New Ear Gear

At work I was recently relocated from a cubicle in the wide-open, communal area to a corner office that I share with two other people. The noisy, high-traffic nature of the corporate cube-farm was very conducive to the use of PC speakers for listening to music since it really never bothered anyone. This is not so for the quiet surroundings of my new office where music played over speakers, even at a low volume, would be bothersome to my office-mates.

In order to keep on listening to my tunes at work, I decided that I needed some new headphones. I knew that I wanted some phones that wouldn't mess up my hair, but also ones that I didn't have to push into my ear canals-- this meant getting a pair of street-style, or neckband headphones. After some online research I narrowed down my choice to two sets of phones: the Sennheiser PMX 100 and the Koss Porta Pro. Finally, the information I read about these two at Headroom helped me decide on the Sennheisers. I've been using my new Sennheiser PMX 100 headphones for nearly three days now and I think they're great!

The PMX 100 phones have a terrific sound, with a full, juicy bass response and crisp, clear high-frequency sound. The midrange response, honestly, is not exactly weak, but, understandably, isn't nearly as solid as that of my Sony V-600s or my Sennheiser HD 212 Pros either. I think this is primarily due to the physical design of the headphones, and I was able to correct this very easily with a mid-range EQ adjustment in my iTunes. What's more is that these headphones are very good at delivering sound dynamics and modulations-- for fans of electronic music, this can result in quite an adventure!

Aside from sound, wearability is also an important factor in the quality of headphones. Since this is my first pair of street-style phones, I was concerned about this when I bought them. So far, I am extremely pleased with this very lightweight and comfortable set. The circular pads cover average-sized ears perfectly. The soft, foam padding on the PMX 100s is very "cushiony" without feeling heavy like a pair of pillows. The padding also allows enough air flow to prevent that annoying condition known as sweaty ears. The over-the-ear arms that make them street-style headphones are made of semi-firm but very flexible rubber and they're softer and more comfortable than I imagined.

I really have no complaints about the sound of my new Sennheiser PMX 100s; all negative points are extremely minor and are related to their physical design. The rubber, over-the-ear arms that hold the phones in place can become slightly uncomfortable, but this is only after 2+ hours of continuous use. Additionally, the neck band, that holds the two ear-pads against the ears, tends to rest right at the base of the neck. This is perfectly fine, but sitting in a forward position can sometimes cause the base of the neck or top of the back to push the phones forward. This isn't such a big deal, really, but can sometimes contribute to over-the-ear discomfort that I feel when approaching 2 to 2.5 hours of continuous use. Taking a short break seems to take care of this perfectly.

I got my new phones for only $40 including shipping charges from TigerDirect.com, and they arrived the next day after I ordered them (nice work, Tiger!). Overall, I would highly recommend the Sennheiser PMX 100 headphones to music lovers, audiophiles and otaku of all kinds!

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