New Sennheiser Headphones
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Well, since Todd spilled the beans in the HeadRoom Sponsor Forum, I thought I'd provide more information on the soon-to-be-released Sennheiser headphones. I'm pressed for time right now, so I'll post any listening impressions later today/tonight.

First of all, here is a photo of all three headphones (click on the photo for a closer look):


(Clockwise from top-right: PXC-250, PX-100, PX-200)

As Todd mentioned, I believe retail on these is going to be USD$149 for the PXC-250, USD$49.95 for the PX-100, and USD$59.95 for the PX-200.

As most of you know, frequency response ratings provided by manufacturers aren't usually too useful, but I'll list them here anyway:

PX-100: 15 Hz to 27 kHz
PX-200: 10 Hz to 21 kHz
PXC-250: 10 Hz to 21 kHz

Impedance for the PX-100 and PX-200 is 32 ohms. Impedance of the PXC-250 is 300 ohms. Regarding what might be perceived as a high impedance of the PXC-250 for a portable phone, Sennheiser does mention this on their press release: Quote:

"....The extremely thin, ultra-lightweight voice coil is a guarantee for high efficiency and generous volume, both for low-impedance portable players and for high-impedance inflight entertainment systems...."


I have tried the PXC-250 with a number of portable devices sans outboard amplifiers, and they do run very well out of all but the weakest built-in outputs, to no apparent disadvantage compared to most other lower-impedance portable headphones I've tried.

The PXC-250 also provides impressive noise cancellation, and I used them all the way home from Ireland. Sennheiser calls their active noise cancellation technology NoiseGard(TM), and it can be bypassed with a switch if the user is in a quiet environment. Here are the specs for NoiseGard(TM) as implemented in the PXC-250:

Active noise compensation: Up to -15 dB for frequencies < 1000 Hz.

Isolation: -15 dB to -25 dB for frequencies > 1200 Hz.

The NoiseGard as implemented in the PXC-250 is better than any other consumer noise cancellation types I've used so far.

The PX-100 is open, the PX-200 and PXC-250 are closed. All are supra-aural, however the PX-200 and PXC-250 do have circumaural-type, leather-like surrounds to provide a better seal.

As you can see from the photos, the headphones are all quite stylish. The PX-200 and PXC-250 are rather similar in appearance, and the PX-100 has a cool turbine-like appearance (which is just barely noticeable in the above photo with the headphone in the closed position).

All of the headphones fold very compactly using a unique folding design. All have metal-reinforced joints, making even the more vulnerable-looking joints very strong in actuality. I've actually carried my PXC-250 in my back pocket from time to time with no durability issues. All seem very well built, and very durable.

They're all quite comfortable, too. Notice in the photo (particularly the enlarged photo) the leather-like headband pads.

The PX-100 and PX-200 come with a groovy carrying case, not entirely unlike a glasses case. The PXC-250, because of the addition of the noise cancellation control, comes with a compact, rectangular soft case made of what appears to be Cordura.

I'll offer up more comments on my sonic impressions later on tonight. I only listened to the PX-100 briefly, and did not get to listen to the PX-200 at all. I've now owned the PXC-250 for quite some time, and will comment mostly on my impressions of that model. I will say this about the PX-100 -- the PortaPro is in very big trouble.
 
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skippy

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john grado mentioned that senn would be coming out with new cans to compete against sony. could these be them?

they look quite nifty.
 
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halcyon

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Will the high end remain HD590 / HD600 and no more electrostatics (for some time now actually)?
 
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Re: the PXC-250

I am assuming that they have a separate module, and don't have batteries stuffed in the headband somewhere, yes? If so, is the module also an amp?

Do they list a lower limit on the cancellation frequency range?

Sorry to be a pest, but you know how we are



gerG
 
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lan

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These look pretty slick. What are the sensitivity ratings of these? What kind of batteries does the PXC-250 use and how long does it last?

I've never been fond of noise cancelation but I'd like to try these just because. These cost a bit more than the ER6 and I'd like to see how these perform in a city environment.
 
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GASP!!!


Finally a european made portable phone!! I can't get koss or AT..This is wonderful news and I bet I will get one of these models as soon as I see it in the shops!!!

Edit: Just noticed - the padding is gone in the middle of the headband. This means they don't touch the hypersensitive middle area of the skull. Mini AT's!!!




Edit: Jude: How do you make a linking image??
 
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Ah shoot...

