As far back as I can remember I always wanted to have some Sennheiser earphones. Well, we all want to own a product made by the best in their field, don't we? Being a confirmed audiophile and not quite having the money for Bose or B&O, Sennheiser have always been the object of my desire.
I got a pair of Sennheiser headphones a few years ago when I finally got sick of my Sony Bass Boosters repeatedly falling apart on me, and in some ways it was an incredible decision. Just maybe not for the right reasons. After a few months I reverted back to my Sonys, in part due to my preferring earphones to headphones (I like one ear sound-tracking of my walks) but also due to the loss in volume.
Comparing the CX 980i and my Sony Bass Boosters may, on first glance, appear unfair to the Sonys: However, I find that on the whole I still prefer the £20 pair to the £150. This is for two primary reasons...
1. I have literally no use for the microphone. I may have an iPhone, but I always prefer holding the phone to my head, if only to reduce the likelihood that passers by think I'm just talking to myself. I can see how for many others who may use Bluetooth headsets and the like, having a pair of expertly crafted earphones doubling up as their primary communication tool may appear attractive, but unfortunately it's not for me.
2. I like bass. These do not like bass. Again, I recognise that this is purely personal preference, but I find that songs appear much flatter than I am used to, lacking depth until I fiddle about with my iPhone's EQ settings, something I rarely enjoy doing. The audio fidelity of the earphones is, on the whole, phenomenal, and music can be amplified to the limits without experiencing (too much) distortion: However, these are more suited to music that was supposed to be heard flat, rather than have some life injected into them.
The earphones are beautiful. The metallic mic/iPhone controller feels very classy, but dangles or clips on slightly annoyingly. Above all you get to be wearing Sennheiser but, for me, this simply doesn't cut it, especially when I could enjoy better audio quality from my Sonys, use them to death, then replace them 7-times over before I've even touched the cost of these earphones. Cheapskate? Well I never!
So, in conclusion, if you have use for a mic and listen to folk almost exclusively, these are the earphones for you. If not, stay clear and buy yourself something else.