Sennheiser’s taken a more grown-up approach with its OCX686 earphones. Wireless is out to keep the price down, but it’s the way they sound that makes them a bit unusual in this company.
Their magic trick is to provide great bass impact without actually injecting all that much extra bass. The reasoning being that it’s actually impact rather than sheer volume that will get you running to your favourite tunes that bit faster.
By not swamping the sound with bass, the Sennheiser lets the OCX686’s mids breathe a bit more, so vocals and guitars are clearer and more spacious. That’s all good, but there is a problem: these earphones are quite sibilant, which makes cymbals and searing vocals clash uncomfortably with your eardrums if you listen loud.
We’ve seen a few buyers have complain about the fit of the Sennheiser OCX686s, too. We’ve had not had that issue, but it’s worth being aware of any potential incompatibility with your ears.
They use flexible hooks that sit over your ears to help keep them in place, but also use standard IEM silicone tips. They isolate well, which is great for the gym but may not be so sensible for running out on the roads. Like the best sport headphones, these are also water resistant enough to withstand sweat and the watery removal of said sweat.
There are two versions of the OCX686 headset - the OCX686G for Androids handsets and the OCX686i for iPhones. They have different circuits in the little 3-button remote, ensuring you can change volume as well as switching tracks no matter which smartphone tribe you roll with.
These are good earphones if you don’t mind being tethered to your phone, but the somewhat harsh treble may be too much for some ears, given the price and lack of wireless.
Grown-up sounding earphones let down by sibilant treble and a lack of wireless
Sennheiser OCX686 tech specs
Bluetooth: no • Battery life: not applicable • Mic: yes • Remote: yes • Sweat/water-resistant: sweat and water • Weight: 18g