Jargon is an inevitable by-product when describing a technology, but manufacturers of audio equipment really seem to excel at making things sound complicated. Take the Sennheiser PXC 350 headphones, for example, they have adaptive baffle damping, which works in combination with the patented Duofol diaphragms. This combination prevents unwanted partial oscillation. Not only that, but Sennheiser's NoiseGuard actively compensates noise, based on the physics principle of sound and counter-sound.
So, what does all this mean? Well the PXC 350 are a set of noise cancelling headphones from one of the world's foremost audio experts, Sennheiser. Available for around £150 this is a pricey set of cans for the casual observer at least. The NoiseGuard technology was originally developed for pilots and plane cockpits. It works by using tiny microphones to listen to the ambient noise and then creating a signal that is identical but inverted 180 degrees to cancel the external noise out. All this is powered by two AAA batteries.
The active noise cancelling part of the PXC350 isn't the only way they get rid of background noise. The ear cups are designed to cover your ears completely, meaning that even without the active technology, external noise is kept to a minimum.
Other than the noise cancelling features the PXC 350 come with a case and adaptors for airline use and also have a 2-year warranty. There's an inline volume control and sensible wire length too. In addition the ear pads can be replaced as can the cable, so these are built to last. The headphones are designed to be travel friendly and although they are large, they fold away neatly as the ear cups twist and lay flat.
Audio quality is the be all and end all of headphones and we tested the PXC 350 with a range of audio and through a selection of output devices. It's always great when a product lives up to your hopes and the Sennheisers certainly do. No matter what type audio we were listening to the PXC 350 were fantastic. Loud heavy music was detailed and, as required, deafening in a good way. Classical was light and breezy chat was clear. In short these are really good headphones.
The headphones work with or without power so there's no need to worry if the batteries go flat. The audio quality was better with the power on but not so much that you'd be disappointed.
£150 might sound very expensive but for a set of noise cancelling headphones that's not too bad, indeed it's positively reasonable. The quality of the audio and the isolation they put you in is excellent. It's perfectly possible to lose yourself in the audio and that can be priceless when on a train or plane. There's a very good chance that someone or thing will scare you half to death when you're using the headphones as you'll not hear a sound other than the music, talk or soundtrack you're listening to.
If you're after a headphone that sounds great, is portable, and has notice cancelling, then you'll not go far wrong with the Sennheiser PXC 350. £150 might make some balk, but they are well worth the money and you'll not be disappointed.