Details: Sennheiser’s aging mid-range model, quite possibly more popular than any other IEM currently in production
Current Price: N/A (discontinued) (MSRP: $49.95)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 16 Ω | Sens: 112 dB | Freq: 18-21k Hz | Cable: 3.3’ L-plug, j-cord
Nozzle Size: 5.5mm | Preferred tips: Stock single flanges
Wear Style: Over-the-ear or straight down
Accessories (1/5) – Silicone single-flange tips (3 sizes)
Build Quality (3/5) – Plasticky housings with rubber strain reliefs all-around. The relief on the 3.5mm L-plug is not molded but at least the cables are rubberized and not too thin
Isolation (3/5) – Very shallow insertion leads to average isolation
Microphonics (2.5/5) – Quite poor when worn cord-down; just passable otherwise
Comfort (4/5) – Short housings with short nozzles mean that deep insertion is difficult with stock tips. J-cord configuration can also make over-the-ear wear awkward
Sound (4.8/10) – The CX300s are known around here mostly for their bass, which is usually cast in a negative light. The low end does offer a whole lot of grunt but lacks in detail and rolls off steeply below 35Hz. There is some mid-range bleed, coloring the sound and obscuring lower-midrange detail. The lack of definition also causes drums to sound ‘hollow’ at times. But there are upsides: compared to a lot of bottom-tier offerings the sound of the CX300s is dimensional and well-spaced. Clarity is quite decent in the rest of the range. The midrange isn’t recessed and the treble boasts decent extension; there’s just not enough of it. The overall balance is very reminiscent of the Lenntek Sonix Micro, with a slightly better sense of space but also poorer bass control. The sound is very pleasant for pop, rap, and soft rock, though it starts deteriorating on fast and dense tracks.
Value (4/10) – The pricing of earphones such as the Lenntek Sonix Micro and the “younger sibling” CX250 render the CX300 somewhat mediocre in today’s crowded marketplace. Their popularity is easy to explain – the powerful bass works well with the dimensionality and clarity of the rest of the range. Plus the CX300s were one of the only IEMs in their price range upon release, building up fame and a loyal following rather quickly. I do think that much of the distaste for the CX300 around the forum is exaggerated – they really aren’t offensive to my ears. But as a whole package, this one is best left to the history books.
Pros: Lightweight and comfortable, decent build quality
Cons: Microphonic, j-corded, lacks bass control and treble presence