I decided that my Sony in-ear headphones were getting a bit long in the tooth (eight years of living in my ears is quite enough), and I was hunting for decent replacements. I was considering the widely-praised Sennheiser CX 300-II Precisions, but, at £40, they were right at the top of my price range so I was trying to find something cheaper.
However, when I discovered that they were under £15 at Amazon, I really didn’t need an excuse, so promptly ordered a set. If they were 5-star award-winning earbuds at £40, then their new lower price was the icing on the cake.
This post isn’t necessarily about the Sennheisers themselves though. Needless to say that they are very good, and a significant step up from my existing Sonys. But the real reason that I wanted to write about them is the incredibly innovative packaging that they came in. When I ordered from Amazon, I noticed they were listed as being in “Eco packaging” but I didn’t really understand what this meant.
Essentially, the headphones are packaged purely in cardboard. There’s none of the VERY annoying plastic blister packaging that these things usually come in. Every single part of the box is corrugated, recycled cardboard. Every last bit. Not a piece of plastic in sight. This in itself is laudable, but the really clever bit is the way it all fits together. Even the hanger to display it in a shop is an integral cardboard part. It’s a brilliant concept, and one that could do with being adopted by a number of other manufacturers.
I love good, attractive, well-designed packaging so long as it’s not excessive. Obviously I’m a big fan of Apple’s boxes and containers. Similarly, I’ve been very impressed with Nintendo’s efforts of late. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. But for small, cheap items like headphones, why bother with all the unnecessary oversized plastic? It’s probably conceived as a way of adding to the perceived value of the product, but for me that doesn’t really work. Personally, I’m far more inclined to think favourably about a purchase if I’ve been impressed by a clever or innovative design. A superb idea, and one that deserves some recognition I think.