SENNHEISER PXC 480

HWM (Malaysia) - - TEST -

If the Sennheiser PXC 480 looks ex­tremely fa­mil­iar, it’s be­cause it’s prac­ti­cally the wired ver­sion of last year’s PXC 550 Wire­less. Sennheiser says it of­fers you the same build qual­ity and au­dio per­for­mance, so what you lose in re­turn for a lower price and bet­ter bat­tery life is sim­ply the wire­less ca­pa­bil­i­ties and some of the app-sup­ported fea­tures.

In terms of de­sign, the PXC 480 is vir­tu­ally iden­ti­cal to the PXC 550, save for the ca­ble. It folds away neatly for stor­age, and of course of­fers the same high level of com­fort, thanks to the large cush­ions. Also worth not­ing, is that the earcups swivel to let you eas­ily get a good fit with­out too much clamp­ing.

ANC per­for­mance also seems the same as with the PXC 550. That’s to say – very good, but still just be­hind the Bose QC35 and the Sony WH-1000XM2. We’d say it’s on par with the Bower & Wilkins PX too, but with­out the app sup­port that al­lows you to ad­just the level of noise­can­celling at will; def­i­nitely one of the bet­ter ones out there.

The PXC 480 demon­strated ex­cel­lent au­dio per­for­mance across the board in our test­ing, with great de­tail and clar­ity that’s wor­thy of the HRA tag. On a record­ing of Ottmar Liebert’s ‘Fire­opal’, for ex­am­ple, the head­phones pro­duced a very sub­stan­tial bass but bal­anced it with nice, crisp mids in the lead gui­tar. Throw on some­thing like John Leg­end’s ‘Or­di­nary Peo­ple’, and you’ll get sparkling highs from his pi­ano, as well as good clar­ity in the mids in terms of Leg­end’s vo­cals.

No sur­prise then, that the head­phone per­forms best with ‘Ho­tel Cal­i­for­nia’ by The Ea­gles when it comes to our for­mal test tracks. The intro starts with a nice mel­low tone to the lead gui­tar, then brings in the cheers of the crowd nicely as the other gui­tars join in. Highs are nicely picked out, and there’s good weight on the lows in the form of the per­cus­sion drums that hold the beat. Need­less to say, this is one of those head­phones that re­ally make you start up and lis­ten.

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