Sunday, 13 January 2013

GADGET - Sennheiser Portable Headphones PXC 250 II

Sennheiser Portable Headphones PXC 250 II
My phone has become such a multi-tasker for me. I no longer bother with MP3 players and don't feel the need for a tablet as my phone can do so much of what I'd use a tablet for. Kindle? No thanks, I've got the app on my phone. You get the point. So when asked if I'd like to review phone accessories from the Phones4U website I knew I'd make good use of whatever I chose.

As it's January and the gym is beckoning I thought of the one thing that makes workouts easier and that's a pair of great headphones. I literally cannot last even half as long if I don't have music loud in my ears. So, with this in mind, I opted to try the Sennheiser portable headphones (model PXC 250 II).

So, what's the blurb? 

These headphones feature NoiseGard active noise cancellation technology, come with a closed, supra-aural design which provides for excellent passive attenuation of ambient noise, and have a newly-improved battery pack requires only a single AAA alkaline battery which lasts up to 50 hours. They've also got a steel-reinforced headband and integrated volume control.

Sennheiser Portable Headphones PXC 250 II with NoiseGard

And what does that mean for the listener?

In short, these headphones make music sound great. One of my fave gym tracks right now is Spectrum by Zedd featuring Matthew Koma. The track starts with strong vocals and a melodic intro which the headphones capture the emotion of perfectly. The track builds to electro-synth beats and a tempo-changing tune. There is a lot going on but the headphones manage to convey all the elements without losing anything in the crowd. The treble is quite bright and crisp and there's nothing in the way of bass distortion which you'd expect for this price bracket.

Next up I tried some Ben Howard (if you still haven't listened to him he's amazing!) His track 'Only Love' opens on the plucking of guitar strings and not only is it clear and hyper-real sounding, you can continue to hear every guitar string throughout the song. Even though there are parts of the song where the track becomes very pared-back and quiet, you don't start to hear what's going on outside of it. Proof that the noise cancellation is pretty darn good.

The headphones are portable and easy to fold down and carry in a fairly small case - I need a case as I have a habit of flinging things into my handbag rather carelessly. The head band and fit is comfortable too. There really isn't much I don't like to be honest, and I think they offer good value for money at £155.99. The last pair I had and loved to death cost £165 and I'd say these are not quite as good, but there isn't much in it at all. Plus, these have the added bonus of being very compact which my previous pair did not.

Sennheiser Portable Headphones PXC 250 II with NoiseGard, boxed


There's only really one thing that I would have expected to be better and that's the volume. I still find that maximum volume isn't quite loud enough for pounding the treadmill. I know exactly why... the brands that make and sell headphones have some responsibility to stop us all listening so loud we go deaf, but I'm just so partial to a pumping bassline. However, other pairs I've had have been louder. Finally, the battery is attached to the headphone wire and is a little bit bulky and inconvenient, but it does have a clip which is useful for attaching to you while running or working out.

What gadgets are in your gym kit? Are you using apps or new kit to get you fit this year? Do let me know your thoughts.
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