I highly recommend you try out the Koss KSC-35s. For a lot of audiophiles, they have been the ultimate workout/portable headphones for close to 7 years. At their price point (around $30), they are unmatched. Go for it!

Edit by Jeremy Horwitz, March 2005: iPodlounge has deleted a collection of negative and derogatory comments from "audiogeek" on our site, which we discovered have been posted by a writer for competing publications. As he has trolled and posted obnoxious comments in a number of threads, picking fights with our readers and editors, he has been banned from the site, and we strongly oppose his repeated mischaracterizations of various products and our editorial opinions. This comments thread was affected by his posts, and has therefore been modestly edited. If any of the other comments below do not make sense in the context of these deletions, we apologize.

Posted by saniko on June 22, 2004 at 7:51 AM (PDT) Comment 1

break in your mx500s!

Posted by einars on June 22, 2004 at 10:06 AM (PDT) Comment 2

Saniko, I agree 100%, the KSC-35s are the ultimate cheap phones. But somehow I wonder whether these would be iPodlounge's choice if they even object to the looks of something as sleek as the PX200...*sigh*
I also wonder why in the world the review states that they isolate. They hardly do so, so they are better used in rather quiet environments. What they do is keep sound from leaking out.
In fact, the PX200 are great phones for their price. They sound phantastic if they are powered adequately. A castrated Euro-iPod cannot provide that kind of power. Connect them with an amp though, or an old Sony PCDP (can you say D25?) and they will shine.

Posted by Oliver :) on June 22, 2004 at 10:37 AM (PDT) Comment 3

Yeah, I disagree that the iPod buds aren't worth scrapping until they're dead - a pair of burned-in MX500s are miles ahead of the iPod's poor buds. The iPod buds are downright offensive in their lack of treble and poor mid and bass reproduction, but the Sennheisers are really quite solid in their performance, especially given their price.

And yes, the KSC-35s should be in the test, but iPodlounge is from from being a 'picky audiophile' site, so I guess we shouldn't be terribly disappointed with the review - it was a reasonable 'average consumer' perspective.

Posted by Mortimer on June 22, 2004 at 12:01 PM (PDT) Comment 4

I have the PX-200s. It took me a while to get the 'fit' right, but now the isolation is pretty good, and I love the sound. Con: Even the US iPod is a bit underpowered for it.

Posted by mhz on June 22, 2004 at 12:10 PM (PDT) Comment 5

I agree with the previous poster.

'break in your mx500s!'

They sound much better after 10-20 hours of listening. Hands down way better than the white buds. And for $20 you can't find a better deal.

Posted by g3ak on June 22, 2004 at 12:19 PM (PDT) Comment 6

How does breaking in headphones work? Do you have to wear them or can you just leave them connected to your iPod or hifi playing for 24 hours? Why can't they be broken in by the manufacturer?

Posted by tinaa on June 22, 2004 at 1:33 PM (PDT) Comment 7

You guys talking about bass on iPod. LOL Its a well known fact that with all DAP out there, iPod got the most pathetic bass/base/lows.

Posted by BashHead on June 22, 2004 at 2:06 PM (PDT) Comment 8


For a comparison of sound quality on portable players:

"...the iPod is well spoken for a portable player; articulating the musical intent with a simple clarity remarkable in a mass-market product..."

Yeah, the bass rolls off through the headphone out at very low levels - odds are your headphones wouldn't reproduce it anyway unless you're an Ety/UE/AKG/Grado-type person, and if you were that serious you'd be using the line-out with an amp - but musically it rates quite high for such a device. Musicality is more than a frequency response graph.

tinaa: Break-in is just what happens as they're first used for a while - they tend to loosen up and come into their sound. Some say it's mental, others say its real. I'm in the 'it's both' crowd.

A good headphone break-in FAQ:

You don't have to wear them - you should just leave them playing for a week or two, at moderate volumes, with varying types of music.

Why can't they do it at the factory? They could, but it'd add to costs, and some people actually enjoy hearing the change occur - kind of like watching your child walk for the first time. (Odd, I know.)

Posted by Mortimer on June 22, 2004 at 4:06 PM (PDT) Comment 9

WOW!! the PX60's sound pretty sweet..i just need a decent pair of headphones. i was considering sum Sony, around the neck style headphones but these sound/look a bit better. i was just wondering if its possible to buy them in Japan? and is that in US dollars? the $29.95? thanks!

Posted by Christian on June 24, 2004 at 1:55 AM (PDT) Comment 10

DANM! i just checked the Sony headphones i wanted..they're ABOUT 7,000 YEN (70 ish US dollars) i think...and these Sennhieser ones are about 3,200 YEN! (30 US dollars)...i dont mind paying the extra! i just want good headphones!! i dont know the prices in the shops...but that is just the currency conversions..the sony ones i wanted were the latest, round the neck style (same as the PX60's) noise cancelling headphones..they look pretty big though....and i have little ears...

Posted by Christian on June 24, 2004 at 2:07 AM (PDT) Comment 11

What do you think?.....

Posted by Christian on June 24, 2004 at 2:09 AM (PDT) Comment 12

I have the PX-100s, not 200s--they're the same as the 200 but have openings to let you hear around you, which I prefer. And from reviews I've read, that also makes the music sound better than the 200s.

