My first post here. I´d like to share my comparison (not direct) of original PX100 and transition to PX100 II.
It seems that Sennheiser people souls are most sensitive and fragile to different sound of their headphones (or is it only me?), and I saw many people searching the difference between those two versions. It might be a bit late, but hope it still helps somebody, or it will will widen this topic. Now some long text coming...
So I´ll write from "comparison" angle of view, of one who really liked original PX100, which can sound biased. And It actually is...
I might add a little of my background - I´m into physics, electronics, electro acoustics, know few things about that from school, profession and now only hobby, have some basic measuring and simulating tools for my hobby. Not really master of headphones field. Not at all to say...
What might make this review a bit skewed is that I´m not into real flat hi-fi sound. I do like some sound colouration, and I´m after certain things and personal preferences. At that point I can say that original PX100 simply delivered. With mild EQ, it sounded godlike to me. Yep. Sounded. Don´t have those for direct comparison anymore unfortunately. Now the sound:
Deep heavy bass around 40Hz could really pump ones brain out trough his ears if he equalized hard enaugh. I remember myself laughing when trying this. Those headphones literally and measurably jumped on my ears. Aaaaawesome. One could dose this bliss for his taste, but there still was that deep signature unlike Porta Pro, which was higher bass heavy, cheap and powerless sounding to me. Due to the rest of the band(desc/expression below), it still could sound very light, uplifting, not dark, but there was breath of beast feeling everytime. It was awesome what power was hidden in those small headphones. That way I didn´t need to add too much bass. I was happy with the feeling of even lowered bass. It was like when you drive very strong car, and you drive very slow - there is still that feeling of power. You go up the hill, and you have to ease on pedals, or it still speeds up and up and up... It had deep, strong, yet structurated sound, tightly feeding rest of the band, so It passed nice base to the rest of beat -upper base and mids- sound. Or maybe opposite. Well shaped beat led that base support the sound with its power and deepness. It was like drug. SennCrack® to say... I´m not bass head, but I loved beats from those again and again. Even when pretty quiet with rest of sound well pronounced, it was the main thing what drove the sound.
Mids: Very clear, higher mids sharp and very "upfront", strong, detailed. When it hit, one 1) almost frightened on each hit 2) had a feeling something really got broken (glass, window near listener), It was simply clear, detailed, and sharp. Detailed and razor sharp, and detailed again. Back and forth, trough and trough. Could continue with this to bore you to death. Feeling of that sound reminds me of IronMan I scene at party when "his" girl gasped for breath and asked for dry Martini and many olives after near kiss. It was just breathraking, mind boggling, eye opening experience. Liked it(the sound), and cannot find words for those. Maybe "it could hit and cut trough iron if you wanted, but with pleasant way".
..and highs... Those was so live, well pronounced. Those headphones sounded really lively. Unfortunatelly I can hear something up to 22.5kHz, and I like clear and strong highs. It was hard to feed those headphones by high quality highs, because those eat most of the bitrate of lossy formats, and it wasn´t easy to find good music with highest quality. It was always torture to listen MP3s under 320kbps and 44100Hz. When I found it, It was again - godlike, but best tracks are usually not that quality. Murphy´s law... When I see original post and Katuns expression of "lively" said on PX 100 II, I can´t laugh more. Don´t feel offended, this is just my own feeling. PX100 was LIVE BEAST. Loved it, could put my hand in fire for those. Both hands and a leg.
Overall Compared to Koss Porta Pro, it was different world, and PX 100 II is also not really near. Okay, it can be near, bu it is not "II" that close.. I never talk about Koss Porta Pro much, even if people ask, because I couldn´t say good word about it compared to PX100. If I made my setup with it, everybody around me agreed that PX100 sounds better, mature, strong. Sorry. That´s life, my preference, and I won´t dig into it more, to make any flame...
So, I could live some time without my headphones, but I felt "alone", and couldn´t find old PX 100 to buy, so bought PX 100 II impulsively, thinking that it can get even better. I had some doubts as I´ve read all reviews around the world, even here. Was aware of that many people say it´s not that good and it´s somehow muddy, dark and bassy, unlike original PX 100. So I brought it at home and happily jumped on it. Connected to my Motorola phone (sorry- not reference quality device and amp) and went to do something, thinking about how I really need to get used to these, because those will be different, and I have to swallow it. It´s still senhheiser I tought, right? Well, no. After about good three minutes, It needed immediate solution. Didn´t know If I need to bring bucket, run on toilet or start to cry. What was that?! Bleh. My immediate thought was "What a nightmare, what a rip off! No no - We NEVER will be friends buddy. Get off!"
