Sennheiser PX100 User Review
The Sennheiser px100 is an open ultra portable headphone that cost about $40, which include a hardcase for carrying. The nearest competitors are the Koss Portapro and the Akg k24p/k26p/k412p.
The px100 is ultra lightweight and made especially for portable use. It can be folded almost like glasses, and the speakers can be twisted to lay flat. This makes them the best headphones I've had to carry around your neck, as at least I do a lot if I meet friends etc and don't have the headphones on my head. The Portapro is known for ripping off your hair if you adjust them or have them around your neck, because the headband is basically two metal bands held together by two plastic clips, and hair tends to stuck in these. This is a problem you won't have with the px100, and I think I speak for every Portapro user out there when I say that’s a real relief and a very important point for anyone who has the headphones around their neck.
Comfort wise these are good, the cans sit nice and sturdy on the head, and while I myself often experienced the Portapro falling off my head if I bent down or moved to quickly, these will sit on even if you hang upside down and shake your head. Nevertheless, they don’t press hard on the head, and you won't feel much of them being there. It should be said though, that after wearing these for a long period of time without a break, they sometimes bury into my ears a bit. This is however after using them for 5-6+ hours continuously, and I'd imagine it all depends on ear size as these doesn't cover the entire ear.
As mentioned above, they come with a nice hardcase (see pic) which is a real plus if you carry them in your baggage etc. They might be guilty of bringing the price up a few bucks from what they could have cost, but personally I'd pay extra for such a case for all my headphones if they offered it, so I see it as a big bonus, and $40 isn't much either way.
The cord is about 1.2-1.5 meters, not quiet sure, it's perfect length for having the player in your pocket and the cord hid underneath your clothes. The px100 comes in both black and white (ehem ipod....), and my experience is that the white version is more expensive, but on Amazon it seems to be the other way around.
The px100 is an open headphone, which means they don't isolate you from outside sounds, or the other way around. There is however a closed version of this, called the px200, but closing a headphone means you loose some sound quality normally, and that's also the case here. I've tried the px200, and would also like to point out that I didn't like the comfort of those at all, in my opinion closed headphones should cover the entire ear or close to, so the px200 with its tiny cans were just not comfortable for my ears. There are also yet another version of the px100 (and px200 for that sake) called the pmx100/pmx200, which has a neckband instead of a headband. I haven't tried these but I reckon the drivers (speakers) are the same and so the audio quality will be so too. I originally wanted a pair of pmx100 for using with a bicycle helmet, but at least in Norway they are way more expensive than the px100 so I went with the ksc75 instead.
Back to the issue at hand, the open design of the px100 means that you will definitely hear people around you if it's noisy, the same goes for people on the bus, and traffic for that matter. While it might be annoying at times, remember that the open design gives you better sound quality when it's silent around you, they don't hurt your hearing as much, and it might just save you from walking into a car on in the street
While design does play a big role, sound quality is in the end the most important aspect of a headphone - unfortunately for Skullcandy
Compared to the Portapro, which has an incredibly un-detailed and dominating bass, the px100 is more all-round, covering all frequencies well. Myself I use the mach3bass on the D2 at max wherever I go, so the px100 delivers wonderful and clear bass, which could easily match the amount of bass that the Portapro delivers off a normal mp3 without the mach3bass. The difference is that with the px100, you're able to hear the difference between mid-low frequencies and low frequencies etc, while the Portapro generally has "bass", along the lines of those headphones with vibrating cans, which is more of noisy sound than music in my opinion.
Without the mach3bass, the px100 won't give you that much bass that some people prefer, but it's definitely there!
Compared to the Beyerdynamic DT231 which is my home use headphone, the px100 sound more smooth in my opinion, which makes bad quality files sound less bad. This might be because the px100 is open while the dt231 is closed, and I actually prefer the px100 because of this fact sometimes, because I have music that I can't find with better quality anywhere. The dt231 sound sharper and almost sting when they encounter a low bitrate file. Also, when you use headphones out in the "wild", i.e. outside a closed room, some detail is lost anyways because of the recurring fact that the px100 is open. When outside, I never sit down and really listen to the music like I do at home, so the somewhat lack of detail doesn't matter for me, I'd rather have the option to be less picky about the music quality.
As is probably clear by now, I love the px100 for all they're worth and can't go outside without them. Previously I’ve used the Portapro, UR40 and KSC75 (all Koss) for portable use, and the px100 sweep everyone of these off the stage (the KSC75 are pretty matched with the px100, though the ear clip design is a tad annoying for extended use as it allows for lots of outside noise, more than the px100).
For portable use, I can happily recommend this headphone to anyone. For home use, I'd go with something else, at least for main set of phones, since the px100 is in full a portable headphone. The cord also shows this, being the perfect length for portable use, while i.e. my dt231 has 3m cable, which is better for home usage.
I don't really have anything bad to say about the px100, except for the "hurt my ears with long use" part, but that's not really a problem as I don't often wear them for that long.
White px100 at Amazon.com
Black px100 at Amazon.com
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