I own both the 480 and 550. Noise isolation almost as good as Bose but better sound. The 480 has more bass and is louder than the 550, even when the latter is used wired. The 550's treble can also get peaky especially when used wireless. Also prefer the sound of both to Sony MDR1000x. For reference, I listen to the LCD X at home.
Interesting stuff as there is almost nothing out there about the 480s.Actually I ordered the 550s as I got a voucher from my dealer for February and so it will take the price down very close to the 480s. I'm not too worried about bluetooth and I don't seem to be troubled by Sennheiser peaky sounds as a previous owner of HD700s and currently HD800s!
Yeah 490s sadly. They were good value and folded up neatly and into a small space so ideal for my briefcase when travelling. I think it would probably prevent me from buying any more AKG headphones in the future. Meantime the PXC 550s are excellent in sound quality noise cancellation and comfort and a better overall compromise than the Bose which are marginally better on noise cancelling but poorer on sound quality. There hasn't been much press on the PXC 480 which look good value if you don't have the need for all the gadgets and or you don't have a discount voucher!!!
I just received the recently released Sennheiser PXC 480s.
Although many purists don't care for noise canceling, I find this to be a useful feature even though I don't travel much. Even filtering out ambient noises at home, including wind, traffic, or a TV in another room, is something I appreciate. The other thing nice about NC headphones is that the noise canceling feature drives the physical design: these are made to be light, compact and comfortable, with none of the weight or heat of a circumaural design.
I had considered buying the Sennheiser HD 4.50 Bluetooth and NC phones, but these won't be out until April 15th, according to Sennheiser, and I wanted a more premium 'phone. The PXC 550 was considered, but a $100 premium for Bluetooth (and a few other features) put it out of budget and perhaps not worth the cost. But I would have appreciated the convenience of wireless. So the compromise candidate won.
First, the unboxing.
OK, I took them out of the box.
Now, let's charge 'em up and try them. First impressions are these are supremely comfortable phones. The ear cups “sit” just right and the cups are plush as pillows. When I had my AKG 490s, the phones would sit awkwardly on top of your ears, and it seemed I was always fiddling with placement as they would tend to slide off them. Not so with these. They feel very natural.
I sampled a couple of tunes using Sennheiser's CapTunes app, but without playing with the equalizer function, which I'll fool around with later. But let's face it- the sound on the phone stinks. (HTC Android.) This will be good enough for Audiobooks and podcasts, but for music, they're not going to cut it if you care the least about sound. And I say that as someone who doesn't spend $300 for cables.
I plugged in my rusty, trusty Series 1 Fiio X3 and things were much better and clearer. I skipped between a few familiar songs, and with the phones being fresh out of the box, I'm not sure if this is representative, BUT, I will say there is a very noticeable difference in sound from putting the Noise Canceling on, which the AKGs seemed to have managed to narrow. My X3 is set to absolute flat EQ, so I may fiddle with that.
One cool thing about the CapTunes app is that you can set different EQ brackets for noise canceling on or off, and compensate for the sound curve on each. The bad thing is you're still using a phone, and playing from a FLAC encoded library makes a difference.
In any case, I'll fool with them some more, and perhaps come back with more impressions. I'll need some more ear time with them.