Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless earbuds: Good all-rounders

This improved version of the CX has good noise cancelling and won’t let you down

Sennheiser CX Plus True: A safe bet in the competitive mid-priced category
Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless
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Price: €160
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Sennheiser’s CX True Wireless earbuds had their fans. They were at the more affordable end of the range from the Momentum 2 buds, were reasonably light and comfortable and had decent sound. But they had one omission: they lacked noise cancellation.

That wasn’t so bad in quieter environments, as the noise isolation from the earbuds’ seal was enough to dampen any external intrusion. But outdoors, walking alongside a busy road, the lack of noise cancelling often made itself apparent.

Now we have the Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless, still on the bulkier side of compact ear buds, with the sound quality you’d expect from something with the Sennheiser name on it, and just enough in terms of features to justify the €160 price tag. And this time, they include active noise cancellation.

There is very little to distinguish between the new version and the original version of the earbuds. They look the same, are available in both black and white and with the usual charging case. The buds themselves also look the same, even down to the weight at 6g per bud, and they use the same app as their predecessor for controlling sound settings, touch controls and the active noise cancelling.


The size of the buds may not suit everyone, especially if you want something a little more subtle, but there is one advantage: those previously mentioned touch controls on each bud. This can often be fiddly to manage, but the surface area of the Sennheiser buds makes it easier to handle.

You don’t really need to use the app, as the earbuds sound great out of the box. Plus the touch controls allow you to cycle through active noise cancelling and pass-through ambient noise settings, control tracks and volume, play and pause your audio and access your digital assistant.

But those controls can also be customised through the app – not an essential feature but if you like control over those elements of your tech, it can be useful.

Comfort factor

Once you’ve chosen your preferred silicone tip for the best fit, the earbuds are quite comfortable to wear for long periods of time. They are definitely lighter than you expect given their size, and stay put for the most part, even during exercise.

Crucially, they are IPX4 certified, so they’ll take a mild splashing in the rain and some sweat without incident.

Soundwise, the buds deliver exactly what you would expect from Sennheiser. While they may not have the nuance of the more expensive buds, they tackle everything from mild pop and spoken word to harder rock and classical music, and do a decent job. The built-in microphones also deliver good audio for calls, about on a par with other wireless earbuds.

Battery life is great, considering their size. You get eight hours out of a full charge, but it is topped off to up to 24 hours with the charging case. That’s a little less than the CX True Wireless, which is probably down to the impact of the active noise cancellation.

How does the active noise cancellation stand up? It’s not quite at the level of more expensive earbuds, but it does a good job of muting noise in an office or coffee shop, and while it may not completely eliminate outdoor noise, it certainly cuts it back considerably. Some sound creeps in, though, so if you want more thorough noise cancelling, you might need to increase your budget and opt for the Momentum True Wireless 2 instead.

The good

At €160, these are reasonably priced noise cancelling earbuds with good audio quality and good battery life. They’re comfortable, they fit well and they stay put.

The not-so-good

The active noise cancelling is there, but it isn’t the best we’ve experienced. There is a lot of competition in this mid-priced field too.

The rest

Sennheiser has built in some useful technology, including the AptX codec, and uses Bluetooth 5.2, which gives better battery life and faster pairing.

The verdict

Overall, these are good all-rounders. They may not stand out at any one thing, but they tick all the right boxes in terms of form, function and price.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist