Sound Intone CX-05 Headphones Review

Reviewed Jul 13, 2017 at 04:52 pm
Sound Intone CX-05 Picture
Type On-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Sound Intone CX-05 are sturdy, budget on-ear headphones with a mediocre-at-best sound. They have a durable design, especially compared to other on-ears in their price range they're also sufficiently stable for a light jog but won't be the ideal sports headphones. Unfortunately, they don't block a lot of noise, and their sound quality might be a deal breaker even for casual listeners.

Our Verdict

5.5 Mixed Usage

The CX-05 are below-average mixed usage headphones. They have a sturdy and durable build quality and a somewhat portable design. Unfortunately, they do not block enough noise for commuting and they have a sub-par sound quality that's barely passable for casual listeners.

5.9 Neutral Sound

Below-average for Critical Listening. They have an overly Mid Range heavy sound that makes most tracks sound a bit honky. They also push instruments to the front of the mix but due to their lackluster treble performance, the instruments and vocals lack detail and clarity. Unfortunately, they also have a poor Soundstage because of their small closed back ear cups.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
5.3 Commute/Travel

Poor isolation performance for noisy commutes. They're fairly portable and somewhat comfortable but won't block much ambient noise.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
5.9 Sports/Fitness

Mediocre for sports use. They're moderately comfortable and stable enough for a light jog. However, they get a bit hot for an on-ear design because of the faux leather pads and they do not have the most efficient control scheme.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
5.5 Office

Mediocre for office use. They don't block a lot of noise but they barely leak even at high volumes so you won't distract your colleagues in quieter settings.

See our Office recommendations
6.4 Wired Gaming
6.1 Phone Call
  • 5.5 Mixed Usage
  • 5.9 Neutral Sound
  • 5.3 Commute/Travel
  • 5.9 Sports/Fitness
  • 5.5 Office
  • 4.7 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.4 Wired Gaming
  • 6.1 Phone Call
Pros
  • Above-average build quality.
  • Minimal leakage.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Mediocre-at-best audio reproduction.
  • Bass delivery varies significantly across users. Sensitive to glasses.
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  3. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  4. Update 10/2/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
  5. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The Sound Intone CX-05 have a simple design with a sturdy utilitarian appeal. They have a relatively thick headband and dense plastic ear cups with a faux leather padding that feels decently high-end especially in their price range. They're not the sleekest headphones and do not feel particularly premium but they still stand out in a crowd thanks to their silver accents, compact design and the stitched, fabric coating on the headband.

6.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.6 lbs
Clamping Force
0.8 lbs

The CX-05 are moderately comfortable on-ear headphones. The on-ear cups are decently well padded but a bit small and shallow. Unfortunately, they're somewhat heavy for an on-ear design and the lack of thicker padding on the headband slightly reduces their comfort level.

5.2
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Subpar
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control No
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
N/A
Noise Cancelling Control N/A
Talk-Through
N/A
Additional Buttons No

The CX-05 have a pretty limited control scheme with only one small multi-purpose button on the in-line remote for calls/music options. Since there is only one button for this controls scheme, it's fairly easy to use even if you're not paying attention. Unfortunately, feedback is not the best and the lack of more control options is a little disappointing.

7.0
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 4 C
6.1
Design
Portability
L 5 "
W 6.3 "
H 3 "
Volume 95 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required N/A

These headphones have a moderately portable design. They fold up for easier transport and take up less space. However, they are on the larger side for on-ear headphones, and although they would fit relatively comfortably in a backpack or handbag, they will not fit in most pockets.

0
Design
Case
Type No case
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A
7.0
Design
Build Quality

The CX-05 have a good build quality. They have a solid metal frame and dense ear cups. They also have a relatively thick and braided audio cable. Although they don't use the most premium materials in the build quality their design feels durable and capable of withstanding a couple of drops with getting damaged. The hinges and the exposed cables leading to the headband are the most susceptible points to wear and tear in an otherwise sturdy design.

