This is a Sennheiser PX 100-II i review. This lightweight portable stereo headset is a revised and modified model of the original Sennheiser headphones PX 100 which first appeared in November of 2002. It was designed to be a set of portable, lightweight on-ear stereo headphones, convenient for travel, and available at a reasonable, affordable price for casual use. The original Sennheiser PX 100 was a winner right from the start, but it had lots of room for improvement.
After the design flaws in the original model were recognized, the new and improved Sennheiser PX 100 ii headphones appeared in 2004 with several modifications. The headband was strengthened with a steel reinforcing strap. The two-sided entry cable was replaced with a one-sided cable to reduce the problem of tangling and snagging. The arms were notched so that they would latch together when folded for storage. The ear cups were modified for a more open design for a more natural sound, and the drivers were modified for a stronger bass emphasis.
Now, since about 2010, the Sennheiser Company has taken the design one step further to produce the Sennheiser PX 100-II i headphones as a headset with an online mic and remote for convenient use with iPod, iPhone, iPad or just about any Apple product. Some reviewers complain that the 3-button remote doesn’t work well with Android phones and other products.
What Variations Of the Sennheiser PX 100-II i Miniheadphones Are Available?
The Sennheiser PX 100-II i Light Weight Supra-Aural Headset with 3 Button Control for i-Pod,i-Phone and i-Pad (Black) headset is probably the most versatile model in the PX 100 series with it’s handy, in-line microphone and remote. At the time of this review it is available on Amazon for about $79.00, and it earns a score of about 4.5 stars out of 5 in Amazon reviews. However, there are a few other variations available. Some are cheaper with fewer features, and some have more features for a little more expense. Here are some of the varieties.
Sennheiser PX100 Collapsible Open-Aire Headphones
There are still a few of the original Sennheiser PX 100 available on Amazon, but considering their price and some of their out dated features, they are more like collector’s items than a practical headphone bargain. The cheapest you can get them for is $59.00. They are open-back headphones, but unlike the newer models with the two spokes, these have five spokes on the back of the ear cups. That means that they have less open back space. They have the original double entry cord which tends to tangle, and they have the older style headband which is not as rigid. The bass is not as strongly emphasized as in the later models. But if you want a relic from the past, you can still get these.
Sennheiser PX 100-II Black On Ear Miniheadphones
These are mostly the same as the PX 100-II i headset, except they don’t have the on cable remote and microphone for handy use with a mobile phone. It is by far the best selling model. It gets a score of 4.3 stars out of 5 on Amazon, and it costs about $50.00. If you want some cheap, practical, portable headphones for listening, and you don’t care about a microphone for cell phone calls, the Sennheiser PX 100-II On Ear Miniheadphone (Black) may be your best bargain.
Sennheiser PX 100-II White Open Mini Headphone
The Sennheiser PX 100-II Foldable Open Mini Headphone – White is just the same as the black PX 100 described above, except for the price and the colour. The going price is about $71.00. That’s about $21 more than the black model which has about the same features. But if colour is important to you, there it is. Usually on Amazon there are some deals so you can get some new ones at a reduced price.
Sennheiser PX 200 II Black Closed Mini Headphones
This model is very much like the PX 100-II black miniheadphones. They are available on Amazon for about $60.00 at the time of this review, and they earn a score of about 4.0 stars out 5 in Amazon reviews. There are two main differences between these and the PX 100 II’s. Sennheiser PX 200 II Closed Mini Headphones with Integrated Vol Control (Black) has an integrated volume control, though unfortunately it has no microphone to use with cell phones.
Also, unlike the PX 100’s, the PX 200 II’s are closed back headphones with some noise isolation from outside sounds. Since the ear cups are so small, they do not give perfect sound isolation. But they will keep most surrounding noises out of your hearing, and they keep most of your sounds from bleeding out to annoy those around you. Open back ear cups produce a more natural sound, but they are not sound proof.
