The first thing that you need to do when you get an iPod is get rid of the earphones. Now the latest iPod earphones sound pretty good, but they attract petty criminals like flies to one of them zapper lights.The second reason for me is that I usually wear my iPod on the tube going about my business. I need headphones that can cope with the high ambient noise of the train and still give me a decent sound.
Decent active noise reduction pairs an ok set of headphones with an inconvenient electronics package, requiring an extra battery. My previous favourite earphone of choice Sony’s MDR-EX71SLB worked by providing a variety of silicone gaskets to best match the fit of your ear canal. They provided a good quality sound.
I nipped in to HMV when my previous set fell to pieces and went to the counter to purchase a new set. Since the store wasn’t that busy the shop assistant on duty recommended the Sennheiser CX300 instead.
To be honest I wasn’t convinced, in the packaging they look like a Chinese rebadge job to capitalise on the Sennheiser name arranged by some know nothing marketing person, probably made by 13-year old kids serving as indentured labour in a sweatshop.
I still don’t know how they are made, but they sound amazing, (I’ve used them with soul, jazz, funk and house music tracks) greatly reduce the high noise level of the tube and are a subtle and understated design.
The product design is pretty smart as well; they feature a j-cable: where one headphone lead is longer than the other so it can go around the back of your neck and keep everything in place whilst you take your headphones off. However with most headphones the cable slides easily over your collar and you lose your headphones on the floor, the Sennheisers have a slightly tacky cable cord to keep them in place.
In terms of their robustness compared to the Sony headphones, only time will tell, but if you want an ideal partner for your iPod get out and buy a set now.