Not to be overshadowed amongst the cameras, tablets and “phablets” unveiled at this year’s IFA, German audio technology vendor Sennheiser has stepped up to the plate and unveiled three new earphone designs: the CX 890i, CX 985 and MX 985. The CX 890i headset sports a glass-like finish and metal detailing in a clear bid to catch the eye of audiophiles who like their music hardware on the minimalist side, while the CX 985 and MX 985 feature a less unusual but still rather striking metal alloy finish.
The CX 890i phones come in either black or white with matching cable, and the glass finish all but shouts “expensive” - as befits a high-quality set of 'buds which cost EUR €129 (US $161). Happily, the internals appear to match this high standard and the CX 890i boasts high-performance dynamic transducers and passive noise attenuation to help you ignore the outside world, in addition to a remote control and microphone which enables iPad, iPhone and iPod users to adjust volume levels, select tracks and take phone calls. Sennheiser rates the frequency range of the CX 890i phones as between 17 and 23,000 hertz (Hz).
The EUR €139 (US $173) CX 985 phones are the priciest of the three new earphones and supplant Sennheiser's existing CX 980 model, improving upon that design with a re-tuned dynamic transducer which the company reckons to produce an even better listening experience than before. As well as improved audio fidelity, the metal alloy-constructed CX 985 phones feature a slimmed-down volume slider and standard sized 3.5 mm phone jack which rotates through an entire 90 degrees in order to offer an always optimal connection. Sennheiser gives the frequency range of the CX 985 as between 16 and 24,000 Hz.
Of the three, the MX 985 phones are tailored to suit a slightly lower budget at EUR €109 (US $136) and thus received the least emphasis from Sennheiser at IFA. That said, the MX 985 looks to be in the same audio league as the other two models and is also constructed from metal alloy, with a frequency range of between 16 and 23,000 Hz.