Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless Review: Wireless Sport Bluetooth Headphones in Budget

Here we will try to understand the Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless Sport Bluetooth headphones, but before that, we will talk a bit about the history of Sennheiser True Wireless Earbuds. The history of the best true wireless earbuds under the Sennheiser brand began with the Momentum True Wireless Bluetooth headphones – the flagship and at that time the only one. The in-ear headphones turned out to be extremely popular but quite expensive due to various advanced functions, fabric upholstery of the case, and so on. At the same time, the model did not have active noise reduction, and the operating time reached only 4 hours – not prohibitively small, but even in those days, there were devices on the market that worked longer. However, they easily won their audience thanks to the sound – with the signature “Sennheiser” brand, but at the same time, high-quality and comfortable.

Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless Review: Wireless Sport Bluetooth Headphones

The updated Momentum True Wireless 2 (REVIEW) has active noise cancellation, and the claimed battery life has increased to 7 hours. The sound quality remains the same. In the end, it turned out quite well, but again, not too cheap due to the “premium finish”, active noise reduction, Transparent Hearing, “smart” pause, and so on. The developers added all the features that were relevant to the device at that time, but, in reality, not everyone needs them – many users expect only good sound and convenience from Sennheiser headsets and consider other functions to be a nice addition, which they don’t always want to pay for.

Therefore, immediately after the flagship, Sennheiser released a wonderful CX 400BT (REVIEW), in which the same drivers were installed that provided high-quality sound, plus the main chip was added – from touch control to support for the most popular codecs. From everything else, it was decided to abandon for the sake of cost reduction. The concept of “the same sound without additional options” turned out to be successful – the wireless sport Bluetooth headphones were received very favorably by the audience.

But still, the Sennheiser Bluetooth wireless headphones line lacked a “strong mid-range segment”, in which all the required functions are present, and the price is not too high due to the rejection of all sorts of design frills and other signs of “premium”. And now, finally, Sennheiser has closed this gap. And not just one device, but two at once. The Sennheiser CX True Wireless Earbuds is a budget option, equipped with only the essentials: support for SBC, AAC, and aptX codecs, a 9-hour battery on a single charge, and IPX4 water protection.

The CX Plus True Wireless in-ear headphones are more expensive, but it also has active noise cancellation with “sound transparency” and wearing sensors that provide “smart pause” operation. Plus support for Adaptive aptX. That is such an “almost flagship”, offered at a rather modest price – at least these are the cheapest Bluetooth headphones with microphone and ANC in the brand’s assortment. At the same time, the developers haven’t made any cuts in comfort or sound quality, which is provided by the proprietary TrueResponse driver in both versions of the earbuds with a diameter of 7mm. So let’s see in this Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless review how they did it.

Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless specifications

  • Frequency range: 5 Hz – 21 kHz
  • Speaker size: ∅7 mm
  • Sound pressure level: 114dB SPL (1kHz/1mW)
  • SOI: <0.08% (1kHz / 94dB)
  • Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
  • Codec support: SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX Adaptive
  • Microphone frequency range: 100 Hz – 10 kHz
  • Microphone sensitivity: 94 dB SPL at 1 kHz
  • Active noise cancellation: Yes
  • Control: touch pads
  • Earbud battery capacity: 55 mAh
  • Case battery capacity: 420 mAh
  • Battery life: up to 8 hours in Earbuds, up to 24 hours with charging case
  • Charging connector: USB Type C
  • Fully charge earbuds: ≈1.5 hours
  • Fast charging: Yes, 10 minutes for 1-hour playback
  • Water protection: IPX4
  • Case dimensions: 59×34×42 mm
  • Case weight: 35 g
  • Weight of one earpiece: 6 g

Box and accessories

The Sennheiser Bluetooth headphones are delivered in a cardboard box, decorated in the traditional Sennheiser white and blue colors. The package contains an image and brief specs of the device, the earbuds inside the case are held with a plastic cradle, other components are placed in a separate small box.

The box includes Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless earbuds inside the charging case, manual, USB A – USB Type C cable 20 cm long for charging, and three pairs of interchangeable silicone tips.

The ear tips also look quite traditional for Sennheiser – we have seen similar ones in all recent earbuds of the brand. The internal opening of the nozzles is closed with a cross-shaped element, which prevents them from being too deep on the sound guide and provides initial protection against the penetration of contaminants.

Design and build quality

Our Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless review unit comes in black color, it is also available in white. By design, they almost do not differ from the CX 400BT, the heirs of which they are.

