Active types who don’t like to stray too far from their favourite gadgets are spoilt for choice these days in terms of ruggedised, hard-wearing technology. If you’re the type to spend a bit of money on a decent set of earphones, you certainly wouldn’t want them wasting away before their time.
Sennheiser’s Sports Line is aimed squarely at this market, with the CX 380 Sport II at the top end of its in-ear designs. A rather radical neon-orange colour scheme won’t co-ordinate too well with your Sunday best, but should fit in nicely with extreme sportswear.
Supplied in the package are three sets of soft silicone tips, which are sweat-resistant to prevent them perishing, a rubber carry case with an easy-open magnetic clasp and a clip to keep the lengthy 1.5m cable from getting inadvertently hooked around nearby objects while you’re flailing about.
These earphones also waterproof and can be washed under running water to clean away grime, plus they’re temperature resistant to minus 10 degrees C and are designed to fit securely to prevent them falling out.
Sennheiser has jumped through a fair few hoops to make sure these things will last and generally we were quite pleased by the design. It’d be nit-picking somewhat to suggest that the rather thin rubberised cable may not fare too well against damage if it gets caught, which is certainly possible given its length, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to keep the excess tucked away.
We were certainly impressed by how securely the CX 380 Sport II fitted into the ear, being light and well-balanced enough to stay firmly in place during frenetic activity. They do a fair job of eliminating background noise and are certainly capable in terms of audio performance. Despite us being a little disappointed by the lack of thumping bass, they are well-rounded and made light work of whatever style of music we threw at them. Mid- and high-tones were clean and distinct and even at high volumes the earphones coped admirably well.
Those who think £50 is too much to pay for a set of earphones will still find value in some of the other models in the range, which start from £25 and offer a similar fit and level of protection. As far as all-round performance goes, though, we think sporty types with an ear for clarity will be impressed by the CX 380 II and consider them well worth the money.
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