I suppose it has been a few months since I last reviewed a pair of headphones, and as luck would have it I just got a pair recently. For those of you who follow each of my reviews on a daily basis (0 of you I believe) you will have noticed that I had to update my review of the V-Moda Vibes. For those of you who dont , they broke after less than a year of use. V-Moda would not replace them claiming I had not purchased them from an authorized retailer. How they could know that is astounding, but I didnt have the receipt to prove them wrong. Anyway, after much deliberation I settled on the Sennheiser CX300Bs. They fall a little short of my old Vibes on sound, but a lot short on price.
Recommend this product?
Specifications and Features
A lot of times I write out the specifications in the interest of providing a thorough review without really understanding much of what they mean. Being on my third set of headphones in just about a year I decided to really dig in and research this time. The Sennheiser CX300B headphones have a frequency response of 18Hz 21KHz. Having listed frequency response for several products I decided to see what that actually meant. Apparently normal human hearing can pick up sounds in the 20Hz to 20 KHz range. If you have super hearing you may get more, but bear in mind that a wider range doesnt necessarily mean it is going to sound better, or that the headphones are better. At 18Hz 21KHz most people are going to be covered as to what they are even able to hear. The input impedance is 16ohm. I believe this is just the resistance and standard for headphones. This should not be a selling point. The sensitivity is 112dB S.P.L. at 1KHz, and I still dont know what this means. What I do know from my research is this, you cant just buy a pair of headphones based on specs. Those arent nearly as good a measure as listening. Finally, the connector is 3.5mm, standard for headphones.
As far as features, these little headphones offer plenty. One of the more obvious ones is a cord length of 3.3 feet. Now that we have gotten the mundane out of the way, lets get to the fun. The Sennheiser CX300B headphones are sound isolating with an ear canal fit. Perhaps you have heard of noise canceling. That uses electronics to try to counter outside noise. Sound isolating earphones try to simply seal the noise out. To that end the Sennheiser CX300B headphones comes with three sets of cushions to help ensure a proper seal and a good fit. The Sennheiser CX300B headphones are also very small and lightweight.
The problem with trying to buy a set of headphones is that you simply wont know how good they are until you try them out, and most places dont let you do that which kind of leaves you stuck. I own or have owned the V-Moda Vibes and well as the Base Freqs, and had a chance to try my brothers Bose in-ear headphones, so I was able to eliminate at least those. I took a gamble and ordered the Sennheiser CX300B headphones over the Internet.
For one, not every set of headphones is going to sound the same to everyone. You may see a set with 80 reviews and 75 are good to great with a few bad. In my research I have read that the acoustics of your head actually have a lot to do with how things sound to an individual. That may be why you see 75 thumbs up and 5 thumbs down on sound. Beyond that, in any pair of noise isolating, canal earphones you need a good seal. The technology counts on that. Some people cannot get a good seal, even when multiple sets of cushions are provided. Without that seal canal headphones will NOT sound good. One last thing to remember is that most headphones have a break in period. Try to hold off judgment for a few days and see if they improve or degrade before deciding.
My Sennheiser CX300B headphones sound good. They sound great for $55 shipped. I am sad to say that the old V-Moda Vibes sounded better, but they cost more and were also very flimsy. Plus V-Moda cheesed me off by being nasty. My break in period took about a day and I do occasionally lose the seal and have to reset the speaker in my ear. They hit base nice and hard, while again not as hard as the Vibes. I also notice that they seem to accentuate the base in the song beyond its normal amount, so just as with both of my pairs of V-Modas I had to adjust the base down on my player. I want the base to hit hard, but not more than what was intended in the song. The sound isolating is pretty strong. People come up behind me in the office and scare me. I have no hope of hearing them no matter how low I turn the volume. I have used them extensively with rock, jazz, and classical musics and all have sounded good. I am pleased to report that they arent substantially better with one type than another. Personally I think they sound downright awesome with jazz.
Before I write a love song about the Sennheiser CX300B headphones I do have one gripe. I dont know if they have insufficient insulation on the cord or if there is just no way around this, but rubbing or jostling the cord causes noise through the phones. When I walk I can actually feel my footsteps thumping through the headphones. If I brush the cord I get an annoying whirring through the phones. You just have to be careful about that cord or you will get plenty of sound you dont want.
Overall I am quite happy with my Sennheiser CX300B headphones. For pure sound, they do fall short I think of the V-Moda Vibes (although it could just be personal taste) but they were cheaper and seem sturdier. For $55 I think they are a great bargain. If you have the opportunity to try out multiple pairs I think that is the BEST way to pick your new headphones. Short of that I think the second best way is to pick based on user reviews. Look to the specs last and just make sure there isnt anything glaringly deficient from the other pairs you are considering. I think the Sennheiser CX300B headphones are currently the best pair of headphones you can get for $55. If you find a better pair, please dont tell me, because I am sure I will talk myself into buying them.
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