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Sennheiser MX 685 finding it's place in a crowded market

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

With such an increase awareness of health in this country, the headphone market is finally starting to take notice.  Over the past few years companies have started to step up their game when it comes to sports/fitness headphones.  Making a headphone that can withstand the day to day pounding that an athlete puts on it is no easy task.  Once you have built the indestructible headphone, you have to make that headphone sweat and water resistant, if not waterproof altogether.

 

 

 

Sennheiser is one of the companies that decided to take this on this challenge in its early stages.  There have been several iterations of the sports line.  Then a few years back, Sennheiser partnered with Adidas

The Sennheiser MX685 is the updated version of last year’s MX680.  I have been using the 680 as one of my stable of four favorite sports headphones since they came out.  I am a huge fan of the earfins on the 680.  I think the system works perfectly for me and the sound quality is very good for an earbud of this nature.

The 685 has incorporated a new system to ensure a secure fit. 

 

 

 

It’s called the “Slide to Fit” holding system.  When I first read about this system I had it in my head that they were spring loaded.  So, upon opening the package, I was excited to see this new system.  I was unpleasantly surprised to see that it is not a spring loaded system; it’s really just a sliding mechanism.  I had my doubts about this system, and we’ll cuss and discuss this more shortly. 

 

 

The earbuds are good solid quality, and the color has changed from last year’s neon yellow.  I personally like this new color scheme.  The earbud also has a very noticeable change from last year’s model.  The cord is one solid long cable, not the shorter cable with an extension.  I really like the small L shaped plug in also.  I think it is a good idea to make the connector small so that it has no trouble fitting into any case or armband.  The accessories are nice.  Three sets of rubber covers that go around the earbud and a set of foam covers.  The bag is also a nice touch.  It’s well made and feels like it’s meant to take a beating and it’s probably quite waterproof. 

After putting three sets of adapters that came with the earbuds, I discovered that none of them worked very well for me.  They fit just fine, but they just were not giving me the type of seal I wanted.  It left the sound lacking the heavier bass that I was used to with the 680.  So, I tried the foamies (foam covers) that also came with them.  That really gave me the seal I wanted, but while it added the bass I wanted it also tamed down the mids and highs a bit. 

I came up with the ultimate solution, and something that I wish Sennheiser had included with this year’s model.  I put on the larger rubbery, silicone cover from last year’s model.  Now it doesn’t really look quite right, but it’s the perfect solution for me. 

 

 

 

So now it’s off to my first run.  I ran into the same problem that I had with last year’s model.  The right earbud ended up slipping with sweat and started lodging itself out of my ear after about two miles.  This really isn’t an issue with the slide to fit system, it’s the way my ear is shaped.   So my first experience was a little on the frustrating side.  I had to make the same type of adjustment that I made last year.  I just inserted the right earbud a little differently and went out the next day.  Perfect!  Five miles, no issues whatsoever! 

For most of my runs I was using the Sony Walkman.  I have used my Iphone 4s (but I really don’t like the music on it as much as most of my other players).  The one diamond in the rough, for people who want slamming bass, is the Philips GeGear with the Fullsound engaged. I used these several times also. 

 

--When listening to Maroon 5 “One More Night,” the bass was really awesome.  Actually rumbled my eardrum.  I had the volume on 7 and it was coming through loud and clear.  The mids come through very nicely.  Not overpowered by the bass in anyway.    Detail is very good.  Crisp and very clear.  Really a pretty enjoyable experience.  Don’t get me wrong they are not going to give you the same quality that the upper end earbuds will, but for workout headphones, they are well above average, in my opinion. 

--The Go!Team’s “The Power Is On” was a really fun song on these little earbuds.  When I was looking at my average speed on my garmin after this run, I think that my pace picked up during this song. 

With the seal I get using the silicone yellow oversized adapters from last year’s model, I really get too much bass with my GoGear.  But I really like getting all that thump when I’m running.  It really gives me a pumped up feeling. 

I did give these the water test when I came home.  I ran them under the faucet and cleaned them off.  No issues at all.  I dried them and plugged them in and there were no issues.  

I have ran with these several times now over the past couple of weeks.  I can definitely say that they are every bit as good as the 680.  The slide to fit system is really so much better than I had expected.  You can get such a tight fit that it actually hurts. 

In the competitive world of workout headphones and earbuds, I’d say these are a great choice, especially for 49 dollars.  My only issue is that I wish they included a blue set of silicone oversized adapters so that they didn’t look goofey.  These will be one of my personal mainstays when running. 


Edited by nonsupremous - 10/15/12 at 8:03pm
post #2 of 16

Thanks for this review, nonsupremous! We hope the 'Slide-to-fit' system works for you; or at least provide a better fit than its predecessor wink_face.gif

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosmadi Mahmood View Post

Thanks for this review, nonsupremous! We hope the 'Slide-to-fit' system works for you; or at least provide a better fit than its predecessor wink_face.gif


The "slide to fit" system really does work great.  It's better than last year's model because it give more flexibility.  I'm very happy with them.  I went for a run again last night and they are just great.  The comfort is great and I really enjoy the sound.  The music comes through nice and clear with great energy.  It makes for an enjoyable run.  Also, I didn't note this in my review, but if you're into podcasts or audio books while running, these are perfect. The strong mids make these great in that respect.  Sometimes I run and listen to ESPN podcasts.  I don't have to struggle to actually hear the people talking. 


