Sennheiser PX-100

My previous pair of Sennheiser MX-550 headphones broke. I knew I had to get an on-ears (not in-ears) model next, as I wear phones for hours on end at work, in commute and at home, perhaps averaging at two hours per day.

The last time I’d gone for the in-ear kind (‘canal’) because of portability and ease of use, for instance at the gym. They are very uncomfortable to use for extended periods of time, despite the MX-550s sounding very good for their price.

I used Creative’s on-ears model HQ-1300 for a year. They soundedgood and were easy on the ears, but they were rather too heavy for extended use. But the real killer was the headband: it really irritated my scalp, due to being hard foam.

So comfort and reasonable sound quality were the main things I was looking for. I had testdrived Koss Porta Pro, but found that the most convenient retailer was charging a hefty brand premium on it. So I checked out the alternatives and after much deliberation settled on the Sennheiser PX-100, initially on the clerk’s heartfelt recommendations. I wasn’t willing to pay over 50€, anyway, since these things never last me over a year.

The PX-100 is a very modest gadget: they simply don’t look like much. But there are a couple of things that have made me really like the things after a couple of days of use.

First of all, they’re portable. They fold up into a hardy carrying case, effectively eliminating worrying about them getting crushed in a bag. They’re lightweight, too. But related to this, they’re also very comfortable to use. The headband is padded with imitation leather cushions, the adjustment works effortlessly, the speakers don’t put pressure on your ears. I didn’t notice any discomfort after several hours of listening to music.

The build quality seems very good, you definitely feel like getting your money’s worth. Because of the fold-up design, I was worried about the hinges, but all the components seem sturdy enough and click into place satisfyingly. The cord is also sturdier than with most headphones I’ve used.

Then there’s the matter of the sound. I listened through eight pairs of headphones at the store, using my own portable player (which is the main device I’ll be using the headphones with), and these stood out, even when listened next to some considerably more expensive models. This was the first thing that put these on my radar, the clerk’s very enthusiastic praise came second. When I finally compared sound, features and price, there just wasn’t competition. The only real alterntive was Koss: the Porta Pro was as good in my ears, but the all-metal headband makes them a pain to wear, and the price was just too much.

I’ve been happy with my purchase, and it seems that so are some other folks.

Some might argue that you’d want a closed model to keep out the background noise, but it isn’t really a problem for me. I hadn’t considered it before, but the open design actually enhances the sound – it sounds more, I don’t know, natural. Then again, you’re bleeding out quite a bit of what you’re listening to, so your fellow human beings might object.

1 reply on “Sennheiser PX-100”

[…] I bought a pair of Sennheiser CX 300 in-ear headphones because my Sennheiser PX 100s are a little cumbersome on the go. The PX 100 has been a good set at work – I usually hear through if someone calls out for me, and being a rigid, foldable headband set, it’s easy to just drop them around my neck if I need to talk a while. On the go, though, having to fold them away is something of an annoyance, and the open design is not ideal in traffic noise. It can be hard to listen to talk programming, even if music is usually alright. […]

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