Sennheiser PMX 100
- Great sound, Quite balanced
- Some minor comfort issues
The PMX 100s are a great portable headphone, offering reasonably balanced and exceptionally detailed sound.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
Sennheiser's open design PMX 100 headphone is the street style version of their PX 100. We recently looked at their more expensive sibling, the PMX 200, and while they sounded impressive particularly for a closed design, we weren't amazed like we have been with past Sennheiser products. The PMX 100 is a step above again, providing a glorious, rich and well balanced sound that was nothing short of exquisite.
These are the closest headphones we have listened to yet in this price range that are comparable with the Koss KSC-75 and they performed brilliantly. They do however offer quite different sounds, with the Koss model being much more vibrant and fast paced while the PMX 100s are a little more balanced, leaning slightly towards a dark sound, although not as much as most other Sennheiser models.
Their bass is quite good, a little slow (the sound reverberates somewhat) without being overpowering. It doesn't quite have the extension in the lower bass that the PX 100 has, but the mid and upper bass elements are extremely well pronounced.
There is a good level of clarity in the mid-range, but they don't quite sparkle like they do on the Koss model. They have a slightly warm sound that is pleasing for a huge variety of music. We felt the highs were well balanced and quite smooth, but they did get a little cluttered at times. The soundstage was open and quite airy, giving a laid back presentation.
In the portable space, the PMX 100's sound quality is some of the best out there. We'd still recommend the KSC-75 as our favourite model, but if you're looking for something different that has a slightly more neutral, balanced sound, the PMX 100 is a good choice.
Its leakage levels were about normal for a pair of open, over-the-ear headphones. It will be audible for someone sitting next to you, and definitely isn't suitable to a quiet situation like a library, but we tested them in a variety of locations including on trains and at work and had no complaints. They don't cancel exterior noise to any real degree however, so if you're regularly working in loud environments, the PMX 100's more expensive sibling, the PMX 200 might be a better choice, as they are a closed design.
The big difference between this model and the PX 100 is the ear clips and round-the-neck design. The PMX 100 is designed as a street model, and thus they carry this new style, intended to make you look a little less goofy when jogging through the park.
We found them comfortable in the short term, but the thin, rather sharp ear clips do get a little painful over time. More over-the-ear headphones need to take a leaf out of Koss' book and manufacture wider, soft plastic ear clips, like those seen on the KSC-75 which are far more comfortable and can be worn for longer periods of time. It wasn't a big issue on the PMX 100s, we just had to move them round a little every half an hour to get comfortable. The neckband was a similar case. It was barely noticeable most of the time, but when looking up to the sky it wound up pressing into our necks a little. It wasn't painful, just felt a little strange. Those with smaller heads - unlike this reviewer - will find this less of an issue.
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