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Sennheiser CX 880 Noise-Isolating Premium Earbuds (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
- Silicone ear adapters for a personalized comfortable fit
- Ear wax guards for enhanced audio performance
- Intergrate volume control and storage pouch
- Sophisticated ergonomic design
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Amazon.ca Product Description
Classic line delivers balanced sound with refined ergonomics. Stylish design with modern touchs like chrome plated accents and fine metallic lines for subtle shimmer.
From the Manufacturer
Looking as classy as they sound, the Sennheiser CX 880 in-ear headphones offer lifelike sound quality and a custom fit that feels like they were made for your ears. Co-designed with BMW DesignWorksUSA, the CX 880 provides aggressive noise blocking thanks to its close-fitting ergonomic design, which also channels cabling away from your ear.
These ear-canal, noise-isolating headphones use a dynamic speaker and a specially tuned transducer that reproduces a transparent, clear audible image. And you can keep your audio player in your pocket and still control playback volume with the included in-line rotary volume adjuster. The cleaning tool and ear-debris-guards protect your investment, while the included carrying case makes it easy to bring along wherever you roam.
What's in the Box
Headphones, ear adapter set (S, M, L), cable clip, ear debris guards, storage pouch, cleaning tool
- Frequency response: 17-23,000 Hz
- Sound pressure level (SPL): 115 dB
- Ear coupling: In-the-ear
- Impedance: 32 ohms
- Total harmonic distortion (THD): <0.1 percent
- Connector: 1/8-inch (3.5mm)
- Cable length: 3.9 feet
- Weight (without cable): 0.46 ounces
Optimized for MP3, iPod, iPhone (iPod and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc. registered in the U.S. and other countries), and portable media players.
The Sennheiser CX 880 is covered by a 2-year warranty with the backing of Sennheiser's worldwide service network.
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I've been wearing these for around two hours now and barely notice them. The silicone earbuds are soft and very comfortable.
Sound quality will vary for people with each person's choice in music and earbud fit, but this here's my take on things. I love that these headphones provide balanced sound, because I listen to a wide variety of music, which artificially bass heavy headphones will ruin. They provide clear sound across the range of highs and lows and seem to have a good sound stage.
These seem to provide slightly more isolation than the CX400s did for me. If foam earbuds were included, that'd greatly help with the isolation. If people want better sound isolation, they should look for triple flange ear tips, which are common on models from Etymotic and some others.
More on microphonics
I could see these being a bit distracting to exercise/walk around in, because the microphonics become more pronounced when anything comes into contact with the buds themselves. Wise use of the included clip takes care of most, if not all, of the microphonics from the cord for me. These can also be worn over the ear (rotate the bud so that the cord will go over the top of your ear), which will take care microphonics, though that may not be comfortable for everyone.
Because I received these within the warranty period for the CX400s, I can't quite as accurately gauge if they're worth it. As a base for the earbuds alone, I would, being a fairly cheap person, probably be willing to spend around $50-$70 on them.
What easily makes them more worthwhile (could easily add $50?) is the solid construction, a two year warranty* (that they honor without hassle), and excellent customer service (professional & fast responses that directly address the issue/question - rare finds!), volume control (not really all that needed but convenient), and the accessories. The earwax cleaner isn't particularly expensive, but it's handy. The well-designed hard leather case makes a difference; it's not an overly bulky cheap plastic case. It's designed for the cord to be wrapped around then covered (may upload some pictures later).
I think that I've gone on long enough... anyway, I love these and prefer them over Monster Turbines for balanced listening across multiple genres.
* The warranty only applies if it was purchased from an authorized dealer (such as Amazon), so be careful! Watch out for counterfeit headphones and check the Sennheiser website for a list, because I can't link to it.
The sound is just great. You can get earbuds with better sound, but it won't be cheap. I listen to all kinds of music including many genres of popular music as well as classical, and the sound with all is very smooth. The highs are very open and clean. Some listeners may prefer to slightly boost the midrange. The bass, including the deep bass, is solid without using any bass boost. I hear a small peak in the mid-bass. I make very *slight* adjustments in my iTunes equalizer to make the already great sound a bit better.
The fit will depend on how well the included selection of tips fit your ears. In my case, I found tips that fit very well. They stay put very snugly, and they're very comfortable even for longer listening sessions. The shape of the ear pieces is angled, and that works out very well. The way the cord exits the ear pieces is also pretty good.
These are designed to be good for noise isolation, and Sennheiser pulls this off really well. Note that noise isolation is different from noise cancellation, but the end result is very similar. With both, you don't hear outside noises and you can play the sound at lower volumes (which helps to protect the ears). In my experience, noise isolation works better at higher frequencies, and noise cancellation works better at low frequencies (like airplane noise). I've already used these earbuds on one flight, and I'm happy enough that they'll find a home in my travel kit.