Sennheiser PX 200 II i Lightweight Supra-Aural Headphones
Sennheiser PX 200-II i Lightweight Supra-Aural Headphones with 3 Button Control for iPod, iPhone, and iPad are very much like the other PX 200-II models, but PX 200-II i’s come with a microphone and 3-button control to use with iPod, iPhone, iPad. Some users say that the remote doesn’t work as well Android and other products as well as it does with Apple products. This headset costs about $103 on Amazon, and it gets a grade of about 4.1 stars out of 5. It also is closed back and it has some sound isolation. It is black in colour. This site is not aware if a white PX 200 II i is available at this time.
What Are The Specifications Of The Sennheiser PX 100 II i?
Keeping in mind that there several variations available with a few different features in each, the general specifications of all available models are mostly the same.
- 15 hertz to 27,000 hertz frequency range
- 114 dB maximum power sound level
- Less than 0.1 % total harmonic distortion
- 32 ohms of impedance
- 2.6 ounce (75 grams) total weight
- 3.9 feet (1.2 metre) connecting cable
- 1/8 inch (3.5 mm) jack plug
- 2 year warranty
What Does The Sennheiser PX 100 II i Sound Like?
These headphones have a frequency range that reaches from a low bass of 15 hertz to a high of 27,000 hertz. Since normal human hearing goes only as low as about 12 hertz and only as high as about 22,000 hertz, the range of the PX 100 II i headset extends almost to the very lowest of the audible bass tones, and the upper range extends far above the very highest treble pitches that the human ear can hear. The original PX 100 had a fairly flat response throughout its frequency spectrum. The newer models have a bit more power emphasis in the lower bass tones.
Low harmonic distortion is also an important consideration in sound quality. The PX 100 II models all use DuoFol dynamic speakers with neodynium magnets. They are capable of producing a maximum sound power of 114 dB with a total harmonic distortion of less than 0.1%. The new dynamic speakers also tend the emphasize the lower bass tones more strongly than those of the origional PX 100.
So what’s the sense in having a frequency range that goes so far beyond the boundaries of the upper range of human hearing? Simple. Toward the limits of their frequency range, headphone speakers tend to distort their signal. Since the highest pitches that these speakers can produce is so far beyond the range of normal human hearing, no one can hear any upper range distortions.
As mentioned above, this headset uses open-back ear cups. This has its advantages and its disadvantages. First of all, open back headphones have a better, more natural sound than the closed back headphones which tend to muffle the sound. The problem is that open back ear cups allow outside noise to penetrate. They also allow your headphone sounds to bleed out.
Sound leakage isn’t a problem if you’re walking along a lonely road, but if you’re riding on a buss or travelling on a plane, your sound may annoy those around you. If you want a set of portable headphones for travel, you might consider one of the PX 200 models mentioned above which use closed back ear cups. You will have to sacrifice some sound quality, but you get better privacy.
Then again, sound penetration into open headphones can have certain benefits. If you want to use the PX 100 II as a set of workout headphones or for walking outside, sound penetration can be a valuable safety feature. Allowing outside noise to penetrate can keep the user aware of any dangers that might be around him, especially if he is near traffic.
What Special Features Does The PX 100 II i Headset Offer?
Though the basic design of the origional PX 100 Sennheiser in 2002 was optimal, two years of observations and refinement made possible the improved model of the PX 100 II which came out in 2004, and eventually resulted in the present PX 100 II i headset which is compatible with cell phones and digital devices like iPhone, iPad, iPod, MP3 players, or DVD players. What started out good is now better.
The main improvement in the durability of the present design is the stronger, more flexible headband. Without adding any significant weight, the headband is reinforced with a stainless steel strap which can take a lot of abuse without danger of snapping. The steel strap also allows for a sliding adjustment to fit almost any sized head.
The PX 100 II i is designed to be light and convenient for travel and for commuting. Total weight is just 2.6 ounces (75 grams). It folds like a pair of sun glasses to fit into a handy carrying pouch which easily fits into a purse of a briefcase. One small improvement in the newer model is that the folding arms are equipped with small knotches that latch and lock together when they are folded.