Edited by nonsupremous - 10/18/12 at 3:53am
post #4 of 16
Nice review! I didn't realize that these were already out. It didn't seem that long ago when I purchased my MX 680. I'm personally interested in either these or the PX 685, though I do prefer the MX 685's lack of volume control and mic. Good to see that the new slide-to-fit is improved from the previous model's EarFins as well.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  Ya, these came out earlier this month.  I think most of the other models are coming out in January.  I prefer the earbud style over the in ear style.  The in ears make me feel too stuffed up.  I really want to try the other 2 models coming out in January too.  I am still in awe that my PMX 680s stay as well as they do. 

I like the earfin style from last year and they fit good.  Strangely, they always feel like they will slip and fall out but never did.  The slide to fit system on this year's model definitely gives a more secure fit though. 

post #6 of 16

I'm looking to replace my aging prerunners to these.  They had the neon green cord and ear cushion.  Lasted many miles of running.  I'm sure the new one will do the same.

post #7 of 16

I'm sure you'll be impressed with our new lineup. Below's a video link of some runners from McMillan Running trying out our new sports headphones.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lextek View Post

I'm looking to replace my aging prerunners to these.  They had the neon green cord and ear cushion.  Lasted many miles of running.  I'm sure the new one will do the same.

 


Edited by Rosmadi Mahmood - 10/21/12 at 9:14pm
post #8 of 16

Just ordered a pair.  My MX 75s finally gave out after 4 years of serious use.  No complaints, awesome running buds.

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

I think you'll be pretty happy with them.  They sound quite good for a headphone that has to be so versatile.  I have a video coming...I meant to get it done a couple of weeks ago but have been out of pocket and was not able to get it finished. 

post #10 of 16

Thanks for the great review.  In your opinion how would these perform in the gym?  I enjoy enjoy barbell lifting and for lack of a better term crossfit-esqe workouts that combine kettlebell lifting with bodyweight exercise.  Assuming I run the cable under my shirt have you experianced anything that would lead you to believe that these will not stay in or could have some sort of problem?

 

Do these produce lots of noise when the cord rubs agains your shirt?  Finally, I do not own the previous model like you.  Do you know of any 3rd party covers that may be good if I need a different fit like you did?

 

Thanks!


Edited by jachrist - 12/14/12 at 4:28pm
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

I think you would have no problem using these in the gym.  The fit, for me anyway, is very secure.  Like I said in the review though...my first run wasn't the best as far as fit goes.  My right ear needed some adjustment.  It's not an issue with the product...I think the inner part of my ear is just shaped a little different.  What I did was rotate the slider hook so that it was angled more toward the back of my ear.  Haven't had any issues since. 

 

There is some cable noise, but I keep it clipped to my shirt or tucked in my shirt and it seems to be ok. 

 

The covers are a different issue.  I don't think you can buy that yellow one anywhere.  I'm not even sure if you can buy them directly from the Senn website.  Rosmadi might be better help with this one.  Personally I think they should include them with all their workout earbuds.  It was a good idea.  If I didn't have that particular cover, I would use the foam covers.  I tried them and they worked fine.  Not quite as good a seal as the yellow one, but pretty close. 

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hey workout fans, please check out the video review I did of the MX685.

 

post #13 of 16

Hey, Thanks a lot for your review! I had a hard time deciding which headphone to buy that would stay in my ears while delivering decent quality sound. I checked so many reviews and forums that I was very confused. Then, I decided to take a risk and go for the Sennheiser MX 685. After reading and watching your review on it today, I'm sure that I won't be disappointed. 

This was a very comprehensive review. It helped me a lot. Thank you. 

I'll probably write a review myself once I've used the headphones, which I should be getting in a month.

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by buddingrunner View Post
 

Hey, Thanks a lot for your review! I had a hard time deciding which headphone to buy that would stay in my ears while delivering decent quality sound. I checked so many reviews and forums that I was very confused. Then, I decided to take a risk and go for the Sennheiser MX 685. After reading and watching your review on it today, I'm sure that I won't be disappointed.

This was a very comprehensive review. It helped me a lot. Thank you.

I'll probably write a review myself once I've used the headphones, which I should be getting in a month.

Hope they work for you.  Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.  The workout specific headphones section is pretty lean here, so It's good you stumbled on to this.  =)

post #15 of 16

Thanks for your earbuds review, good to see people still interested in earbuds.
Have you tried any of the other Sennheiser MX earbuds?
I like to use earbuds occassionally instead of always having to plug in IEMs.
I've got the MX470 and 581, have you tried any of the previous MX earbuds?

In theory the 685 would be better than the ones below. From my experience the 581 seems to have better soundstage than the 470 but that seems to be it.

Have you tried any of the other MX series and compared it to the MX685? I'm considering these as a high end-ish earbuds.

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