Sennheiser CX 100 great performance when EQ'd
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I've been testing a lot of cheap earphones with EqualizerAPO's 31-band EQ and while I loved using the highly recommended Panasonic RP-TCM125's I decided to step up the budget a bit to get back the Sennheiser CX form factor that I loved from my high school years with the CX 300's which made for a very comfortable side sleeping. The Sennheiser CX 100 is what I chose and I'm happy to say that the detail and sound stage on these drivers are truly excellent when EQ'd, and close to my Etyomotic ER4P's. It took me a while to get the EQ right but the following is very close to what will end up being my ideal curve (which incidentally ends up sounding very close to the stock ER4Ps in both response and detail):

Note that this EqualizerAPO EQ profile was made with the large ear tips I took from my Panasonics as they fit better than the Sennheiser large and XL tips, and audio coming from a standard laptop Realtek output. My Fiio K1 is slightly warmer than the Realtek.

I will also update when I feel like I either needed to change my EQ due to burn in or any sound change or due to just achieving a better EQ. The second iteration I'm using is a bit less bright in the upper treble and a bit warmer in the bass and lower mid-range. I made the changes from the first iteration due to me realizing the upper treble was too forward for cymbals and also possibly a bit of burn in. The third iteration brings up a few parts of the treble that were slightly too veiled in the second iteration. The overall sound is still very neutral but slightly dark-leaning. The picture is of the first iteration but generally representative of later iterations.

Update 10/2020: As I'm continuing to work on the EQ I'm noticing more clearly either further changes in the sound, or the faults in the original EQ that I may have missed. As a result, I have added to most of the lower bass, taken away from the mid range, and added a tad to parts of the treble (specifically around 2KHz). The changes sound very promising, but I don't intend on posting a fourth iteration until I'm sure burn in has finished. Current listening time is at least 100 hours.

3rd iteration (50+ hours, current):
GraphicEQ: 20 -13.4; 25 -13.4; 31.5 -13.4; 40 -13.1; 50 -13.1; 63 -12.8; 80 -12.5; 100 -11.8; 125 -11.2; 160 -10.6; 200 -8.6; 250 -5.1; 315 -2.9; 400 -1.3; 500 -0.3; 630 0; 800 -0.7; 1000 -0.01; 1250 -0.1; 1600 -0.4; 2000 -1.3; 2500 -3.3; 3150 -5.8; 4000 -6.4; 5000 -5.1; 6300 -2.6; 8000 -5.1; 10000 -6.4; 12500 -7.7; 16000 -8.6; 20000 -8.6
2nd iteration (20+ hours):
GraphicEQ: 20 -13.4; 25 -13.4; 31.5 -13.4; 40 -13.1; 50 -13.1; 63 -12.8; 80 -12.5; 100 -11.8; 125 -11.2; 160 -10.6; 200 -8.6; 250 -5.1; 315 -2.9; 400 -1.3; 500 -0.3; 630 0; 800 -0.7; 1000 -0.01; 1250 -0.1; 1600 -0.4; 2000 -1.3; 2500 -3.3; 3150 -7.1; 4000 -8.1; 5000 -6.1; 6300 -2.9; 8000 -6.4; 10000 -6.4; 12500 -7.7; 16000 -8.6; 20000 -8.6
1st iteration (5 hours, original):
GraphicEQ: 20 -14.8; 25 -14.8; 31.5 -14.5; 40 -14.1; 50 -14.5; 63 -14.1; 80 -14.5; 100 -13.5; 125 -12.5; 160 -10.6; 200 -8.3; 250 -5.8; 315 -3.8; 400 -1.9; 500 -0.3; 630 0; 800 -0.7; 1000 -0.01; 1250 -0.1; 1600 -0.4; 2000 -1.3; 2500 -3.3; 3150 -7.1; 4000 -8.1; 5000 -6.1; 6300 -2.9; 8000 -6.4; 10000 -6.4; 12500 -6.7; 16000 -6.7; 20000 -7.4
cx100EqualizerAPO.PNG


If anyone is in the same boat looking for sleeping comfort + good EQ results for a good price I really recommend the CX 100s. The downsides are slightly thin cable and no mic, and the large tips may be slightly too small and XL tips slightly too large for you. I also had an issue where after coming back to use the earphones, the right channel had lost a few dBs volume for no apparent reason and it seems like it becomes more of a problem the longer my current usage session is. Removing and re-inserting the earphones or sucking out/in the main grill or the small port hole resolved this, but they always seem to "reset" to normal after being left alone for a few hours. I had a similar problem with the Hifiman RE-400's channels losing volume and causing imbalance as a result. I'm not sure if it's an issue with port blockage or like a driver diaphragm positioning thing caused by air pressure or air humidity when removing/inserting the earphones but at least it can be fixed. Stock performance is somewhat acceptable but as with most earphones, ear-ringingly bassy.
 
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