Earphones don't get much more popular than the Sennheiser CX300. They're so popular that tens of thousands of far-east fakes are floating around, even though you can grab the real deal for under £20. So popular are they that they've spawned the Sennheiser CX310 Originals, a blue, Adidas-branded take on the classic IEM earphone.
Bearing the Adidas name and logo, your first assumption might be that the Sennheiser CX310 Originals are sport earphones, but their design suggests otherwise. There are no over-the-ears clips and no neck band - the design tweaks that reduce the irritating noise caused when the cable rubs against your clothes and knocks against your skin, something that's at its worst when working out. No, just like the Adidas Originals shoe range, the CX310 Originals are concerned more with style than sport.
They're bright blue, with a metallic blue band on each bud for a little flair, up until the point where the earphone cables join. Here on down the cable reverts to plain white. This is the Sennheiser CX310 Originals' style manifesto - half white, half blue, and a lot more striking than the more common white, silver and black finishes of the CX300 II, their closest relative.
Aside from finish though, these buds mimic the classic CX300 design. They're small, light and curvy, apart from the flat slanted bit on the back, bearing the logo. Here it's the Adidas logo rather than Sennheiser's own, but the Senny name is still splashed along the metallic strip circling each bud.
The style impact of the bold colours is let down by the variety of different shades used. The blue backing of the Adidas logo is different from the blue of the buds themselves, and the blue of the rubber tips is once again a slightly different shade. We should remember that these aren't particularly expensive earphones though - selling for just over £30 - so grudgingly, we'll let the Sennheiser CX310 off.
A miserly three sets of rubber tips are included in the package, medium small and large - all cast in the bright Originals blue. For non-Adidas obsessives, the CX310 Originals don't boast a huge style advantage over the standard, cheaper CX-series earphones, but we do like the case.
It's a simple material pouch with a Velcro strip, but here the blue and white colour scheme comes off well. We're still not convinced all that many people regularly use these earphone pouches, but then there's no rule saying this is how they have to be used. You could also use it to hold a small MP3 player, or some boiled sweets perhaps.
Just like the Sennheiser CX300 II Precision, the CX310 Originals use a right-angled jack, protected by a thick rubber housing. It's a gold-plated jack, but the idea that this will make any discernible difference to sound quality, especially at this level, is nonsense. And we're sure Gok Wan would agree with us that silver, blue and white would have been a neater-looking combo.