processed a return with Amazon. I wanted to love these headphones and had all the reason to, but the manufacturer let me me down. Now, it's back to going on dates with different headphones until I find a new pair that I actually like.
Overall, I found that design of this headphones' controls is not suitable for running, gym or any other activity. They poorly tried to fit too many controls with three small buttons, requiring multiple pressing. If all buttons work, then using controls in a gym could be suitable if you are not using benches. However, the neck band is sticking out and will not allow to do you any exercise on a bench.
Also, because of the neck bend you could not use this headphones while sitting in any chair (office, car, air plane).
So, in summary, this product is mostly useless. Stay away from it.
Cons: Almost like clockwork, after about 5 miles of running songs would start skipping, repeating, or my iPhone's voice control would randomly activate. I suspected that sweat was either getting into the in-line controls or the mic and covered them with electrical tape, which fixed the problem. I never used the controls anyway, but the mic was very handy for answering calls while running.
The only thing that ruined my experience is that the rubber that covers the sound driver to the arm kept falling, and eventually got lost.
So now I need to contact Sennheiset to check of they will solve this.
Meanwhile back to traditional headphones.
Pictures show the only left rubber and detail of driver without the rubber.
===== UPDATE ======
According to Sennheiser support, the earbud rubber isn`t covered by their warranty. My fault for their flawed design.
My headphone started to drop volume of my phone after some minutes of run. Let`s try their support again, but depending on their instructions (user is required to cover shipping costs to Sennheiser), it may be better to discard it - current value is a third of what I`ve paid for it, and it was discontinued.
I`m really not tempted to try again Sennheiser products due their below average warranty terms.