In July, Sennheiser released its latest wireless noise-canceling headphones, the PXC 550. In our review, we found they didn’t quite hold up to the slightly more expensive Bose QC35, but overall they were still a quality product. If the $400 price tag was a tad too high for you and you don’t mind wires, Sennheiser’s new PXC 480 might be worth a look.
Announced on Thursday, the PXC 480 are essentially a wired version of the PXC 550, with most of the same features. The same noise cancellation is present here, and the build is nearly identical, so everything we liked about the wireless headphones — the sound quality and design, for example — is here, as well as the few things we didn’t like, namely the awkward switch locations.
“Our new PXC 480 has been shaped around the needs of the discerning business traveler who demands a noise-cancelling headset that does not compromise on performance, style or features,” Sennheiser head of portfolio management Dr. Christian Ern said in a statement. “Whether you want to focus on work, enjoy a movie or escape into music, it delivers an upgraded travel experience. The PXC 480 brings the essence of our PXC 550 Wireless to the wired realm.”
We found the NoiseGard noise cancellation in the PXC 550 to be Sennheiser’s best yet, and that should be the same here. If you aren’t necessarily in the mood for music, you don’t even need to have the PXC 480 plugged in — remove the cable and the noise cancellation remains in effect, blocking out the noisy world around you.
There are some things you never want to miss, so Sennheiser has included TalkThrough, a feature that allows you to hear announcements or the people next to you speaking without having to take your headphones off. This feature has been coming to more and more wireless headphones lately, and it’s quickly becoming expected in any quality noise-canceling headphones.
One area where the PXC 480 headphones are actually better than their wireless cousins is battery life. While the wireless pair topped out at 30 hours when plugged in with noise cancellation turned on, the PXC 480 offer up to 50 hours of battery life, a major plus considering the PXC 550 needed to be plugged in for maximum battery life anyway.
The PXC 480 will be available beginning in November, and while there’s no word on pricing yet, we can safely assume that it will be less than the PXC 550’s $400 price point.