You’ve got your MP3 player, but are you getting the most out of the sound and more importantly are you happy about shoving something in your ear? We look at a compact alternative from Sennheiser.



While there is a plethora of headsets out there for the plethora of MP3 players that are now available, many either require you to shove the headphone in your ear to listen to them or carry around something so bulky that it's twice the size of the player in the first place.

The Sennheiser PX 200 Chrome is different in that it neither requires you to poke anything in your ear and they aren’t that big.

Supposedly small enough to fit in a shirt pocket, the rugged and durable steel headband with metal joints folds away into a neat compact unit; the folding compactness is helped by the headphones ability to allow the ear cups to be turned through 90° and fold the headphones closed.

While the headphones focus on compacting down into a small package, the accompanying plastic storage box has other ideas and in our mind defeats the effort made on the size front.

Plastic boxes aside, the clean design and easy to fold-out headphones are a must for anyone wanting good sound without compromising on size. The PX 200 unlike their younger siblings - the PX 100 - offer soft ring ear pads and come in either black or stereotypical iPod white.

Sennheiser of course, implies that these pads help improve the fit and the closed ear cups ensure passive reduction of ambient noise. In practice, for the most part it's true, but don’t expect it to block out everything - these aren’t noise cancelling and that annoying bloke on his mobile on the train is still going to be heard loud and clear.

With a 1.4 m Kevlar-reinforced OFC copper cable with 3.5 mm stereo jack plug there is plenty of scope to connect to an MP3, CD or MD player, however one thing worth bearing in mind is that you’ve got to put that cable somewhere - so expect plenty of cable in your pocket.

We tested the speakers on Apple’s iPod, Sony’s PSP and Creative’s Zen Vision:M and in all cases the phones comfortably improved on the performance of the headphones that shipped in the box. We especially noticed a uplift in the capabilities of the bass volumes.

Verdict

The PX 200 is a great little headset that is compact and small in size, but not in sound.



What we like most, is that unlike most of the headphone sets that come with portable music devices, these won't require you to shove something in your ear and for that Sennheiser should be congratulated.