Sennheiser CX 95 Style Canalphones - Sennheiser CX 95 Style

By Jonathan Bray



  • Recommended by TR
Sennheiser CX 95 Style Canalphones


Our Score:


The protective sleeves at the plug and earpiece ends, at least, are better made - and I like the fact that the plug at the end of the extension cable is a right-angled one. It means that it's a lot easier to slip your player into a pocket without catching the cabling. And there's further compensation for the flimsy cable: the earpieces have slightly angled tails, which means the cables hang vertically from them without straining against the sleeves; and the CX 95's smart matte gold and black paint job is lovely to behold - in an understated sort of way.

But all of these considerations take a back seat when you hook these things up and start listening in earnest. I place great stall on first impressions with headphones and my immediate reaction on plugging in the CX 95's and listening to the opening track from Newton Faulkner's recent album, Handbuilt By Robots, was "wow".

The presentation was full of zingy detail and warm mid-range coupled with defined bass. The quiet atmospheric acoustic guitar was rendered perfectly: I could clearly hear the faint zip of fingers sliding on strings, the rattle and buzz of those strings as they came into contact with the fretboard and the hollow knocking of Faulkner's knuckles as they beat the rhythm out on the front of his guitar. And as the pure sound of the acoustic guitars gave way to vocals and a bigger band sound, the CX 95's coped superbly, with a balanced mid-range - vocals and studio instruments were all easy to pick out - and bass notes that thumped out with wonderful power and definition.

With some headphones you turn up the volume to try and hear more detail; with the CX 95's I was turning up the volume for the hell of it - because I was enjoying the music so much. They're clearly a significant step up from the company's excellent CX 400's - and anything else in this price range for that matter.

Next, I fired up some more relaxed jazz to test the CX 95's ability to render voices and live music, and was just as impressed. Diana Krall's smoky vocals wrap you up in their sensual silkiness yet consonants and sibilants retain an edge, and when her piano playing kicks in, the notes ring out effortlessly with purity and clarity that's hard not to love.

For something a bit more energetic, I turned to the opening track from Biffy Clyro's magnificent Puzzle album - a perfect way to test power and control - and again was not left wanting. The CX 95's balance comes through yet again: the music has power and drive without sounding woolly, muddy or ill-defined.


January 12, 2009, 10:45 pm

These lasted me 7 months (May 08 to Jan 09) before the left earphone died. Not bad sound quality though.


March 10, 2009, 10:00 pm

My left earphone just died as well!

I can't quite understand how it happened though, as they were fine when I used them once, then I put them in again later that day (they had been in their case) and the left had broken. Weird...


March 18, 2009, 1:48 am


I'm not sure what's going on with these headphones' raving reviews. I've just ordered them and it only took me 3 seconds to realize the quality of the sound is not even worth the definition of mediocre.

A thorough testing showed the sound delivered has no dynamic whatsoever, the music feels muted (I had to change my equalizer to acoustic settings to start getting something near decent), and they're just unable to sustain higher levels on an iPod (bases are okay, the problem is more on the trebles, literally crying for lower levels).

Besides, it's been mentioned elsewhere but the cables are not bad. They're terrible. Tilt your head and they produce a scratching noise. Even clipping them doesn't really save them from mediocrity. So kind of forget using them on the go if you're not into loud music, this irritating noise will get to your nerves before you reach the next tube station.

Now there are 2 options to explain what's going on:

1/ There is something wrong with the ones I bought and they're faulty.

2/ Some people need to buy themselves some proper headphones before they tell they're amazed by the quality of those, and ESPECIALLY before defining them as "the best under 𧴜". Because if mines work properly they're very, very, very far from it, and you can find much better models that will deliver a clearer, more intelligible sound.

All in all, before jumping to conclusions I'd really recommend anyone to TRY these headphones before they buy them, and to not believe the hype.


March 22, 2009, 11:50 pm

I am utterly disappointed with these earphones.

The treble on them is appalling and cannot find one setting on IPOD eq that i like listening to these earphones with.

Try before you but as I feel that have really wasted my money.

André Matos

March 26, 2009, 9:51 pm

I bought them 8 months ago and they continue to sound so well as the first day, the only point I see against and which referred in this review are the thick cables, and it is true they do an annoying sound when the cables touch your clothes, but I hadn't any other problems with the cables until now.

Concerning the sound the sound quality I see these headphones as the best option under 100£ because I have tried several headphones on this price range(for example, Shure SE110) and they all had the same problem, a huge lack of bass. This is an issue for those who like rock/metal genre music and Sennheiser CX95 were the ones until now who proper and perfectly worked with the rock EQ of the iPod 120GB I got, they reproduce a very well balanced sound that can't be compared to the tiny and even depressing of Shure SE110. These are the main reasons for me to truly recommend these headphones among all the others under 100£ price range.

john g

January 9, 2010, 6:09 pm

I've just received the pair of CX550 II's that I understand are the latest replacement for the now obsolete CX95s. Note that, because I know how many cheap fake Sennheiser lookalikes are being sold, I made sure I bought mine from Amazon themselves, not from one of their market traders. Even so I paid a penny less than £40.

I have been using a pair of Denon AH-C551 canalphones, which I never found totally satisfactory - I had to fit seals from other phones to get a decent acoustic seal and, even then, I had to change the equalisation on my music player before I got anything like a decent sound from them. The new Sennheisers, on the other hand, immediately sound more open, better balanced and get me much closer to the music. And now, finally, I can tell that higher bit-rate MP3s do sound better than those recorded at 128 kbs!

Great value and highly recommended!

Dr T

August 4, 2014, 4:28 am

Hi Jonathan Bray!
What has Sennheiser replaced the CX 95/550 with?

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