The case is made of matte plastic, not prone to fingerprint stains. There is a recess along the perimeter of the lid, which facilitates its opening. Visually, it stands out a little due to the glossy finish. The dimensions of the case are relatively small – it fits easily into a pocket, but how comfortable it is to carry it there already depends on the size of the pocket, and the user’s tastes.

The front panel has an LED indicator showing the charge level of the built-in battery. While charging, it lights up yellow, green when the battery is charged, and lights red when the battery is low.

Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless Review: Wireless Sport Bluetooth Headphones

A silver logo is applied to the lid, there are no other decorative elements – the design is again as strict and solid as possible. At the bottom, you can see brief information, logos of certification systems – in general, everything is as usual.

On the backside, there is a USB Type C port for charging. Above it, a loop is visible that provides fastening and movement of the cover. Everything is assembled perfectly – there are no extra gaps, there is a slight play at the lid, but only in the closed position and barely noticeable.

The earbuds are held in place with magnets. The fastening is tight and reliable, if you diligently shake the case with the headphones inside, you can hear how they dangle a little in their slots.

Inside the charging case earbuds slots are spring-loaded contacts for charging and magnets for attachment. The headphones are easily removed from the case – just pull them towards you a little so that they “jump out” of their places.

Looking down and back when wearing earbuds, there are holes for microphones that are used for noise reduction and voice communication. Plus one more thing – apparently, compensatory, which serves to relieve excess pressure during the operation of a dynamic driver.

The side of the body is made of non-staining matte plastic, which does not leave traces of touch. At the same time, it has a rough surface that allows you to comfortably and securely hold the earbuds.

The manufacturer’s logo is applied to the outer panel and there is also a hole for a microphone on it. In CX 400BT, by the way, there is only one such hole – in the right earpiece.

Connectivity and usage

The device is configured using the Smart Control application, which we have repeatedly talked about in testing almost all Sennheiser headphones. The first time you turn on the CX Plus, they will automatically activate pairing mode, later you can start it by holding both touchpads for a few seconds. First, the headset must be connected to the regular way and only then add it to the application.

Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless Review: Wireless Sport Bluetooth Headphones

If the source supports it, aptX Low Latency is used by default, but there are four supported codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX Adaptive. We checked this traditionally using the Bluetooth Tweaker utility. And at the same time, we made sure that the headphones work correctly with a PC running Windows 10. The CX Plus True Wireless does not have a full-fledged multipoint, like its predecessors, but it is possible to remember up to 8 devices and switch between them in the application.

Here the touch panel is used, which correctly registers both single pressings, double, and even triple. The delay between them will take some getting used to, but it will have to be done again when “mastering” almost any new touch-controlled headset. The “Smart Pause” function also works fine – playback stops as soon as you remove the earpiece. We return it to its place – the track starts again.

The response of the headphones to any type of touch can be configured by the application. Separately, of course, pleases the ability to control the volume – this is especially true in cold weather: it is much easier to quickly touch the earpiece than to take the smartphone out of your pocket. Actions during a call are not configurable, but everything is simple: one tap to answer, two to disconnect.

Operation and noise reduction

Despite the average weight for TWS and a large body, the earbuds fit perfectly in the ear, do not cause any inconvenience – everything is great if you put them on correctly. And you need to do this with a twisting movement. And, of course, you need to choose the right silicone tips for a perfect fit. Fortunately, there are four pairs in the set.

Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless Review: Wireless Sport Bluetooth Headphones

Having the right fit in the ear, the chances of it falling are low, whether you jump rope, run, or exercise. As a wireless sport Bluetooth headphones, the CX Plus fits even better than its predecessor thanks to its IPX4 water resistance, so splashes of sweat and light rain are absolutely not afraid of it. In fairness, it must be said that the CX 400BT earbuds also survived more than one workout without problems, but now everything is accurate and official.

The microphone for voice communication is the same as its predecessor. In a quiet room, everything is fine, although the interlocutors occasionally note some unnatural sounding of the voice. But when talking near a noisy freeway and in a cafe filled with people, you have to raise your voice a little, of course. In general, for a TWS headset, the connection quality is acceptable, you can always answer a call and talk for a minute or two. In the era of instant messengers and text chats, this will be more than enough in most cases.

Noise cancellation works extremely delicately, we would rate its level as “average”. Separately, we were pleased that Sennheiser in the application themselves emphasized the main feature of all ANC systems – the greatest efficiency in the low-frequency range. Feelings of “pillows on the ears” as the best in terms of efficiency “noise reduction” headsets CX Plus True Wireless do not, but still it fights with low-frequency noise quite successfully. Together with the passive sound isolation achieved by the correct placement of the headphones in the ears, it turns out very well.

