Sennheiser is one of the great old dames of the audio industry, but it hasn’t sat on its hands in recent years – it has options for listeners at a variety of price points, and while the new CX True Wireless earbuds aren’t genuinely “cheap,” they’re nonetheless wallet-friendly in many aspects.
However, they also fit neatly into a market segment that is becoming increasingly competitive with each passing week: genuine wireless headphones. Yes, there are plenty of alternative options if you want to spend around the same amount on wireless earbuds, so how does Sennheiser stand out?
Sennheiser CX True Wireless Earbuds Specs
- Bluetooth 5.2 with AAC and aptX
- Battery life 27 hours (9 hours from the buds)
- Dimensions 59 x 33.8 x 42.3mm (earbuds and charging case)
- Weight 6g per earpiece (49g with the case)
- Finishes x2 (black and white)
- Water resistance IPX4
Sennheiser’s designs are rarely ‘out there,’ and these earbuds suit that mold, with a restrained and almost generic appearance. If it seems negative, it isn’t – to be honest, we don’t want our earbuds to shout for attention.
The earbuds appear unobtrusive enough in the ear, particularly in the black colorway we’ve been testing, and their plastic materials make them incredibly light, making them comfy for longer listening sessions.
Wire-free Bluetooth audio is recognized as the best true wireless earbuds.
However, one disadvantage of their design is that the earbuds are very hefty, which may make them a less ideal fit for those with smaller ears. With ear tip alternatives, you’ll almost certainly be able to find a fit for your ear canal, but whether they fit comfortably into your outer ear may be more varied.
The case is similarly pared-back and simple, and it’s likewise made of lightweight plastic, though it’s heavy enough that you won’t quickly lose track of it, and it doesn’t feel flimsy. However, we have noted that the matte surface on the case is prone to scratching in daily usage, so it may appear a little scuffed with time.
The design is nearly identical to the earlier CX 400BT earbuds, indicating that Sennheiser knew there wasn’t much wrong with that model. However, if you want to stand out from the crowd, these may not be for you.
The quality of the Sound
The real test, though, is placing the CX True Wireless earbuds into your ears, and once we found an amazingly snug fit using the provided ear tips, we were appropriately surprised by what is genuinely great sound for the price.
The first phrase that comes to mind when discussing Sennheiser, in general, is ‘balance’ – and that’s certainly appropriate here, as the CX True Wireless won’t overdo things in either direction, instead of giving a lovely and mellow soundscape that works excellently across all genres of music.
Funking to Jungle’s latest CD or trying for heavier beats with vintage Queens of the Stone Age can yield excellent results.
If you want to add a little more bass, you can use the Bass Boost function, which is readily enabled. However, we didn’t find ourselves using it, which is a testament to the excellence of the default setup. Don’t get us wrong: you’re not going to be entirely blown away by the sound here, especially if you mix it with high-resolution audio, but we think it’s a very solid situation for the price.
Connectivity is likewise strong, if not the most extensive we’ve experienced, and we did notice that the earbuds took a little bit to reconnect to our phone when we took them out for the first time in a day or two.
If your phone or device supports it, aptX is on board, so you can obtain less compressed sound as needed, which is always a plus.
Battery life and Features
In terms of extra functionality, the CX True Wireless gets by with something close to the bare minimum, which isn’t a significant issue. Given how many models have begun to include it at this price, the highlight is that there is no active noise cancellation (ANC) here.
That means that if you spend a lot of time traveling by train or airline, they won’t be the most isolating of listening partners, and while the seal we obtained was good enough to offer us solid sound, it’s still a shame in compared to what the likes of Nothing are now managing at cheaper rates.
Other than that, you get basic tap controls on each earbud, which are laid out for you when you connect them to Sennheiser’s app, and they work nicely – though, as always, we’d love to be able to remap them to prioritize what we actually use.
That same program does, however, provide you complete equalizer (EQ) control, which is not always the case, and it’s simple to swap between your own presets.
Battery life is also above average, with nine hours of gameplay eclipsing some substantially more expensive options, and another couple of charges in the case for performance that should be more than enough to get most people through a few days or a week between USB Type-C recharges.
- Good value
- Solid sound
- Strong battery life
- Slightly low-quality build
- No active noise-cancelling
- Middling comfort
The CX True Wireless isn’t the most feature-rich earbuds we’ve ever tested, nor do they have the best sound, but they do manage to strike a balance between price and quality that isn’t as easy as many competing manufacturers would have you believe.
For a reasonable price, you get terrific, balanced sound and a battery life that will keep you listening for hours. It’s just a shame that these ‘buds don’t have that difficult-to-define quality in your hand and that they can’t bring active noise-canceling to the table to really seal the deal. Nonetheless, for this price, they are a pretty solid alternative.