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Any Sennheiser CX870 or CX880 impressions?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I recently returned a pair of CX400s to Sennheiser for free replacement under warranty. When I got my confirmation email from Sennheiser, it turned out that they upgraded me to CX880 for free!


But unlike most Sennheiser models, I'm having an extremely difficult time finding any info about the 870 or the 880. There are VERY few references to them on head-fi, and all the "reviews" I can find online are either blatant dummy sites or unreliable amazon.com type consumer reviews.


I know that price isn't everything, but I'm excited about the 880 because so far I've yet to use a pair of Sennheiser IEMs in that $80-100 price range. Should I expect a slight step up from a top budget IEM like the Nuforce NE-6 I'm currently using? I can obviously judge them for myself when they arrive next month, but in the meantime I'm wondering how excited I should be about these.


Thank you for anyone who can help me out! I'm sure some other people will find this info useful in the future, since there are barely any mentions of the 870/880 on this forum.

post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 

It's odd that almost nobody seems to have any experience with these particular models of Sennheiser IEMs.


I'm not going to get my hopes up about these - isn't it usually a bad sign when you can find little to no online information about a particular headphone model over a year after it was released? Or is that common within the first year of a new model's lifespan? I'm starting to wonder if Sennheiser upgraded me to 880s just because the model was a commercial bomb and they wanted to unload them.


The few descriptions I've found all describe the CX870/880 as less bassy and more transparent than the earlier CX models.  So again, if anyone's heard it - are we talking about something similar to the 555s, where the bass is more than adequate but isn't emphasized? Or are these bass light?


Oh crap - where'd this tumbleweed come from?

post #3 of 17

well i've got them.


They're good headphones, nice detail, however they have a large sibilance problem; so much so that i have given up on them and gone back to my metrofi220s.

The bass is very good. it is by no means muddy and it is not overpowering, neither is it lacking. Just perfect ;)

The 880s are prob best for drum 'n' bass. They are excellent with my higher quality tracks, so the sibilance wont affect you if your songs are higher than 300kbps.


I do have some etymotics in the post though ksc75smile.gif



post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

The sibilance gets better with time. I don't think that I'm just adjusting to the sound, since I've barely used these headphones and haven't really had the opportunity to get used to their sound. I also find it unlikely that I'd ever get used to the crazily harsh treble that these things churned out when I first opened them. After I got them, I burned them in with pink noise for 100+ hours and then sort of forgot about them because I could never get a good seal. I checked them out again today after seeing your post, and once I figured out how to get a good seal these actually sound really great.


I'd been trying to get them to seal by inserting them with the cord facing downward, but it would never stay. Today I turned them upside down and cord up, and this way they wedge deep into my ear canals like a biflange tip instead of being held on by suction. The angle and contour of the buds seems to be designed for them to be inserted this way - the angle of the stem goes deep into my ear and leaves a smooth flat surface exposed that makes it easy to press the bud in further. The CX400s definitely had that - the back of the buds had a flat surface right where you'd press it to insert it.


I like the sound of these a lot. There's a ton of treble presence, so everything sounds really crisp and detailed once the sibilance evens out. The mids sound better with a little bit of extra emphasis, but they reproduce guitar texture as good as any headphones I've ever heard. The level of bass is perfect, and you can easily boost it even more without it distorting if you want to keep up with bass-centric genres. The website describes these as more "balanced" sounding, but the bass is still very strong... it's just not intrusive. My Nuforce NE6s can handle heavy bass too, but at the expense of having heavy bass permeating the sound. These can handle equally heavy bass as the Nuforces, but without the other elements of the sound being soaked in bass.


The only real issue is that for some reason they take a ton of power to drive. Before I Rockboxed my Sansa Fuze, a lot of the time it didn't go loud enough to output a satisfactory volume level.


I'd say these are underrated, based on reviews I've read.

Edited by moleface - 7/11/11 at 3:51pm
post #5 of 17
That's interesting.

i burned mine in for about 24hrs and have used them for around 36, so maybe i need to burn them in some more... also, i used music, not pink noise, that may have had an effect on the sibilance. Anyway I'll burn them in a bit more and see if that helps em in a bit more and see if that helps

post #6 of 17

mine arrives next week, CX 880, but I don't understand the difference between the kind of burn! can you tell me the best way to get the best sound for electronic music? especially trance, I always use an equalizer in V, I also listen to classical music.
I will give my opinion as soon as I receive them, but can you tell me if the sound is good or not?

post #7 of 17
you're in luck, my friend. I listen to some trance, a lot of drum n bass and quite a bit of classical, and the cx880s shine throughout all three. DnB is best but there is plenty of detail hiding in there for excellent classical listening. So the 880s were a good pick.

The different noise used in burning in shouldn't make an huge amount of difference, its simply the amount each register us used. Different types of noise cover different frequencies: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colors_of_noise

post #8 of 17

oww perfect, at least I get the opinion of someone listening the same style of music ;) I think I'm going to burn it with pink noise using 40% of volume level... and continue with music...


check this small review of the CX 870, they are the same as CX 880 I think, a small difference is about the mid-range of frequency from 17Hz to 22,5KHz for CX870 and from 17Hz to 23Khz for CX880.




I think they are same as Sennheiser CX 880i and OCX 880...


and sorry for my english, it's my third language...

