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Sennheiser CX 985 Announcement: Improvements Plus A Lower Price!(With A Question)

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I saw the Sennheiser CX985 product page today...

 

http://www.sennheiserusa.com/private_headphones_earbuds-and-ear-canal-headphones_505422

 

It seems that the tweaked the sound for the better. The housing is now metal alloy. The plug is re-designed. They are including more tips. All this plus a $100 price drop!!! $159.95 List price!!

 

It does seem the CX980 did not sell very well at least here in the US. A very light buzz on Head-fi, very few used ones popping up here or elsewhere, and I never saw any refurb CX 980's listed. Hard to see a Senn improve a product and give a heavy price drop if this was not the case.

 

So, it seems all is well and this could be a product to watch. Good price now, two way plug to please both straight and L fans, sound tuning eartips, good build and warranty etc. But...I still think they may have not thought of everything. This leads to my question.

 

I'm interested in what people think of the volume control. Is this also a reason the previous incarnation might not have sold as well? It would seem the reasons against it outnumber the positives. The reasons some may pose...

 

Aesthetics; some may find it big, bulky, or otherwise unattractive.

 

Durability; it may get caught on things due to it's shape. Get dirt or moisture in it. An extra moving part that may fail.

 

Sound quality; "My IE8, B2, W3, CK10 etc. doesn't have one and that's the way I like it." Some feel they can degrade SQ or will over time. Some fear channel imbalance as well. Seems there has always seemed to be a stigma attached to volume controls.

 

So, even after the improvements, are you still less likely to pick one of these up because of the built in volume control???


Edited by jant71 - 7/25/12 at 3:18pm
post #2 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hmmm....not a post yet. I continue to be intrigued by the lack of interest of this version and the previous incarnation.

 

Most of the other micro-driver phones are well regarded such as the Monster, Yamaha, the JVC FXT & FXD's etc., even the IE800 is using a micro driver. Maybe it's the CX designation? The CX300 and the like aren't held in high esteem so these are in a bad light? The CK5 and CK6 weren't very good either but people don't have a problem with the CK10. CX is the black sheep?

 

Maybe the design by BMW Designworks?  When I heard a new alloy housing, I thought it was a new design more than replacing the plastic housing with a metal alloy one. The long stems maybe? But people seem to buy the CKS77 which is not a low profile earphone. The weight? Monster is popular enough with a few weighty models.

 

I don't know. Might have to ditch the stock tips but I think this is going to be a good phone. We'll see as some samples seem to be starting to float out there. popcorn.gif

post #3 of 20
How about you? What do you think of it?

My preference is against any inline controls. They fail.

Plastic to Metal housing change? Meh, OK.

I think (my opinion only) the reason for low interest may be due to the price, marketing, and the like.

Again, I do not know.

Jim
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

As you might guess, not a fan of the volume control. It makes the Y bigger than it needs to be and I doubt it adds any convenience since I'm fine without it.

 

Based on my CX 870 experience and if they are indeed tuned better or improved in sound they should be worth their price. The street prices will be quite good after a while as well.

 

I missed the first round/rotation of the review sample loaners. I am tempted to pick them up at some point but it would be nice to live with them for a bit first.

 

Some good tidbits of the CX980 popped up here and there. Treble like the DBA-02(sounds good), as good as a SE535(though a different sound; again sounds good). Though I noticed the 870 can be picky with tips and fit changing the signature quite a bit. The 980 could have been picky and maybe a bit tricky to get the optimal performance. Those that like the GR07 and want treble may like it based on how bright and clear the CX870 can be and some of the reports of the 980. Maybe not for the IE8/IE80 crowd. FXD80 vs. CX985 sounds like an interesting future showdown.


Edited by jant71 - 7/26/12 at 5:35pm
post #5 of 20
Apologies for the mini-bump. AVGuide posted the Sennheiser USA press release. Seems the CX 985 (along with the just-announced CX 890i) won't be arriving until "later this fall." That's probably why we haven't seen any impressions of these yet.

