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If you dig your MP3 player but can’t stand jammin’ earbuds into your head to listen to it, you’ll find yourself attracted to Razer’s Pro-Tone m250 headphones. But after using them, you might resign yourself to suffering with the buds.
Headphones are a highly personal choice, and some people may be put off by the m250’s unusual design. A rubber-coated arm hooks over your outer ear—much like a pair of eyeglasses—and the disk-like driver folds over to rest on top of your ear. The fit was snug but comfortable, and the m250s remained in place through a series of jumping jacks and touch-your-toe exercises (well, as close as we could get to our toes, anyway). The clip design might cause a problem for those who wear eyeglasses, but we didn’t perceive any difference in sound with or without our own cheaters.
After catching our breath, however, we concluded that our dissatisfaction with the way the m250s sound is related to the distance between their speaker elements and our eardrums. Fast-moving high-frequency sound waves travel far; slow-moving low-frequency sound waves don’t. When we cranked up our iPod in search of the wandering bass line in John Hiatt’s “Woman Sawed in Half,” we absolutely cringed when the yah-yah-yah chorus burst in. Harsh highs weren’t as much of a problem with some of the other songs we tested with, but our craving for bass was never satisfied. Razer’s ProBass technology does produce a lot of bass, but the only way it made it down our ear canals was when we pressed the m250s snug against our ears.
The m250s also leak like a sieve: Listening at even moderate volume creates a tinny concert hall in miniature for everyone within a six-foot radius of your head. And as you might have guessed, these headphones do nothing to isolate your ears from outside noise. But this didn’t stop Razer from tucking an airline headphone adapter into the nicely appointed, zippered nylon clutch.
The design's stylish and unique--and they stay in place pretty well too.
Bogus outside sounds are no stranger to the Razer Pro-Tone m250.