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10 Earphones Under $100

Sennheiser PMX70: For Sports

Part of Sennheiser's Sport Line, the PMX70 is a behind-the-neck set of earbud-style phones. They're well suited to sports, avoiding potentially dangerous acoustic isolation. The style is fairly idiosyncratic, and you, uh, may like it. The earbuds enter your ear at approximately 90°, so the coupling is fairly specific. Acoustic isolation is practically non-existent.

Technical Characteristics

  • Type: behind-the-neck earbuds
  • Frequency response: 19 Hz - 20 kHz
  • Nominal impedance: 64 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 121 dB
  • Cable length: 4 ft. (1.2 m)
  • Plug type: 3.5 mm miniplug
  • Weight: NC

Good, But How Good?

Due to the style of acoustic coupling used, my measurement system just wouldn't work. You'll have to settle for the impressions I got from my listening test. And while I was dubious about what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised.

Listening Test

Around-the-neck earphones like the Sennheiser PMX70 are aimed largely at a young market, with their bright colors and "Sport" designation. But they might appeal to other users too... if they go for the esthetics.

The PMX70 delivered fairly well-balanced sound with good bass, though this is not a style of phone from which you should expect optimum reproduction of the lower end of the spectrum. The dynamics were good and distortion was low. On the other side of the ledger, the PMX70 was clearly a little limited at both ends of the spectrum. Not to the point of being a problem given the applications for which they're designed, but the performance was a notch below the better models in this roundup. However, that needs to be put alongside the very affordable price. The efficiency is very good and any portable player will do quite well.

Conclusions

The Good

  • good balance

The Not So Good

  • somewhat limited bandwidth