I've got Sport "around the neck" earbuds. I have AirPods, EarPods and several other high-quality in-ear earbuds. However, I've been wanting a nice pair of around-the-ear cans for a while now, but never got around to it.
My friend LOVES Sennheiser and swears by them, so I figured I couldn't go wrong here. For the most part, I didn't. So, lets get started.
WOW. Talk about a great initial impression! The packaging for these is super high quality. It has a nice, thick cardboard box with a lift-up-and-off top. My only issue with this is that the plastic hanger is attached to the inside box and goes through the outer part of the box that lifts up. I didn't know this at first and wondered why the heck I couldn't get it to lift up from the bottom part of the packaging.
Inside the box, not only do they provide a nice leather, velvet zip case, but inside that, the headphones are also enclosed inside a microfiber cloth "bag" with pull-ties. Very impressive.
When I ordered these, I thought they were the on-ear kind. The wording "around-the-ear", I felt, was a bit misleading. They're kind of an in-between on-ear and over-the-ear. I totally didn't expect them to cover my ear, which is actually what I was looking for. Well, it's more like a partial coverage. The back part sits behind your ear, while the front part of the padding rests just around the Tragus of your ear (the cartilage that sits at your ear canal). I've worn these for about 4 hours straight with no discomfort and very minimal sweat. Since they don't fully enclose your ear, there's just enough space for ventilation.
Overall, my biggest, complaint. For the Sennheiser brand and the quality of these headphones, I was really disappointed here. My AirPods and others I use, I listen to comfortably at about halfway volume on my iPhone X. However, these headphones have extremely low overall volume until you get about the halfway point. I have to listen to these at over 3/4 volume for the "comfort" level I'm used to. Even at the total max volume, I'm not "rocking it out" by any means. For the price and given the quality and build structure of these headphones, I really expected much more here. Perhaps it's a limitation due to the wireless functionality? I'm not sure.
Don't. Just...don't. I have to crank the volume on calls all the way to the max and even then, it's a struggle for the caller to understand what I'm saying. However, they say my voice and volume is clear as a bell and could not tell a difference between these and my AirPods. So, that's good. If you have to take a call with these, it'd be more of a "oh, I already have them on, I'll just answer" kind of convenience. I would not put these on to actually TAKE a call...
Overall and conclusion:
The wireless performance is fantastic. During my use over 4 days, I did not experience a single drop out, crackle or lag while listening to music, Twitch, phone-calls, etc. The build quality is solid. While not overly padded on the headrest part, the ear pads are super comfy. The sound-stage is great, as are all the other tones and such. But, it could have used a tad more bass and a "volume boost" feature/button would have been WONDERFUL.
So, I'm giving these a solid 4 out of 5 for this review. If I had to put the price as a consideration, I'd give it a 3 out of 5 and recommend going with a different brand. However, if you can get these cheaper than the current release retail price, then yeah 4 out of 5 all the way.
Also, just be careful when buying because there are two version of these - an "around-the-ear" (actually OVER the ear) and an "over-the-ear" (actually rests ON the ear) - which I feel are a little misleading compared to normal headphone naming standards. Make sure to get the one that fits your wearing style the best.