7.0
Design
Stability

These headphones have a decently stable fit. They stay in place during casual listening sessions, and they're tight enough to jog with. However, they're not the best headphones for high-intensity sports or workouts as they will often sway and may slip off your ears during more strenuous exercises. On the upside, they have a detachable audio cable that will disconnect from the ear cups fairly easily if it accidentally gets hooked by something.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-1.0 db
Treble Amount
-9.65 db
6.4
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.8 dB

Mediocre consistency performance. Our test unit showed less consistency on the Left cup than the Right cup on our human subjects. This could be due to poor ergonomics or poor manufacturing tolerance. The amount of consistency in the Treble Range is also below average for an on-ear design.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.8
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.09 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
2.38 dB
Mid-Bass
3.33 dB
High-Bass
3.94 dB

Good Bass Range performance. The response is extended and relatively flat, but consistently over our target by more than 3dB. This makes these headphones noticeably bass-heavy and boomy. Also, their bass delivery varies noticeably across users, and is sensitive to the quality of fit, seal, and whether you wear glasses. The response here represents the average bass response and your experience may vary.

5.9
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.52 dB
Low-Mid
6.76 dB
Mid-Mid
5.52 dB
High-Mid
2.6 dB

Poor Mid Range performance. Low-mid is overemphasized by more than 6dB, making the sound of these headphones muddy and cluttered. Mid and high-mid are also quite overemphasized, shifting the overall tonal balance towards the Mid Range.

4.3
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
6.68 dB
Low-Treble
-4.56 dB
Mid-Treble
-5.65 dB
High-Treble
-14.41 dB

Poor Treble Range performance. The entire range is under our target and relatively inconsistent. The dip around 5KHz hurts the clarity and detail on vocals/leads, and the underemphasized high-treble makes the Treble on these headphones lifeless and close-up. On the plus side, these headphones won't sound sibilant and sharp.

7.4
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.57 db
Dips
1.52 db
3.9
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.21
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
3.35
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
11.23
Weighted Phase Mismatch
31.19
5.1
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.76 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
1.75 dB
PRTF Distance
10.24 dB
Openness
6.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
2.0
7.3
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.400
WHD @ 100
0.179
Isolation
3.7
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-8.45 dB
Bass
1.06 dB
Mid
-5.17 dB
Treble
-21.67 dB

Poor Isolation performance. These headphones do not isolate below 300Hz. Between 300Hz and 2KHz they achieve about 5dB of isolation which is poor. In the Treble, they also perform poorly by averaging around 21dB of reduction.

8.3
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
31.74 dB

Very good Leakage performance. The significant portion of leakage is spread between 500Hz and 5KHz which is a relatively broad range, however, the overall level of the leakage is quite low.

Microphone
7.1
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
486.43 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.77 dB
HFE
10093.19 Hz
Weighted THD
0.498
Gain
24.17 dB
6.5
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
17.05 dB
Active Features
N/A
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
N/A
Continuous Battery Life
N/A
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power Saving Feature
N/A
Audio While Charging
N/A
Passive Playback
N/A
Charging Port N/A
0
Active Features
App Support
App Name N/A
iOS N/A
Android N/A
macOS N/A
Windows N/A
Equalizer
N/A
ANC Control
N/A
Mic Control N/A
Room effects
N/A
Playback Control
N/A
Button Mapping N/A
Surround Sound N/A

No compatible app.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
N/A
NFC Pairing
N/A
Line of Sight Range
N/A
Default Latency
N/A
aptX Latency
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 5 ft
Connection 1/8" TRRS
Wired Latency
0 ms
Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
Audio + Microphone
PC / PS4 Wired USB
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
N/A
USB Input
N/A
Line In
N/A
Line Out
N/A
Optical Input
N/A
RCA Input
N/A
Dock Charging
N/A
Power Supply
N/A
In the box
In the box

  • Sound Intone CX-05 Headphones
  • Audio cable (x2)
  • Manuals.

Compared to other Headphones

Sound Intone CX-05 Price

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