Sennheiser CX 280 full review

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we reckon the Sennheisers are the most visually appealing headphones here. We’re talking a simple design, with lots of neat touches.

The backs of the earpieces look like polished, shiny black eyeballs, while the nicely sized volume control and the splitter/divider piece on the cable share an ‘angled slice’ theme. It’s a shame that the slider doesn’t control the volume of the iPhone, however, instead acting as a variable mute on the sound that comes through it.

Sound quality was less impressive, unfortunately. Although these budget models will do for most occasions – only on bass-heavy dance music was the lack of power truly exposed – you can definitely hear that low price tag.

Classical piano was okay, although it lacked richness compared to costlier models in this group test. (And to make a fairer comparison with a similarly priced product, the Logitech 3090vi set were neither as flat nor as synthetic-sounding.)

The CX 280s look great, but lack punch when it comes to sound quality

Prog rock came out a touch trebly, and with a noticeable lack of warmth. Female-led pop was better – indeed, the vocalist sounded far clearer than the weedy bass in the background, or the now-flattened harpsichord she was playing.

If bassy disco or dance is your thing, these probably aren’t the headphones you’re looking for. Our disco sample had no kick to it, and the bass drum lost so much weight that it sounded like another instrument entirely – a splashy cymbal, perhaps, rather than the heavy impact we were looking for.

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