Best Headphones Under £20 or $30 Challenge - Sennheiser HD 202 ... check out Trey's challenge video where I sent him a cool pair of headphones for the bargain price of £20/$30. Did my headphones win the approval of Treys ears? Check the video to find out.
Supplied by http://www.sennheiser.co.uk/
The Sennheiser Eco Ear Canal Headphones have got their green credentials just right. Great packaging, great product, but do they produce great sound? Check out the review to find out.
Supplied by: My Memory
In-ear earphones are all well and good, but some people prefer cans that sit on the outer of the ear. For me the Sennheiser HD 228 headphones are ultimately comfortable. They look the part too. Check out the video review below.
If you want to get the most out of your iPod (or other MP3 player if you dare), then throw out those old earphones and check out a pair of Sennheiser's CX95. You can get the lowdown in the video review below.
**NOTE** This model has now been replaced with the CX 550 Style II. This is more or less the same earphone, except in silver metal finish.
This classy looking headset will in fact work with any iPod or MP3 player, though it was specifically designed for the iPhone. It'll work with either the original generation or the new iPhone 3G. The MM 50 iP from Sennheiser is an all black affair and I must say it looks really classy. They are supplied with a useful 1.3m cable length, that seems less prone to tangling than other offerings.
Using an in-ear design, to both help acoustics and block out unwanted noise, you get three different sized silicone ear sleeves. They do not go too deep into the ear canal (I hate deep fitting ear phones), so they feel really comfortable. In use they block out a decent amount of noise from the outside world. The acoustics when listening to music or watching a movie are sublime to say the least. With a frequency response of 18-22,000Hz you really do get a deep bass response, very rich and full bodied. Midrange is very good too, with only the higher end lack (but only by a cats whisker).
The MM 50 iP does not stop delivering there... the 'iP' at the end of the model number should give the game away. As I mentioned earlier, although you can use this with virtually any MP3 player that sports a 3.5mm connector, they were designed for use with the iPhone. They have a slimline 3.5mm plug, so they will work with the original iPhone without the need for an adapter, or of course with the iPhone 3G which negates any of these special needs anyway. They sport an intergrated in-line microphone, which has a button to start/end calls. Acoustically, the microphone delivers yet again with a wide frequency range. I performed a lot of test calls and the recipients reported a nice clear voice quality, with no distortion. When on the receiving end of a call I experienced this first hand... voices sound very natural and accurate, I could definitely tell the difference between the Sennheiser mic and the one that Apple supplies with the iPhone.
Everything about the Sennheiser MM 50 iP ooozes quality. The physical feel of the headset, the comfort factor and the superior audio and mic quality all add up to a superior product. It delivers on all fronts.
When I got my iPhone it was not via the normal channels. Because I needed to test accessories with it before the UK launch I had to import one. To say I love it is an understatement, so when looking for a suitable bluetooth headset it had to be something special. For some reason the Apple headset did not appeal to me, and the regular slew of Motorola offerings were dull to say the least. Then Sennheiser sent me their gorgeous VMX100 bluetooth headset. Whilst waiting for the delivery man to knock on my door, I read up on the specifications and looked at images just oozing quality. Then the baby arrived, so the story begins...
The VMX100 is beautifully presented, you often hear me talking about how awesome it is to unbox Apple products, well this is a very similar experience. It is available in black or titanium colour finishes. The titanium version that I was sent looks really cool. Upon opening the box and removing the headset, you are presented with tiny boxes containing the included accessories. These being the USB charger cable (so you can charge on your Mac or PC) and the main plug, which accepts the same USB cable for charging. The included Quick Start guide shows you how to turn on the headset and pair it with your mobile phone. So simple, that I was up and running in under one minute.
The headset is a one piece design, with an answer/end call button, a rocker switch for volume, but no on/off switch. This is the really cool part, to turn on and off, you simply swing the microphone out, fit the headset to your ear and voila, you are in action. The swing out mechanism is really smooth and also moves on the other axis to allow it to fit comfortably on your ear. Nothing actually pokes into your ear canal, so no rubber sleeves to contend with, and I must say this was a welcome change and very comfortable in use.
