Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sennheiser / Adidas CX 680 Headphones Review

I thought I’d seen every variation of headphones, but the CX 680 Sports showed me something I’d never seen before. At first I looked at them, unsure how they would fit in my ear, and that just added to my need to know more. The headphones have a bit sticking out the top called an ‘earfin’, which I mistakenly assumed went on the outside of your ear, but which actually sits in the ridge of your ear. It’s an odd idea, but one which fits in well with the ‘sports’ tag of the range.

I’ve tried sports headphones before that went around the outside of my ear, and they were rubbish. The bar felt odd on the back of my neck, and it jiggled about threatening to fall out the whole time. These Sennheiser headphones on the other hand, feel like they’re a part of your ear, and you adjust the earfin to fit nicely in to place. The tip of the headphone itself is extended so it too fits snugly in your ear.

If you’ve never tried headphones like that before, it’s an odd feeling, compounded further by the earfin. To help with this, the pack includes earfins in three sizes, and adapters for the end piece which goes in your ear. You can also remove the earfin part, if you want to use them as normal headphones. So by mixing and matching these parts you’ll find the best setup for sports or day to day activities.

Once I’d placed the earfin in I got accustomed to it quickly, and was left with the sensation of blocked out external noise which was fantastic. It doesn’t provide the same disorientation as the i-mego headphones, which was a relief, but did cut down on most background noises.

Day to day use: Initially I tried the headphones for listening to music on my PC. In this use it felt odd to try the earfin so I removed it and switched for a more traditional earphone setup. Switching the parts took a bit of fiddly, as I was paranoid I may lose a part in my ear, but that was just paranoia on my part. The standard length of the headphones is short enough if you have an MP3 player on your arm or chest pocket, but not long enough for PC audio listening. So I attached the volume control which also extended the lead and gave me the required length.

The headphones were good at picking up different layers on songs, although they didn’t seem to offer much bass, which was a shame. So some of the stronger songs in my collection felt a little like they didn’t progress to their strong bass riddled conclusions, which was the worst part about the headphones. If you want a song with a lot of bass for a workout then sadly the headphones won’t deliver.

Sports use: For my high energy workout I opted for dog walking. Although in reality it was more like dog running as it was pouring it down with rain (this is August right?). So I ran to the park, with the headphones in place, and they stayed in for the entire trek. The headphones are waterproof also, so that was a relief to know I needn’t worry about the rain damaging them.

Whilst some other headphones can feel like they’re moving, and really upset the delicate balance of the run, the earfins did their trick and gave me an extra level of confidence. I tested this further with a series of jumps and headshakes at home to try and dislodge them and they held their ground. As a side note, it felt like the volume control weighted the headphones down, so I’d advise you attach it to an arm strap otherwise you’ll lose some of the grip.

All in all, the CX 680 aren’t the best sound quality headphones on the market, but they do deliver a comfortable sports experience. If you want to work out with confidence then these are the ideal headphones, and you can let the bounding of your feet on the tarmac add the bass for you.

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Every product on this site has been received for free, and given to me by the product manufacturer or their associated PR organisation in return for a review.

I have no other personal or business association with these companies, and all reviews are written truthfully and based on my own experience. If I hate a product I will say so (and have done on many occasions!).