Portable mini-reviews: PX100 vs. MDR-710SL vs. HP460
Mar 25, 2006 at 9:04 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5

nsjong

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NOTE: I will post pics later on IF REQUESTED. This is a mini review and will probably be updated later on in sections which are not detailed.


I own all three; no demo's.

Other references to compare the sound: SHARP HP-MD33S

Songs I used for testing:
Lows: HANABI-la大回転 by SEX MACHINEGUNS , 声 by Bleach03
Mids: angel song - イヴの鐘 - by the brilliant green
Highs: TEKKEN II + American Z by SEX MACHINEGUNS

Lets start off with the most well known cans here... the Sennheiser PX100's.

[size=medium]SENNHEISER PX100[/size]

SOUND
NOT MODDED. FULLY BURNT IN.

Lows: These cans are from the darkside. Full of very lush bass, all of it is really tight. No thumpy or boomy crap either. The problem is how overpowering the bass is when you try to listen to the mids and high's. When I was listening to the "angel song" for testing, the bass was too overpowering and the vocals were muffled out quite a bit. And the highs are there, but also quite muffled out.

Mids: If you have a custom EQ function on your portable, try to keep the bass down as much as possible. The mids are very smooth, but of course, the bass interferes quite a bit.

Highs: The highs are actually quite apparent but the bass is there again to muffle much of it. Detail is crisp on the high-hats and symbols although these are a darker pair of cans.

Overall sound: Too smooth for rock and metal (IMO) but great for jazz and classical or a vocal performance.

COMFORT + LOOKS
These are EXTREMELY comfortable. The the fact that I changed the pads may support this more, but even with the original pads, these are nice. The headband also has some pads to stop the hard plastic from reach your scalp. Very very nice. I can wear these cans for hours, but wouldn't use them for running or jogging because they fall off quite easily.

The looks are very... unique. My friends kept saying I have rims on my ears. I like the old-school look. The Sennheiser logo keeps me happy and the folding mechanism is really convenient.

And of course not, these give no isolation. :p

DURABILITY
How durable are these?
Well, I've pulled on the cord accidently many times (really hard as I was getting up from chairs and caught on the desk) and the cable has yet to budge even the slightest bit.

The plastic used for these are very high quality. What else can you expect from a more expensive Sennheiser can? : )

OVERALL SCORE
For the price: 8/10

- Sound: 7/10
- Comfort: 9.5
- Isolation: n/a
- Looks: 7.5/10
- Durability: 9/10
- Price: 7.5/10


[size=medium]SONY MDR-710SL[/size]

SOUND
60% BURNT IN. NO MODS.

Lows: Being a Sony can, I expected boomy bass, but I found these cans to rather have the tighter side instead of the usual Sony signature bass AKA boomy crap. The bass is really there since it's a Sony can, but it's not that overpowering at all IMHO. It doesn't prevent the mids and highs coming into place. But this is when you get a proper fit. Otherwise, the low end spreads out quite a bit. Listening to HANABI-la大回転, I found myself wanting to try the bass part for the song with my guitar. (it's time to invest on a bass guitar)

Mids: These have really great and in-your-face mids. Not really smooth, but it's very noticable, even appearing further than classic Sony bass.

Highs: Ah, the can's surprise. You'd never expect a Sony can to excel in highs and details, but these are it (for Sony portables). The high-hats roll off very nicely. No shrill crap here.

Overall sound: Rich in texture and detail, these are the best portable cans Sony have made IMO for sound. Great for all types of music. These are fun cans to listen to.

COMFORT + LOOKS
This is where these cans go down.

The headband is this headphone's demise. Here it is; the only portable cans with the VISE CLAMP OF DEATH (slightly, but not really). Sony may have just ruined one of their masterpeices with the headband alone. It's a hassle when you try to unfold it from the folding position because of the headband. You have to hold one end firmly while unfolding the other. Very troublesome, will at least take 2 minutes to unfold or fold back. Also, there is no padding of anysort on the top of the headphones, like the PX100's, so it's rather uncomfortable if you have either short hair or smooth hair that grows down. (or no hair at all, maybe?)