Speaking of the travel kit, the included case is surprisingly well designed. I love it. And the little cleaning tool really does help to keep the ear pieces clean, along with the well-designed diaphragm covers.
As other reviewers have mentioned, there are significant microphonics issues with the cord. This is disappointing, since the sound is otherwise so excellent. I've found I can eliminate most of this problem by stuffing the middle of the cable inside my shirt a bit, so there's less loose cable to rub on my collar. That works pretty well. Still, a different material for the cord could solve this better.
Also, the cable feels a bit fragile, especially where it joins the earbuds themselves. I've been using this less than a month, so I don't know how this will fare in the long term.
On balance, these are easily the best earbuds I've ever had. I'm finding new joy in listening to music when I'm out and about, or late at night when I don't want to disturb the rest of the family.
*** UPDATE ***
Six months later, and I'm still very happy with these earbuds. There's one problem I've grown very tired of -- If you don't put them away properly in their case, the cord gets badly tangled. It takes much longer than it should to untangle these guys. Also, the plug end has become noisy where it attaches to my MP3 player. Same problem on 2 players, so it's the cord for sure. Not too bad yet that I want to return it; not sure if it will get worse over time.
When I tried the CX 880 out though, I was somewhat disappointed.
First, the cons:
The fit is poor for a set in this price range. Unfortunately, fit is everything with earbuds. There are 3 pairs of sized rubber tips, but they're the same unremarkable crappy jellyfish shaped tips that you'd find on a $30 set of buds. I placed the triple flange tips from my Etymotics on them and that helped a little, but the left earbud still doesn't seal well even with the largest provided tip. There really should be more tip options, sizes, and styles included for this price.
The case was also a disappointment. It's a well constructed case and a good idea in theory, but getting the earbuds and the volume control bar to both fit in the slot while wrapping the cord around can prove to be an exercise in frustration. If the volume bar wasn't so long and inflexible this might not be a problem.
Speaking of the volume bar, reducing or increasing the volume will cause the sound in either side to cut out intermittently. If left at full volume both sides work fine, but if you reduce it and keep it at one of the affected levels you risk getting one-sided performance from this set. A pair of buds with this price tag should definitely not have this problem, and frankly, I'd rather not have the volume control feature at all if it can't be engineered to work properly.
When I can get these adjusted properly in my ear (takes some time) the sound they produce is awesome. They are really a great performing set if they can be made to fit right. If you're like me and maybe not a serious audiophile, but can tell the difference between a decent sounding set of earbuds and crappy ones, you won't be disappointed.
The actual physical construction of the buds and accessories is also excellent, even though some aspects lack in application (the fit issues and impractical case).
The fit issues still have me on the brink of returning this set, but I'm still giving 4 stars because I recognize that individual fit is very subjective and the deal price seemed good (just under $100). Ultimately though the sound is pretty good on these. Your experience may vary.
I tried to make this purchase work out, but the fit issues were absolutely critical. Because of this, and the other issues I outlined in the review that I felt shouldn't be present in a set of earbuds in this price range, I returned these earbuds to Amazon about 2 weeks after writing this review.
Before returning them I sent a last ditch email to Sennheiser support, who replied promptly, but only with the suggestion that I get a custom molding performed by an audiologist. Since the price of the molding was going to be more than the price of the earbuds themselves, this was NOT going to be a viable option. I also looked into some aftermarket foam Comply tips, but they don't support this model as the diameter of the shaft is too big. I've learned from this experience that I won't be purchasing a set of earbuds in the future without checking to make sure that Comply supports them first, just in case.
I also downgraded my star rating to better reflect my experience. For the sound produced by the buds I would give this product 5 stars, but for fit options and the buggy and unreasonably enormous volume bar I would give it 1 star. In light of this, I'm trying to be fair by only giving the product a middle of the road 3 star review, though I know most people with the same experience wouldn't hesitate to give it a 1 overall.
So ultimately, if you buy these and they fit you, great. If they don't fit though, you're hosed.
Amazon grades these on 4 attributes, the case, comfort, construction, and sound quality.
1. I don't know if anyone really cares about the case, but I will rarely, if ever, use it. For anyone wonder what it's like, it's basically a wallet. I really couldn't figure out to how to use it, so I didn't really like it.
2. The comfort is great, if you get the right size cushion. I can wear these for hours and sometimes forget I even have them in my ear.
