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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The packaging alone for these Sennheiser CX985 Avant Garde Ear Canal Phones screams quality, as you would expect for earphones from this top notch brand. The phones themselves are beautiful - all solid and glossy. I love the feature that the 3.5mm jack plug can be moved from a right-angled position to straight (I have damaged countless sets of headphones due to the plug being at an awkward angle for what I wished to plug them into). As you would expect, they sound wonderful and the volume control works very well - if connecting to an ordinary mp3 player then you will need to set the volume of your device higher than you wish to listen to it at, then reduce the volume on the headphone control so that you have the option to adjust it up and down. I'm not sure if the integrated volume control is capable of adjusting the actual output volume of an ipod as I did not have one available to test.

The package contains a (very useful if you travel) airplane adaptor, a very smart leather carrying case, a clip to fasten to your clothing to tidy up the wires, a small wire device to clean the wax out of the ear phones, and a selection of different fittings for all sizes of ear canal. I must say that, as a personal preference, I would rather have in-ear phones which don't go right into the ear canal (having some sinus issues, they do make my ears 'pop' a little), but these are more comfortable than other ear canal versions I have tried.

Luxury ear canal phones, perfect for the true audiophile.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 October 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am a fan of Sennheiser and have owned a lot of their products - in fact I am currently using a pair of HD480s that are 25 years old and seen 1000s of hours use.

Not sure about these ear buds though. I expected clear balanced and smooth sound from these ear buds, and that is exactly what they deliver across a range of music. The fact that Sennheiser supply alternative buds that enhance the bass response is impressive, and the quality of finish is excellent. So why not 5 stars?

Well firstly I usually use the medium size rubber buds. Getting a good fit is absolutely crucial in terms of getting the full bass response. These don't quite fit right for me being fractionally smaller than most medium. Not sure whether that is the weight of the metal stems or the weight of the volume adjuster exerting a bit of a drag - but I find that I have to adjust the fit quite often.

Secondly the shirt clip supplied is not very good. If Sennheiser had gone for a design whereby you could put the clip between the bud and the volume adjust the weight issue would be sorted - but in fact the adjuster sits high like a necklace. Thirdly the case (which looks nice) is not functional, and I substituted within a days use.
If these ear buds were half the price I could forgive the design issues. The sound reproduction is first class. The quality of finish is great. But the overall experience is a little disappointing, and I have to deduct a star.
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on 19 March 2015
Sennheiser CX985 Quick Review by mark2410

Brief: Sennheiser proves it can out engineer everyone

Price: £120 (or US$160 in the US)

Specification: Frequency response 16 - 24000 Hz, Sound pressure level (SPL) 115 dB, Impedance 32 Ω, THD, total harmonic distortion < 0.1 %, Cable length 1.2 m, Weight 338g (note a lot of that weight is jack so you don't notice it)

Accessories: 7 pairs of tips, plane adapter, case, cleaning bits and cool shirt clip.

Build Quality: Nothing short of excellent, there is no finer manufactured IEM.

Isolation: Depends on the tips. Goes from pretty good for a dynamic to really good for a dynamic. Neither is what I'd want for a long flight but both easily enough to get you run over if you're not looking.

Comfort/Fit: Great, no bother with either aspect even wearing them up. The weight figure is misleading as lots of the weight is in the jack. Also wearing up means the ear supports them rather than just the fit of then in your ear. They sit shallow so should be comfy for all I'd think.

Aesthetics: Quite impressive. The use of metal looks not only pleasant but looks quality. The metal volume control for instance, you can see this a premium product. Very Teutonic.

Sound: Pretty darn good. Not the greatest you can find at the price but it's no slouch. It's pretty V shaped so the mids lack in quantity but they are beautifully open sounding. The bass is big, or really big if you use the magenta tips, but still taut. The high are good but a little too edgy and crispy. With a bright and really good DAP it was too much, so aim for warmer or weirdly my phone (galaxy Nexus) worked really well with it. The highs were crisp but not abrasively so. What shone though was the soundstage and imaging. The soundstage was good but the imaging was alarmingly holographic! Just outstandingly impressive and so clearly defined, even besting the IE8. The 3D image they could create is probably the best and most clear I've heard in an IEM, really top class stuff. Still it's all pretty V shaped sounding so great for pop stuff but for big mid fans like myself its maybe not best suited even if its mids are very open and expressive, they are just too far back.

