Sennheiser MX Series
- Low cost, good sound considering price
- Some come with short cables, can slip out of place at times
If you're looking for a cheap but effective alternative to your stock MP3 player ear buds, then Sennheiser's MX series offers a lot of good choices. They don't provide the best quality audio around, but they are a noticeable improvement over default iPod ear buds.
Price$ None (AUD)
One of the giants of the headphone world, Sennheiser has carved a niche for itself by consistently providing high quality audio products. We recently received a few samples of their new MX line-up of headphones, which includes seven models in total. We received the MX760, MX560, MX460 and MX360 all of which are ear buds. They are Sennheiser's entry-level option and are a great buy for people looking for an affordable replacement for their iPod or other stock headphones.
With these headphones, you aren't going to get incredible sound quality. That said, all the units we tested provide a very noticeable increase in quality over basically all stock ear buds packaged with MP3 players these days. Including cheap ear buds is one of the best ways to reduce the overall cost of a portable media player, and as a result, purchasing a third-party pair such as these is an incredibly cost efficient way of improving your listening experience.
The sound tended to be quite balanced, although ear buds typically struggle to produce really powerful bass and these units were no exception. It isn't that the bass is weak necessarily, but it doesn't have much presence which leaves the sound a little flat.
There is great detail in the mid range, however, and the highs were reached nicely although, as they aren't well balanced by strong bass, they exhibit a slightly tinny tone. The soundstage is fairly poor, but again this didn't surprise us. As you move your way up the chain of models they gradually begin to sound a little better, and with headphones it really is a case of 'you get what you pay for'.
You should also note that the sound you get from ear buds is very dependent on how well they sit in your ear. We found these models typically took a bit of wiggling to get comfortable, but they fitted quite well once that was done.
In general they were quite comfortable, although they did tend to slip out of place a little too much. If you're looking for headphones to use while exercising we'd recommend an IEM (In Ear Monitor) or over-the-ear model.
The units in this range come with varying cord lengths; some are intended to simply attach to a tiny MP3 player and let it dangle, or rest in your top pocket, while others are longer and useful for a unit that will be carried in your bag or pants pocket.
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