The Sennheiser PX 200 II headphones are an excellent upgrade to the PX 200, with enhanced audio quality, better noise isolation, improved comfort and more robust construction.
Like many iPod/iPhone users I’ve never bothered with Apple’s supplied white earphones.
Not only is the sound quality average, I just don’t like the feel of the buds in my ears.
For years I have favoured the Sennheiser PX 200 closed on-ear headphones for better audio and more comfort. They’re not giant cans that make you look like a cyberman and they’re not cheap gimmicky headphones either.
(The cheaper Sennheiser PX 100 headphones are not fully closed so there’s more sound escape from your audio and intrusion from outside noise.)
A real bonus for the active iPod user is the fact that they’re extremely lightweight and brilliantly collapsible – folding down like sunglasses into a compact shape that protects them and takes up little room in your bag/pocket.
I’ve gone through a couple of PX 200 pairs in about four years so they are pretty durable, too – considering the wear that I get out of them on a daily basis. (Both units died due to the cable shredding – they can get caught in the folding joints and tear.)
I was intrigued, therefore, when I heard about Sennheiser’s upgrade – the Sennheiser PX 200 II headphones.
The PX 200 II look much like the PX 200, but they boast fuller leatherette padding on the earpieces – making them even more comfortable and better at noise isolation; you don’t hear the people chatting away next to you on the train, and they shouldn’t hear as much of your music spoiling their conversation.
Noise isolation is vital for iPod travellers, and the PX 200 II headphones behave excellently in this regard. The earpads apply more pressure to the ear, creating a better seal.
Audio quality is improved, with a tighter, more responsive bass, clearing up what some saw as a failing in the PX 200 due to an incomplete seal. (Open headphones should offer better audio clarity but aren’t as good at isolating noise as closed headphones, such as the PX 200 and PX 200 II.)
The PX 200 II has just one cable (from the left side), which makes fraying half as likely, I guess. Also, the cable is much better protected, with a slight waxy feel. I’m confident therefore that it won’t befall the same fraying that I experienced with the PX 200 cable.
The headband is also more robust, steel-reinforced for high durability.
The PX 200 II features an integrated volume control on the cable. How much you use this will depend on how deep in your pocket/bag you keep your music player.
While some have questioned the need for a volume control when most music players feature their own onboard volume dial I found it occasionally useful to dampen the sound when too close to other people without having to lower the sound on my iPod directly. The control can drag the cable somewhat, however - although it does feature a clip to fasten.
NEXT: our expert verdict >>