Audio Technica ATH-CM5 - Earbuds are really not that bad
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Ticky

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Yes, I've committed Hi-FI heresy by secretly purchasing some earbuds, namely the Audio Technica ATH-CM5. The reason? I'm sick of microphonics, cleaniness concerns and all the extra cable dangling around (I use an external remote with my PCDP and PMD). Because of the hassle, I hardly ever listen to music when I commute, workout or just out and about. Hi-Fi just got in the way of simple music enjoyment.

So, in came the Audio Technica ATH-CM5. I was prepared for a major drop in music quality, but surprise, surprise. Folks, earbuds ain't really that bad. Well, at least the Audio Technica ones aren't.

For one thing, the CM5 does a pretty good job with the midrange. No harshness here. There is a touch of mid-bass hump. Norah Jones sounded a touch boomy on some portions. But the end product is not bad at all. Very listenable.

Overall sound gives a hint of hardness. But once again, it doesn't get in the way of music enjoyment, especially if you are out-and-about and aren't scrutinizing the music like a die-hard audiophile geek.

Bass is a touch thin sometimes, but this might vary with the shape of your ears. On my ears, the buds don't seem to fit perfectly (it fits ok). But, this might also be an isolation issue. When I cup my hands around my ears - thereby manually sealing off outside noise - the buds sounded much fuller.

I wish I could compare the CM5 to other earbuds in around the same price category ($50). But, having given up earbuds for such a long time, I'm really surprised by how decent these little things can sound.

What do other folks with earbuds think about these little things?

BTW - I've heard my friend's ipod buds. Yuck!!! (I forced my friend to get the Etys-ER6 on the spot
) The CM5 is light years better.
 
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bln

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i had them briefly. sounded okay, didn't fit in my ears too well. plus i didn't like the 'stick' design, felt weird and made it look like i was wearing earrings. another thing i'm not a fan of is the behind-the-neck style cord. it looks weird however you wear it -- most people i see wear it in the 'chinstrap' manner.
 
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Ticky

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The isolation is not too great. I doubt it would do a better job than the MX500. Fit might be an issue. Like most earbuds, the CM5 "sits" on the soft cartilege of your ears' pinna, just right outside the ear canal. How close the drivers rests to the ear canal will affect the sound and comfort.

On my ears the CM5 sits a tad loosely, contributing to some bass loss. I hope to get some of the Ratshack foams to "tighten" up the fit a bit more. That should improve the fit and performance by a touch.
 
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