It's true that you can spend hundreds of pounds on earphones -- such ass -- but whether or not it's worth doing depends on your needs.
If you're looking for a decent upgrade without spending piles of cash, you could get away with spending £30-50 on a pair that may suit you down to the proverbial ground. Sennheiser's sound-isolating CX 400 earphones are in such a bracket. At £39 they're by no means extortionately priced, but is it worth paying even a little more? We decided to find out.
For less than the price of a single top title videogame, you're getting a complete package with the CX 400s. In the box is a range of differently-sized silicon tips (these are the passive sound-isolators), gold-plated connectors on both the 1m extension cable and the earphones themselves, a snazzy cable clip and a good-looking carry pouch. Few earphones in this price range come with this sort of accessory bundle.
But it's not just high-quality extras we're impressed with -- the lightweight and attractive earphone enclosures are comfortable and unintrusive, and of course the range of silicon tips provided let you pick the size most comfortable for you. This is important as well for bass performance, since the cosiest fit will enhance that deep bass and those pounding kick drums. Isolation will make a massive difference on the commute, too, with rumbles, whispers and sneezes deadened to almost inaudibility.