Value: On sound alone good, I'd been afraid these would be much more expensive than they are. They stand out more if you care that they feel and look so premium too. These look like you've spent some cash on them and are insanely engineered. The volume control and jack are just superb things to behold.

Pro's: These exude substance and quality. Jack and Volume slider. Can change the bass with the different tips.

Con's: You pay for its premium feel, it's pretty V shaped acoustically.
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on 31 August 2014
Exactly what you expect from Sennheiser - a quirky design and sound quality that you won't get from Panasonic, Sony, JVC, etc. This model has some really novel features, like the riveted metal jack; as one of the first things to usually break on a pair of earphones/headphones this is a great innovation which should probably be adopted more widely. Also nice is that the wire coming out of each earbud is covered with metal, which prevents the common problem of the wires being pulled out of the earbuds as they wear over time. The earphones come with some nice extras, like the carry case, but as with any earphones it remains a lot easier to just lazily wrap them around your mp3 player or phone. I've owned these around a year and they don't show any signs of wear; I admit that I don't usually treat earphones with much respect and tend to get through a pair a year, so these are doing fairly well. I'm not sure why they are currently unavailable on Amazon as a quick search doesn't yield any obvious replacement. They can still be found elsewhere.

I cannot definitely say that they are good value for money because at around the price of £100 it's up for debate whether any earphones would be, but if you're looking for a pair of reliable high-end earphones then that's exactly what these are. The sound is audibly better than cheaper models that I've owned (like the Sennheiser CX 400 II), but obviously you have to really care about that to want to spend £30 or £40 more for the sake of it - and the sound difference between a £60 and £100 pair is always going to be much smaller than the difference between a £20 and £60 pair. In their defence, these will last a lot longer, which offsets the price somewhat.
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on 4 August 2014
I've had these headphones for over a year now and i can honestly say they are some of the best earphones money can buy, they might be expensive but if you're after sound quality, these are the ones to buy. The sound that comes out of these things is absolutely crystal clear, the bass is strong and deep but the mid-range and highs are so powerful and clear that the bass isn't over powering - a problem you get with the likes of Beats.
As for build quality, the drivers have a ceramic housing which makes them unbelievably light (usually good earphone are quite heavy), the cable is very thin and longer than usual and the volume control is made from aluminium which makes it feel sturdy. The 3.5mm jack is very well designed, it bends 90 degrees so it reduces the chances of it breaking, a problem that exists with every set of headphones out there. The only design flaw I've found is with the clip used to attach the wire to your clothes, its pretty pointless and you're better off getting hold of another one (check your old phone boxes, most phones come with those clips for the hands-free kit)

Overall, these earphones are exceptionally good, especially when you want the clearest sound reproduction out there. The only problem with these headphone is that they reveal just how bad MP3 files are in terms of sound quality, I only rip or download music in FLAC or WAV format now, the extra file space taken up by not having a compressed format is well worth it for the sound quality you get.
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VINE VOICEon 23 October 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Sennheiser has a reputation for producing quality headphones and I was interested in how these would fare on testing. In ear headphones have always seemed to me to be at the lower end of the quality market so finding these retailing at over £100 meant that they would have to perform exceptionally well.

The ear pieces themselves are fashioned from metal along with the volume control. This gives them a rather heavy feel but the rubber ear pieces are so comfortable that you soon forget the weight. The metal finish makes these headphones look rather nice as well. The previously mentioned volume control is engineered to a high standard as well. When using this you need to set your player to the maximum volume you would require and then the volume control will adjust between that and its lowest setting (not silent though).

The headphones come with a range of different ear pieces - as well as different sizes these enable you to change the sound from normal to a more bass sound. Cynically I thought this may be a gimmick but you can really tell the difference once you have swapped the ear piece sleeves. I'm not sure about the practicalities of swapping according to the music you are listening to but...

The range of accessories is impressive with a good selection of different sized sleeves, a clip to hold the cord and spare diaphragm guards and tool. For this money I would expect a case - a solid case is provided which provides much better protection than the plastic cases that have shipped with cheaper models. This also comes complete with an airline adapter clipped in.

The sound quality is excellent - I was really impressed with the range and the clarity of the listening experience. Having tested these with a range of music from the Charlatans through to Bleached and on to Dies Irae from Verdi's Requiem via West Side Story I can say that these deliver well in all genres! Indeed listening to The Only One I Know (Remastered) was exceptional - great song but reproduced well.

Overall a great set of headphones.
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on 28 October 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
These in ear phones from Sennheiser are very good. Audio rendition is of a very high quality. Clear, crisp high notes and a sensible even level of bass - better than some bass heavy competitors. Nice little touches with a carrying case (a bit fiddly but protects these whilst in the bottom of my bag which is full of files and papers). Alternative sizes for the tips is another plus. Design is good and they are comfortable in the ear - but this is a totally individual issue so the fact that they are comfortable for me is no guide to whether you'll find them comfortable too.

So why not five stars. Well, two reasons really. The first is that these are offered at over £100 and at that price there is some seriously good competition at lower prices. To justify that extra price the sound quality on these would have to be pretty exceptional. I have a set of over ear headphones which (at around the same price - different manufacturer) meet that test. When I put them on the sound quality is just superb - and I can tell the difference between those and the other over ear sets I've got. I don't think I could do that with these.

The second reason is that the, admittedly rather elegant, control is just a very simple volume slider. No way to control any other functions - such as fast forward, skip track or pause to take a phone call. So a bit limited in that regard.

But overall these are high quality.
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VINE VOICEon 20 November 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Absolutely awesome earphones. These look great, and are very comfortable in the ear. I wear during my commute and in the office, so that anywhere between 30mins to 4 hours of constant use, and I've not suffered any aches. I use them with my iPhone 4s, and although its got a handy control on the cable, I wouldn't miss it as I tend to use the phone while i listen to music (use onscreen controls). They feel "strong", not heavy, but I wouldn't recommend standing on them. I can't tell you that they're of amazing quality simply because I've only had them a few weeks, but going on the brand name, you know to expect a high level of quality. (previous experience for me: My old headphones by Sennheiser are 7 years old and still going strong.) The sound quality is ace, although it's not a bass-heavy set, so drum and Bass heads might want some heavier cans/headphones instead.
Most earphones have leakage, but like modern pairs, these have a minimal amount. There's also hardly any background noise while you listen. The only negative thing is the price-tag: they're not cheap. I wish I was able to tell you how much I would recommend them for this cost, as I'm sure I would be happy with a cheaper pair, regardless of manufacturer. If money is no object for you, then yes, I'd suggest you check these out. The price is the only reason I can't give these 5 stars, but otherwise they're lovely.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I really love these earphones! Having had cheaper earphones before, I could immediately see and feel the difference when opening these ones. They feel robust and very high quality and they look really good too. They come with a good range of ear buds to accommodate different sized ears and different sound outputs and they also have the useful addition of an airline adapter which isn't of huge importance to me...but is certainly a nice added extra and will come in very handy for some people.

These earphones have a slider volume control which I have found to work nicely and, unlike others that I've previously had, actually does turn the volume up and down substantially. They also come with a carry case which, if I'm honest, I found a little fiddly to use and so tend not to bother. It's nice to have though if your earphones need protecting.

Overall, I realise that these earphones are quite pricey but the sound quality that they produce is lovely and they really do feel like a quality item that will last.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 26 November 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
These are great. Have a high-end feel right from opening the box. Nice shape and weight and fitted nicely into my ears. A good range of buds in different size/shape/materials should fit most ears. Comes with a very nice quality carry case. The "remote" control device feels solid and works well. Love the jack that can be set at 90 or 180 degrees. And the sound is fantastic too. To be honest, i find all high-end phones pretty similar, maybe I just havent got finely tuned ears and cannot tell subtleties between different phones....but these sound as good as other high-end phones. very happy and recommended.
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