Thursday, 17 April 2014

Sennheiser PX 360 review - A traveller's go-to pair

     A great looking travel headphone, these headphones have a few cons some may not expect, coming from a pair of cans from Sennheiser.

Pros: good bass and mids, nice-looker, nice case, good portability

Cons: strange emphasis on particular frequency range, small cups may not fit everyone, fragile, non-detachable cable

PX 360

the PX 360 (above), and partially in its case (below).

     The Sennheiser PX 360 headphones look good, and are very comfortable, at least to me, but the earcups fit just nicely over my ears. Any smaller and I would not be able to fit these over my ears. What with these being advertised as circumaural headphones, the earcups should be bigger. the headband is nicely padded and the headphones are very light. The case and foldability makes these quite a good pair of travel headphones.

     I first auditioned these at the one and only Sennheiser shop in my country, Singapore. They looked as good as in the promotional pics and folded up very nicely upon testing of the folding mechanism. They have a metal reinforced headband I think, as the sliders are metal. Now, onto sound quality.

     These have very nice, smooth, controlled and tight bass. The mids are quite even and the overall frequency response is very nice and balanced in the mids. The bass is punchy enough for a clean, natural sound, but sometimes gets overwhelmed by the sharp and fatigueing highs. Still, these sound especially good with classical and instrumental music. Now, there is some bad news.

     The highs are smooth, but when I played Simple Plan's "Jet Lag", I noticed quite a strong emphasis on vocals, high-hats, cymbals, and any other sounds in this frequency range. The same is for other songs. Of course, vocals will be nice with slight emphasis, but the vocals are really too bright and fatigueing for me. I then tested the Sennheiser Momentum On Ear, and for $70 more, I get superbly even highs and mids, nicely naturally emphasised bass and great design, but at the expense of foldability, and it may not fit everyone, as the earcups do not swivel forward or backward slightly, so some people may experience uncomfortable pressure on the back of the ear.

     Overall, these are great headphones, but more work on the highs, and a detachable cable, would be greatly appreciated, especially in its price range.

EDIT: a frequency response graph of the PX 360 taken from Headroom.

Rather rough and frighteningly unrefined frequency response. Bass is not too well extended into the sub-bass region and rolls off early, mids are bumpy and high-mids to treble are very bumpy with lots of peaks and dips. Explains the emphasised cymbals, high-hats and vocals threatening to take over the sound. Treble also rolls off early. Very bad and rough sound for a headphone of this price, especially since the ATH-M50x are exactly S$1 cheaper than these. I will review the ATH-M50x soon. For those of you who know the ATH-M50, the ATH-M50x are its successor with 3 detachable cables and better sound quality over the previous ATH-M50.