Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
Outstanding pair of headphones for iPhone/iPod/iPad
on 18 November 2012
You'd expect a lot from a pair of headphones at a recommended retail price of £60, (discounted to £50 on Amazon), and (FOR THOSE WHO HAVE APPLE PRODUCTS) these babies do not disappoint. I've previously had the ever popular bassy CX 300 (not sports headphones) and the mid-range PMX 80 (sports head-phones)
The PX 685i are sports headphones and are no comparison to the superior sound experience of the CX 300 or other in-ear headphones. CX 300 (and similar in ear headphones) are not ideal for outdoor running because they do tend to block out external noise, which can be a hazard (you could get knocked down by a car/bike). Also, in-ear headphones are not suitable for all ear-shapes. Some people (including me) will find that (even though they are supplied with 3 different sizes of cushion) the headphones will keep falling out. Therefore, in-ear headphones may even be unsuitable for indoor running, even though they arguably give the best sound quality.
My PMX 80 were a good pair of sports headphones, but they are rigid framed "wrap around the back of the neck" neck-band headphones (as opposed to headband headphones). I found that design quite comfortable for running, and the sound was as you'd expect from Sennheiser. However, one problem with neckband headphones is that the ear-pieces can never go as far inside your ear as other styles of "in-ear" head phones - they always have to face backwards (rather than straight towards your ear) so they are technically "half in-ear headphones"
Okay, so now for the PX685i review.
Out of the box:-
1. They sit on top of your head, instead of at the back of your neck. I haven't had a pair of proper headband headpones like this for many years, but I find it more comfortable than the neckband ones. They are incredibly light and snug, and you can't really tell you're wearing them.
2. The headband is not rigid, it is made of a fairly advanced soft flexible plastic material, so you can bend them.
3. The advanced soft flexible plastic material of the headband also helps to hold the headphones close to your head, giving a secure, comfortable fit. Some might find the fit a teeny bit too tight (with a teeny bit too much pressure on the ears), but I think with sports headphones, a snug fit is a must.
4. The headphones are supplied with three different types of in-ear fitting so that you can customize your in-ear experience - there's the basic thin rubber pads, the basic thin foam pads (to be added to the thin rubber pads) and the third option is a weird rubber pad that sticks out a bit - haven't tried it yet.
5. Build quality and styling is quite clearly premium. Every inch of these headphones reeks of refinement and perfection (no garish yellow/orange colours). Sennheiser know exactly what their market is (affluent sporty types with iPhones or iPods) and have delivered exactly the goods required. These headphones may be £50/£60, but that's not going to be a lot of money for the target market, who'll be paying premium prices for most of their sports gear (and gym membership).
And on to features/performance (NOTE - THESE FEATURES ARE MAINLY COMPATIBLE ONLY WITH APPLE PRODUCTS):-
6. Sound reproduction is well balanced, and I can't fault it. There's not too much bass, and the treble is quite clear. For audio podcasts the voice is not tinny - again well balanced.
7. The inline remote control integrates cleverly with iphone/ipod/ipad. There are three buttons (no volume dial). Two of the buttons are up and down for volume. The middle button is a very clever multifunction one, e.g. (i) press and hold for voice commands/Siri (ii) press once to play/pause (iii) press twice to skip to next track (iv) press three times for previous track (v) press once and hold for fast forward (vi) press twice and hold for rewind. NOTE - most of these functions will not work with non-Apple phones/mp3 players. However, basic play/pause worked with my Blackberry, as did the voice-command activation.
8. The inline remote also has a phone mic and the play/pause button can be used to accept and reject calls for iPhone/Facetime only. NOTE - The accept/reject call function will probably not work with non-Apple phones, but you can still use the mic to take calls on non-Apple phones or for skype, etc.
In summary, I don't really see how these headphones could be improved.