Sennheiser MX 581 earphones
These Sennheiser headphones are designed for listeners with smaller ears
- Good sound quality at moderate volume levels, comfortable design that can be altered to suit small or large ears
- Distortion of bass and harsh treble at high volume levels
Available for a reasonable price, the Sennheiser MX 581 earbuds offer a boost in sound quality over the earbuds bundled with most MP3 players. However, if you push these earphones too hard you will encounter bass and treble distortion.
Price$ 59.95 (AUD)
The Sennheiser MX 581 earphones are sleekly designed and deliver good quality mid-range audio. However, pushing these earphones too far results in treble and bass distortion. With the right volume and right genres of music, the Sennheiser MX 581 headphones can sound great, comparing favourably to other similar priced earbuds and beating the earphones bundled with most MP3 players.
The earbuds have Sennheiser’s LiveBass system, but a heavy finger on the volume button will expose a lack of bass at higher volumes. The MX 581's bass response distorts slightly at high volume; this was only made worse by the ‘Bass Booster’ equaliser setting on our MP3 player. Songs that are heavy on bass — like hard rock ballads with strong bass lines or hip-hop tunes with deep low-end beats — will suffer.
We found the treble excellent and balanced during mid-volume play, delivering crisp, sharp sound that works for vocal-heavy and acoustic audio. Once again, pushing the volume beyond half-way on our Apple iPod Touch MP3 player exposed faults. The clarity of the treble allows for crunchy metal riffs, but at higher volumes it tends to become harsh. This also works against the bass, drowning it out at higher volumes.
When listening in quiet surroundings sound quality is not an issue, with the MX 581 headphones solidly beating the earbuds supplied with Apple's MP3 players. However, listening to music in a loud environment may wreak havoc on your ears. Turning the volume higher strains the ears because of the high-intensity treble; loud environments will leave you between your rock music and a hard place. Like most earbuds (with the exception of in-ear headphones), the Sennheiser MX 581 earphones do little to block out external sound, so the only way to drown out ambient noise is turn up the volume.
Bundled foam sleeves add to the comfort of the earbuds. The Sennheiser MX 581 earphones are designed for smaller ears but will fit larger ear canals as well using packaged rubber ear pads that slightly increase the size of the buds. A 1.2m cable is long enough to suit an MP3 player stowed in a hip pocket, and the volume control module connected to the cable is a handy addition that doesn’t weigh the earbuds down. A smooth coating on the cable supposedly cuts down on tangles, and a soft pouch is supplied for storing the earphones.
Sennheiser’s MX 581 earbuds aren’t designed for audiophiles, but for day-to-day use they fare better than the stock headphones supplied with almost all MP3 players.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 2 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 3 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 4 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
- 5 Microsoft Lumia 640 review: Honouring Nokia's legacy
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- First look: Nuheara IQbuds smart Bluetooth ear buds do more than just music
- Convoy International restructures business focus
- Beats Solo2 headphones go wireless for $399
- Parrot's Zik 2.0 headphones include an accelerometer and plenty of noise cancelling
- Kogan opens online shop in New Zealand
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCSystems Engineer - Wintel, VMWare and CitrixNSW
- CCSenior Change AnalystNSW
- FTTechnical WriterACT
- FTGraduate IT Support OfficerNSW
- CCInfrastructure Business AnalystNSW
- CCAnalyst Programmer (J2EE/Oracle/SQL*PLUS) 160519/AP/432Asia
- CCDeemed Order Business SpecialistVIC
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (J2EE/Oracle) 160520/AP/985Asia
- FTSenior .NET DeveloperWA
- FTManaging Security ConsultantQLD
- CCMultiple Oracle Fusion SOA/BPEL Developer OpportunitiesVIC
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/SQL/Web) 160519/AP/453Asia
- CCDomain Specialist | Multiple RolesVIC
- CCSoftware Engineer (Client facing) - Publisher SolutionsNSW
- CCMS SCOM AdministratorVIC
- FTPeoplesoft CRM DeveloperWA
- FTSOE SpecialistACT
- CCScrum MasterACT
- CCRevalidations OfficerACT
- CCApplication Server AdminACT
- CCBusiness Analyst, Service Performance, RetailNSW
- FTSenior Full-Stack .NET DeveloperVIC
- CCProgram Business Implementation Director- HR Payroll, FINSW
- CCTest Analyst / Test LeadNSW
- FTData EngineersNSW