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Ears-on with the Sennheiser CX 500 earphones

As an upgrade from the bundled earphones you got with your MP3 player, Sennheiser's new CX 500 earphones look like an excellent choice

If yesterday's Sennheiser's sporty new CX 95 earphones didn't take your fancy, perhaps a more conventional incarnation will tickle you in the right places. We're looking today at the CX 500 model -- another sound-isolating pair in the CX series. These hover around the £45 mark depending on where you shop, and offer isolation by using silicon earphone tips, as most do.

These 'phones sit deeper in the ear canal than the CX 95s, and are much more akin to the popular CX 300s. You're given a whole bunch of differently sized tips to ensure you get the snuggest fit, and thanks to their small shape and unobtrusive design, they're extremely comfortable. There's also an in-line volume control.

But sound quality is what we're really looking for and although they're definitely an improvement over Sennheiser's next model down -- the CX 400s -- they're noticeably inferior to the CX 95s, which can be found for only marginally more money. True, these are a little more casual and their sound quality is still excellent, but we feel the 95s are even better value for money considering their audio performance.

What you're getting for your moolah with the CX 500s is a generally balanced sound, with great sound-isolation, excellent mids, good bass but nothing outstanding in the high-end. That's not to say they're not clear, but it's the area that shows they're a sub-£70 model. This just means they don't offer as wide a sound as slightly more costly models. That said, they're ten times better than most earphones you'll get with your MP3 player and as such are a great upgrade, especially if you're just starting out in the earphone world.

Our full review will be with you shortly, but the Sennheiser CX 500s are on sale now if you just can't wait. -Nate Lanxon

Update: Read our full Sennheiser CX 500 review.