Sennheiser’s consumer audio division may be under new management, but that hasn’t stopped the company from launching new products. The Sennheiser CX and CX Plus recently launched in India and they both compete with the current mid-range TWS options from Samsung, OnePlus and Jabra. Today I am reviewing the more expensive and better equipped of the two, the Sennheiser CX Plus true wireless earphones.
Officially priced at Rs. 14,990 in India (price online is around Rs. 12,990), the Sennheiser CX Plus are an impressive pair of true wireless earphones. You get active noise cancellation, app support and features like the Qualcomm aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codec, making this an attractive proposition under Rs. 15,000. However, does the sound quality live up to expectations? Find out in this review.
The Sennheiser CX Plus are a well-equipped pair of true wireless earphones
Sennheiser has been in the personal audio world for a long time, but true wireless range hasn’t gotten much acclaim outside of the Momentum True Wireless 2 in my opinion. With the CX Plus, Sennheiser hopes to make a mark in the much more competitive mid-range TWS segment and promises many features for the asking price of Rs. 12,990.
With a design similar to that of the Sennheiser CX400BT (Review), the Sennheiser CX Plus is significantly larger than competing options in its price segment, such as the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 (Review) and Jabra Elite 85t (Review). Not only are the earbuds quite bulky, but the charging case is also significantly wider.
The earphones are available in two colors, white and black. Despite its size, the device looks and feels good. The outer parts of the earbuds are glossy, with a Sennheiser logo and touch-sensitive playback buttons on each. The inner sides of the earbuds have the charging contacts and proximity sensors to automatically play or pause music depending on when the earbuds are worn or removed.
I found the fit of the earmolds comfortable enough, despite their somewhat unwieldy shape that makes them stick out quite a bit from your ears. They stayed in place while walking and climbing stairs, and while the fit has always felt a little precarious, I haven’t actually experienced any situations where the earbuds could fall out. Four pairs of silicone eartips of different sizes are included in the box, along with a short USB Type-A to Type-C charging cable. The earphones have an IPX4 rating for water resistance.
The charging case of the Sennheiser CX Plus is large, similar to that of the CX400BT, and therefore quite difficult to store in a pocket along with something else, such as a wallet or smartphone. The USB Type-C port is on the back and there is an LED indicator on the front. Overall, the headset sticks to the classic Sennheiser style for TWS earphones.
The touch-sensitive controls on the Sennheiser CX Plus true wireless earphones can be customized via the companion app. It is possible to control the playback, volume, ANC and listen-through modes and invoke the default voice assistant on your paired smartphone by means of various tap gestures. All these gestures worked reliably and I really enjoyed the ease with which I could operate the earphones without having to reach for my smartphone.
Aside from customizing controls, the Sennheiser Smart Control Companion app (available for iOS and Android) lets you manage paired devices, make changes to the equalizer, switch between ANC and Hearing modes, and more. Well designed and easy to use, it covers pretty much everything you need to do with the earphones.
The Sennheiser CX Plus is powered by 7mm dynamic drivers and has a frequency range of 5-21,000 Hz. For connectivity, the headset uses Bluetooth 5, with support for the SBC, AAC, aptX and aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codecs.
The battery life of the Sennheiser CX Plus is decent for the price. The earphones ran for about five hours with ANC on and the volume at moderate levels. The case added about two and a half extra charges, for a total run time of about 18 hours per charge cycle. This is roughly what is expected of a TWS headset in this price range. This performance is actually a bit better than what I got with the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 and about on par with what the OnePlus Buds Pro offers.
Very good audio and ANC performance on the Sennheiser CX Plus
For a market price of Rs. 12,990 offers the Sennheiser CX Plus a lot, including a lot of customizability, good active noise cancellation and above all very good sound quality for the price. Support for the Qualcomm aptX and aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codecs improves sound when paired with a supported device.
The Sennheiser CX Plus is a no-nonsense true wireless headset at its core, and it shows in the sound quality. Listening to Trans-X’s Living On Video (Claptone Remix) was an energetic experience from the start, with the earphones’ natural tuning providing plenty of attack and drive. There is a subtle bulge in the low tones which makes for a very refined and enjoyable bass. The midrange also came across as imposing, while the highs felt a bit relaxed. I also liked how the Sennheiser CX Plus could easily keep up with the fast pace of this track.
This coherence and speed were also evident in other fast, beat-driven songs such as Go by The Chemical Brothers and The Great Divide (Soundprank Remix) by Velvetine. The sound was fast paced and captivating, making this kind of bass-focused track an absolute joy to listen to.
With slower, down-tempo tracks like Brasstracks’ Opposite Ways, the Sennheiser CX Plus let the detail in the lows and mids shine through. The soulful saxophone riffs blended perfectly with the hip-hop beats and rap verses. While the tight and well-tuned bass kept my attention above everything else, it wasn’t hard to focus on one of the many elements of this track.
This level of detail was especially noticeable when using the Sennheiser CX Plus with an Android smartphone, allowing it to take advantage of the Qualcomm aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codec. When using an iPhone, the same sonic signature and overall feel were maintained by the earphones, but there was a noticeable difference in the details of the sound. I’ve also used these earphones to listen to audiobooks, and while the experience was decent, the Sennheiser CX Plus is definitely tuned for music.
The active noise cancellation (ANC) performance on the Sennheiser CX Plus was largely comparable to what I’ve heard about other true wireless earphones priced below Rs. 15,000. It’s optimized for indoor use, where it did a good job of reducing noise levels in the typical office environment, such as the hum of central air-conditioning, and even the low-pitched chatter in the common areas felt noticeably softer.
ANC on these earphones definitely made music a lot easier to listen to, both indoors and out, and didn’t affect the sound quality. The hear-through mode on the Sennheiser CX Plus was effective when needed, and a handy option in the app lets you choose whether to continue or pause audio playback when hear-through mode is activated.
Connection stability on the Sennheiser CX Plus was good, with the earphones performing stably at a distance of up to 4 meters from the source device. Call quality was decent indoors and acceptable for short conversations outdoors, although my voice sounded slightly drowned out to the person calling when I was in noisy urban areas.
Sennheiser has been relatively quiet in the true wireless mid-range in India for a while, but the CX Plus marks a strong return to form for the established and well-regarded brand. These earphones are feature-rich, well-tuned when it comes to sound quality and well-priced for what’s on offer, making this a very good choice if you’re on a budget of around Rs. 15,000. This is a music-focused headset and is ideal for anyone looking for refined bass and great sound detail.
The ears and charging case of the Sennheiser CX Plus are a bit bulky, but that’s about it when it comes to the negatives. Decent ANC and a very good companion app are handy bonuses, making this TWS headset one of my top picks for its price. Consider the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 if you have a Samsung smartphone, or the OnePlus Buds Pro if you want to spend a little less, but for all other use cases, the Sennheiser CX Plus is the one to get.