The latest true wireless earbuds from Sennheiser pushes the price lower while offering premium value to the consumer. The Sennheiser CX True Wireless retails in Singapore at S$199 with a 2-year warranty and a suite of features and functions that are hard to beat. It is a direct successor to the CX 4000BT with IPX4 water rating, improved battery life, and at a lower retail price (the CX 400BT is going for sale at S$139 which is definitely worth considering).
As a disclosure, Sennheiser invited me to the product launch staycation where they unveiled both the CX True Wireless and the flagship IE 900 in-ear monitor headphones. I produced the following unboxing video on-location on the same day.
It is a known fact that global brand products are priced higher than smaller brand products. Savvy consumers would analyse the product specs and compare to death to make sure they get the best bang for the buck. Personally, I would also not pay a premium for something that I can get at a lower price with the same features.
But I may consider paying a small premium for features like warranty, product reliability, design, app support. I won’t judge a person for spending S$50 on a pair of earbuds with Bluetooth 5.2, aptX, IP-rating, all the bells and whistles. Similarly, someone would spend S$400 for a boutique brand earbuds with basic features.
So, is the Sennheiser CX Wireless worth S$199? Given a second-tier brand products are priced around S$100-160, the CX True Wireless is a fair price for a big brand. Here is what you will get for the price.
- Bluetooth 5.2
- aptX, AAC and SBC codecs
- 9 hour battery life, 27 hours with casing
- IPX4 water resistant
- Supports SmartConnect app for firmware updates, custom EQ
- Able to customize touch controls
- Supports Sidetone (listen to your own voice) during a phone call
Pairing is easy: just press and hold both earbuds for 3 seconds to enter pairing. The LED faces inwards so you can see it facing towards you when you look at the ear tips. This means no annoying blinks when people see you wearing them. The earbuds can remember last paired devices but can only connect one at a time. I like that I am able to control playback (double tap) as well as volume (tap-hold). Adjusting EQ is also rather intuitive: just move the pointer to any part of the quadrant, or switch to a 3-band EQ. The ear tips are also soft and comfortable, capable of achieving excellent passive noise isolation. They are so good that I need to remove them to have a conversation.
The CX True Wireless is tuned with a little more bass emphasis – perhaps a little lacking in precision – while the treble is also tweaked to be detailed and transparent but fortunately not too sharp. The overall sound is full-bodied with balanced clarity. I think most consumers will be able to enjoy the sound, but custom EQ is always available on the app to give listeners greater control on their listening preference.
Compared to the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 (MTW2), the CX True Wireless offers slightly beefier bass, while the MTW2 delivers better treble definition and brightness, offering clearly a better sounding product, albeit double the price. I feel that without A-B comparison, the CX True Wireless is still acceptably clear and detailed.
- Bass – 8/10. Prominent bass boost but sub-bass not exaggerated.
- Midrange – 7.8/10. Clean, not bloated.
- Treble – 7.8/10. Moderately clear, slightly recessed.
During calls, the left earbud is the default side to activate the mic. When the left earbud is powered down, the right earbud takes over promptly without any disruption, and when the right earbud is remove from the charging case, it takes back the mic control. The voice quality is warm, focusing on the mid-range frequency. Due to the background noise removal, speaking at a lower voice may result in loss of detail. Cupping your mouth with your hand always improves the pick up which I recommend, because it is simply not easy for the earbuds mic to distinguish between your vocal chords at your neck vs. surrounding noise that potentially sounds louder.
Sennheiser is quick to launch a new true wireless earbuds and at a more affordable price, possibly in response to consumer feedback on CX 400BT. Sennheiser is capable of coming out with value-for-money models given its wide product line. The CX True Wireless does not skimp on features and it offers highly-rated functions like full touch controls that are customisable, comfortable ear tips that are effective in passive noise-cancelling, and sound tuning that are just good enough with options to tweak the EQ over the smartphone app. The retail price is S$199, available at all good audio and electronic stores in Singapore. Visit the official product page here.