The original model came with a hard-cover carrying case to protect the unit. In order to limit cost as much as possible, the hard case has been replaced with a vinyl pouch. However, for those who prefer, a Mokoo Full Size Large Headphone Protective Zip Hard Case with Pouch for Sennheiser PX100 PX100-II PX200 PX200-II PX80 Headphone (Black) models can be purchesd separately on Amazon for about $16.00.
On Cord Microphone And Remote
In order to qualify as a headset, the Sennheiser PX 100 II i headphones need to carry a microphone to make it compatible with a mobil phone. This has a handy, compact, on-cord microphone and a 3-button remote. The upper and lower buttons of the remote allow the lisener to control volume. When used with a cell phone, the middle button is used to answer and drop phone calls. When used with a digital listening device, the middle button lets the operator pause, play, stop, and change sound tracks. A quick start guide is included with complete instructions for how to use the remote.
The cable itself is a 3.9 foot (1.2 metre) connecting cord which attaches to the left ear cup. The cable of the early PX 100 attached to both sides. The single side entry in present models helps prevent tangles. The cable ends with 1/8 in. Jack plug to fit any standard portable listening device.
Is The Sennheiser PX 100 II i Comfortable To Wear?
The best sounding headphones ever made would not be very useful if they were too uncomfortable to wear. The Sennheiser company has built many features into the PX 100-II i to make its sound quality comfortable as well as affordable and convenient.
The most important comfort feature is the light weight of only 2.6 ounces (75 grams). Some reviewers testify that the headset is so light that they might even forget that they are wearing it. The headband has two foam pads underneath which cushion the head on each side. The foam head cushions also help to keep the headset in place. Both ear cups are covered with soft, removeable foam pads. Replacement foam pads are available are available, should the origional ear cushions ever wear out.
What Do Reviewers Say About the Sennheiser PX 100 II i Headset?
Amazon user reviews give this product an average grade of 4.5 stars out of 5. That’s pretty good, but there are some owners who are disappointed. Keep in mind that many users write their reviews very soon after they start using the product. First impressions are usually good, but problems may develop later.
The feature that users praise most often is the sound quality. Even if someone is disappointed with the headset for other reasons, he usually doesn’t have any problem with the sound. They usually call the sound “rich” and “balanced,” though most will also agree that there is an extra emphasis on bass tones.
Another point that is often praised is the comfort. Some say they find them to be so comfortable and light that they can wear them for hours and might even forget that they are wearing headphones. Other points that positive reviews mention is that remote and microphone work well and are easy to use. Reviewers say they find them to be convenient, very portable, very versatile and easy to use, and they think that they got their money’s worth from their purchase.
Sound penetration is also worth mentioning. Most people like sound isolation in most situations, but in some situations it is important to be able to hear what’s going on around you. One reviewer is the parent of a 2-year-old child. She loves the sound penetration feature because the PX 100 II i allows her to hear her small child at all times.
The most common complaint about this product is the durability. Though the frame itself doesn’t seem to have a breakage problem, several complain that the wire is very weak and flimsy. It tends to break or short out internally. Sometimes the short causes static in one or both ear cups, especially when you move around. Sometimes one or both ear cups go completely dead. The shorting-out problem often happens after about a year of use, and sometimes before. Fortunately, this headset has a 2-year warrant. Make sure to keep all the receipts and the box with all its contents, just in case. If you buy through Amazon, and if there is a problem within the first 30 days, whenever possible, this site recommends that you take advantage of the Amazon 30-day return policy.
This headset is designed to be compatible with the iPhone and other Apple products. More than one reviewer has written that he couldn’t get the remote to work with Android phones and products from other companies.
There are some reviewers who complain about sound leakage. They can’t use their headphones in public without sharing their music with everyone around. These reviewers don’t really have a justified complaint, since the PX 100 models are all advertized as open-back headphones. For sound isolation you need to consider one of the PX 200 models which use closed back ear cups. Keep in mind that sound quality usually goes down a bit with closed back headphones.