Earphones: Sennheiser CX 300-II Review

After having used the standard iPod earphones that come with all of Apple's iPods I quickly realised that they needed to be upgraded for the sake of my ears and for the RRP of £39.99 the rather long-named "Sennheiser CX 300-II Precision Noise-Isolation Ear-Canal Phones" these buds are a steal!

First of all, let me state that the street price of these buds has declined sharply making them our best buy for Christmas 2009 in terms of earphones. The Sennheiser CX 300-II Precision Noise-Isolating Ear-Canal Phones are actually available on Amazon for a bargain price of £33.90 (or less, check the link out now) which is a much more reasonable figure for people who aren't necessarily audiophiles.

The packaging of this product has to be among the worst I have ever experienced as the sides of the package are glued together extremely strongly making it incredibly difficult to pry open, but once you have doing this the earphones really make it worth the effort. Inside you'll find the earbuds themselves along with 2 other sized ear adaptors for those with smaller or larger ears. You'll also find a carry pouch, which likes rather like a purse, to keep your earphones in safely when not in use.

The noise-isolating feature of these earphones is incredible – especially for the current price. To see how good this feature really is, I took them through a series of tests – first I popped them in my ears and started vacuum cleaning and the hoover was very barely audible with the music on my iPod Touch turned up to around 45% volume. Next, I took them onto the extremely busy and noisy Central Line on the London Underground to be tested. With music and podcasts at around 55-60% there was only the faint screeching which is a massive improvement. Finally, while trying to have a conversation with these in it is simply impossible even with the music turned down to 40% - the noise isolating ability of these is amazing. To make a rough measure take what you hear on a train and cut that buy two-thirds that is what you'll hear with these earbuds in.

The asymmetrical cable in these is a cable which is much longer on the right side than on the left side, at first I found this highly impractical but when I finally figured out that these long wire on the right side was meant to go behind my head (doh!) these earphones felt extremely comfortable. The fit in the ear canal is amazing though I do find that sometimes they can become loose if doing vigorous work.
The bass on these earphones is actually very good and fantastic for earbuds this price. Vocals sound very good in these too. I do have to mention though that the sound of earbuds two or three times this price do some much better so it's not like these are near the top of the scale but they are very good for their price.

Sennheiser's warranty makes it worth buying from a licensed reseller (which I can only assume Amazon is). Email them explaining you want to have them repaired and they'll send you your buds back fixed or new ones for up to a year after purchase – no questions asked.
If you need a new set of earphones this Christmas, are under a budget and need to upgrade from the standard iPhone/iPod earbuds these are simply the best earphones you can get in this price range and I would even say that they are the best earbuds under £50 making these an absolute must buy – even if you don't think you need a new set of earphones just buy these and you'll be raving about them for years to come!

Update: Grab a bargain with the new JVC earphones which are now the BEST BUY - they're cheaper and even better quality in our opinion.


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