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Headphones for running/exercise without a lot of isolation - $200 or less

  1. scatteredshadows
    The wiring in the plug stem of my Sennheiser PX100 'phones finally broke, so now I need a replacement set for working out. I'm not averse to buying another pair of PX 100s, but first I wanted to look around to see if there are any other contenders. 
    The main criteria for these headphones are:
    1. Size comparable to Sennheiser PX100
    2. Relatively light. Can be a bit heavier but not too much
    3. Can be taken off easily (unlike IEMs), but stay in place when running. The PX100 slides around more than I'd like
    4. Efficient. Often will be using Samsung Galaxy S phone as the source. It doesn't have much power and even the most portable headphone amp is awkward at the gym.
    5. Sounds at least as good as Sennheiser PX100, will be used for a broad assortment of music.
    6. Doesn't isolate too much. These may be used for walking around in a urban environment, so I want to have some aural awareness, particularly traffic noise or loud voices.
    Right now, besides the PX100 and PX200, I'm looking at:
    1. Grado SR60 or SR80
    2. Sennheiser adidas PMX 680 and HD 238
    3. M Studiophile Q40
    4. Beyerdynamic DT 235
    5. Klipsch Image ONE
    6. Audio Technica ATH-FC700 or ATH-M50
    7. AKG Q460
    8. Yuin PK1 or PK2
    Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
  2. JamesMcProgger
    regarding the ones i've tried in your list:
    I say ditch the M50, is too big and bulky to carry without a case, and too  bulky to wear around the neck.
    even the SR60, 80 would be more "ultra portable" but they dont fit that tight as to run with them on, not for me at least.
    FC700 is too muddy, but its small enough and fits nicely.
    cant say a thing about the others because I havent tried those.
    as for another one you might want to consider, the HD25, my favorite, is awesome and fits in everyway but isolation, they might have too much as to go on the street, although ive heard the isolation gets reduced using velour pads (included in some models) and they also get more comfortable. It´s very tough, hold in its place firmly thanks to the double headband, and sound quality is superb, most of the times it is regarded as "the best portable" around here.
    and they are under 200, slightly.
    plus with the adidas version your performance in the gym may improve (this is a merely assumption) [​IMG]
  3. lazuline

    I have to agree with the Proggers, the HD-25-II is probably the best closed portable in the under $200 category to my sound & genre preference (analytical, 80% indie rock).
    But I would never use these for exercise. These would also be a bit awkward for running. They’re not full-sized but they’re not miniscule, like the px 100. And, the thought of sweating on my $200 cans is just… upsetting.
    I might add, running is one of my hobbies, and I do all of mine outdoors. Tread mobiles just feel unnatural, and my local gym is a total meat market so I try to spend as little time there as I need too. For my purposes, I settled on the pmx 680 (replacing an omx 80.. fit was dreadful).
    1. Size comparable to Sennheiser PX100
    It’s tiny, cord is same length and the px100-II so slightly shorter. The cord also separates at the volume control for armband use (huge plus for runners).
    1. Relatively light.
    lighter than a pair of sunglasses, once they're on they stay put and just disappear
    1. Can be taken off easily
    Comes right off and rests on your neck
    1. Efficient.
    16 ohm, I drive them out of my evo 4G without issues, actually, the lowest volume setting is usually all I need.
    1. Sounds at least as good as Sennheiser PX100,
    I have the px100 I&II. These are tuned similarly(maybe a little brighter?). The bass and mids can be very forward if you push them in all the way into your ear.
    Doesn't isolate too much.
    No isolation problems here, they’re buds. If you want more isolation push them in all the way but you’ll have to deal with some muddiness.
    Look, I realized pretty early there’s no one headphone or iem that will do everything, there’s just right tool for the job. These are sweat & water resistant (washable under running water), have a Kevlar cable with  a strong L-jack.
    Since your budget is $200, you could get these, and still have $170 to buy something for everyday use.
    Here’s a link to where I bought mine:
    use coupon code: TECHBARGAINS
    and the price will drop to $27.15, shipping for me was another 5 dollars, so $32 shipped
    Actually, they have an open box Adidas hd-25-II going for $170, so for $205 + shipping with the same coupon, you could be set =P. But I'd probably spend some time on these forums doing some research to find a can that fits your individual preferences.
    And you might want to read this review from headfonia.com that got me interested in the 680s. The reviewer actually uses these as portables rather then exercise cans because of the design.
  4. joshuamercer
    @JamesMcProgger: Are you out of your mind?  How can anyone exercise with full cans?  The HD25 is not a good solution. 
    OP: Have you considered the Senn MX series?  They are buds, so you're isolation issue is quelled.  They also have this neat "fin" to keep the bud from falling out.  Buds are very very portable, and Senn has a decent sound plus you'll be well under $200.

  5. JamesMcProgger
  6. negid
    I've found that when running behind-the-neck headphones work best. Even if the buds come loose they won't fall all the way out. I would go with the PXM-680s as well.
  7. bisayaboi
    Look at H2O audio's offerings. Sweat/water proof with quite good sound. Also look at the Sennheiser Sport Series.
  8. scatteredshadows

    Great feedback, much obliged!
    I probably should have mentioned that I do have a pair of Shure E4Gs for when I'm mobile and want isolation, plus a pair of Sennheiser HD 595 for listening at home. Headphones for working out have been a challenge because even if it weren't for the isolation issue, IEMs sometimes felt suffocating when I tried to work out with them. On the other hand, like the PX100, on-ear 'phones were always sliding around. The Headfonia article pretty much touches on my biggest problems, so that's another vote of confidence for the PMX 680.
    Now maybe I'll grab a portable amp with my leftover budget to give myself an arsenal for all occasions.

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