Sennheiser has been raising the bar from both a value and technical perspective with competitive products that offer superior sound quality, design, and functionality. The same can be said about the new Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless Earbuds that adds active noise cancellation to an existing – and high accomplished – true wireless product.
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We’ve been going Sennheiser crazy lately. The brand seems to be releasing solid product line after solid product line with features that far exceed your expectations. In the last 6-months we’ve tested everything from their $4000 Ambeo Soundbar to the sub-$200 CX True Wireless earbuds and we’ve been impressed with every product so far.
We recently had the chance to go hands-on with the new Sennheiser CX True Wireless earbuds, the younger cousin to this new noise-cancelling model that fills the void in the brand’s mid-tier earbud lineup. If you haven’t had the chance to check out that review yet we highly suggest reading it for any specifics around design as this new model is very similar in look and feel.
|What We Love||What We’d Change|
|Great value for money||Only slight changes to the overall design, still no ‘wow’|
|Active noise cancellation is top-notch||Fit is still a bit too large for some ears|
|Transparent Hearing is effective and controlled||Still a large case – doesn’t fit in your pocket very comfortably|
|8-hours battery life + 16-hours in the case||Wish we got the fabric case from the MOMENTUM 2|
You can find the CX at a sub-$200 price point, so the CX Plus had some serious shoes to fill when it comes to value for money at AU$259.95. So how does it compare? Well, without trying to state the bleeding obvious, the new CX Plus True Wireless takes everything we love about the CX and adds active noise cancellation. What you also receive in that ANC package is a smart new software system that seamlessly manages external sounds – and as any ANC user would understand – there’s nothing more embarrassing than screaming at your barista when trying to order a coffee!
Sitting just above the CX in the model range, you’d be correct in assuming the CX Plus sounds basically the same as the cheaper model that lacks noise cancellation. What you wouldn’t be correct in assuming is the amount of outside noise that finds its way between your earbuds while listening, and the CX Plus does a truly remarkable job of weaning out even the most annoying sounds. Having quality sound is one thing, but what’s the point if it’s constantly interrupted by buses, people, and construction on your way to the office, or even during exercise. And that’s where the CX Plus shines.
The sound is still remarkable. When you consider the price point, you’re getting everything you could ask for and more with the CX lineup as a whole. The same can’t be said for other mid-tier noise cancelling earbuds that we’ve tested this year and shows the great length to which Sennheiser cares about sound quality.
Technically, the setup is still very much the same as the CX. You get the same German-engineered TrueResponse transducer developed for use in Sennheiser’s premium earphones. Delivering the same high-fidelity stereo sound with deep basses, natural mids and clear, detailed treble. Outside of the ANC, you would struggle to notice the difference when put side by side, however, it does let you hear the depth and clarity of the music that you might otherwise miss without it. The Sennheiser Sound Control App is also still available for those audiophiles who want to fine-tune their sound to suit genres of music.
Lows: Great capabilities, pumped up without disrupting the range, prominent yet natural on the soundstage.
Mids: Warm, without sharp pitching and cracking, somewhat subdued by the lows as with the mid-highs.
Highs: Perfect for hip-hop and RnB, subdued but certainly not lacking and without blunting.
Other sound-based features include a Transparent Hearing feature that actually works – unlike a few competitors systems! And makes it easy to focus on external sounds when desired without the need to remove the earbuds. We love this feature when walking alone, walking near a busy road, or travelling on quiet public transport routes, but we can think of about 100 different instances this came in handy. Another useful feature is Smart Pause, which automatically pauses audio when the earbuds are taken out and instantly resumes playback when you put them back in.
Design Remains ‘Audio First’
The design remains ‘minimalist’ and if we had to nitpick, the changes don’t add much to the previous, and very basic design of the CX. We do love the additions of gloss black to the body, as well as the reflective Sennheiser logo, but it’s nothing particularly notable and the overall build still feels somewhat budget conscience – a polar opposite to the sound.
For fit, you have a selection of four sizes of silicone ear adapters, which add further passive noise isolation to complement the earbuds ANC. On the body, you have the same touch-sensitive backings that can be customised depending on your preferred touch inputs.
Battery Life and Connection
The CX Plus carries over the same important factors that we consider whenever buying a pair of true wireless earbuds – including a strong battery life. The Sennheiser CX True Wireless delivered a total of 9-hours of playback whereas the CX Plus offers slightly less at 8-hours thanks to the Active Noise Cancelation. A further 18-hours remains the same in the charging case.
There’s the same Bluetooth 5.2 compatibility, as well as codecs such as SBC, AAC, and aptX adaptive that works the ANC. We still love the fact you can use the earbud independently, and the same dual microphones are utilised on each bud for quality phone calls.
It’s a pretty good problem to have when a brand has two awesome products that look very similar and sit pretty close next to each other in the price range. On one hand, you have what is probably the best value for money True Wireless earbud on the market. And in the other, you have what is probably the best value for money Active Noise Cancelling earbud on the market. At the end of the day, the choice is simple. Those who travel will immediately opt for the CX Plus, but we could also recommend them to anyone who is looking to upgrade from any earbuds that lack ANC, you simply won’t look back!