The folding mechanism is like none other. A similar mix of the Philips HP460 or the audio-technica ATH-FC7's but with an extra turning point due the an extra joint of the headband. Turns REALLY small. It can fit in the palm of my hands!! Just the palm; no fingers.

Isolation is another problem. For me, only one side settles on my ears properly, as the other side leaks sound in from the other side. The pads are not that comfortable. If possible, I will try to get a pair of Grado foamies and put it over them. It'll muffle the sound but...
rolleyes.gif
So these cans aren't for everyone.

DURABILITY
These look like as though they'll take quite a beating. I haven't used them for more than an hour and I don't have a warrenty or anything so don't expect me try anything crazy.

Most of it is made of metal, except the housing of the drivers and the part connecting the VISE GRIP OF DEATH headband. It really worries me that they connected this part with plastic instead of metal. If this part goes, the headphone will like catapoult a whole driver at the wall or someone's eye.
very_evil_smiley.gif


The cable seems to be similar to the MDR-E931LP/SP so I know how durable they are. Good enough to last.

OVERALL SCORE
For the price: 7/10

- Sound: 9.5/10
- Comfort: 5
- Isolation: 7
- Looks: 8/10
- Durability: 7/10
- Price: 6/10

[size=medium]PHILIPS SBC-HP460[/size]

SOUND
RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX. NO BURN-IN.

Lows: Boomy. Not so much, but boomy. But considering that they aren't burned in at all, maybe that's the reason? I don't have enough patience as to burning them in right now.

Mids: Clear, even without burning them in. Vocals are nice and smooth, although a bit shrill at times. Will probably smooth out even more after burn-in.

Highs: Philips' specialty. So much detail and crispness that I love these cans. Of course, they'll get better after burn-in, I suppose. o.o

Overall sound: Impressive right out the package. Everything is great except the boominess of the bass. Hopefully, it'll get better?

COMFORT + LOOKS
These things are crazy. So comfortable that I feel like I'm lying on a pillow. The padding is very nice and no stiffness anywhere in the pads.

These look very nice; rivaling the looks of the FC7's. The folding mechanism is exactly the same. Very stylish for those who care for looks.

There is so much isolation for non-IEM's that I can use these on the skytrain or buses.
smily_headphones1.gif
The pads feel very nice on your ears and gives a tight seal.

And the badside? Volume control is here.
frown.gif


DURABILITY
These look very durable. But the problem is that there is the "squeaky" contruction here. Unless you keep wearing out the plastic by turning the joints for hours, these will squeak and feel very stiff.

Cable is strong and comes with an extra extension cord, deviding the calbe length into 1.2 m and extension cord to 1.5 m, total of 2.7 m.

OVERALL SCORE
For the price: 9/10

- Sound: 8/10
- Comfort: 10
- Isolation: 9.5
- Looks: 9/10
- Durability: 7.5/10
- Price: 10/10

You can't go wrong with only using $30 shipped from Amazon.

PICS
DSC09461.jpg

Open.

DSC09460.jpg

Folded.


Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment on questions and my n00biness of reviewing cans. (I'm 15, don't make fun of me
frown.gif
)
 
Mar 26, 2006 at 1:23 AM Post #5 of 5

sgrossklass

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Those Sony cans are indeed REALLY small when folded.
eek.gif
The folks there seem to have a weak spot for making things as small as they possibly can. (E.g. ICF-SW1 - would you believe that's a full-blown FM/AM (LW through SW, double conversion, but no SSB) receiver made with all SMD parts in 1988? The early SMD 'lytics didn't pass the time test though...) Too bad you're having fit issues... seems they're similar to the PX200 in that regard. Please keep us posted on what break-in does to the HP460s, one generally doesn't read much about these. Oh, and yes, the Philips folks like copying mechanical concepts... there was a time when their cans had AT-like wings, too (HP900/910; the still-in-production HP1000 also employs them).
 

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