Product Type: Sennheiser headphones
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Solid but never surprising.
Sennheiser CX 300-II Precision
Member Name: illogicology
Sennheiser CX 300-II Precision
Advantages: Good build quality, consistent and clear sound.
Disadvantages: Despite company reputation no better than I would expect at the price.
I have owned far too many headphones over the years. Maybe I put them through their paces a bit more than most but I've yet to buy a pair that last much over a year and so I have arrived a my latest pair, the CX 300-II from Sennheiser. This is my first pair from Sennheiser, a brand I had heard a lot of good things about and at £35 I expected this to land firmly in the mid-range bracket.
The headphones themselves are a basic, in-ear type. They come with three sizes of ear buds to suit most folks' lugs and are a comfy fit. The cable is of a decent, hard to snap quality and a fair length, unfortunately they've gone for an asymmetrical configuration with the left ear only given a sliver of cable while the right dangles, catching on anything that passes. I've yet to figure out the "one-long, one short" school of earphone design, it bugs the crap out of me, I know of nobody that likes them like this and I don't really understand the purpose. A nice touch for me is the jack itself, most of my previous pairs were broken by a loose connecting on the plug, too much wiggling no doubt. This pair is sporting a firm, plastic moulding around the wire and jack. It's nice and sturdy, stopping the cable from bending around too much when jammed into a pocket. Very nice.
On to the sound quality itself. I must confess to being a little disappointed, Sennheiser has such a reputation for quality sound at a mid-range price that I think I set my expectations a little high. If you've owned a pair of £30-£50 headphones before then this will be familiar territory to you, if upgrading from a pair of standard iPod buds or cheapies then you'll probably be thrilled. Bass quality is a stark improvement over standard headphones, sound remains clear even when drums are thumping and for such tiny speakers there is a very nice and clear sense of space. I tried these phones with a range of different sounds including some lower quality stuff, where a cheaper set would probably fail to distinguish between a high and low quality MP3, no problem here. When fed a high quality source, the sound was perfectly clear and a joy to listen to. For people used to a more pricey set, these phones probably won't be an adequate replacement, at high volumes a busy track will begin to muddy a little and they won't please purists.
While this is still a good pair of headphones, I find myself a bit let down with Sennheiser's reputation for over delivering. The build quality impressed me immensely but the sound quality is of the standard I would expect from any pair of headphones above £20, they deliver and deliver consistently but they rarely pop or excite. Anyone still carting around the buds that came with their iPod, Walkman or phone should upgrade and wouldn't be disappointed if they chose these but they're getting what they pay for; no more, no less.
Summary: Mid range and its most definitive.
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