Cheat sheet:

  • The Sennheiser CX Plus lands in the sub Rs 15K price band and delivers a great acoustic experience at this cost
  • It’s been a while since Sennheiser launched a pair of Bluetooth TWS earbuds in India
  • The Sennheiser CX Plus features multiple enhancements over its predecessor, the CX400 BT including a more compact design, Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and a more balanced sound stage.
  • The earbuds deliver 24 hours of battery life with ANC

In 2017, I checked out Sennheiser’s limited-edition $55,000 (Rs 42 lakh) headphones, the HE 1, in an exclusive studio session. One of the tracks in my playlist was Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” (1983). It’s one of my ‘go-to’ classic tracks to test any new pair of headphones in our test lab; great range of bass notes, a good test of treble as well as a wide range of atmospheric notes. So “Thriller” was one of the songs I used to evaluate Sennheiser’s newest pair of Bluetooth TWS earbuds and the CX Plus aced it.

CX PLUS

Looks familiar but only from a distance

When I first unboxed the Sennheiser CX Plus, I thought these buds looked identical to the CX400 BT. The earbuds and the case design looked like we’ve seen this in 2020. But take a closer look and the differences become quite obvious. These buds feel better in your ear, thanks to its more ergonomic design. The case is slightly slimmer but it might still be a tight fit into those skinny jeans. You can swap the silicon ear tips (from a choice of four sizes in the box) for the perfect ear fit; the default tips worked really well for me. The case is IPX4-certified; another improvement over the CX-400BT. These buds can handle sweat and a light drizzle during an intense run.

CX PLUS EARBUDS sennheiser

ANC shuts the world out

I can’t think of a better test for ANC than being in a small (ATR) aircraft with a fellow passenger who keeps playing WhatsApp videos from his phone without headphones. The Sennheiser CX Plus passed this test with flying colours. I’m not saying that they offer the best ANC out there but you have to spring more than Rs 20K for devices like the AirPods Pro to find noise cancellation that is better. I enjoyed using the CX400 BT as my daily driver for music but it didn’t cut it for the outdoors and for my gym sessions because of the lack of ANC. The CX Plus is easy to set up with the companion App (I paired it with an iPhone) and also offers a transparent mode if you need to be plugged into external sounds.

Best-in-class sound

I’ll say this straight off the bat. You’re unlikely to find better sound on any TWS earbuds under Rs 15K right now. While the CX Plus also features a 7mm driver like its predecessor, Sennheiser has added a True Response transducer to this dynamic driver. It says that  the bespoke acoustic system delivers high-fidelity stereo sound with deep basses, natural mids, and clear, detailed treble. During my tests, I found this pair had a balanced and well-defined sound stage. From the atmospheric sounds in “Thriller” to Jim Morrison’s haunting vocals in “Crystal Ship” to The Weeknd’s “Less than Zero,” the Sennheiser CX Plus handled everything I threw at it.

CX PLUS EARBUDS colours

Sennheiser nails the one thing it missed last time

Sennheiser’s sound signature gives this brand an edge over its rivals. These buds also handle calls (I tried it an external environment) really well. While I enjoyed using the CX400 BT, I could never recommend it for people seeking an all-round performer. Sennheiser missed a trick with the pricing of those earbuds too. A lot has changed since 2020. Consumers have solid options from the likes of Jabra and Samsung at the sub-Rs 15K price point. Sennheiser has often priced itself out of the market – the CX400 BT’s launch price was a case in point, but this time around, it has got its price: value equation right, and that’s why I think it might be on to something with the CX Plus.

The Sennheiser CX Plus is available in black and white colour options. The earbuds cost Rs 14,990 but are available for a special launch price of Rs 12,990.