Gone are the days when you’d have to spend at least 50 bucks or so to score a pair of Sennheiser earphones. Now, Sennheiser is bringing its brand to the masses with more affordable in-ear and over-ear headphones. What kind of sound and build quality can you expect from these low-cost earphones? And do they live up to the brand’s great reputation? Let’s find out in this Sennheiser CX 100 Review.
Sennheiser CX 100 Review
IN the BOX
The fit is one of the best aspects of these earphones. If you own a cheap pair of Apple buds, for example, you’ll be impressed by how effective the sound isolation is on the CX 100. I’ll even argue that it beats a lot of the noise-cancelling headphones out there. These earphones provide a great seal, and with four different sized silicone tips to choose from, you shouldn’t have trouble finding the right fit.
It doesn’t get more plain and simple than the CX 100. Sennheiser has taken a very minimalist approach here. The half plastic, half aluminum earpieces are tiny and unornamented except for the Sennheiser logo on the back of the shells. The cable is pretty thin, and it’s not flat. So, tangles will happen in your pocket. But the right-angled termination is reasonably well insulated, and Sennheiser’s 2 year warranty extends to even their cheapest models.
One thing to note is that the cable lacks a mic and remote. To get the call features, you’ll have to spend a little more, and go for something like the CX 300 S. That being said, if you’re a hermit audiophile like me, social contact is low on the list of priorities.
The bass on these buds is perfect for anyone who likes a generous low-end but wants to avoid bass-head like overkill. It’s thick and punchy, but usually doesn’t drown out the rest of the mix. However, when it comes to bass-heavy rock tracks, the sound can become muddy at times. And listening to acoustic bass instruments, it lacks the detail and tidiness needed for jazz and classical music. So, in this range, the CX 100 is most ideal for pop and hip-hop.
If you love a lush and forward midrange, the CX 100 should do the trick. It presents ample low-mids bringing tons of body to rock and pop. Still, that mild muddiness comes out to play again in the lower mids. Acoustic guitar strums, for example, can get a little slushy in the lower registers. So, these buds don’t present a particularly clean sound until you reach the upper mids. But once it hits the higher frequencies, that soft, yet detailed Sennheiser sound starts to shine.
Listening to strings in this range, you’ll get a smooth feel with decent transparency for an earphone at this price point. And percussion in this range has a lot of crispy goodness. So, pop sounds snappy and tight. At the same time, the CX 100 is also a very well balanced earphone that avoids any tiring brightness.
Though the CX 100 doesn’t present a vastly spacious soundstage, you’ll still be able to discern instrument placement, especially in terms of depth and height. So, there’s still a decent sense of dimension here.
This is a solid buy for 30 bucks. I would have appreciated a mic and remote. But sound is the important thing here, and Sennheiser delivers it well for the price. If you listen to a lot of pop, hip-hop and rock, these buds will beat your Apple earphones (not to mention the vastly superior sound isolation). Classical and jazz genres, I’m not so sure about. But at the end of the day, it’s a decent all-rounder worthy of Sennheiser’s name.
See where these earphones place on our ranking tool.