I’ve always thought I have weird ears, because I find a lot of earphones quite uncomfy. It might be down to having small ears — who knows! But that means it takes quite a lot for me to be happy with a pair of earphones. In fact, the guys at Sennheiser first sent me their PMX 686 Sports headphones to review, but I had to ask for an alternative pair, as I found them rather painful.
So what can I say about the Sennheiser OCX 686G/686i Sports Earphones? I absolutely love them — and even more after I finally read the instructions! It turns out the whole time I’ve been using them I hadn’t realised you could skip tracks with the remote. Genius!
Not to sound cliché, but they’ve revolutionised my workouts! I always used to wear headbands over my ears to stop my earphones from falling out, but these fit so snugly, there’s no chance they’ll fall out. And the ear hooks are super soft and flexible, which just makes them ultra comfortable.
The earphones even come with three different size ear adaptors. For someone who has fairly small ears, I found the medium ones that came fitted have been absolutely fine. Admittedly I haven’t tried the others, but it’s nice to have the choice.
Now for the big question — what’s the sound quality like? Phenomenal. But can you expect any different from Sennheiser? I don’t think I’ve reached the highest volume yet, but not sure I want to. Because the earphones have sealed acoustics, they’re recommended for indoor use, as they block outside noise (and they do that really well). So far I’ve used them mainly outdoors though, but if I really need to hear traffic, I just plug one in instead of both.
Admittedly I do use my headphones more for exercising outside than inside. So why have I got a pair of Sennheiser’s sealed acoustics earphones then? Unfortunately their open acoustics headphones (at least the PMX 686 Sports ones) don’t fit as nicely in my ears. I find earbud-style earphones much more comfortable, and I’ll always opt for comfort over sound quality. Great sound is just a bonus!
The inline smart remote is fab as well. With only three buttons, it allows you to increase and decrease sound, play and pause, skip tracks and fast forward/rewind songs. I’ve not yet managed to fast forward or rewind, but if I don’t like a track when I’m running, I just skip to the next one. I don’t have time to faff about fast forwarding to an exact spot in a song.
One of my only complaints is that the inline remote is really close to the right earbud, but this appears to only be the case on the OCX 686i, which is for Apple devices. The OCX 686G (which is for Android, Windows Mobile and Blackberry devices) seems to have the inline remote equidistant from both earbuds. Go figure!
And that’s important, because? It means I really have to crane my neck to see which buttons I’m pushing. But to be fair, there are only three buttons, so you can’t go too wrong. And at the end of the day, it’s a price I’m willing to pay for great earphones.
Oh and did I mention you can wash these earphones? So if you get them really sweaty or full of earwax (lovely I know!), you can just stick them under the tap, hang them up to dry and voila — as good as new! When technology says it’s washable, I’m always a little cautious. After all, it doesn’t make logical sense for electronics and water to mix. But I’ve done it a few times and they’ve been absolutely fine. Just make sure they’re completely dry before you plug them back into your device again.
What else is left to say? The earphones are really lightweight, the cable is tangle resistant and just has a really nice feel to it. I’m quite a tactile person, so I just love the soft yet grippy feel to these earphones. The cable clip is also really handy to stop it jumping all over the place while you’re working out.
And price? The cheapest I’ve seen these earphones is £57.99 from Amazon. Just make sure you order the right ones — 686i is for Apple devices and 686G is for Android, Windows Mobile and Blackberry devices.