Earlier this year, Sennheiser released the CX true wireless earbuds, which were a follow-up to their CX 400BT model from last year. The CX 400BT introduced customizable controls and the CX true wireless brought passive noise-canceling for phone calls. Now Sennheiser has finally added an ANC option to the CX series of wireless earphones with the CX Plus. If you don’t own a pair of Sennheiser earbuds already, is the CX Plus worth making as your first purchase? And if you already own one of the previous models, is the noise-canceling ability worth the upgrade?
What You Get
- CX Plus True Wireless Earbuds
- Silicone ear adapter sets (XS, S, M, L)
- Charging Case
- USB-C Cable
- Quick Guide & Safety Guide
Look and Feel
If you’re already familiar with the past CX true wireless earphones as I am, then there’s really not much to say here. There have been minor tweaks to the appearance since the 400BT, with a just noticeable size reduction. The body of the earphone is a bit slimmer, featuring width, but still sporting a larger surface area. This creates a more ideal fit, as the CX Plus features some of the best comforts Sennheiser has to offer in its earphones. Its cavity is more ergonomic than its housing, but it makes for a fuller fit, giving you plenty of security.
Design and Functionality
Alongside its noise-canceling, one of the main advertised features of the CX Plus is its 7m TrueResponse transducer, bringing a high-fidelity acoustic system to a true wireless design. This driver boasts some good gain, providing ample loudness to the earbuds. Like the previous CX models, the Plus version has completely customizable controls. This means that with the Sennheiser smart control app, you can switch between which touch gesture does what. It’s been a great feature for these products, and it’s made even better with the Plus. The Plus has a great feedback response, indicating your touches with short beeps that go up in pitch after multiple presses. When activating a feature like ANC that requires three presses on the left earbud, you know the action is being registered more easily. As for the ANC itself, the level of noise reduction is quite good. Background noise is mostly eliminated, with everything that can be labeled as a distraction significantly reduced. High-frequency noise gets through the most, but when your music is playing it’s hard to notice anything outside of the sound, making the ANC very effective.
The CX Plus supports Bluetooth 5.2 and has great range and bandwidth. It accepts SBC, AAC, aptx, and aptX adaptive CODECS for a good variety of streaming resolutions. No dropouts were experienced when testing the earphones.
You get a pretty average battery on the CX Plus for the price range, promising 24 hours of playtime when you include the charging case. It does have particularly fast charging though, granting you an hour of play with 10 minutes of charge.
Sennheiser true wireless earphones usually have a good soundstage, and the CX Plus keeps that tradition. You get a wide sound field with accurate spatial imaging, making for a clearer sound that’s both articulate and engaging. Separation and layering are what you’d expect for true wireless, showcasing little depth, but keeping everything consistently identifiable in the mix. It’s a wide and linear soundstage that sticks to the surface without muddying the image quality, sustaining a fine level of fidelity through its stereo field.
The bass frequencies make a lot of the focus here, providing a thick and sometimes even deep response. Its tonality can be a little boomy at times but with some reduction in the mid-bass through the smart control’s EQ, the bass can be quite clean. With its considerable lift, the lows produce a resonant tone that fills the sound signature with both warmth and sub-bass vibration, making for a lively timbre.
Midrange frequencies have a good fullness to them, even if some areas can be notchy. This is helped by some nice emphasis in the upper highs, which help showcase instrumentals and vocals very nicely. There’s a good sheen here that accentuates the timbre and helps establish a much crisper tonality. Vocals, which are especially transparent, cut through the sound signature, and offer more detail as a response.
While the upper mids do add that accentuation to the treble, the rest of the highs are quite reduced and smoothed out in response. They’re not completely missing, but there is a lack of upper treble spark to the sound signature, leaving some tracks without a proper fullness to them. There are some sparks of treble detail, but they’re few and far between, only existing to accentuate the midrange rather than expanding the highs.
For $179 the CX Plus offers some great features and a fulfilling sound signature. The addition of ANC offers a lot with how effective is, and if you’ve been asking for ANC for the CX true wireless then the Plus is a no-brainer. Although the sound signature has a few flaws, they weren’t a detriment to the overall timbre of the earphones. Those who are looking for a pair of wireless ANC earphones that will last them a while should look no further than the CX Plus, as it offers a satisfying listening experience for a generous price.
The Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless is available at Audio46.