A U D I O V I D E O
arphones are earphones are
earphones – right? Wrong!
Sennheiser's MX W1 is a cordless
intra-aural earphone set that
redefines the concept of sonic
freedom, and delivers a veritable feast of music
in the process.
Intra-aural earphones have been all the
rage for a while now, especially among the
iPod generation, who demand lightweight,
unobtrusive earphones that still make the
most of their music while on the move.
Apple did everyone a favour by supplying
its iPod with substandard in-ear 'phones.
That created a huge market for aftermarket
upgrade models, and today, the in-ear buyer
is spoilt for choice, with some models
approaching high-end performance standards.
German headphone and earphone specialist
Sennheiser has a long list of in-ear designs, but
is also active in the professional, avionics and
cordless fields. So the concept of a cordless
in-ear would seem to be a natural.
The problem, of course, is that a cordless
headphone or earphone requires a receiver.
And even in today's miniaturised world,
combining a receiver, a rechargeable battery
and a transducer in a single in-ear design
sounds like a case of impossibility.
Well, not quite. Sennheiser's MX W1 tries
to find the perfect compromise between
in-ear comfort and portability, cordless
convenience and stylish appearance.And
while the result is bulkier than most in-ear
wearers would want, it's still an intriguing
and surprisingly viable package.
Beautifully packaged to the point of
irritation (it takes care and patience to work
your way through the various boxes and
cellophane to finally get your hands on
these little mites), the MX W1s look every
millimetre the electronic works of art they
And given their asking price, it's no wonder
they've been wrapped with such utmost care:
after all, you want to be reassured you've
bought something special even before you,
finally, get to try them out.
Once unpacked, you end up with two
individual earpieces, a tiny transmitter which
hooks up to the source (typical