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Reviewed on Apr 07, 2016

Sennheiser PXC 250 II
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
5.8
Mixed Usage
6.1
Critical Listening
5.6
Commute/Travel
6.2
Sports/Fitness
5.5
Office
5.5
TV
5.5
Gaming
Type : On-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : No
Transducer : Dynamic

The Sennheiser PXC 250 II are compact, lightweight on-ear headphones that have great audio reproduction and don't leak much sound. Unfortunately, they feel very flimsy and the small, poorly padded ear cups are uncomfortable and let a lot of ambient noise seep into your audio.

Test Results
Design 6.3
Sound 6.0
Isolation 6.0
Microphone 0
Active Features 7.3
Connectivity 4.8
Pros
  • Great audio reproduction.
  • Minimal leakage.
  • Compact, lightweight design.
Cons
  • Poor isolation.
  • Flimsy build.
  • Uncomfortable.
Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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6.3

Design

The PXC 250 feel flimsy and susceptible to breaking under moderate physical stress. The small ear cups and poor padding feel uncomfortable. They also lack decent controls, which is disappointing. On the upside, they are very lightweight and have a compact design that's easily portable.

Style

The PXC 250 II look a little flimsy. They have a compact, collapsible and sleek design with a two-tone black and metallic silver color scheme. The small circular ear cups are given a little more flare with their stylized metallic backs. They look good but are not especially remarkable.

6.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.15 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0.51 lbs

The PXC 250 II are uncomfortable. The small ear cups are poorly padded and do not rest well on the ears. They are lightweight but the thin headband is not stable, which gets uncomfortable if you are often on the move.

4.1 Controls
Ease of use : Mediocre
Feedback : Subpar
Call/Music Control : No
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : No
Talk-Through
:
No
Additional Buttons : No

There are only two control options offered by these headphones: A noise cancelling switch and a volume dial. They are functional but disappointing, as all major changes to the audio need to be done on the audio source or device, which can be quite frustrating for some.

8.9 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 1.1 C
7.4 Portability
L : 2.76 "
W : 5.51 "
H : 1.57 "
Volume : 23.87 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

The PXC 250 are above-average portable headphones. They fold up into a compact format and have a thin frame that easily fits into your bag. They are smaller than most on-ear headphones and may even fit in jacket pockets however the control module is slightly bulky and could be cumbersome to carry around.

7.0 Case
Type : Soft case
L : 4.53 "
W : 7.48 "
H : 1.57 "
Volume : 53.32 Cu. Inches

Comes with a soft case that will protect the headphones from scratches. However, the case adds a little bit of bulk to the headphones, and it will not protect them from physical stress and hard falls.

6.0 Build Quality

Build quality feels flimsy and susceptible to breaking. The metal headband is very thin and would easily warp if too much physical stress is applied. The joint connecting the ear cups to the frame also looks a little weak, making these headphones fragile and unlikely to survive many drops.

5.5 Stability

These headphones are not stable. Their lightweight design applies enough pressure to maintain a stable fit during casual listening sessions. Unfortunaely, the small earcups do not rest well on the ears and move a lot when simply tilting your head. They quickly slip off your ears, while running or doing any physical activity and the long audio cable can easily get tangled or hooked by something in your environment. Also, the noise cancelling generator is big and heavy enough to cause the headphones to sway, especially, while doing sports

Cable
Detachable : No
Length : 5'3" ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS
Top
Headshots 1
Headshots 2
6.0

Sound

The Sennheiser PXC 250 II are a mediocre sounding pair of closed-back on-ear headphones. They have a decent bass and mid-range, but a sub-par treble reproduction. Additionally, their bass lacks sub-bass, their mid-range is a bit forward sounding, and their treble is noticeably sibilant and sharp. Also, their bass delivery is inconsistent which could vary significantly from person to person, and they don't have a good soundstage.