So I can say those are very different to originals. Thanks God it´s not that bad now. We´ll get to that.
With Flat EQ and basic setup, it was dark, muddy, upper bass and lower mids heavy, blurry, husky, highs hidden and smeared. My phone also didn´t helped much. I can say those headphones are very different. For Sennheiser soul it is WORLD different, and I believe I know why lovers of Big Originals are so negative. But I didn´t want to throw that money away. I´m not that way, and don´t have spare money to throw pretty anything. So I searched what to do with this.
Firstly tried to use DSP and PEQ (precise equalizer) on my PC to see what can I dig from these. I could dig good things, but it was not enaugh to say "okay, we´re friends now". I needed to lower 100Hz band, and add heavily on 4-20kHz. It still was not enaugh. Then I found mods of these headphones (hole in the foam, different foams, taking off the inner foam). Tried it without any foams, and it was better. After few mods, It´s much better now, and after few days of nonstop playing those get better and I of course got used on these. Am not sure If I´m done, but I´m happy so far. So after some torture, swallowing saddnes, letdowns, talking myself into it, few "sad tears" playing with settings, EQ, modding and living with it, I can say "Well yes, it´s still that Sennheiser sound" We´re friends again! It has different upper signature, more mild, reference, studio like, calm, but you can get upfront live sound from that, near to that of originals. Now bands expression again:
Bass: Nothing changed. Heavy, deep, structurated and strong if you want. There is "that strong breath". Very happy, Can recommend it, it is nice, and it is as good as originals if not better. I´m not sure if there is that nice passing to beat at times, but with some tracks it´s still there, so - no complains at all. Big Originals in new coating. Sometimes It needs slight correction, but it might be due to different devices I use now. It´s still that good.
Mids: lower mids are the same, higher mids are nice, but calmer and a bit dampened. Can be sharp at times, but not THAT sharp. Definitely little different, but very good. Like it different way than originals, and would be happy to have both versions of those headphones depending on the track I listen to. PX100 IIs gained its honor back. Cool! From hi-fi angle of view I´d say those are more real, studio like, reference, and in spite of BOs, you finally want that. After some equalisation it´s similar, and absolutely better. One just needs to economize his playful mood coming from Originals - only a little bit. Time to grow up and man up. No child games anymore. Serious stuff here.
Highs: Most hard to tell. Didn´t decide yet, but those are smooth. Silky smooth, scarringly smooth. Can go high enaugh with some kind of distortion (CSD measurement could tell?), which is different to originals. not harsh. Can hear good hats fading from hit again and again. With the same SPL it still feels calmer, milder, dampened. .Generally better in terms of behavior, but different feeling. Not that live and playful. Not bad, no letdown by any means. Different. Simply liked originals a bit more. But I believe it can change. Again, more mature sound, not that playfull, but good, and surprisingly very revealing. The same way or better than Originals. Finally like it also!
Most difference is in oppenness and sharpness then, which can be adjusted more or less. Overall: I like both. Originals for that Live, sharp upfront sound, New IIs for it´s manipulability close to that sound and for it´s new, cleaner, studio-like way of sound. I can consider new IIs as generally and absolutely better. Hands down and heads also. This also doesn´t mean you´ll like those more, but as I can see, many do... As I´m not native english, I´m not sure what does that term mean exactly, but I believe Originals have greater impact and upfront SOUNDSTAGE, while IIs are serious, pleasing, for long evenings and good night. Originals are a bit childish, screaming, playfull. I still don´t believe those are fully interchangable, and I´d be maybe happy to have both. Will search e-bay. Anyway If you are willing to get used and set it up to your taste, I believe those are awesome. Not less awesome than Originals.
Hope It helped, and you didn´t die bored....
Bottomline: I don´t care about new construction. It seems to be as good or better for daily use, but I believe those would handle less if you abuse it really badly. There is more plasic and stuff on these. It has more clamping force which I liked initially, but I´ll maybe try to make it weaker. After many hours of listening, I "feel it". I didn with old ones. Anyway good buy.
//Did slight editing, corrections and stuff. Nothing major...
Edited by CrashPC - 7/21/14 at 7:15am