3. The construction is certainly more logical on these, with many other pairs the jack is straight and when you want to pull it out, it tugs on the cable which can damage it later on. Other things like the cable splitting in the middle, rather than at the jack, prevent it from getting damaged as well. I can't say the cable is all that strong, but we'll see...
(SPOILER ALERT) It wasn't.
4. The sound quality is excellent, it seems a bit muffled or something, that might wear off, not sure, but I hear parts of the music that I didn't hear before, whether good or bad.
The bass is there, (really there). I've lent it to friends and compare it to my other earphones, and it generally has the most bass of the lot.
edit: You could take out the little foam cushions which seems to get rid of the slightly muffled sound, they then become a slightly brighter pair of earphones. (Because as we learned, treble has a harder time passing through objects, so the higher frequencies get blocked)
People had downgraded these earphones because of some "microphonic issues" where tapping the cable could be heard inside the earphone. This is true, but it's not as noticeable on these as it is on my other earphones. So I wouldn't give a downgrade for this. If you want earphones with 0 microphonic interference, you'll be looking into earphones like TF10 & shure Se series in which you wear them over your ear to prevent that.
5. Sound Isolation: Decent. it may take awhile to get adjusted, but if you get a good sized earbud and stretch your ears a little, it blocks out a good amount of sound, not nearly as much as my triple fis.
I would've honestly given these a 3.5 but there isn't one, so I'm rounding up.
The reason for that mainly, is the price.
I saw these originally on amazon for $92.99
2 weeks later they went to $102.99, a week later $109.99 then they jumped all the way to $129.99
I payed $119.99 for these, which is a bit (very) steep. These, all in all, are about a $60 pair of earbuds. I still do regret paying that much, but I guess it's sure "beats" buying beats.
Alright, well I hope I've covered it all.
Edit: After 7 months
They've finally broke, the sound in the right earbud cuts out when the part of the cord near the jack moves. It's happened to every pair of earbuds I've had so far.
However, Sennheiser has a fantastic policy where you can send them in to be repaired, free of charge, for 2 years. I'm still waiting for them to be returned, and I'll rate how their policy really is.
How I feel about these now:
Currently, they are $99.99 on Amazon, and at this price. I'd say they're still not worth it. But honestly, I'd recommend the Shure se215, se315 or UE triplefi10, the removable cable is a huge perk at this price range. And you can buy another cable that includes an in-line volume control, a microphone, and a pause button.
I sent them in for repairs after 7 months. In first class shipping it took about a week and a half to send them in and receive them back. Fairly prompt. What I wasn't expecting was they gave me an absolutely new one. Not refurbished, unopened, 100% brand new. As a brand I feel I'll be buying from Sennheiser a lot more now.
So one day I saw that Amazon was running a deal on these CX880 High Fidelity buds, and the reviews were pretty good. I said, oh well, can't be worse than what I already have, great price, great reviews, and if I don't like them I trust Amazon's return policies. Therefore I ordered them, and just received them this morning through the post.
Typically I wait several days and don't make the mistake I made with the Beyerdynamic 880 review, which was glowing in the beginning, but after several days I returned them. Discomfort, big, and nothing to write home about sound wise. But......
These earbuds are so good, that I am shocked at the sound. Listening to Dave Matthews as I write this on Pandora radio (my Mac), and the sound is awesome. Imagine them on the CD versions of music...can't wait. However for Pandora to sound this good, something is right here.
Highs are crisp, mid's accurate, and base/drums clear, punchy and accurate. Every instrument is awesome, and they warrant a 5 of 5 for this alone. However, why a 4 of 5? The build quality is questionable, as they appear to be delicate, and if caught on something I worry about them breaking. But I just need to be careful, and will sacrifice this due to the sound reproduction being so damned excellent, and I mean EXCELLENT!!!! I usually wait for reviews, screwed up on Beyer Dynamics, which I am updating. However, I could not resist the happiness that I have had this morning, and currently am enjoying writing this and listening.
As for comfort.....Awesome, and staying in my ear appropriately.
size ....don't even know they are there.
Wire,....weak but passable if careful (I am a neat person with my things...so surely overworrying here)
Volume control included....in a decent spot.
Nice little case!!
Exercise....Jury is out if I would take these to exercise.....but time will tell if they are good for this...otherwise, surely excellent for walking in the mall, or sitting and relaxing listening privately to music etc.
Sennheiser, you did a great job on these, and for that I am happy that the sound you found in these noise isolating premium earbuds is so spot on and accurate.
Get them folks if you are in the market for what I say above. They have peaked my musical excitement in personal listening to a new level upon the first hit of the play button and still making me happy!
Good Luck, and Happy New Year!