Excerpt: The ultralight Sennheiser PXC 250 mini-headphones are exceptionally comfortable, but their undersize soft-ring ear pads may require some fiddling to seal properly. Our test unit's noise cancellation capabilities were excellent. Sound quality was in a class with that of the Bose QuietComfort 2 (reviewed on the Gear page), but low-end response didn't match that of larger over-the-ear models.
Summary: Affordable, lightweight noise-killers that manage to tick almost all the right boxes - sound quality is sublime and external sound is kept successfully at bay. The battery pack is a pain, it’s true, but it’s one most users will be able to live with. Great value.
Excerpt: Logic might tell you that the Sennheiser PXC 250 headphones can't possibly work—they're too small to seal out noise. But these compact, supraural (top-of-the-ear) phones with active noise reduction do a respectable job. They don't give you the tomblike isolation of the Bose phones, but they can do the voice-thinning trick too. In fact, these are the most compact active-noise-reduction phones we've tried that actually do the job.
Summary: A typically high quality product from Sennheiser, the PXC250 headphones offer a good alternative to products from Bose if you're looking for something a little cheaper. The audio quality is impressive although it doesn't quite beat what's produced by some top tier IEM manufacturers.
Pros: Rich sound, great treble, good detail, comfortable
Cons: Battery pack is large, slight lack of refinement to the sound
Excerpt: Sennheiser's PXC250 headphones offer a lighter construction than the others here. The narrow headband and on-ear design may not have been in vogue since the mid-80s, but they do have advantages when it comes to travel. On the down side, they don't physically block out as much noise as the circumaural designs, nor can they compete with the bung-like properties of sound-isolating earbuds or the Sony NC22s (opposite).