Mikey's review: Sennheiser MX500

MP3 players

Is it worth ditching the earphones that came with your iPod for something a bit pricier? Mikey Moran checks out Sennheiser’s £25 MX500.

So you’ve finally bowed to peer pressure and bought yourself an iPod, and it sounds okay. But you’re wondering if a replacement pair of headphones might overcome the combination of radical data compression and indifferent bundled earbuds. The answer to that perfectly reasonable question is to be found in your genetic makeup: Do you have ‘freaky ears’?

There are two basic philosophies to mobile headphone design – to screw or not to screw. Etymotic, Turbosound, and the premium Apple offerings all screw into the ear canal, creating a seal between your nervous system and the outside world. Most other products – for example these Sennheiser buds, rest in the outer vestibule of the ear, relying on the friction of the little foamy covering to hold the unit in place. Whether or not this more common approach works for you depends on whether you are one of those special individuals with freaky ears. As long as you were moderately comfortable with the ‘phones that came with your player in the first place, the Sennheisers will be a step up.

Treble response is open and clear, and bass is deep and powerful without overwhelming the midrange. In the belief that the white iPod headphone is a status symbol in itself, the MX500 has been reissued in white to match the default MP3 box of choice. As a bonus Sennheiser have included a discreet little volume slider half-hidden in the cord which although fairly shallow in travel would serve to attenuate the audio level from ‘on the train’ to ‘oh, someone’s talking to me’.

The final touch of brilliance in the package is a little carry case which incorporates a rotating inner shell enabling you to coil the wires neatly without the in-bag tangle that we’re all far too familiar with. At a hair under £25 they’re the ideal choice as a replacement headphone for any iPod owner that’s looking for more frequency response out of their headphones – or any iPod owner that’s been looking for their original headphones for too long. Except me, I’ve got freaky ears.

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  • Thanks Annie,

    I saw your little note here so had a look into the Soundwise Tc20. I have now had them about a week and have to say you were right. I love too!

    Girl Power 🙂


  • Hi

    How do I add my own review? I have just bought a pair of Soundwise TC20 and really love and would like to spread the word.


  • Here’s my impressions of the Sennheiser MX500.
    I own a Sony NW-HD3 mp3 player for quite some time now and from the beginning wanted to replace the bundled Sony earbuds with something better.
    So I’ve bought from one to the next the following Sennheiser earbuds:1)MX350 (sucks bigtime!) 2)MX450, after burning them in I thought that they must be on of the loudest and fun to listen to pairs on the market.The high frequencies are very accurate and strong to the point that cover many times midrange response(bad thing that I realised later when bought the MX500).Midrange is from average to good though a bit harsh.Bass
    is not the strong point of this pair but isn’t absent as others say.Fit and wearing comfort is excellent.Quality is average compared to other Sennheiser earbuds,that was the reason that after the right driver unit died,I bought the next pair.The 3)MX550
    is the MX450 with a volume control slider.After crashing that one I wanted to try the MX400 since I don’t need the volume
    control slider of the MX500 but it wasn’t available in a store neer me,I thought of getting the hyped PX100 but did’t try it
    at the end cause I wanted something more descreet since I use my mp3 all the time when I move around the city.So I got the 4)MX500 it’s bass and midrange response is far more accurate and warm than that on the MX450 & MX550 pairs while it’s high frequencies could be described by fairly the same accuracy but not so emfasised as to the MX450 and MX550,which is a good thing cause it allows you to enjoy sounds in the low end and midrange spectrum just as good.The bass is much more present here though the difference between that on the MX450 & MX550
    isn’t huge as others say,it’s noticable.The MX500 can’t get so loud as the MX450 & MX550 due to its 32 Ohm resistance compared to 16 Ohm in MX450&550.Fit and wearing comfort is inferior to the MX450 & MX550 cause though
    they have the same diameter the profile of the MX450 & MX550 is thiner thus allowing better fit.Build quality of the MX500 is much better though than that found on both MX450 & MX550.

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