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Candotri Gear Review - Sennheiser PMX 80 headphones

Sennheiser PMX 80

Manufacturer's Product Page

September 3 2010 update: I definitely don't like sitting at my desk wearing these. The very slight inward pinching that is easily ignored while running is not so easily ignored when sitting. The sound is definitely decent without the overwhelming base you often find in earphones. Like!

Craft Shift Pullover

September 19 2010 update: For me, these are compatible with a thin touque and zipped-up jacket collar like the Craft Shift pullover (on the right). I expected that there might be rubbing here or there but I found that the only weirdness was that I couldn't pull down my touque as low as normal. For me, there was still adequate ear coverage. On long winter runs this might be a factor but I'm not sure.



Last year I started to use music with specific beat-per-minute counts for running speed work and podcasts for long runs. Now I can't do my runs without my mp3 player! I tried, really I did, but it was too hard.

After solid-state mp3 players were invented the weakest link in the runner's music playing system became the headphones.

The problem? They suck. Because of all of the motion they pull, they yank, they fall. Worst of all, they require constant readjustment to ensure comfort and decent sound. This constant adjustment takes away from the experience that is running and can cause earphone rage.

I've tried:



Panasonic Ear clip headphones

Ear clip-style headphones like the Panasonic RP-HS6

  • Uncomfortable
  • Never sit quite right
  • Pop out when sweaty
  • Cord management is challenging
Twist on earphones Twist-on headphones like the Panasonic RP-HZE10-S
  • Heavy
  • Uncomfortable
  • Poor sound
  • Not sweat resistant
  • Cord management is challenging
Full Metal Jacket In-ear headphones like Skyllcandy Full Metal Jacket
  • Refuse to stay in
  • Cord management is challenging
  • Decent sound
  • Uncomfortable with time
Etymotic High quality headphones like Etymotic ER6
  • Refuse to stay in
  • Cord management is challenging
  • Decent sound
  • Uncomfortable with time
Round-the-ear (Sony MDR-AS20J)
  • These work. I put a review here.


Now, given the amount of effort (and expense!) that I've put into headphones over the years, you can understand why I can get frustrated. Why can't this just work!

I cling to hope. Hope that one day I will find a product that will define me as a person. Well, not quite but a product that, at least, will allow me to listen to music while active.




It was that hope that caused me to try a design that I haven't tried before - the 'behind-the-head' neckband headphones. I bought the Sennheiser PMX80 because I use Sennheiser HD62 headphones at work and appreciate the quality of the drivers.

I had to buy them from Ebay because I couldn't find a local supplier. They eventually arrived and I tried them out.

Good things

  • They DO NOT bounce while running.
  • They provide sound that is good enough while running. These, to my ears, provide decent base and clear highs.
  • Cable management is much easier when there is only one wire. Because of the neck band design they provide only one connecting cable for both ears. The provided clip is, again, good enough.
  • They are lightweight.
  • They look sharp, if you like orange.
  • They seem sweat resistant. I haven't wrecked them so far.

Not so good things

  • The wire tends to slip through the provided clip. I think I'll try a knot to prevent the slippage.
  • The rigid neck band and somewhat fragile design makes it hard to transport them when you are not wearing them.

Overall, I was pleased enough with these that I bought a second pair. For when I wreck the first. I recommend trying them at at the $30 I paid it was worth the risk.

I noticed that this model seems to have been replaced with the Sennheiser Adidas PMX 680 headphones. They are of a similar design but at the time they were much more expensive than the PMX 80s. I might try these some day and let you know what they are like.

Chad Matsalla

September, 2010




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