I just realized how cool it will be to carry a pair of these around in something that is like a case for seeing-glasses. Sigh... my poor wallet is so skinny I need to fill it with receipts to keep it alive.
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by LobsterSan
Ah shoot...

I just realized how cool it will be to carry a pair of these around in something that is like a case for seeing-glasses. Sigh... my poor wallet is so skinny I need to fill it with receipts to keep it alive.


Eaten snow will only make you more thirsty.
 
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Flasken

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Jude,

Since one of them will end in my pocket I am very interested in a comparison between the 100 and the 200.

Wow, carrying headphones in a glasses case sounds totally awesome. I will definately be using headphones portably far more than currently. (I hardly ever do)
 
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Jude,

While on the flight, how well did the noise cancelling work?? I ask because I tried out teh Bose junk and noticed that while it lowered teh rumble of the jet engines quit nicely, it made the apparent sound of the wind noise a little higher since it now had no competition!! Needless to say I returned teh Bose after that trip!

Also, why does everyone make noise cancelling ONLY for frequencies less than 1KHz?? Why don't they make something that cancels out full-range sound so we can get a truly isolating experience?? Foam ear plugs do this!! It can't be that much more difficult to make them work full range?? Can it??
 
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OMG!! A new line of small, low-end Senns that make even the famous Koss Porta Pro sound like crap?


And the PXC 250? Makes even the Bose Noise-Cancelling headphones - as well as some of the conventional headphones at the PXC 250's price point - sound like a huge pile of excrement.


Uh oh. Now the makers of the stock headphones bundled with Walkmans are really pissed off! They tried all they could to improve the sound quality of their products - but too little, too late.
 
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[size=xx-small] Quote:

Originally posted by Eagle_Driver
OMG!! A new line of small, low-end Senns that make even the famous Koss Porta Pro sound like crap?


And the PXC 250? Makes even the Bose Noise-Cancelling headphones - as well as some of the conventional headphones at the PXC 250's price point - sound like a huge pile of excrement.


[/size]All sarcasm aside, some folks seek headphones that are very inexpensive, but still want to approach hi-fi performance. I wouldn't walk/jog/sweat on my treadmill with my HD-600s or Etymotics. At the same time, I'm not diggin' the headphones that came packaged with any of my portable gear. This is exciting news for the market, if you ask me, as there isn't much good competition in the PX-100 and PX-200 price ranges (remember, the prices listed are retail, not street). And though I haven't listened to the PX-200 yet, I can say the PX-100, at its retail price (let alone what is almost certainly going to be a lower street price) is good. And, again, let's face it, there's just not much out there that is good in that price range.

Regarding the PXC-250, it's a potentially important product, too, even at the higher price (relative to the PX-100 and PX-200). I typically use my Etymotics when in the following places: co-location facilities and planes. I also use them when reviewing gear because of their isolation/fidelity combination (it's like having my own anechoic chamber in some ways). However, the isolation is so good with the Etymotics as to be too good for practical use in most settings I find myself in. On my way over to Ireland, I didn't realize one of the guys next to me was talking to me for quite some time. At the co-location facilities, I can't even hear my cell phone ringing with my Etymotics in my ears. Sometimes, the isolation of the Etymotic ER-4S is just too much isolation. The PXC-250 effectively reduces airplane noise (of course, not to the extent that the Etymotics do), while not isolating so much that I can't hear people around me. Crying baby? Etymotics. No crying baby? PXC-250. On my last couple of flights, I used the PXC-250 only.

I also use my PXC-250 when I'm on the treadmill (which isn't often enough). I get good music fidelity, and it does a very good job attenuating the treadmill noise, as well as the noise made by my shoes striking the treadmill.

I think these headphones (particularly the PX-100 and PX-200) will definitely bring more fence-sitters into this hobby.

(I'll answer some of the more specific questions later, when I get a chance)
 
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Let's not also forget the PXC-250 can be ear muffs in the winter
whereas the Etys can't really be.

I never thought the Porta Pros were that great sounding but I used them for a while because there wasn't really that many choices (at least like 2 or 3 years ago) that I liked. Lightweight and compact are important to me for portable solution. Since using the EX70s, I learned isolation was really nice to have also. It's crazy trying to defeat the sounds of the city.
 
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Jude
On sonic performance alone, which headphone in your experience does the PCX-250 most closely resemble?
 
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100, 200, which is better?

 
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