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Sennheiser PX200 Headphones

Sennheiser PX200 Headphones Article Author : Quadophile
Date : 13th Jul 2005
Comments : 24

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Techical Specifications

The basic specification of any headphone or as a matter of fact even speakers really does not give one an idea of how they would sound like. Two headphones/speakers from two different makers having the same specifications can actually sound very different. Technical specifications are only half of the story...tone quality, imaging, detail in the highs and midrange resolution are some of the aspects which cannot be measured by any technical device, but only by the listener... However, it should be noted that these aspects are more to do with personal preferences rather than, say, to do with accuracy of the headphone or speakers in question. Nonetheless, many of us have curiosity about such aspects of any headphones/speakers hence the subject of discussion here. I will briefly touch upon these aspects in testing.

Test Equipment

The headphones have been tested on the headphone/line-out socket of following equipment:
  • IBM T41 Laptop
  • Marantz CD-63SE CD Player
  • Denon PMA-S10 Integrated amplifier
  • Philips Active Portable CD player
  • Philips PT-6361 Television
  • Creative Audigy Soundcard
Music / Video used for evaluation:
  • Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms (20th Anniversary Edition, Limited Digi-Pack Hybrid SACD)
  • Deep Purple – Machine Head (Hybrid SACD)
  • Joni Mitchell – Painting with words and music (Two disc DVD collector’s edition)
  • Personally created 320 bit MP3's from own collection directly from the hard drive
Sound Quality

The listed DVD and CD's are used to evaluate these headphones and also compare them to another pair of headphones which also happen to be from the same maker, the Sennheiser HD-580 Precision. In real world this is not a proper comparison since if we take the original list price of both the headphones the 580's are 5 times more expensive! Nonetheless, were they evaluated without any reference it would not be possible to say how they sounded. These were also compared to my sons earphones bundled with a portable CD player.

Patented duofoil™ diaphragms are employed to help achieve Sound Pressure Level (SPL) in the vicinity of a whooping 115 decibels! Specification aside, I found the level of volume more than adequate when connected directly to the socket on the Marantz CD63SE player. I later checked them with my IBM T41 Laptop, connecting them to the line out socket and watching/listening to the Joni Mitchell DVD entitled “Painting with words and Music”, to be honest I got carried away and realised I had almost finished the concert without any interruptions. I also checked them out on the portable Philips player, the bundled earphones, although are pretty decent sounding in their own right were not as refined sounding as the PX 200. The sound of the player transformed, particularly becoming very smooth in the highs and having more authority in the bass region.

The sound of the screaming guitars which is on the Dire Straits album “Brothers in Arms”, particularly the track entitled “The mans too strong”, did not sound muddy as was the case with the earphones of the portable player. In my opinion, the PX 200 did not disappoint at all, as this track is one of the most difficult track for speakers/headphones to resolve, with ordinary equipment, usually resulting in a muddy and unclear mix. It of course depends on the source equipment as well.

Headphones, Case and "Brothers in Arms"

Probably the most famous guitar riff in the history of rock is featured on the album “Machine Head” by Deep Purple, the unforgettable track “Smoke on the water” was really fun listening to through the PX 200.

The sound of these headphones is very slightly on the laid back side in terms of high frequency, an attribute which makes them excellent choice for long sessions and one I personally favour in speakers as well as headphones. The vocals were exceptionally clean and clear, the bass was more than adequate and not in any way pronounced. However, in terms of extension I thought that they did not give me an impression of what the manufacturer’s specification states, which happens to be 10hz-21,000 Hz. There is one anomaly though; the stated specification on the package does not give any indication of the deviation from the specs. I am surprised this is omitted by Sennheiser. The lack of sheer extension in the bass region is I am sure attributed to them being brand new and need adequate burn-in time before they really start to give out their best. While I had been listening to them, the sound sort of slowly was opening up, particularly the high frequencies, which were becoming smoother and the low end was very slowly getting to give me an impression of having a bit more extension. I would reckon these headphones should come on their own after about 20 to 30 hours of use. Thus, making a judgment about sound quality immediately after putting them on, when brand new, is not really the right thing to do, give them time, they will make you more than happy.

If I were asked about the difference between the 580 and the PX 200 I would say that the former sounds like a full range floor-stander and the later like a largish bookshelf speakers. However the tone quality of both the headphones is very similar, which is not surprising, since both come from the same manufacturer. The 580's were obviously superior in every department which is understandably so, but, one must keep in mind the price difference between the two. Secondly, the impedance of both phones is poles apart and would actually give a very different load to any equipment they are connected to. One thing which goes in favour of the PX 200 is its light weight which probably makes them very comfortable to wear for long durations.

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