Look back to your high school yearbook (/endcringe). Remember that kid with the best superlative, the most signatures and the "best wishes?" Yeah, that guy. Sennheiser makes him look like a dunce with their hat-trick for this year's International Forum Awards.
The International Forum is a decades-old institution in which products with outstanding development are awarded for their efforts in a range of categories (engines, vehicles, toothbrushes, etc.). Sennheiser received the coveted iF label in the "product design" category with their RS headphone series, URBANITE headphones, and the in-ear-canal CX series.
RS Headphone series
These wireless headphones are a personal favorite of mine. To me, there is no greater displeasure than untangling the spaghettified hell that is my headphone cordage. While bluetooth technology is astonishingly unreliable considering the technology's almost as old as I am, headphones seem to have gotten the hang of it. While the RS series are said to have some issues connecting further than 30 feet, they are still a fantastic option for
people looking for a high-end bluetooth audio experience.
The Jury for the "design" category of the iF awards praised the URBANITES as a "feast for the ears." On top of being oh-so-sexy, they have some impressive specs clocking in at 16 - 22k Hz, so you'll catch all those rich bass sounds, which is what helped them win the award in the first place! The URBAINTES' harmonic distortion is next to nothing, which means you can crank them as loud as you want without ~.5% of the sound quality.
CX ear-canal earbuds
The CX are particularly interesting because they don't depend on gimicks to deliver quality audio. While the likes of Skullcandy and Beats are focused on overwhelming bass and unnecessary noise-cancelling technology, Sennheiser's chosen to simply change the design. A tight seal can emulate any lower-end noise cancelling earbuds. The CX are one of the first true in-ear-canal earbuds. Combined with a lightweight and sleak design, these buds will deliver comfort and quality you won't get with the other two.
RS Series - High price, but you get what you pay for, great for home audio/visual. URBANITE series - Best of the three, high quality sound for the right price. CX series - Bass heavy, comfortable with high quality audio.
For maybe a more extreme example of how headphone design makes a difference, check out our video review of the alien-looking Blue Mo-Fi's.