Finally, a good earphone for sweaty runners
I have been on a quest for a new pair of earphones for weeks. I have spent countless hours reading hundreds of reviews on various models. My main criteria (in order of importance) were: 1) Don't fall out when doing strenuous exercise like running, 2) Won't cease functioning or experience a decrease in functionality due to sweating (I sweat profusely when exercising, e.g., my clothes are normally drenched after an hour of cardio), 3) Comfort, 4) Price, 5) Sound quality, and 6) Appearance/Style.
Based on all that I read, I decided that the new Adidas-branded Sports line from Sennheiser might be the best option for me, so I splurged, got the CX680 at a big box store, and decided to test them since I knew I could return them for a full refund within 30 days if not satisfied. If I liked them I knew I could purchase online for 25-30% less. Note that I prefer the in-ear design, but was also considering the neckband design of the PMX680 as an alternate. However, I was hoping to find one pair that I could use for cardio, weightlifting, leisure, and travel.
First, I will explain what comes in the package. You get:
(1) SYMMETRICAL earphones with a 30" cord and a straight jack
(2) a 24" extender with a volume control on one end and an "L" jack on the other
(3) a Velcro carrying pouch
(4) 3 sets (S,M,L) of earfins, 1 set of M covers w/o fins, and 3 sets (S,M,L) of earbud covers
(5) a clip
(6) a cleaning tool
My assessment of each of these components:
(1) Short Cord: Used w/o the extender, the earphones are best worn using an armband (either arm is fine due to the symmetrical cord) with the cord clipped to the shirt on whatever side the armband is to reduce tension on the opposite side earbud. I ran for 1.5 hours last night with the cord clipped this way to the collar of a T-shirt. It stayed in place the entire time and was completely unobtrusive.
(2) Extender: The volume control is very light and can be clipped to the band of your shorts w/o adding noticeable weight. With my iPod Nano clipped to one side, the volume control on the other, and the cord beneath my shirt, there was some cord slack (I'm 5'8"), but the movement was not excessive and not disruptive. The wheel of the volume control has a slight resistance to it so that you won't mistakenly blast out your eardrums while adjusting it.
(3) Pouch: The pouch is good quality and roomy enough to hold the earbuds and a small music player. However, the cords do tend to become entangled easily.
(4) Earbuds/Earfins: With some trial and error I was able to find the right combination of fin and earbud that fit comfortably and didn't fall out with movement or sweat. I've had more difficulty finding the correct fit for my L ear, but even during a 1.5 hour run I only had to adjust the bud once b/c the fin had moved (Note that the earbud itself was still firmly sealed).
(5) Clip: As mentioned above, the clip work great when attached to a collar and probably would also with a hem. I tried to use it in the middle of my shirt and it simply fell off. There's a groove on the top that seemingly is supposed to hold the wire but it does not; you simply have to clip the wire along with the clothing.
(6) I have yet to use the cleaning tool.
Now on to how the CX680 ranks using my criteria.
(1) Fit & Staying Power, 5/5: These things stay put. I've had the stock earbuds which do not fit my ears well, fall out with movement or sweat, and sound crappy. I would imag
Awesome for cycling/walking
Fed up with earphones that fall out of my ears while riding my bike (my main passion in life) or constantly needing to be fiddled with to keep them in the "sweet spot" so I can hear the music/audio book I found myself again looking for a new set of MP3 earphones...
I stumbled across a review for these somewhere on the net by someone else who wanted the same things from a set of headphones I did.
First things first though, these are headphones and because of the nature of the product and different users they ARE NOT going to be a perfect fit for everyone. For some people this system is not going to work or might not be comfortable, remember though the same goes for any system that is designed to interface with the endless differences between humans. The extra piece that slots in-ear takes a little getting used too but if it is comfortable for you and you get the nack then they are indeed awesome.
