It’s hard to believe it was all the way back in 2010 that we excitedly reviewed the collaboration between Adidas and Sennheiser as the two companies launched a new line of sports headphones. It’s a tribute to just how successful that partnership was that the PMX 680s are still kicking around the office.
We reviewed the neckband version of the 680s, which features a wrap-around, lightweight frame that holds the two in-ear buds firmly in place while you’re cycling or running. The foam pads that came with the 680s have long disintegrated, but the ear-buds work and feel just fine without them. The headphones provide a surprisingly rich sound that will satisfy all but the most discerning of audiophiles, but even they will likely have little to complain about. While there’s not a lot of “thump” with the lower frequencies, the 680s provide a very accurate sound for pretty much any music taste.
In addition to the impressive sound, the PMX 680s have remained incredibly durable thanks to the sturdy plastic frame and the Kevlar reinforced chord. The designers from Sennheiser and Adidas did lots of things right with these headphones, including a volume control with a clip that allows you to attach the chord to your clothes to keep things out of the way during your workout, which also helps prevent any cable noise getting in the way of enjoying the high-quality sound reproduction. The chord can be shortened, too, which is perfect if you’re going to use a tiny music player like an iPod shuffle that you want to attach to your shirt. Those of us who sweat a lot appreciate the fact that you can literally rinse them out after your workout to keep things clean.
Five years after the fact the PMX 680s are still providing outstanding sound in a comfortable package. While you can still find some of these headphones on eBay or other internet sites, you’re likely better off to invest in a new version. The Adidas name no longer appears, but Sennheiser continues to make a variety of different sports headphones, including the PMX 686G ($130), the latest version of the 680 we liked so much. The volume control/ clip on the 686 includes a microphone, making it a great option as a wireless headset during your activity, too.