Standard headphones and running aren’t happy bedfellows. The motion shakes them from your lugs, which means either constantly replacing them (a big annoyance) or dealing without the power song that would otherwise distract you from the searing pain in your legs.
With this in mind, Sennheiser teamed up with Adidas, and they pooled their talents to create the perfect sports headphones. The result is a three-headphone range, and we’re looking dead centre at the mid-priced PMX 680.
It’s a wrap
Only wraparounds are foolproof stay-putters, so as the PMX 680s adopt the design, and throw in sweat-proofing to boot. They’re an open-back design that lets in the din of the world – a pro or a con, depending on how aware of your surroundings you prefer to be.
The behind-the-head, wraparound design isn’t a new one, but the PMX 680 has a few flourishes that are. The arches that sit on top of the ear are stretchy rubber, and the back of the neckband has a reflective strip for safer night running.
Other touches include neat, discreet Sennheiser/Adidas branding (the opposite way round on each ear – how egalitarian) and the cable loops in and out of the neckband to keep it secure. All in all, they’re a fine looking set of in-ears – no mean feat for sporty headphones.
Wraparounds like these necessarily push in on your ears, but thanks to rubber tips on the buds the pressure causes little discomfort, even with prolonged listening. You could wear them for an hour-long jog and think nothing of it.
And they do stay put. They’re impressively light and they don’t flap around, so the sound you get is consistent no matter how quickly you’re padding. If it’s been a particularly vigorous session you can wash the sweat off under a tap, too.
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They perform well, too. The PMX 680s aren’t embarrassed by sound-isolators at the price, with a natural delivery that errs on the trebley side.
They’re energetic and agile, which makes them perfect for their intended purpose, and they provide excellent levels of detail and propulsive, if lightweight, bass.
Our main bugbear is the headphone cable. It’s sectioned in two, with a stubby cable inextricably attached to the headphones, and a longer extension that includes a useful built-in volume control with shirt clip. For some reason neither combination provides a cable of the right length.
It’d be petty to avoid the PMX 680s on that basis alone, though. They’re certainly the best sports headphones we’ve tried, and anything that makes a damp morning jog a more palatable experience is okay by us.