The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
Whenever I'm doing recordings, playing my keyboard or just listening to music whilst researching and surfing the net, I’ve always preferred the bigger, far more traditional large, “Mickey Mouse,” headphones. The first types I had after my years of Panasonic and similarly branded Technics products ran to Philips and Sony DJ style headphones similarly sized but equipped with lots of sound cable. The practicality of huge cups on my ears doesn't detract me from outside noise and the design of the larger; more comfortable ear pads means a comfort fit is better accommodated. However, with the Philips DJ headphones I had kept at home for a reason was down to the fact that the long 8 metres of sound cable had a quick tendency to tangle up and it's a bit of a nonsense having to unravel it all the time. Large headphones like this that have an additionally long cord are great for being able to do things if you are listening to music – the amount of freedom I’ve had has been brilliant – but the tangling up and the excess has always meant I’ve never ventured outside with the Philips design and I wanted to get something that was more compact in size but not lacking in power. In 2008 after my fourth Sony in-ear earphones got tangled and eventually broke, I stumbled across Sennheiser branded in ear earphones in the bargain bin at John Lewis department store.
As a brand, Sennheiser has always been an expensive brand to my mind and I jumped at the chance of these in-ear headphones, reduced from £14-95 to £12-95 - because as far as I'm concerned, finding Sennheiser products at reduced cost is like gold dust and sometimes it's pays to look around. After owning these in-ear earphones for two years, I knew I had to have them again and went about looking online to other sources, as these ear phones are now strictly, old stock and appear at private sellers sites rather than Amazon.
Nar2’s Quick Skip Product Spec
• Comes with PVC name branded soft carry case & cable winder. • 2 spare felt pads. • In-line volume control on 1.1metre sound cable. • “Basswind” fitted bass sound output. • Soft and pliable design. • Original cost in 2008 £12-95, EBAY.co.uk cost in 2010 £9-95. • 2012 costs on average £15 to £20 online sellers only. • Gold plated 3.5mm jack.
Design & Quality
The blister pack that these in-ear earphones are packaged in is beautifully (and for once) easy to open, simply by opening up the cardboard flap at the back and tearing the pieces open. Inside the packaging you'll find a rubber rectangle with two integral holes and two slits; this acts as a "earphone cable winder," for the earphones when not in use and I was further delighted to find a branded PVC purse in which the earphones can be put in for safe keeping, not in use or travelling – and the cord winder rubber partition also stores in the purse. Such attention to detail made me wonder just how bad these earphones might be given that they were in the reduced sale...
Designed to be used with MP3 players and other music devices, the MX 660 by Sennheiser comes with a handy in-line volume control and approximately 40 cm of sound cable from the volume control to the small 3.5 mm headphone jack; a pity here that Sennheiser don't supply an extra larger jack for versatile use in other devices that use the bigger jack size. Total length of the cord is 1.1 metres when fully stretched out and the smaller 3.5mm jack is Gold coated for better sound quality.
In terms of quality, there's very little here to see that detracts from Sennheiser's reputation for build. Even the model number that is displayed on the in-line volume control looks very professional and the whole set when put together is made of soft-free rubber that is both pliable, flexible in use and very lightweight. The in-line volume control may well be a hard plastic slider, but outwith that, the whole design feels like it has been made to move with you, rather than statically against you.
In terms of sound quality, I needn't have bothered about worrying about bad sound quality. Infact, it is very much the case of being the complete opposite! I'm very impressed with Sennheiser's quality; vibration free helped by the in-line volume control and a very strong bass thanks to its built in "bass wind," design means that although there is strong bass always present, tone and balance are perfectly achieved here without being too tinny. Sadly even with the volume set in the middle, compared to Sony headphones I'm using with my iPod which don't leak sound as much, the MX 660's do leak sound if the device's volume you're using is set at half way. They are however wind proof and have been a bonus over my usual Sony in-ear headphones as a comparison. Stereo imaging is additionally crystal clear which is another advantage of the MX 660 and the product has a total of 114 decibels total sound power. If you insert the phones in your ears to an angle, the volume and sound from the cups aren't as close - the cords have to be dangling straight down from their downward holders that are part of the in-ear phones for maximum fit and sound.
In terms of comfort however, the MX 660 has optional thin felt pads that can easily be stretched to fit around the standard flat and perforated ear pads. I don't use felt for the reason that my ears get quite hot overtime and I don't like the feeling. Without the pads, the MX 660 still gives a perfect sound which is good because some in-ear types fail at this standard when felt pads are not fitted for a closer sound. In terms of its flat design, the MX 660 earphones don't fall out either which is a good sign that the company have paid attention to pliable comfort and fit; a factor that seems to have gone missing from my usual Sony products – unless I spend more money.
Visibly the only downside to the whole product in my opinion are the earphones themselves; dressed in silver (the pads themselves are black and perforated) with a tacky chrome line down the middle, the MX 660 headphones are certainly not understated but distinctive at best. At least they have a smooth and organic appearance with some edges built in for their purpose. I'm not picky when it comes to colours but I'd have appreciated the black colour of in-ear headphones; I've read many a horror story of where iPods and headphones are stolen from people and it all comes down to the premium bright colours and build of the headphones used at the time that determine or tell the thief what the owner has. The brand name for example is written clearly down the chrome strips in very small writing and L/R has been added on the back of each headphone cup.
Another downside is that sadly these in-ear earphones went out of production, tail end of 2010 but they are still available if you are prepared to search by the model number alone. I saw them recently on Ebay.co.uk from a private seller who had a number of bids on this product and it was not surprising that the end price went for around £20, because the quality and sound of these in-ear earphones are worth the extra research.