Get insider access
Preferred headphones store
Black Friday deal: The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds have dropped by $80 on Amazon.com. See all deals on headphones.

Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Oct 22, 2021 at 10:07 am
Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless Picture
6.6
Neutral Sound
7.5
Commute/Travel
8.2
Sports/Fitness
6.8
Office
5.4
Wireless Gaming
5.3
Wired Gaming
6.2
Phone Calls
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Noise Cancelling Yes
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless are the upgraded variant of the Sennheiser CX True Wireless. They have an improved continuous battery life, support aptX Adaptive codec, and have an active noise cancelling (ANC) system. However, aptX Adaptive is only available on some devices, and their ANC only does an okay job of blocking out ambient sound, so it may not be enough for noisy commutes. They also have a warm and bass-heavy default sound profile, although if you prefer a different sound, their companion app has a graphic EQ and presets so that you can customize them to your liking.

Our Verdict

6.6 Neutral Sound

The Sennheiser CX Plus are alright for neutral sound. Out of the box, they have a warm and bass-heavy sound profile that delivers extra boom to your mixes. However, vocals and lead instruments are dark and veiled in comparison, which may not be ideal if you listen to content like pop or podcasts. Luckily, their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets so you can adjust their sound to your liking.

Pros
  • Graphic EQ and presets available via companion app.
Cons
  • Terrible passive soundstage.
7.5 Commute/Travel

The Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless are good for commute and travel. They're portable, well-built, and have a breathable as well as a fairly comfortable fit. They also have a continuous battery life of under seven hours, which should be enough for long trips on the road. However, while they have an ANC system, it struggles to block out the low rumbles of bus and plane engines.

Pros
  • Well-built design.
  • Very good battery performance.
Cons
  • ANC struggles to reduce bass-range noise.
8.2 Sports/Fitness

The Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless are great for sports and fitness. They have a fairly comfortable fit, are well-built, and are rated IPX4 for protection against splashes of water. They also have a lightweight and breathable design. However, they may fall out of your ears during more intense physical activity, and they're somewhat bulky.

Pros
  • Well-built design.
  • IPX4 rating.
  • Very good battery performance.
Cons
  • Terrible passive soundstage.
6.8 Office

The Sennheiser CX Plus are okay for office use. They have a fairly comfortable fit and, thanks to their ANC system, they can help block out chatty coworkers around you. They also don't leak very much audio at high volumes and have a well-built design with easy-to-use controls. However, their 6.8-hour continuous battery life may not be enough to get you through your workday without pausing to recharge them.

Pros
  • Well-built design.
  • Very good battery performance.
  • ANC can help block out ambient chatter.
Cons
  • Terrible passive soundstage.
  • No multi-device pairing.
5.4 Wireless Gaming

The Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless are compatible with Bluetooth-enabled PCs. However, their latency is likely too high to be suitable for gaming.

5.3 Wired Gaming

The Sennheiser CX Plus are Bluetooth-only headphones, and you can't use them wired.

6.2 Phone Calls

The Sennheiser CX Plus are passable for phone calls. The integrated mic has a sub-par recording quality, so your voice sounds thin, muffled, and lacking in body. The mic also struggles to separate your voice from moderate ambient noise, which could be a bit frustrating if you're taking calls on the go. That said, the earbuds have an ANC system that can block out a fair amount of background noise.

Pros
  • Well-built design.
  • ANC can help block out ambient chatter.
Cons
  • Sub-par recording quality.
  • Mic struggles to separate your voice from moderate background noise.
  • 6.6 Neutral Sound
  • 7.5 Commute/Travel
  • 8.2 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.8 Office
  • 5.4 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.3 Wired Gaming
  • 6.2 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Oct 22, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Oct 18, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Sennheiser CX Plus look very similar to the Sennheiser CX True Wireless with squared-off buds. However, the touch-sensitive surface on each bud is now glossy instead of matte. Both surfaces have the manufacturer's logo in a light grey print. These buds come in two colors: 'Black' and 'White'.

6.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.03 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

The Sennheiser CX Plus are fairly comfortable. They feel lightweight and don't enter your ears too deeply. However, they have a somewhat bulky design that sticks out of your ear when you're wearing them.

