Sennheiser PXC 310 BT headphones and Sonos ZonePlayer S5

Sennheiser PXC 310 BT headphones and Sonos ZonePlayer S5

October 25, 2009

Sonos ZonePlayer offers multi-room wireless audio while Sennheiser headphones provide wireless playback over Bluetooth


(Marc Buchholz)


Sennheiser PXC 310 BT headphones


What are they? Travel headphones that provide wireless playback over Bluetooth when used with a suitable mobile phone. They also deliver Sennheiser’s noise-cancelling technology, which cuts down, say, engine drone on a flight. Most Bluetooth headphones sound fairly shonky because the music is heavily compressed to make them work wirelessly. These fold-up Sennheisers are the first headphones to feature a technology called APT-X (pronounced app-ticks). If you also buy the iPod dongle, which costs £59, APT-X seriously upgrades the wireless sound quality when used with, say, an iPhone. There is also a USB dongle for computers but it is not yet available in the UK. All three models in this new Sennheiser range, which starts at £159, include the APT-X feature, and come with a cable for when the battery runs flat. Sennheiser says you get 20 hours of playback per charge and they can be juiced up from a USB socket or the mains.

Should I buy some? Sennheiser has a pedigree for its noise-cancelling travel cans, and the wire-free Bluetooth versatility makes these a tempting proposition. The inclusion of APT-X adds even more allure for audio buffs. One slight snag is that even though music playback can normally be controlled from the headphones, this feature doesn’t work on an iPhone or iPod Touch yet, due an Apple software glitch. Available from next week.