Sennheiser PX 685i
May 31, 2013 at 11:55 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

swaffleman

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I wrote a review on amazon. Anyway, figured I'd shed some light on these here. 
 
"Baby PX 200 II's.
 
First off, I was considering only giving these 4 stars, because I am not sure that the sound quality/price ratio justifies 5 stars. However, ultimately, I feel that because of portability (including how easy they are to power, more on that later), and durability (including the water resistance), they are worth giving 5 stars for the total package.

I used to own the vaunted PX 200 II's. I had the same pair that I got in a little shop in Poland for over two years, and had to get them repaired at one point. However, they once again shorted out, and died a horrible death due to me losing my temper! I wish I hadn't done that, but I can always pick up another pair. Anyway, I found these at best buy, and decided to try them out as they were even smaller than the PX 200's and I've always been a sucker for good, portable audio.

The sound signature is almost the exact same as the PX 200 II's. Like the PX 200s, these have a VERY well balanced and even sound, with all of the different levels being fairly well represented. Also like the PX 200 II's, these headphones are a bit light in the bass department. That said, the bass is very good and very articulate, and it always cuts through. You can hear it fine, but these don't rattle your head with tons of low end sound and vibration. In fact, I'd describe the lows as clear, substantial, yet quite lean.

The mid range is pretty clear, only it sounds a bit thin. The midrange is a bit aggressive as well, similar to the PX 200 II's. The headphones have an overall bright and clear sound, but because these are essentially ear buds, they have a thinner and less open sound than the PX 200 II's. The highs are very clear and, again, well balanced when compared to the rest of the spectrum.

The sound seems to do well with less dense tracks. With hard rock tracks with a lot of layered guitars, the sound can get a bit congested, which emphasizes the thinner sound. On acoustic tracks, or tracks with lighter instrumentation (perhaps Jazz, non-heavy rock music), they sound phenomenal for headphones of this stature.

They are actually more efficient than the PX 200 II's, and can get dangerously loud. This is what I was referring to when I mentioned how easy they are to power. I only have to listen at about half volume most of the time, if even that.

They are incredibly light and have a great feel to their construction. They are mostly plastic, but it is a heavier duty plastic, and it has a nice texture and feel. The plug is an L plug, which is the best for longevity. The box has several options for the ear pieces. I found that using the foam coverings works best for secure fit. I tried wearing them right out of the box with the stock rubber rings around the pieces, and they are very uncomfortable that way, but if you slip the foam coverings on right over the ear pieces, they become much more bearable. Using the foam coverings also seems to have slightly improved bass response.

They stay on my head quite well except for when I bend over...then the head band comes off of my head, but that's more because I'm almost bald! If you have a decent amount of hair, these will probably be stopped from sliding off. But I did run today with them, stayed on fine.

For the build quality, durability, respectable sound quality, and of course the warranty that comes with them, these are worth it. IF they were any other brand and weren't built as well, they would not have been given 5 stars. The sound is actually really quite good for this type of headphone. As I said, these are basically glorified ear buds. But if I were to pay this price for a larger type of headphone with this sound quality and were judging them off the the sound, I wouldn't give 5 stars. Perhaps not audiophile quality, but for ear buds, damn close!

Well done Sennheiser."
 
Jun 1, 2013 at 12:16 AM Post #2 of 8

swaffleman

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A couple more things I didn't mention:
 
These are tried and true ear buds. Not IEM's. They don't make any attempt to actually seal around or in your ear, and actually are advertised as allowing for "situational awareness". They are essentially earbuds mounted on a headband that's is angled so that the ear buds stay firmly angled in your ears. 
 
I also have messed around with trying to push them tighter in my ear to make a better seal, and the bass becomes horribly bloated and overwhelming that way, so they obviously use a driver that takes that into consideration. 
 
The sound congestion I talked about is more evident with heavy metal. They actually sound quite good with classical, even though that's fairly heavily layered music. 
 
Jun 1, 2013 at 3:13 PM Post #3 of 8

swaffleman

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Today I've listened to some heavy metal tracks...I'm not sure if I'm just getting used to their sound, or if burn in is real, but the sound seemed less thin today and the bass seemed bigger and less lean. Both good things. The bass is still much like the PX 200 II's, but as of today, I perceived the 685's bass to be slightly more present. 
 
Jun 2, 2013 at 1:00 AM Post #4 of 8

nonsupremous

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I've been meaning to write a review of these for a while now.  I got mine several months ago and really like them a lot.  The concept is really good - an over the head earbud style workout headphone.  I think Sennheiser really did a good job with these.  They are VERY light weight and sound good.  I use the foam covers on them to give me some added bass.  I think the mids are really good and aggressive. 
I do agree about the tracks with a lot of detail getting congested.  These headphones aren't made to produce that much detail.  But they do what they are supposed to - and they do it very well. 
 
Jun 3, 2013 at 1:31 PM Post #5 of 8

swaffleman

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Agreed, they obviously aren't meant to produce a mind-blowing amount of detail, and they certainly aren't necessarily audiophile level headphones.
 
But they come really close, which is why these are so impressive for their tiny size. 
 
One thing I am not sure I understand is why the foam covers seem to increase the overall fullness of sound. I tried out all of the ear pieces, and the foam covers do the best. The only issue when I run is that the sweat soaks the covers (sorry! It's nasty I know) which somewhat affects the sound when I run. I have to adjust them every short while, but they stay on really well. 
 
Jun 4, 2013 at 7:01 AM Post #6 of 8

nonsupremous

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Ya, I had gone through the same testing.  Tried all the different silicone tips that came with it, but in the end it was the foamie covers that did the trick.  The good thing is they are cheap, so you might ruin them every few runs, you can replace them for pretty darn cheap.  Small price to pay for a pretty darn decent sounding workout headphone. 
 
I think these are one of Sennheiser's better ideas.  When they come out with next years models I hope they keep this model around.  You do get pretty big sound out of the earbuds.  And they are very lightweight.  I know I completely forget I'm wearing them when I go for a run. 
Quote:
 
 
One thing I am not sure I understand is why the foam covers seem to increase the overall fullness of sound. I tried out all of the ear pieces, and the foam covers do the best. The only issue when I run is that the sweat soaks the covers (sorry! It's nasty I know) which somewhat affects the sound when I run.

 
Jun 7, 2013 at 10:35 PM Post #7 of 8

swaffleman

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Do you know of a good ear bud foam cover you can buy online that would work with these? Possibly one of a thicker/stiffer material. These are great earbuds but the foam covers feel really fragile. 
 
I've actually been using them as just my normal headphones when going around the house or outside. They actually do sound pretty good. Once again, I don't know what it is, but the bass is way more present with the foam covers. I'm not sure why that is, but without the foam covers, there's almost no bass. With the covers, it goes up to around the same level (maybe even a tiny bit more) of bass as the PX 200 IIs. 
 
Jun 9, 2013 at 12:49 PM Post #8 of 8

nonsupremous

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No.  I think they are all fairly cheap.  Very thin and easy to tear up.  I have had ones from Sony in the past and they seem to workout just fine.  There are some colored ones I tried in the past, can't remember who they were made by, but they were the worst.  They tore up just trying to get them over my PK2s. 
 

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