7.7
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control On/Off
Talk-Through
On/Off
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The Sennheiser CX Plus have good controls. There's a touch-sensitive surface on each bud, which is responsive, easy to use, and you can adjust their controls in their companion app. There are voice prompts for pairing as well as chimes for the number of taps you register. There's also a different chime to let you know when you've hit the min or max volume. However, it can be easy to accidentally register a command if you're only adjusting the buds.

On the left earbud:

  • One tap: Activates 'Transparent Hearing', which allows you to hear your surroundings without pausing or turning off your audio.
  • Double-tap: Skips to the previous track.
  • Triple-tap: Activates active noise cancelling.
  • Hold: Lowers the volume.

On the right earbud:

  • One tap: Plays or pauses audio.
  • Double-tap: Skips to the next track.
  • Triple-tap: Activates voice assistant.
  • Hold: Raises the volume.

On either bud:

  • One tap: Answers or ends calls.
  • Double-tap: Rejects calls.

9.2
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 0.8 ยฐC

The Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless have a very breathable fit. Since they're truly wireless headphones, they don't really trap in heat, and you shouldn't sweat more than usual while wearing them, even if you're working out.

9.5
Design
Portability
L 1.4" (3.5 cm)
W 1.2" (3.1 cm)
H 0.8" (2.1 cm)
Volume 1.40 inยณ (23.00 cmยณ)
Transmitter Required No

These in-ears are exceptionally portable. They're small, lightweight, and can easily fit into most pockets or bags without too much trouble. Although their carrying case is a little bulky, you shouldn't have too much of an issue putting them in a bag or bigger pockets.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 1.3" (3.3 cm)
W 2.3" (5.9 cm)
H 1.7" (4.2 cm)
Volume 5.00 inยณ (82.00 cmยณ)

The carrying case is good. It's similar to the Sennheiser CX True Wireless and is a bit bulky. However, it's made of hard plastic, and there are magnets inside the case to hold the buds in place. There's also a single indicator light in the front of the case to let you know when they're charging.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The Sennheiser CX Plus' build quality is great. They're mostly made of matte plastic, and their touch-sensitive control scheme has a glossy finish. They're also certified IPX4 for resistance against splashes of water. However, the ear tips feel thin and could rip over time.

7.5
Design
Stability

The Sennheiser CX Plus have good stability. They shouldn't move around if you're sitting at your desk working, but they may fall out during more intense head movements, like during a run in the park.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless headphones
  • 4x ear tips
  • Charging case
  • USB-A to USB-C charging cable
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
0.96 dB
Treble Amount
-2.08 dB

When set to their flattest EQ preset, 'Neutral', the Sennheiser CX Plus have a warm and bass-heavy sound profile that's well-suited for genres like EDM and hip-hop. However, some users may find that vocals and lead instruments sound dark and veiled. Luckily, their companion app offers EQ presets and a graphic EQ so that you can tweak their sound to suit your tastes.

9.3
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.15 dB

The Sennheiser CX Plus have outstanding frequency response consistency. Once you achieve a proper fit using the included ear tips, you should receive audio consistently each time you use the buds.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.7
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.67 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
39.43 Hz
Low-Bass
-3.32 dB
Mid-Bass
-0.53 dB
High-Bass
0.61 dB

The Sennheiser CX Plus' bass accuracy is excellent. The low-bass is recessed, so tracks lack thump and rumble. However, the rest of the range is fairly flat and neutral, so mixes retain their body, warmth, and boom.

7.7
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.01 dB
Low-Mid
0.04 dB
Mid-Mid
-3.31 dB
High-Mid
-3.54 dB

The mid accuracy is good. The low-mid is fairly neutral, but the rest of the range is underemphasized. As a result, vocals and lead instruments are present, although they're nudged to the back of your mixes and sound weak.

4.5
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
7.6 dB
Mid-Treble
-2.96 dB
Low-Treble
-8.79 dB
High-Treble
-3.14 dB

The treble accuracy of these in-ears is poor. It's underemphasized across the range, so vocals and lead instruments are very veiled and lack detail. Sibilants like S and T sounds are also dull and lispy.

7.6
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.34 dB
Dips
1.8 dB

The Sennheiser CX Plus' peaks and dips performance is good. A small peak between the high-bass and low-mid adds boom and clutter to your mixes, while a dip in the mid-mid nudges vocals and lead instruments to the back of your mix. A peak in the high-mid adds intensity to vocals and lead instruments, but a dip in the low-treble veils them and hurts their comprehensibility. A peak in the mid-treble makes sibilants like cymbals piercing.

