Sennheiser CX300 Earbuds

One of the most prevalent complaints I hear about Apple’s Ipod line is that the enclosed earphones or “buds” are almost immediately replaceable. The ubiquitous white headphones were a trademark of the Ipod craze’s early days and immediately branded early adopters as Ipod owners. Apple,after all, is not a headphone company, and although they were nice enough to include them they could have come up with a better design. I now own 3 Ipods and after sampling the first set the remaining two reside hermetically sealed and buried in a drawer.
I was late to the Ipod craze as I was quite happy with a CD based mp3 player that served me well in the gym and on a lot of flights. I also owned a number of different headphones over the years as I grew up in the Walkman era. Being somewhat partial to Sony in the past, I still cherish a pair of fully functional Fontopia’s that I bought 6 years ago in Tokyo before they were widely available state-side. This original pair has still not shorted-out on me, although subsequent pairs that were purchased did not fair as well. I also own a pair of Sony MDR-V500 “mini-cans” that served as my “weapon of choice” when venturing out street-side but eventually proved a bit cumbersome. Further experimentation lead me to a pair of Shure E-4′s (single driver, no bass response) and my final quest, a pair of UE 5 Pro’s (which deserve their own post). As glorious as the Super-5′s sound, they don’t exactly make for a great gym/cycling bud.
After getting ready to replace yet another set of Fontopias, I decided to see what else was available in the world of buds without spending much more than $50.
After an extensive search I came upon the Sennheiser CX300′s. Available in silver, black , white and even pink I found they sound a lot better than the Fontopia’s. They run about $20 more, but for the difference in price they are well worth it. Having owned this pair for over a year, I can attest to their durability as they get almost daily use in the gym or when I am out cycling. The primary attraction for me beside the quality of sound is the fit and comfort when wearing them for an extended period of time. They are almost weightless and Sennheiser includes three sets of adapters for different sized ears that result in a nice snug fit. This tight fit isolates exterior sound that allows you to hear your music street-side without having to turn up the volume to compensate. You should, of course, be careful as you really cannot hear things around you. When cycling through traffic I advise to pull out at least one of the buds to hear the rush of the cab that just nearly hit you.
The CX300′s come with a 2 year manufacturer’s warranty and for the less than $55 price tag you will be hard pressed to find buds that will give you the kind of bass response and clarity these offer. The buds also feature a 43″ asymmetrical cable which allows the user to string them behind the neck, instead of hanging down in the typical “Y” design fashion.

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