Where the VMX100 justifies its price tag is with the dual microphone technology, that claims to give crystal clear sound. Well, once connected to my iPhone, I must admit that the clarity on the calls I made was nothing short of superb. On the receiving end, the earpiece was very clear indeed, and when at the other end of the call, the microphone delivered impeccably with no distortion or hiss at all. Full credit to Sennheiser on this one, I was very impressed.
Claims of 100 hours of standby and 5 hours of talk time were also pretty much spot on. I would go so far as to say that the standby time is considerably greater, whereas the talk time for myself was around the 4 to 4.5 hours mark. The only area where I felt let down was the reception range. Although nothing is quoted on the manufacturer website, other headsets I have tested have managed up to 10 meters before audio started breaking up. The VMX100 struggled to get anywhere near this. At around 3 meters there was slight break up in audio, and if I went beyond 5 meters or added a wall into the equation, it was not a nice experience. This is not a deal breaker though, as most of the time your mobile phone would be in your pocket or on the dashboard in the car, so never more than a couple of meters away.
Would I spend my hard earned cash on the Sennheiser VMX100?
If it were my money, then yes, the VMX100 is very good at what it does. The design and comfort are pretty much spot on. The audio clarity is excellent and in day-to-day use I had no real problems with it. If you want something that stands out from the crowd, the VMX100 is a good choice. If your budget is tight, there are plenty of other bluetooth headsets on the market. They might not be as good, but they do the same job, so unless you are going to call Mariah and ask her to sing to you, then you could save some of that hard earned cash.
Having an iPod or another brand MP3 player is great, but it normally goes without saying that the bundled headphones aren't normally the best. A decent upgrade need not set you back lots of money, so here I take a look at the Sennheiser PX100 headphones.
The first thing that struck me about the PX100 was the very well designed folding action. These babies fold into a really neat plastic case, with a cable wrap to keep things extra tidy. When unfolding them, they lock into position and feel very robust. Rather than being an in-ear design, they sit on your ears like regular headphones. The band that touches your head is nicely padded and very comfortable. The PX100's are so light, that you soon forget that you are actually wearing them, so top marks here.
I tested the PX100's with both my iPod and regular CD system, as they really ought to deliver on both fronts. The iPod sounded rich, with plenty of mid range and bass, and stacks of detail, being pleasantly surprised is an understatement. The delivery from the CD system was just as good, the music sounded very rounded and warm, but still delivered every nuance of the music too. After prolonged use I was really enjoying these little wonders.
The PX100's from Sennheiser deliver on many different counts. Firstly, they work great with MP3 and the iPod is a perfect partner. On a full blown system they also hold their own, delivering really great sound. Add to this the fact that they are ultra comfortable and cleverly fold down into a really portable package and you have a winner. If you don't like in-ear earphones, then the PX100's are available in white or black and come highly recommended.
Listening to music… a great British pastime, and something I enjoy every day. It comes as no surprise, mainly because it has been said many times before, that the earphones bundled with the iPod, or any MP3 player, are not brilliant. The iPod earphones are better then most, but for a small investment you can get a lot more music for your money.
Sennheiser are well known for their high quality offerings, but this needn't break the bank. Their CX300 earphones weigh in at under £20 and are available in either black, white or silver. They come supplied nicely packaged with small, medium and large ring adaptors for a comfortable fit. Of the three colours I really like the black, which are accented with silver rings. To see the other colours there is a link at the end of this review to the Sennheiser website.
Being the in-ear type of headphone, comfort is very important. Out of all the earphones I have tried, these win on the comfort stakes. The material used is very soft, with a matt finish and the medium size for me was just right. They don't fit too deep inside the ear canal, just a little way in. Once fitted they really block out a a lot of outside noise, so are perfect if you listen in a noisy environment.
Of course, I used the CX300's with my trusty iPod (what else) and the clarity of sound delivered was superb. Bass was nice and deep, the mid-range was rich and the treble end was very good too. In comparison to others, it was only the higher end that was not as refined, nothing to worry about, but worth mentioning. Even at high volume they behaved impeccably, keeping things clean all the way.
So when you buy an iPod, yes the supplied earphones are OK, but invest a little and you will enjoy your music a whole lot more. The paltry asking price for a pair of CX300 earphones really do make this a no brainer… it is definitely money well spent.
*Please be aware, there are a lot of cheap copies of headphones on ebay. Please ensure you are buying genuine products when making a purchase.