9.4
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.14
Weighted Phase Mismatch
0.78
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.31
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
0.94

The Sennheiser CX Plus have an outstanding imaging performance. The group delay falls below the audibility threshold, which results in tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. The L/R drivers are also well-matched in phase, amplitude, and frequency response, so objects like footsteps are accurately placed within the stereo image. However, our results are only valid for our unit, and yours may perform differently.

0.8
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
3.3
Acoustic Space Excitation
0.4

Like most truly wireless headphones, the Sennheiser CX Plus have a terrible passive soundstage. To create a wide and out-of-head soundstage, your outer ear needs to be activated by sound resonances. However, in-ear headphones bypass your outer ear, which results in sound seeming like it's coming from inside your head, and it doesn't sound very immersive.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No
7.3
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.419
WHD @ 100
0.163

The Sennheiser CX Plus have a decent weighted harmonic distortion performance. The right driver is more prone to distortion, particularly at normal volumes, from the mid to treble ranges. It can be hard to hear with real-life content, though.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
1.8.19
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
aptX, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Neutral
ANC
On
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when using the headphones in this configuration.

Isolation
6.7
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-18.53 dB
Bass
-8.84 dB
Mid
-14.62 dB
Treble
-32.52 dB

The Sennheiser CX Plus' noise isolation performance is okay. Although we expected a better performance, our subjective listening experience matched our results. We also tried using different ear tip sizes, but this is the best result we could achieve. Even with their active noise cancelling (ANC) system turned on, they struggle to block out the low rumbles of bus and plane engine noise. They do a better job of reducing mid-range sound like ambient chatter, though, and can cut down high-pitched noise like the hum of an AC unit.

9.6
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
23.35 dB

The Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless' leakage performance is outstanding. Their leakage is low, so you can listen to your favorite audio at high volumes without disturbing those around you, even in quiet environments.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
5.4
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
364.41 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
5.41 dB
HFE
2,712.23 Hz
Weighted THD
3.598
Gain
27.8 dB

The recording quality of the Sennheiser CX Plus's mic is disappointing. Your voice sounds thin, muffled, and lacking in detail.

6.6
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
36.91 dB
Noise Gate
Always On
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
7.0
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
6.0
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The integrated mic has an okay noise handling performance. The mic struggles to separate your voice from moderate ambient noise. While you shouldn't have any issues being understood clearly in a quiet environment, your voice may get drowned out by noise from a busy street.

Active Features
7.3
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
6.8 hrs
Additional Charges
2.0
Total Battery Life
20.4 hrs
Charge Time
1.3 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless' battery life is decent. They're advertised to last eight hours continuously, and we measured just under seven hours. Their carrying case holds roughly two additional charges, and you can even use one bud while the other one charges. They're advertised to support a 10-minute quick charge, which delivers one hour of playtime, and they have an auto-off timer that you can adjust in their companion app. However, battery life can vary depending on usage, so your real-life experience may vary.

7.5
Active Features
App Support
App Name Sennheiser Smart Control
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
Graphic + Presets
ANC Control
On/Off
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping Yes
Surround Support
No

The Sennheiser Smart Control app is good. It has a graphic EQ and presets, meaning you can adjust the buds' sound to your liking. You can also create your own EQ presets. You can also turn on and off 'Transparent Hearing', ANC (in the device settings tab), and 'Smart Pause', which pauses your audio when you take the buds out of your ears. You can adjust the auto-off timer too and customize all the touch controls. However, if you remap some of the controls, you may lose some features.

Connectivity
6.8
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.2
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
159.12 ft (48.50 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
231 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
217 ms
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
86 ms
Android Latency
68 ms

The Sennheiser CX Plus have okay Bluetooth connectivity. They don't support NFC or multi-device pairing. They also have high latency on PCs, whether you're using SBC or aptX codecs. Luckily, their latency is a lot lower on iOS and Android devices, which is good if you like to stream videos. While these headphones support aptX Adaptive, this codec is only supported on select devices and we don't have access to them at the moment. However, we don't expect the frequency response to change if you're using this codec.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection
No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

The Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless are Bluetooth-only headphones, and you can't use them wired. They only come with a USB-A to USB-C cable to charge their carrying case.

Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
No
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No

The Sennheiser CX Plus are fully compatible with Bluetooth-enabled PCs. However, they don't support a wired connection, so you can't connect to them in any other way.

Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
No
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
PS5 Analog
No
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
No
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No
2.2
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Charging Case
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
Yes
Power Supply
USB-C

The Sennheiser CX Plus come with a carrying case that has two additional charges. While it doesn't support wireless charging, you can recharge the case using the included USB-A to USB-C cable.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Sennheiser CX Plus are the upgraded variant of the Sennheiser CX True Wireless and come with active noise cancelling (ANC), a longer continuous battery life, and aptX Adaptive codec support. They come in two color variants: 'Black' and 'White'. We tested the Black variant, and you can see our model's label here. If you come across another variant of these headphones, please let us know in the discussion section below, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless are the upgraded variant of the Sennheiser CX True Wireless. They have a couple of advantages over their base-model counterpart, like an ANC system and aptX Adaptive codec support, but they still fall a bit short compared to other competitors. Unlike the Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless, their ANC struggles to block out bass-range like bus engines. They also aren't as comfortable as the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless, and their default sound profile isn't as well-balanced. That said, their companion app offers customization features like a graphic EQ and presets to help you adjust their sound to your needs.

Check out our recommendations for the best true wireless earbuds, the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds, and the best earbuds and in-ear headphones.

Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2

The Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless are somewhat better in-ears than the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2. While both in-ears are fairly comfortable and well-built, the Plus block out more background noise, have superior battery performance, and support aptX Adaptive codec. However, the MOMENTUM 2's integrated mic has a better recording quality.

Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless

The Sony WF-1000XM4 Truly Wireless are slightly better in-ears than the Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless. While both headphones are well-built, the Sony are more comfortable, their ANC does a significantly better job of blocking out background noise, and they have a slightly better battery performance. The Sennheiser have a somewhat more neutral default sound profile and support aptX and aptX Adaptive codecs.

Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless

The Apple AirPods Pro Truly Wireless are better in-ears than the Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless. The Apple are more comfortable, have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, They also have a virtual soundstage feature, and they can significantly block out more ambient noise around you. However, the Sennheiser have a better battery performance, and their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets to help you adjust their sound to your liking. They also support aptX Adaptive codec.

Sennheiser CX True Wireless

The Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless are the upgraded variant of the Sennheiser CX True Wireless and offer a slightly better overall performance. While both are fairly comfortable and well-built, the Plus have a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer. They also have active noise cancelling, and while they outperform the base model, they only do an okay job of blocking out noise. The Plus also have a significantly better battery performance, and they support aptX Adaptive codec.

Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless

The Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless are slightly better in-ears for most uses than the Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless. The Sony are more comfortable, have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and their ANC can block a lot more ambient noise around you. Their integrated mic also offers better overall performance and they support NFC pairing. However, the Sennheiser have a better battery performance and they support aptX and aptX Adaptive codecs.

Sennheiser CX 400BT True Wireless

The Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless are somewhat better in-ears than the Sennheiser CX 400BT True Wireless. While both are comfortable and well-built, the CX Plus have a slightly better noise isolation performance, a longer continuous battery life, and they have a 'Transparent Hearing' feature, which allows you to better hear your surroundings without turning off your audio. They also support aptX Adaptive codec.

Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless

The Jabra Elite 85t Truly Wireless are better in-ears than the Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless. The Jabra are more comfortable, have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and they're able to block out more background noise. They also support multi-device pairing with up to two devices at a time. The Sennheiser, in comparison, have a better battery performance and support aptX Adaptive codec.

TOZO T6 Truly Wireless

The Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless are more customizable in-ears than the TOZO T6 Truly Wireless. The Sennheiser are better built, and their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets to help you adjust their sound to your liking. They have a significantly better battery performance and support aptX Adaptive codec. However, the TOZO are more comfortable and have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer.

Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Truly Wireless have a slight edge over the Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless. The Samsung are more comfortable, have a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer, and their ANC can block out a superior amount of ambient noise. However, the Sennheiser are better built, have a significantly better battery performance, and their companion app has a graphic EQ, meaning you can fine-tune their sound to your liking. They also support aptX Adaptive codec.

+ Show more

Recommended Articles

Discussions