The folding design is GREAT with my PowerBook. Sound is excellent, amazing bass for something so small--but I'm no audio expert.

I also got them for under $50.

Posted by Nagromme on June 24, 2004 at 8:24 AM (PDT) Comment 13

Also, I find the PX-100 and 200 very comfortable--they are adjustable and very light, easy to just wear and forget.

(BTW, you don't have to use the case--they're even more portable just by themselves, folded like glasses.)

Posted by Nagromme on June 24, 2004 at 8:28 AM (PDT) Comment 14

I use the Sennheiser PCX-250s when I fly. These are active noise-cancelling phones similar in concept to the Bose and appearance to the PX-200. I find the PCX-250s to offer an overall impressive level of performance, with extended bass and a nice soundstage. There is a notable difference in sound between the "on" and "off" setting of the noise cancelling circuitry, but overall the reduction of outside noise lends tremendous clarity without requiring the user to crank the volume. This is really noticable on planes but also when walking on noisy city streets. Excellent clarity for vocals and spoken word - they are my faves when watching DVDs on my laptop.

Not as good as the Bose, but at $150 they are half the price.

Posted by BradPDX on June 24, 2004 at 8:35 AM (PDT) Comment 15

if you wanna stick w/ the Senn's you should check out the hd497's. its just $10 more than the px200.

I haven't tried either of the px100 or 200. Does anyone know how the 497's compare to them???


Posted by aye5882 on June 24, 2004 at 8:37 AM (PDT) Comment 16

Some excellent reviews here. It's time to ditch the Sony ear buds (purchased with a Super Walkman in 1991) and purchase a pair of Sennheisers!

Posted by John Hood on June 24, 2004 at 11:05 AM (PDT) Comment 17

If anyone wants the ultimate in-ear phones try the Shure-E2 E3 or E5's. These are without a doubt THE BEST MONEY CAN BUY. Forget any of these "consumer" products, these are designed for the pro market. Any time you see a performer on stage with something in their ears for monitoring there is around a 90% chance Shure E2 E3 or E5's is whate they are using. These are perfect in an iPod or any MP3 player.

Posted by Dale Thurbon on June 24, 2004 at 4:42 PM (PDT) Comment 18

I reeeaally need a new pair of headphones...and these seem perfect!! but does anyone know if i could get these in Japan?!?! i dont really wanna order off the net. Anyone know any good Sony headphones? the same style as the PXM60's. Much appreciated!

Posted by Christian on June 24, 2004 at 5:51 PM (PDT) Comment 19

Dale, the "best" money can buy is probably rather made by Sensaphonics or Ultimate Ears, depending on your taste in sound wink
And I don't think people searching for decent $60 phones *here* are very much in the market for $800-1000 IEMs.
But... if you are... *coughcough**cough*

Posted by Oliver :) on June 25, 2004 at 10:16 AM (PDT) Comment 20

Best Bang for the buck-hands down, Sony MDR EX-71; at $49.95 at US Apple Stores, once broken in, provide superior bass response, and acheive adequate isolation for most pro-sumer's needs. Also, their small in-ear form factor (also comes with variable-sized rubber earbuds), as well as a 2-piece gold-plated cord that splits at about 18"-accommodates the iPod remote perfectly. For iPod purists, look for the white version (comes in Black and White). Right price point for sound quality trade-off.

For mid-sized Supra-Aural, try the Sony MDR-V6s...great sound and isolation for a fraction of the price of similar quality Grados or Senn's...and not fatiguing to the ear after prolonged exposure.

Posted by mastacylinda on June 25, 2004 at 9:02 PM (PDT) Comment 21

well first off, the px200s are great, but they took a lot of breaking in before they start sounding smooth. and they do block out a lot of sound, you really dont notice because they do it in a very soft way, but its a nice touch if your using these in the city of for commuting.

i had the sony 71s and calling them "pro-sumer" is crap. they really reproduce the music in an extremely unnatural way. they seem to vibe very well with MD, but not with the ipod, dont ask me why, but thats what i noticed.

anyway, as for comparing the px100/200 to the 497s, i find the px200s which i own to sound much better, but thats personal taste. iv heard some people complain that the 200s are bass heavy and unnatrual, but i cant seem to notice and iv tried quite a few headphones (although nothing above $100, what can i saw, im a poor student).

anyhoo, ipodlounge, once again, if you could break in your headphones before you test (for my suprestisios sake) that would be awsome!


Posted by einars on June 26, 2004 at 6:45 AM (PDT) Comment 22

I have the PX100s and listen to them at the gym. I think they sound great and are very comfortable. They also fold up into a small package. They cost about $40.

Posted by David Enzel on June 26, 2004 at 7:37 AM (PDT) Comment 23

I just bought the px200's and they sound great. I don't like ear buds or behind the necks do these are perfect. I enjoy all music from classical to jazz and the sound in these headphones is vey crisp. I think the folding aspect makes them good for travel as well.

Posted by fredly47 on June 26, 2004 at 11:14 AM (PDT) Comment 24

Bang & Olufsen A8 Earbuds.

They look wonderful and sound blissful - very complete low range and ridiculously detailed treble. I used to sell these and ended up buying some for myself - I've never regretted it smile


Posted by Richard Gilbert on June 26, 2004 at 4:10 PM (PDT) Comment 25
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