Sennheiser CX 890i review

The Sennheiser CX 890i are stylish in-ears with an acceptable price tag

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Rugged build

  • +

    Cool design

  • +

    Big remote

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Cable doesn't feel premium

  • -

    A tad pricey for what they are

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The Sennheiser CX 890i are stylish in-ears headphones that don't cost the earth. But are they the perfect replacement earphones? Let's find out...

You've got a new iPhone 5 or Android smartphone and found the Apple EarPods to be sadly lacking? It's a common story - the Sennheiser CX 890is have been designed with the smartphone user in mind. They look like a better match for your iPhone than Apple's own headphones...

Sennheiser CX 890i: Design

The ball design means these headphones feel like holding a pair of Maltesers but the pay-off is that they're very rugged - there's no signs of stress when you squeeze them.

The buds are lightweight and actually sit well in the ear - they're small enough not to protrude, meaning they aren't going to fall out easily. The cable features a sizable silver remote which, while eye-catching, works brilliantly thanks to the chunky, easy buttons.

Sennheiser CX 890i: Comfort

The ball design comes with several earbuds, designed for various ear sizes - get the right one and you'll be happy. The earbuds themselves are black rubber, which are soft and lightweight. They don't offer the complete seal of sponge or fabric-based buds but the comfort is worthwhile and the design ultimately means you get more of the sound without any muffled bass.

Sennheiser CX 890i: Durability

The cable is standard headphone quality but the headphones themselves are rock solid and the inline remote is strong too. The dinky rigid carry case is harder than necessary - a soft wallet would suffice - but there's no doubt the CX 890is are designed for tough work and play scenarios.

In terms of rivals, only dedicated 'rugged' headphones can beat the CX 890is - like the Klipsch S4i Rugged headphones.

Sennheiser CX 890i: Sound quality

Sennheiser always make balance headphones and these are no different. There's bass when needed but it doesn't smother everything - detail and a wide soundstage make for a great stereo sound. Playing Milkshake by Kelis, the CX 890is party hard and soft, acoustic Alanis Morissette tracks reveal all the sonic detail if you're prepared to turn them up.

There's little leakage so you can feel happy doing that on the bus too - we played Foo Fighters and the CX 890is definitely showed a talent with rock that few rivals can match for the money. If pop and rock are your main interest, these headphones are great all-rounders.

Sennheiser CX 890i: Verdict

Tough, balanced and eye-catching, the CX 890is are a worthwhile investment that can be used at home or on-the-go with no drop in sound quality or annoying noise leakage. They're expensive but great value and ideal for anyone who listens to much of their music collection on-the-go.

Sennheiser CX 890i release date: out now

Sennheiser CX 890i price: £119