Review of the Adidas-Sennheiser PMX 685i Sports headphones

Adidas Sennheiser PMX 685i Sports image 1The Adidas-Sennheiser PMX 685i Sports (let’s just call them Adidas-Sennheiser headphones from now on though) are, as the name would indicate, a set of headphones designed specifically with activity in mind. Whether you’re at the gym, out for a job or riding your bike these are designed with you in mind and the needs you have as a sports person. There are lots of ‘sports’ headphones out there and I’ve always tended to stick with a cheap pair I don’t mind sweating over when it comes to the gym, but with my new found love of cycling earlier this year I decided to give these a whirl.


The Adidas-Sennheiser headphones have the expected ultra lightweight design, but with the security of a neckband too — rather than ferreting around when an in-ear headphone drops out, which can be more than a little annoying. The headphones are both water and sweat resistant, as well as the in-ear design being created for comfort, security and the ability to stay aware of what’s around you. I’m not really sure how the latter is done, but I certainly found I could still hear what was going on around me while also listening to podcasts or music while riding so it appears to work. Last, but by no means least is the vaunted ‘inline smart remote and mic on Para-aramid reinforced cables’, which is basically a pretty good 3 button microphone (2 for volume and 1 for control) that’s securely attached in plain English.


Portable headphones have not changed that dramatically since the first walkman, but the gradual improvements and movement towards the smartphone being the device of choice have meant functionality has been vastly improved. So in terms of user experience the Adidas-Sennheiser headphones are pretty simple to understand for anyone that’s used the headphones that come with most smartphones these days. The design of the neckband is simple enough to put on and even fit quite comfortably over the straps of my cycling helmet.

Adidas Sennheiser PMX 685i Sports image 2On the water/sweat proofing front, after using them for a while I compared the rubber cord on Adidas-Sennheiser headphones to my own old set (also from Sennheiser coincidently) and found that the old set really had gotten sticky and rather unpleasant, while the cord on the Adidas-Sennheiser was still in perfectly good condition (despite no attempt on my part to clean or wipe it after training). This is by no means I proof of their greatness, but certainly in the shot time I’ve used the Adidas-Sennheiser headphones they have held up well.

The one issues I did have was when using the microphone and buttons while out riding as it got colder. Locating the centre button to bring up Siri became increasingly difficult as the gloves on my hands got thicker and the temperatures colder. This frustration was then invariably compounded by the microphone not working brilliantly while I cruise down the road at anything more than 10 km/h, as the wind would make it very hard for Siri to understand my requests unless they were shouted directly into the mic on a couple of occasions. However, I think these are mostly issues that all headphones would have in the situation, rather than just these and using them in any other context the microphone and buttons all work perfectly well.


The Adidas-Sennheiser headphones RRP price is £59.99, but can be found for around £45 now which feels like about the going rate for any ‘good’ headphones these days. And these certainly are ‘good’ and do what they are designed to do very well. I still naturally baulk at buying headphones for more than £25-30, as I have a tendency to destroy them fairly quickly the more I spend on them!


As already pointed out earlier in this review, I’ve always tended to stick with my oldest or least favoured set of functioning headphones when it comes to having a set to set all over at the gym, so I came to the Adidas-Sennheiser headphones rather sceptical of the benefits of a ‘sports’ set. However, I’m happy to report that the lack of stickiness on the cord, the comfortable fit and the thought that’s gone into what active users need from headphones has rather won me over. The fact that they are built with activity in mind not only makes them perfect for that, but also means I now wonder whether I should be buying these more rugged style of headphone for my everyday life too. Would I pay £60 for them, probably not, but could I be persuaded for closer to the £40 mark? Most definitely.


The Breakdown

User Experience

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