Now that has been said, if they do fit, oh yeah baby!!!! Gone are the days I have to take a hand of my handlebars to replace an earphone as yet again, only 20 seconds after having just done it, it had fallen out again. Pop these in, get them comfortable and positioned right and then just enjoy your chosen audio. Granted on windy days or when some truck has just blown past me doing 60mph I might have to place a finger to an earpiece to just push it back into the sweet spot, though that hardly compares with having to try and play "hunt the earphone after it's fallen out of your ear" and you are doing 30mph in traffic.
I must confess, I use a second wire clip taken from an old mobile phone hands free kit to secure the one side of the headphones and use the one supplied to secure the other (Routing the cable underneath my shirt and keeping my MP3 player in the back cargo pockets of my cycling shirt witht he headphone cable positioned around the back of my head rather than dangling at the front) why they only supply you with one always baffles me.
Audio quality is not the best/not the worst. I find they are a touch bass heavy for my tastes but I can live with it and have had worse.
Enough praise, time for the bad points and they are few. Lack of colour choice, lime green is not my favourite colour by any stretch of the imagination however I can live with it and it does stand out enough that motorists notice I have earphones in so maybe pay a bit more care when near me (The fact I probably spotted them long before they saw me is neither here nor there.) ;) They are harldy subtle and this could put off people in their droves I guess.
Longevity, due to the nature of what I do with these headphones (3 hour upwards road rides several times a week for a start) and the claim they are sport phones meant to be able to get a soaking in sweat and be rinsed off after I hold my judgement on this, as the actual speaker area looks a tad flimsy for such bold claims and I really do wonder how long before rust from a constant application of sweat and water starts to form and eventually be the cause of death of these headphones. As far as I am concerned so long as a reasonable time passes from buying them to them going terminal I will buy them again as they are not so expensive you have to sell a loved one or part with internal organs and they do perform far and beyond any other headphones for the purpose I use them for so unless another alternative with the same skillset these have shows up at a price that is right I'd be happy to stick with these.
The MX75 headphones are fantastic value for money. With a clever little extension at the top of the bud, they fit perfectly into your ears. You also get a choice of ear fittings, and comfort pads for the extension, which just make using the headphones a real pleasure.
I felt the extension takes a while to get used to, as the first day or two left my ears with a very small pain, but it was well worth it for the long term comfort! It would also have helped had I swapped the pads before I wore them the first time!
You get a whole load of accessories in the box; 2 different ear fittings, 3 different size pads, a carry case and a clip!
The sound is quite good, a little better than I was expecting. Having opened the packaging and seen everything that's included, it really is very good value for money!
The lime green cord may not be to everyones taste (i would have preferred orange!), but I feel it's a small price to pay to get a really good, reliable set of headphones.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
These headphones won't suit everyone
I was looking for headphones which would stay in my ears comfortably when walking my dogs. Ordinary headphones don't seem to stay in my ears for any length of time so I thought that these might be suitable as they have a special 'twist' action which is supposed to fix the headphones in the ear canal securely. The reviews I read were varied - people seems to love them or loathe them.
They are certainly good quality - the sound is better than the average headphone which comes with an mp3 player. However, for me, the special fit just didn't seem to work. I just couldn't get the tight fit that others raved about.
In fairness, I've tried several different types and none seems to suit my ears. I eventually opted for an 'over the ears' pair which are clumsier and not such good quality but stay where I put them.
Despite the fact that I quickly gave up using them, I've rated these as 'good' because of the sound quality and because I think they just didn't work for me but probably would for most other people.
Amazing for the Price
The item itself is fantastic, the quality speaks for itself, almost literally in the case of these headphones. Credit to Sennheiser on that front.
Having owned the MX95 headphones I thought I'd spend a little less and see what the quality was like, and to be honest I would say these are as good, only difference is the lack of an in-line volume control, but that's not missed to be honest.
Would recommend these headphones to anyone, but be warned, as with all headphones, some ears just wont take these headphones, I've had trouble with some phillips headphone designs and my partner can't get these in her ears at all. so be warned.
If they fit you (which is likely cause of a number of different sized ear pieces) they are fantastic