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Retro review: Original PX 200s

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

These never really got a fair shake. Most audio sites and reviews that cover the new PX200s (the PX 200 IIs) will say that they were an improvement over the original. As far as design goes, they are correct. However, the original PX200s are much more enjoyable to listen to.

IMPORTANT: Many people have complained with the lack of bass of these. Get a pair of the PX200 IIs ear pads and put them on the original PX200s. The pads on the original 200s are thinner and do not seal very well. If you switch the pads out, and use the 200 IIs pads on the original 200s, you will get a much, much better seal. The bass went from being non existent to being fairly dominant and deep after I made the switch. I almost thought I was insane because the difference was that marked.

Anyway, the sound of the original PX200s is pretty balanced. I perceive the mids to be a bit recessed, but audible nonetheless. The highs are present and very smooth. The lows, with the new pads, are very present and very deep.

The overall sound signature is somewhat dark and airy, and very very smooth. In fact, I will say that the 200 IIs do better in clarity since their sound isn't as smooth; they are sharper and reveal more detail.

That said, the bass levels of the original 200s completely outdo the new versions. The new PX200s have almost no bass. It's there but very weak. It makes the overall sound cold and mechanical. I'll take overly smooth but well balanced to cold and mechanical any day.

Also, the ear cups are looser on the original 200s, and angling them just right takes a little more work, but it's not difficult, particularly with the bigger ear pads.

Soundstage is small and close together, what you'd expect from tiny headphones. Again, the PX200 IIs win out on this. However Clarity is good with the orignals, despite some of the more dense tracks losing some of the mid range separation. However, on nearly every song or track I've used them, I could still distinguish the mid range. Sound is very smooth across the board; highs are sweet and subdued rather than searing or piercing; the low end spreads out and has a lot of impact, and the mids are dark and somewhat unemphatic.

They sound remarkably like the HD 201s, and while those are the lowest end of the Sennheiser around ear phones, it's still impressive to capture that sort of sound quality in such a small package. The main difference is that the 201s have a much better soundstage. Another important difference is that the PX 200s are much easier to power and thus get high volumes with than the 201s.

Technically, they aren't as accurate sound wise or well designed as the 200 IIs, but the overall sound and balance is just more enjoyable. Plus, they have that basic dark and pleasant Sennheiser sound. You'll still hear most, if not all of the detail with these. One more con with the sound is that because it's so smooth, sometimes it feels like there's not a lot of impact.

If you can spot a pair, get em.

Edited by swaffleman - 5/6/12 at 2:28pm
post #2 of 5

I was reading about the PX200 and PX200II and decided not to get these as imo they are overpriced. The JVC HA-S160 and HA-S650 seem like much better values. I have the PX100(I paid $40 for it a few years ago) and have a feeling that the PX200 and PX200II probably doesn't sound that different, except that these are closed. If these were under $40 I would have bought at least one of them. At $65-90 for these, I'll pass.


I say try the $13 JVC HA-S160. I think you will be impressed. The HA-S160 is also very compact and closed. It does sound more neutral than the PX100 or PX200. I like the HA-S160 almost as much as the PX100. Since the HA-S160 is around 1/5 the price of the PX100Ii and around 1/7 the price of the PX200II, it does seem like a much better value.


The JVC HA-S650 has a very warm balance, very much like the PX100. The HA-S650 is closed.


I'm sorry to see Sennheiser's new very high US pricing. I bought many Sennheiser products in the past, however with Sennheiser's current high US pricing, I don't forsee buying any  Sennheiser products until their US pricing becomes more reasonable again.

Edited by JK1 - 5/6/12 at 8:54pm
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

That's probably wise. I was lucky enough to get mine second hand from someone on this very forum for $30, which is an amazing price for this headphone. 


I'd say if you found the original PX200s for around $40-50 that they'd be a worthy purchase. But the originals are very hard to find now, and if you do find them on amazon or something they'll be expensive for that reason. 


JVC's are an excellent choice. They make pretty good headphones now a days. I remember when I first made the thread about the Flats a couple of years ago, that thread started their popularity. Hehe...

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Some of their products are high. They have also made a lot of their products cheaper. For instance, the HD 203s, a lower level over ear model that I own, was once around $60. It's now around half of that. Sure it's not a top shelf model but it's pretty good. Some of their other lower and mid range models have been priced lower recently too. But, it seems that the PX models and the higher range ones are priced higher now. Maybe Sennheiser is just trying to move more of their lower and mid range products?

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Oh by the way I have the Flats, otherwise known as the HA-S160s. Like I said, I made the thread on them a couple of years ago before they were really well known. 


They are very impressive for their price, but their sound quality isn't quite as nice as my PX200s. They actually do manage to be a bit more analytical than the 200s, though. But the sound itself isn't as pleasant. The Flats tend to be more fatiguing to me. 

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