Sennheiser PMX 200
- Great sound, Closed design provides isolation
- A little uncomfortable
A wonderful set of closed headphones. The sound quality, while not quite as good as the PX 100, is quite impressive and the only real issue we had was with comfort.
Price$ 129.95 (AUD)
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Sennheiser's new PMX 200 offers typical Sennheiser audio quality and combines it with a closed design. This makes them a good choice for people who want to listen in noisy areas or environments where the sound escaping from the headphones must be kept to a minimum.
The headphone market is a fairly slow moving space. It is rare to get more than a few good releases a year, so we were really looking forward to putting this model through its paces. Overall we were very impressed with the PMX 200's results.
The PMX 200 is a combination of over the ear clip-ons like the Koss KSC-75 and round the neck headphones. They are designed as a sports model and so are meant to be both stylish and secure. They clip over the ears with a small wing of plastic, and while it is comfortable in the short term, we experienced a slight ache from the clip after prolonged use. The neck band, for those of us who have larger than average heads, is comfortable most of the time but may be a little too short for some situations and can get in the way.
The sound from the PMX 200 is absolutely fantastic, and they will blow away most other pairs of headphones you have heard. Nevertheless, they weren't quite up to the impressive standard of something like the aforementioned Koss KSC-75 or Sennheiser's own PX 100. This probably stems from the closed design which is, by default, inferior to an open design with regard to sound quality. Sennheiser advertise the closed design helps with bass performance, but this was our biggest area of complaint. There was not enough extension on the bass, which lead to a more relaxed and laid back sound. The PMX 200 exhibited the typical Sennheiser sound, which is rich and slightly dark, but not particularly punchy.
We found the sound to be slightly gritty and quite slow in parts (thanks to the reverberation from the closed design) with lovely highs and a smooth mid range. There was a very impressive level of separation in the middle and upper registers, with male vocals in particular standing out, and the level of detail rivaled most other headphones we've listened to.
The soundstage was fairly impressive for a closed model, resembling a grand hall rather than the intimate presentation of some models. We didn't find the sound as punchy and energetic as some competing products, but the clarity and detail in the upper ranges was excellent. These would be best suited to classical, jazz, soft rock or singer-songwriter material.
Stylistically, the PMX 200 look pretty good. Finished in a glossy, pale blue with a black, circular section you won't be embarrassed to be seen wearing them. The construction felt sturdy and the rotatable hinges on the headphone cups mean they can be flipped to lie flat for easy storage.
It is also important to note the closed design provides great isolation from external noise, so they're well-suited to on the move listening. While they don't fully block sound out like noise cancelling models do, they do a good job of keeping basic ambient sound to a minimum. This also works the other way, keeping your music just for you, which makes them excellent office or library headphones.
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