At the same time, such an operation of the active noise reduction system has its undeniable advantages. Firstly, it does not cause the feeling of “pressure in the head”, familiar to many users. And secondly, it practically does not affect the sound of the earbuds. It’s no secret that all the most effective ANCs, unfortunately, have an extremely negative effect on the quality of bass reproduction. There is no such thing here.

Battery and charging

The manufacturer claims up to 8 hours of battery life. And unlike most of his colleagues, he clearly states under what conditions this figure was achieved: the iPhone is one meter away, respectively – the AAC codec, music playback at 50 percent volume, the equalizer is disabled. Probably, it would be more logical to test with aptX Adaptive, which is one of the “chips” of the headset.

Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless Review: Wireless Sport Bluetooth Headphones

That is what we did. The aptX Adaptive codec on Android device, but we select the volume in a slightly more complicated way. A safe sound pressure level when listening to music with headphones is considered to be 75 dB, but in practice, most listeners prefer a level of 90-100 dB. We broadcast white noise into the headphones, fixing the SPL level around 95 dB, immediately after the start of playback, we start recording the signal from the measuring stand – by the length of the resulting track, it is easy to understand how long each of the headphones worked.

We ended up running the CX Plus at about 75 percent volume, with slightly less impressive results, but still very good. Let’s summarize all the received data in a table. The earbuds are discharged slightly unevenly: the right one works a little less than the left one. Most likely, by default, it is the “master” and is used to communicate with the smartphone. An extremely small number of listeners use headphones in mono mode, most often turning off one of them is a reason to put both in the charging case. Therefore, when determining the average battery life, we will focus on the earpiece that has worked less.

Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless Review: Wireless Sport Bluetooth Headphones

As a result, we have more than 5 hours of sound even with noise reduction turned on and in “conditions close to combat.” Which is very good and enough on the way to work, training and a long walk. Among other things, according to the instructions, the headphones can work for an hour after 10 minutes in the charging case. We got even a little more – about 1 hour 10 minutes. So it will be very difficult to stay without music, you will have to constantly forget to put the headset back into the case.

A cycle of charging the battery case takes an hour and a half, after which it can fully charge the earbuds a couple of times. The third charge starts, but the CX Plus does not charge until the end. And it still turns out that with fully charged headphones and a case, the user has at least 16 hours of juice, even if listening to music at a fairly high volume level and not turning off noise reduction is a very good result, this is definitely enough for a day.

Sound

The new device has a True Response speaker with a diameter of 7mm, which is most likely the same as before. The bass is particularly emphasized, but at the same time it doesn’t fall into the boom, it sounds with a decent attack. The mid-tone is worked out and detailed, but sometimes it is slightly below the low-frequency range. In dance and hip-hop music, it is often quite appropriate, but in other genres, it can slightly interfere with the perception of vocal parts and solo instruments. In this case, the application has an equalizer – although it is not the most “advanced”, it perfectly allows you to shift the accents in the right direction.

In general, for a truly wireless headset, the sound is again pretty good, and it won’t even bother demanding users who are looking for a device called “on the go” every day – outdoors, during training or jogging, and so on.

Final line

The new Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless was a huge success in every test. Certainly, there are no doubts in terms of sound with the Sennheiser brand, excellent for the form factor in the mid-range – priced at $126 on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, down from its original $179.95. Again, we’re glad that there’s an active noise cancellation and other additional features, while in any case, the cost of headsets in this series is relatively low for branded devices.

If we talk about the more advanced features of the CX Plus, then it probably will not suit lovers of aggressive noise reduction, it works quite effectively, but still extremely delicate, but it can withstand fatigue. It does not affect the sound. Well, maybe someone is intimidated by the outlandish broadness of a headphone case. In general, the headset is excellent, we were especially pleased that in addition to a comfortable and secure fit, received IPX4 water protection and are now perfectly suited for sports.

About Ankeet Solanki

He started this blog as a hobby to show his affection for gadgets, but over the time this hobby became professional. And now he is working as a full-time blogger, but in free time he loves watching movies and games. PayPal donation for TechToyReviews will be appreciated.

Check Also

Epson launches two new portable Projectors with 3LCD technology

Two new Epson portable projectors have been unveiled. The EpiqVision Flex CO-FH02 and EpiqVision Flex …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.