I had been looking for sub 60 buck cans originally, but fortunately my budget increased to 100. Since I was just moving back to school and seriously didn't want to wait for shipping, I took the subway down to J&R to check out their cans. Was going to buy the D1001, but it was sold out. Then I was looking for the PX200II but couldn't find them. I was about to buy the HD448, but their build quality really turned me off. They were comfy, and look pretty from afar but they felt much too light and like they could have broken any second now. I didn't get how my RX700s felt about 80 thousand times sturdier. I didn't get to hear their sound though, as whatever source they were connected to wasn't on. But Sennheiser's choice of plastic made them feel really "cheap" to me. The RX700s, although they creak a bit and are totally plastic, feel very sturdy.
Anyways, fortunately, i found the PX200-IIs just as I was about to then choose the ES7s(I had been weary about their comforts. Ok, enough storytime. To the review!
Build Quality/Looks: Although the plastics seem to be the same as in the HD4X8 series, the steel reinforced headband and smaller size makes them feel very durable. They look really nice off your head. On your head, they look slightly silly from the front because of the shape the headband kind of takes, but nothing bad. They look quite nice from a profile view, I'd say. The folding mechanism is totally awesome. Took me a couple of minutes to figure out, then I had it. It also brings a little bag thingy, which i prefer to the plastic casing in the original version of these headphones.
Comfort: Surprisingly, very comfortable. They don't clamp too hard(I have an average size head), and I can wear them for hours on end with maybe only a little bit of dull pain afterwards. They feel nice on my head, and often just sort of dissapear. The cups swivel in the spot to fit.
Leakage: Very little I find, by testing it having the headphones over a pillow. Leak less than the RX700s or FC700s. If it's leaking a lot, then you're probably killing your hearing XD
Isolation: Surprisingly good without music, and awesome with music. With music at moderate volumes, it gets very hard to hear to outside noise, I find. Haven't tried them on the subway yet, or in super-duper loud environments, but it drowns out my fan nicely. I shall test it on the subway when I get the chance! Definitely feel in my own little world when I'm listening to these, and the isolation is definitely better than that of my RX700s.
Sound: Now of course the most important part. In one word: Impressive. They exceeded my expectations, even if they aren't quite what I had hoped for(which was to be better than my RX700s). Their sound signature I find is actually quite similar to the RX700s. The main differences are a more neutral sound as opposed to the warmer JVCs, and less present/articulate bass. They sound more naturally colored, voices sound more as if I were hearing a real person speak, in terms of color. it's slight, but notable. The bass isn't bad by any means from my testing though, just not as "alive" as the RX700s.
They don't have quite the same speed and attack on notes as the RX700s, but it's not bad by any means. By attack on the notes, I mean the "edge" certain instruments have in their notes. For example, on the RX700s I feel more as if I can hear each individually strummed string in an acoustic guitar chord, whereas it feels more "mushed" together on the PX200s. This edge is still good, just not quite as good as the RX700s. One thing I noticed as soon as I listened to them was that they compress dynamics less than the RX700s and FC700s, which I hadn't even realized compressed dynamics! I was surprised at the changes in volume within songs compared to those headphones.
They don't have quite the same detail as the RX700s, where i feel like I can hear any little thing; I suppose that related to the edge mentioned above.
The PX200-IIs are easy to drive, and sound great out of my mytouch 3g celphone(which has no EQs or anything lol). I quite enjoy using these in lower quality files or through online services like pandora or slacker, perhaps because they are not as detailed as the JVCs.
As for the soundstage, more surprises! They aren't the widest sounding cans I've ever heard, but they're surprisingly airy and have nice depth. Slightly wider soundstage than the RX700s I'd say. It might just be because they are smaller and less noticeable while I'm wearing them, but either way, it feels more airy.
They work nicely for pretty much every genre I find; I only feel some added longing for my JVCs when listening to more bass heavy stuff.
BTW these also benefit greatly from Graphicisms Dolby Headphone setup.
All in all, I think they are definitely worth the moeny if you don't mind not having a humongous soundstage and need the isolation and portability. Sturdy, comfortable, and great sounding! They don't sound as good as my RX700s, but my goodness am I happy to be able to actually fit them in my pocket.
P.S. This also makes me happier about my RX700 purchase, since I still Haven't heard anything at the 100 range that explicitly beats the JVCs XD.
Left: headphones in expanded form.
Right: Headphones in compact form. Yea, the RX700s don't change much. XD.