The Sennheiser OMX 181 earphones have a slick design and don't disappoint when it comes to sound and build quality. The in-line volume control on the tangle-free cord is a plus.
The Sennheiser OMX 181 headphones have a trendy two-tone colour scheme and sleek, modern styling. The over-the-ear hooks may feel a little uncomfortable at first but offer good long-term comfort and adjustability. Overall this is a comfortable pair of earphones with good sound quality.
At first glance, each of the Sennheiser OMX 181's earphones may look like a Bluetooth earpiece with a striking red and gold housing.
Sennheiser boasts that no two designs are the same, and you can see that there has been thought and care put into this model. The bendy CustomFlex ear-hook system is nice to have but ultimately unnecessary — we found that the ear-buds were light enough to rest in the ear comfortably. Putting the cushioning pads on each bud is a hassle, but you should only have to do this once.
The 1.2 metre symmetrical braided headphone cable is well designed, and we never had any issues with tangles. This is definitely a useful feature if you listen to your iPod during your daily commute and don't want to spend time fighting to unwrap the cable.
Another welcome feature is the integrated volume control. An easy flick to boost or lower volume is convenient, and we didn't notice any distortion or channel bias when comparing low and high volume levels.
We were a little disappointed by the content of the sales package: beyond one set of earpads, there is not much else provided with the Sennheiser OMX 181. We would have liked to see a soft protective case included in the sales package even though this is a budget pair of headphones. An extra set of earpads would have been a nice inclusion too.
When buying headphones, sound quality is obviously of key importance; the OMX 181 earphones will not let you down in this area. Treble has good levels of detail and no evident distortion at high volumes. The secure fit of the earphones also works wonders for the bass, with consistently strong low-end frequency response. The Sennheiser OMX 181 easily handled the tests of both Fats Domino and Sneaky Sound System, with a sound that is accurate and musical.
We were able to block out a decent amount of outside noise: the earphones don't have the passive isolation of a pair of over-the-ear headphones, but ambient noise is significantly reduced. If you don't want to use in-ear headphones these would be a good choice for blocking out your fellow commuters.
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