First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- Great noise cancelling, comfortable, good audio quality
- General lack of control and refinement in the sound, costly
If you're after a high quality pair of noise-cancelling headphones and can do without the TalkThrough feature found on Sennheiser's PXC450, then the cheaper PXC350 are a great alternative.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
Sitting just below the PXC450, Sennheiser's PXC350 offers a more affordable but still quite pricey noise-cancelling solution for frequent travellers. For a slightly lower price tag (only 1996 MacDonald's soft serve cones for fans of our PXC450 review), you get a pair of full over-the-ear headphones that offer a combination of good audio quality and excellent noise cancelling.
One of the key differences between this model and its more expensive sibling is its lack of TalkThrough technology. The PXC450 has a small microphone on the outside that can be activated to allow an easy transition into conversation should somebody need to talk to you. While this isn't a big loss the functionality is definitely pretty cool.
On the noise-cancelling front, Sennheiser claims the PXC450 NoiseGard technology cancels out 90 per cent of background noise while the PXC350 will do 80 per cent. In general we found the PXC450 was perhaps marginally better, but the PXC350 certainly did an admirable job.
From the moment we slipped them over our ears we fell into that strange void of eerie quietness that only noise-cancelling headphones can create. They perfectly blocked out everything around our desk, including the formidable office air conditioner and general work place chit chat. On our regular bus ride home they managed to get rid of most of the engine noise, although there was still a dull rumble evident in some quieter passages of music. Overall, the noise cancelling on these headphones is definitely towards the top of the pack.
As with other Sennheiser models the noise cancelling can be turned on and off at any time which is a nifty feature for saving battery power. This unit takes two AAA batteries with a quoted battery life of up to 40 hours which is quite impressive.
Sound quality is similar to the PXC450 with some small difference. The mid range is equally as impressive with a lot of energy and a fun presentation. The soundstage was wide and detailed with great separation between individual instruments, although at times we did find Cymbals came across a little too pronounced.
Treble notes were good, with a sparkling rich sound that never verged on bright or harsh. Meanwhile the bass is a little more prevalent than on the more expensive model. It extended a little deeper and was more crunchy, but still lacked the punch and power of some other headphones on the market. At the same time, however, it was also much less refined, sounding a little bloated at times. This went for the whole sound spectrum to some extent, it was noticeably less tight and controlled compared to the PXC450.
Design-wise these headphones are quite chunky. They certainly won't be slipping comfortably in your pocket. Fortunately they come with a carry case making them easy to store in a bag or briefcase. The design is sturdy and comfortable, with the pleather cups perfectly circling your ears. One other feature of note is the in-line volume control, which sits about halfway down the cord.
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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.
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