As I'm enjoying my OCX 880s, I actually find myself looking forward to the CX 985 more than the Momentum. It seems the price cut that is set for US release also applies to other regions as well, so Sennheiser seems to be aware that the CX 980 was priced too highly. I hope necessary improvements were made (already liking the newly redesigned plug) and these get the attention they deserve.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 

Well the CX 985 seemed to disappear. Samples were supposed to be out like the CX275 which we did get some impressions of. So, rather than relying on others I went and found a pair myself. Some quick pics:

 

 

My first impressions were that they did it again. Yes, Senn lowered the price but first it was going to be a leather case plus a carry pouch, then just the leather case. As you can see only a small drawstring pouch. Take note Senn, for over $150 people want one nice case. A very nice presentation here including the other accessories but the case is not what comes with any other serious $150 these days. That said, I said I would be fine if that is the only place where they cut costs. This seems the case as the phone is mostly metal. A high quality alloy through and through except for the sound bore tube. For those who are curious, the plug is smaller now and is ~3/4" long as a right angle and 1" as a straight plug. Impressed and happy so far outside of the case thing but seems par for the course. MX880 case was MIA, CX870 case also MIA here in the US anyway so I wasn't really that surprised.

 

Sound impressions to come but it is just too early at the moment.

post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jant71 View Post

Well the CX 985 seemed to disappear. Samples were supposed to be out like the CX275 which we did get some impressions of. 

 

 

Just got my sample today! 

post #8 of 20
Looks great, but what's up with that pouch? I'm pretty sure that was the eartip/accessory pouch that came with the CX 980. Where's that lovely case that's featured on their websites?

Anyway, my pair is on a UPS truck as I type this, so only a few more hours until I get to see and listen to these!
.
Edited by kjk1281 - 9/27/12 at 1:06pm
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

A real classy phone. The build seems perfect for the price and very reminiscent of the CK10. The cable is one step down from the cable on the CK10 but the housing are as good, the reliefs are better coming out of the housings, and the plug, Y, an cord slider are better on the CX 985.Phones like this and the CK10 are certainly a world apart from the mostly plastic phones we see. Take a Westone 2 or DDM 2  for example and you just can't hold them in your hand and appreciate them in the same way. Very much like the difference using plastic vs. stainless utensils when you eat.

 

You'll feel it as well soon enough. That case is missed as the pouch is seemingly out of place and beneath them :)

post #10 of 20
Just got them a while back. You're spot on about the build quality. I don't want to say something corny, like the CX 985 is "crafted, not manufactured," but it looks like I just did. tongue.gif It's good to see Sennheiser put a lot of thought into the build and design of an earphone as opposed to using generic housings like they did in the past. The only thing these earphones need now is a better case to keep them safe from life's hazards...

Sound impressions will come a bit later, but I will say that I'll probably avoid the pink tips for the time being. They could put these drivers in a cheaper housing, pack in the pink-bored tips, and label them the CX 777 BASSMEISTER or something.
post #11 of 20

Hi guys,

 

the CX 985 is supposed to come with the new case (as shown in the image below). I suspect there could be a batch error since jant71 and kjk1281 received/bought from an early batch. I'll make some calls and post an update as soon as possible. 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jant71 View Post

 

 

 

My first impressions were that they did it again. Yes, Senn lowered the price but first it was going to be a leather case plus a carry pouch, then just the leather case. As you can see only a small drawstring pouch. Take note Senn, for over $150 people want one nice case. A very nice presentation here including the other accessories but the case is not what comes with any other serious $150 these days. That said, I said I would be fine if that is the only place where they cut costs. This seems the case as the phone is mostly metal. A high quality alloy through and through except for the sound bore tube. For those who are curious, the plug is smaller now and is ~3/4" long as a right angle and 1" as a straight plug. Impressed and happy so far outside of the case thing but seems par for the course. MX880 case was MIA, CX870 case also MIA here in the US anyway so I wasn't really that surprised.

 

Sound impressions to come but it is just too early at the moment.

post #12 of 20
I got the same pouch too. What's the silver thing? It doesn't even have a reference in the manual.
post #13 of 20

Received my pair yesterday.  

 

 

 

post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosmadi Mahmood View Post

Hi guys,

 

the CX 985 is supposed to come with the new case (as shown in the image below). I suspect there could be a batch error since jant71 and kjk1281 received/bought from an early batch. I'll make some calls and post an update as soon as possible. 

 

 

 

Sounds good, Rosmadi. That would complete the package. Then it is right up there with the other highly praised offerings and, as kjk1281 mentioned, help protect them more appropriately.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishcabible View Post

I got the same pouch too. What's the silver thing? It doesn't even have a reference in the manual.

 

This?...

 

 

 

It is a clip. It seems cool that it is metal and has a channel to run the cable through but, since I haven't opened the pouch with the manual yet,  I am actually befuddled by it's operation confused_face_2.gif in my minute or so of playing around with it.

post #15 of 20

Oh wow yeah that'd make a lot of sense.It looks pretty dang cool on the cable. I'll upload pics later.

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