7.3 Bass
Std. Err.
:
3.47 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
53.39 Hz
Low-Bass
:
-7.12 dB
Mid-Bass
:
-0.21 dB
High-Bass
:
1.13 dB
7.3 Mid
Std. Err.
:
3.66 dB
Low-Mid
:
0.64 dB
Mid-Mid
:
-0.02 dB
High-Mid
:
5.77 dB
5.6 Treble
Std. Err.
:
5.39 dB
Low-Treble
:
2.42 dB
Mid-Treble
:
2.47 dB
High-Treble
:
-1.63 dB
8.1 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.38 dB
7.6 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.52
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
1.59
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
2.21
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
8.11
2.6 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
4.84 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
-0.54 dB
PRTF Distance
:
0.63 dB
Openness
:
5.0
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
2.0
Correlated Crosstalk
:
0.0 dB
6.2 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
9.57
Weighted THD @ 100
:
132.303
6.0

Isolation

The PXC 250 do not successfully isolate listeners in loud environments. The small ear cups do not leak much sound but unfortunately they do not block much noise either. The active noise cancellation is weak and may not be sufficient for the rumbling noise of planes or trains and will barely isolate you from the chatter of an office-like environment.

4.9 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-11.12 dB
Bass
:
-1.06 dB
Mid
:
-10.26 dB
Treble
:
-22.9 dB
Self-Noise
:
18.68 dB

Poor isolation overall. The isolation provided passively by the ear cups is decent, considering the on-ear design of these headphones. The mid range performance is also below average, but not too bad, considering the design. However, these headphones don't isolate any bass, and are a little high on self-noise.

8.3 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
32.13 dB

Very good leakage results. The leakage happens only in the treble range, with its peak around 6KHz. The overall level of leakage is also quite low.

0

Microphone

Integrated
:
N/A
In-line
:
N/A
Boom
:
N/A
Detachable Boom
:
N/A
0 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
N/A
LFE
:
N/A
FR Std. Dev.
:
N/A
HFE
:
N/A
Weighted THD
:
N/A
Gain
:
N/A
0 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise : N/A
Speech + Subway Noise : N/A
SpNR
:
N/A
7.3

Active Features

The PXC 250 II only have noise canceling as an active feature. This makes them less versatile for other use cases except as noise canceling headphones, as they lack both wireless features or an app, to enhance and customize their sound. On the upside, the AAA cell delivers up to 44.6 hours of continuous playback, which makes them decent travel headphones as you won't need to change the battery as often,

8.1 Battery
Battery Type
:
AAA
Battery Life
:
44.6 hrs
Charge Time
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
:
No
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
No

The PXC 250 II have an above-average battery life that delivers up to 44.6 hours of continuous playback. They use a AAA cell but thanks to their surprisingly long battery life, you won't need to change the battery as often. They can also play audio passively when the battery is dead by switching off the noise canceling. Unfortunately, they do have any additional battery saving features so they will run out of power if you leave them on.

0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

No compatible app.

4.8

Connectivity

0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A
7.2 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio Only
Xbox One Compatible
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
:
Audio Only
0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
0 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
10 Latency
Default Latency
:
0 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

In the box

  • Sennheiser PXC 250 II Headphones
  • 1/8" to 1/4" Adapter
  • AAA battery (x2)
  • Airline Adapter
  • Manual
  • Carrying case

Conclusion
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

5.8 Mixed Usage
The PXC 250 IIare not designed specifically for studio recording or critical listening. They're compact noise cancelling headphones ideally for traveling and commuting. However, lacking a strong isolation performance they are best used as everyday casual headphones.
6.1 Critical Listening
Average for critical listening. They have an above average sound but a poor soundstage. Also, they lack a bit of bass and can sound sharp at times.
5.6 Commute/Travel
Not ideal for commuting. They're compact but don't block much noise, and they're not comfortable.
6.2 Sports/Fitness
Mediocre at best for sports. They're lightweight and compact. However, they lack a decent control scheme and the noise cancelling module is cumbersome.
5.5 Office
Mediocre for office use. They won't block the chatter of a busy office but on the upside, they don't leak much.
5.5 TV
Above-average for home theater. They're sufficiently comfortable headphones with a decent enough sound quality. They also have no latency since they're wired headphones. However, although long, the cable may not have enough range to comfortably watch movies from your couch.

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