With the release of Sennheiser’s new true wireless noise cancelling earbuds the CX Plus, it felt like a comparison was in store. Running for $179, the CX Plus follows Sennheiser’s similarly named and built earbud, known simply as the CX, which runs for $129. The CX is also a bluetooth earbud, but is not noise cancelling. In addition to these two, there’s also Sennheiser’s Momentum 2, one of their most popular models, which runs for a bit of a higher price at $299. While it is a pretty big price bump from the CX series, including it felt necessary as I’ve noticed people looking at Sennheiser true wireless earbuds are often wondering how other models compare to the Momentum series.
|CX TW||CX Plus TW||Momentum 2 TW|
|Charge Time||1.5 hours||1.5 hours||1.5 hours|
|Battery Life||9 hours||8 hours||7 hours|
|Quick Charge||15 min = 1 hour||10 min = 1 hour||10 min = 1.5 hours|
|Battery Life (With Case)||27 hours||24 hours||28 hours|
Looks, Build, and Design
The CX and CX Plus look almost indistinguishable, so much so I had to be careful to not mix them up during this review. The main cosmetic difference between the two is that the CX Plus is slightly smaller than its predecessor, which can be hard to detect with the naked eye. However, your ears will most certainly notice the difference. I found getting a proper fit and seal on the CX Plus to be far easier and more immediate than when I tried with the CX.
In comparison to both CX earbuds, the Momentum 2 is a bit bigger and bulkier. This is something some listeners complain about, but the majority, including myself, seem to have no problems with. While it is larger compared to many of the minuscule earbuds out there, the Momentum 2 still offers plenty of comfort and fit very securely. They may take some getting used to, as they don’t feel quite the same as a smaller earbud, but they shouldn’t feel any less comfortable at the end of the day.
Starting off at the lowest price tier with the CX, I was once again impressed by this model after having been familiar with it for quite some time. It’s got an impactful, balanced sound with a lot of clarity and detail. It’s got a bit of a smoother, flatter high end that has somewhat of a filtered shine to it. Its mid range is more subdued and pulled back, giving its beefier low end more room to come through.
The CX Plus sounds surprisingly different from the CX. I was expecting a subtle upgrade, but to me this felt like more than $50 of increased quality. While the CX holds its own just fine, the CX seems to take the same core elements and elevate all of them. The low end response is larger, punchier, and more sub heavy. The mid range has a more nuanced presence with a snappier, more extended feel that brings out percussion attack and vocals. The high end on the CX Plus also has a shinier, glossier edge to it, not flattening its treble like the CX does.
The Momentum 2 also surprised me in this comparison. It sounded much closer to the CX Plus than I expected. The tuning, leveling, and color felt quite similar to the CX Plus in many regards, but what sets the Momentum 2 apart is its handling and tightness. While the CX Plus seemed to further articulate and extend areas the CX was already building on, the Momentum 2 gives a similarly tuned performance to the CX Plus, but just with more expertise. The Momentum 2 felt like it had a slightly tighter grip over the music, allowing its bass-heavy underbelly to function with a bit more room to breathe. Its mid range and high end had an increased sense of precision, realism, and consistency about them that just wasn’t quite there on the CX Plus.
Sennheiser has done a great job with all these earbuds, and to me the price distribution feels very on par with their quality for the most part. I appreciate that they clearly put a lot of work into their products at all price ranges, as clearly seen with how well the CX Plus and CX perform even when stacked up against a product at a higher price. If you’re strapped for cash, the CX is by no means left in the dust by its pricier comrades, but if you have a bit more coin to spare, the CX Plus will get you a bang for your buck upgrade, and the Momentum 2 will give you an undeniably heightened listening experience.