We're always banging on about how you really need to buy a pair of earphones instead of relying on the tat that comes with your MP3 player. Sennheiser's CX 300s were particularly good value at £30 -- they're not the best quality in-ear 'phones on the market, but they're a damn sight better than the bundled rubbish. Of course, they, like most earphones, are designed for mainstream players with standard 3.5mm jacks. Now, with a new 2.5mm model, smart phone users can enjoy them too.
In-ear headphones are not for the faint-hearted and getting the right fit can take some practice. Without a tight seal inside your ear canal, bass quality is likely to be sacrificed and your chances of blocking outside noise greatly diminished.
To combat this (and unlike other manufacturers) Sennheiser understands that the 'one size fits all' theory doesn't necessarily apply to ears and has kindly supplied three sizes of ear tips. This also means they're surprising comfortable to wear (for most ears) and the sound quality they produce is relatively good.
We found that we could effectively block out our colleagues' painfully loud voices -- handy on the morning after the night before. Given the £30 price tag, the Sennheiser CX 300 earphones are also very good value compared to other high-tech headphones currently available on the market and definitely worth a look if you want to get the most out of your phone's MP3 player. -Alia Kheir