Edited by Godric - 7/17/11 at 1:47am
post #9 of 17

guys, I recieved mine last week, and I can say that they are excellent and they worth what you payed :D


first, I have Samsung P2 as MP3 player, it have one of the best sound ever comparing to other MP3 players, better than iPod or iTouch, look here : http://anythingbutipod.com/2007/11/samsung-yp-p2-review/
I use it's original headphone Samsung EP-370 which are equivalent to 40€ headphones according to reviews
before I tryed my CX880 I listened to music with my old EP-370 for 3 minutes and after that I tryed my CX880 and I was amazed by sound quality, specially bass, I was a little disappointed with the treble and midrange but after small settings of equalizer the sound quality has improved... this was the first use after unboxing.
I think I've done 80 hours of burning, 72 hours using pink sound and maybe less than 8h listening music, I used my Samsung P2, Nokia C5-00 and Samsung Galaxy Spica, the sound become PERFECT after 3 days of burning, I reduced the level of bass, treble and midrange are made perfect, I adore the sound, the sound is clear and you can hear every detail, I tested them with different type of musics, I think I'm going to burn them more.
I must warn you that you must wear them very well to enjoy the quality of these headphones.
I think they are solid, well assembled, look perfect, they are smaller than I though, light, contrary to what others say, the volume controler is light, well designed and util.
the case is good, well designed and made to put inside accessories and the cable well wrapped around, in final, you get the two ears, volume controller and the jack inside the case, without accessories :p (I think you don't need to take all accessories everywhere).
the only problem is when you move the cable is conductive of vibration to the ear, that's all.
it was my opinion, I didn't use them outside or in public transport yet, but think they are excellent.
sorry for my english :)

Edited by Godric - 8/28/11 at 2:34pm
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

More thoughts about these - I was under the impression that the sibilance went away due to burn in, but I think a lot of the issue was the fit. I took these out again today to compare them to my new Nuforce NE-700Xs, and found that they still sound overly trebly if they're resting shallowly in my ear. Even if they create an airtight seal, they still sound harsh and sibilant that way. The only way I've been able to get satisfactory sound is by wearing them over-the-ear style, like I mentioned in my previous post. They sound excellent like that - between my Nuforce NE-700X and the Sennheiser 880s, I'm surprised that I actually prefer the 880s. I guess that makes sense, since they're supposed to cost a lot more - but based on all the mediocre reviews I've read, I was expecting the opposite.


I'm wondering why this model got such poor reviews. confused_face%281%29.gif The power requirements are definitely steep on these, and the volume knob tends to put L and R out of balance if you turn it the wrong way. Aside from those issues, these are great. I think anyone who gets these from Sennheiser as a free upgrade under warranty like I did will find themselves pleasantly surprised. In my admittedly amateur opinion, these are vastly underrated. Definitely leaps and bounds above the CX400s I traded them for.

post #11 of 17

Yes, i got some Etymotic HF5's, using the triple-flanged buds, and the seal is now far too shallow for me to be comfortable using, leading to greatly increased sibilance across nearly all genres.



post #12 of 17

I just got a pair of Sennheiser CX 870s.  In the packaging were the earphones, a cleaning tool and small and large rubber buds in addition to the medium ones on the earphones.  The box says that it should also include 'diaphragm guards'.  I cannot see them anywhere.  I'm not sure what they even look like, or what they are for.  Any help?

Edited by Jason404 - 11/24/11 at 4:14pm
post #13 of 17

Theyre little grey foam cylinders.

Edited by Triple X - 8/7/13 at 2:02am
post #14 of 17

I am actually looking forward to picking up the CX 870 this weekend.  Ever since i caught this audiophile bug due to a friend opening my ears to the world of HI-FI audio. I went from HD-201's (which at first I thought were AMAZING! but now realize they fall short of what I want in my rig) to adding a FIIO E-6 Amp, to picking up a pair of Accutone Gemini's and now for my current set I am using the CX-215's paired with a FIIO E-11 using the digital out from the iPhone 4S for my portable setup to use at work.


Now realizing there is another world when it comes to portable amp types it really isn't making a huge difference the fact that I am going digital out on the iPhone (Even though I am converting my FLAC's to ALAC) so my next setup is going to be the FIIO E-10 DAC amp paired with hopefully this weekend the CX870's.


I know they are not IE8's but for my work environment it should fit the bill just fine. Planning on scoring some HD-600's for home use!


In Short Thanks for the review on these!! Cant wait to own them as well!

post #15 of 17

Well I just got them! (CX870's)


Was very tough call at first glance if it was worth the price difference between the CX-215 and these. The original buds would not grant me a complete seal and I was NOT impressed at my first sound. I had an immediate lack of "umph", High's were incredibly harsh..


So as I am in the cab on my way home trying to tweak my FIIO E11 amp to see if it could make something happen with these headphones, I changed the tips with the large sized tips that came in the package and I discovered that even if I push these buds in to far it breaks the seal and makes it sound like garbage.. 


Once I finally got a perfect seal it was like I just died and went to heaven. Nice clear crisp tones, I have not heard any mud as of yet and I am very impressed by these. I am no "professional" audiophile by any means, but I think I have found a dream set for my work environment.



All in all, solid buy for the price IF you can get a tight seal.

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