A Very Easy to Listen to Earbud set..
Sep 18, 2008 (Updated Sep 18, 2008)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Very Good sound and value if shopped carefully. Comfortable to wear.
Cons:A bit of Mid Treble loss or de emphasis,the noisy annoying distracting cable.
The Bottom Line: On the cheap this is a very capable Ear Bud, while not perfect, it is a very good listen none the less and deserves an audition. Recommended.
The Sennheiser product name is no stranger in my home audio system, and project home studio. The HD-580 headphone has been my headphone of choice for over 10 years. Though my recently purchased AKG-701 headphones are fast becoming my new reference.
Recommend this product?
In any case the Sennheiser has always sounded warm and full and rich with detail that have always made me not worry that I have spent perhaps a few hours longer on that project or listening than I should have. The HD-580s just made it easy.
Well here comes the Ipod Touch I just got just a little while ago and the only so so stock earbuds have to go. No bass response with any guts below say 200 hz and that is being kind. I needed another alternative that was not going to put me in the poor house.
I considered the top grade Shure, but at $500.00 a pair that was out of the question. Now at $100.00 I could do real easy though, and I did something that my 30 years plus experience in audio told me never do, but I did it anyway, and took a chance on the Sennheiser CX 300. Amazon.com had a good price on it, about the mid $30.00 range or so. What the heck I could do that and no hit, and no foul.
Firstly some specifications for the tech folks wanting to know.
Frequency Response : 18hz to 21khz
Min Terminating Impedance: 16 ohms
Max Spl: 112db (1 khz, 1 vrms)
Transducer Principle: Dynamic, In-Ear Seal.
All manufacturers claims on these figures here.
So fine we have the figures, so now is it like to have them connected and listening to them like.
As I stated above I used the Sennheiser HD-580 and the AKG-701 headphones which are very respected headphones for their detail,dynamics, and quality full spectrum sound. The Senns' have again a warm quality that reminds me that I may that "tube" like sound, where the AKG is more matter of fact very detailed without being harsh. It just lacks the the Senns warmth but in a mix-down I don't want the headphone to incur any personality of its own if possible. The Senns were about a $350.00 pair headphones and the AKGs are about $450.00 or so a pair at the time.
Of course you can find better prices on them these days.
So what to expect with the Sennheiser CX 300s'. Let's see the packaging is a bit of a let down being the ultrasonically welded encapsulated affair with the instructions on a cardboard backing. Extra Earbuds are included for it seems for those whom may have larger ear canal perhaps. I found the ones already attached a perfect fit and seal.
Source is my Ipod Touch 16 gig model with firmware level 2.1 and music gathered from my Imac 24 Core 2 Duo computer via Itunes.
I have this trick of warming up the sound via my 2 track reel to reel when I put some of my music up to itunes to give it a richer flavor. I learned this trick from the pros whom want to warm up that digital sound. It is a pain, but to me it is worth it. My 2 track reel to reels of choice were an Otari MX-5050 which I no longer have, sigh, but my 2nd and latest one is a Tascam 52 2 track pro machine running a 15 inches per second, I lose no fidelity and get that fat warm sound of analog in my portable sounds.
Helps that I also source a Vacuum Tube/Solid State hybrid Compact Disc player too.
So with all that motion done, what does the CX 300s sound like?
Well the sonics are like my Sennheiser HD-580s not surprisingly and pleasantly. It is warm and very tuneful. The Bass response is deep and punchy and reasonably accurate. The Mid Bass is just a trifle more present than I like but on some music is a big plus in making that music more engaging.
The Midrange...Vocals especially are very well done with again that bit warmth in play the detail is very good but will not exceed my AKG reference anytime soon, it is still a very good listen. Micro dynamics and detail could be better sure, but considering the low cost and how much I do get, it is a good performance in the detail department.
Mid Treble region is an interesting balance here, in that it has a bit of a suck out like nature. Not large mind you, but makes some recordings sound a bit dark and as another reviewer put it, "lacking air". In the region the sonics are definitely laid back and never seems to sound aggressive. A good thing actually since my music tends to go everywhere, and Equalization on most players are pretty marginal in scope and quality anyway.
Maybe a bit of pre emphasis in the Mid treble might help before I import the music over. Hmm, time will tell on this part.
Treble Region, more of the same as the Mid Treble, but in this case I like that because again I never know where I am going as far as my listening adventure is concerned, and I hate over aggressive pushy highs. These earbuds seem to have fairly good transient response too with sibilance very well tamed. I am very pleased with its performance here.
So in sum sonically a very engaging pleasant listen though I would like a bit more "air" in the Mid Treble to make it the near perfect earbud. The Bass is fine but would maybe a bit more emphasis here and less in the Mid Bass.
The Midrange is very sweet and warm, the way I like it.
So over all I have to say with the few caveats the Sennheiser especially for the price I paid is a very good value.
Note:Sennheiser could have better isolated the cable against microphonics I think. That is when it is moved about, you hear it. Very distracting.
Worthy of a Very Good grade Recommendation.Thank you for reading my review. V.C.
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