Thursday, 13 December 2012

Sennheiser CX985 Quick Review

Sennheiser CX985 Quick Review

Thanks to Sennheiser for the sample

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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