I’ll go ahead and get this out of the way first, I’m not a big fan of earbuds, especially the recent one’s where one has to literally stick them in the ear. It just feels…iffy. So after the brilliant headphones I have received from Sennheiser, getting these CX310 earbuds wasn’t an experience I was looking forward to. Still, I went ahead and took them with great reluctance anyways, since it’s all part of the job.
And boy was I glad I took the opportunity to review these earbuds. Ten seconds after wearing the Sennheiser CX310 and listening to Dash Berlin’s “Man on the Run” I went from a non-believer to a total convert. The CX310 were blissfully sweet to listen to. After selecting the smallest size, since the medium sized buds would fall loose, the first thing I noticed was the utter sound isolation of the Sennheiser CX310 Adidas Originals. The effect was profound, such that has never been replicated by any headphones to date. Everything gets muffled, which is great when you want to be completely absorbed in whatever you’re listening to, but also dangerous while driving, which is where I tested these earbuds for the most part.
In fact, the in-ear design created a sort of stethoscopic effect, wherein I could clearly hear the cables rub against the seatbelt if I had to look over my shoulder while changing lanes. Indeed I could hear myself more clearly than I wanted to while clearing out my throat or coughing. Of course, this was all with the audio level set to 1/4th as I wouldn’t dare increase the volume in the car any further than that. And even at such low levels, I could hear the high pitch and mid-range notes with crystal clarity. Even listening to podcasts became a sublime experience.
Apart from the “up close and personal” side-effect of the earbuds, the only thing that bothered me about the Sennheiser CX310 Adidas earbuds was a rather lackluster bass reproduction. It was missing that basic “thump” that I look for in good headphones. At first I thought it might be the tracks I’m listening to since this particular session was recorded at variable bitrates. So I decided to listen to some OST (300 and Dark Knight in this case) as well as some bass heavy tracks like Cosmic Gate’s “Body of Conflict”, low & behold bass was prevalent, but still not up to what I wanted.
While the Sennheiser CX310 Adidas Originals to bring out the best in high quality audio (anything above 192kbps), bass reproduction is a little low at VBR and lower than 192kbps audio tracks. In every other way the CX310 truly shines as you’re completely absorbed in whatever you’re listening to. That is as long as you don’t touch the cables whereupon you’ll hear very irritating vibrations carried all the way into your earbuds, i.e. straight into your head.