Stellar sound, but compromises with many features
Based on what Sennheiser has measured so far with their true wireless lineup, the German audio company has now launched the Sennheiser CX 400BT, a mid-range model of their true wireless lineup that cuts some features to keep prices low. The company’s acclaimed premium True Wireless offer – Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 – captivated us earlier this year with an impressive set of clear and detailed sound and features. At 16 16,990, the Sennheiser CX 400BT isn’t exactly what it’s supposed to be affordable, however, if you want Sennheiser’s acclaimed sound quality and don’t want to spend around 25K for it, this is a viable option that the company is offering. . However, the choice of these truly wireless earphones from companies like Sony, Jabra and Samsung is facing a lot of competition in this price range. Let’s put these earphones under the scanner and see how they stack up against competitors.
Construction and comfort
Sennheiser has opted for a more traditional design with the CX 400BT that is completely different from their premium partners. Featuring a rather pristine matte black design with boxy rounded edges on both the charging case and the earbud, the earphones don’t have much to stand out from the crowd. The lid of the charging case is well made, but it looks a bit cheap due to its thin and plastic feel. Buds like the Charging Case or the Jabra Elite Active 75t and the Sony WF-1000XM3 have no velvety textures that make them feel less premium to the touch.
The Sennheiser logo engraved on the lid in glossy silver, otherwise adds a little flair to the blended case design. The back has a small USB Type-C charging port, an LED indicator for displaying battery status, and a button that turns on the LED light. When you open the case, you will see ‘Sennheiser’ written in white inside the lid. The earbuds sit securely in the case, held in place by quite strong magnets. The magnets that close the lid are also quite strong.
The earbuds have a round-rectangular shape, resembling a ‘skyracle’. Matte textures are also present in earbuds, except for the rear housings which have a glossy texture and have the Sennheiser logo on them. The rear housing of the earbuds doubles as a capacitive touch surface that can be used to control music playback and calls. Each earbud also has a small LED indicator that relays the power and / or connection status.
The earbuds were exceptionally comfortable for us to wear and we didn’t feel tired even after listening to music for hours on end. The shape of the buds sticks to the curve of your ear canal which creates a snag fit which helps in comfort and even sound quality. To achieve this snag fit you need to twist and secure the buds once you push them into your ear canal. Sennheiser has provided four pairs of silicone tips to make sure everyone gets a good seal. Earphones do not wear too much during activities like jogging or running, however, since these earphones do not come with any IP rating, we advise you not to use them while running or working out, as they are not sweat resistant. .
Features: Accompanying apps and more
Much like the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2, you can customize the onboard controls in the Cn 400BT as well as the Sennheiser Smart Control app. Sennheiser not only allows you to change a group of functions but completely redistributes almost every single action for whatever you choose. The default controls are – single tap on the right to activate the voice assistant, single tap on the left to pause / play music or answer / end call. A double-tap on the right takes you to the next track while double-tapping on the left takes you to the previous track. A long pressure on the right increases the volume, and on the left decreases the same working volume. Double-tapping on both sides rejects an incoming call.
Now, the triple-tap function has no allocation by default but it is available if you want. In our case, we chose to pause / play music on both sides of the single-tap while the triple-tap on both sides activates the voice assistant. Since we don’t use the voice assistant function too much, it makes sense for us to go this route. This is the beauty of letting you rebuild touch function from scratch. You can get exactly what you want, wherever you want if you don’t like the default settings. Not only that, you can completely disable touch control.
The accompanying app also offers customizable EQ options. Here is the classic curve EQ and then the more intuitive slider EQ that you can choose. You can even save several presets in the app and enable a specific one when you need it.
Now, in addition to these features and a few more features like Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity, USB Type-C charging, and AAC and AppTX codec support, the Sennheiser CX 400BT has no other interesting features that are available in a few other true wireless. Earphones in this price. The Sony WF-SP800N, priced at just over 2K, comes with ANC packaging, and the Sony WF-1000XM3 with Starler ANC is available for just over 3K. If you don’t want to spend more, Samsung Galaxy Buds Live is available at around 2K cheaper with ANC and Ambient Sound. The Jabra Elite Active 75t, on the other hand, doesn’t pack ANC technology, but they do have ambient sound and even wireless charging for the case.
We had hoped to see at least one or more features in these earphones such as ANC, ambient sound, wear detection and wireless charging, with competitors offering these earphones within the same price range. The lack of these premium features makes it difficult to recommend these earphones because they do not pay enough for the price they are offering to the customers. Sennheiser should have either reduced the cost by 2-3K or added a few of these features to the current price to justify their query. It seems to us that Sennheiser is banking on its historically well-received word to serve as a pull for customers.
Despite being confused by the lack of features, the Sennheiser again impressed us with the sound quality on the CX 400BT. Make sure you’re experimenting with silicone ear tips and finding the best fit for you because it’s integral to getting the best possible sound from the Sennheiser CX 400BT. Sporting the 7mm dynamic driver used in the expensive MTW 2 model, the Sennheiser CX 400BT brings out a sonic flair that is rare in this price range.
The clarity and tonality is great across most frequency ranges (5Hz – 21kHz) of earphones. The logos are particularly smooth and impressive where alloy sounds are reliably supplied with lots of texture and attack. Tracks such as Another is biting the dust By The queen Feature snoring drum hits that are full but do not overwhelm the midget in the slightest. The loss of individual notes is excellent and the complete low-resource matches the caliber of the more expensive Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2.
Mids are finely reproduced with lots of detail and texture. Inside Hello By Adele, Earbuds are capable of capturing the intimacy and power of the chorus of the first few lines with great mobility. The vocals, in general, are clear and normal on most tracks across the genre. The expected soundstage on the Sennheiser earphones is quite good, however, it is a bit narrower than the MTW 2 and its height is not so much. Imaging, however, is as good as the MTW2, which also determines the exact position of instruments on crowded tracks, e.g. Popular monster By Reverse ejaculation.
The height of these earphones is a bit unusual for Sennheiser. These are a bit more exaggerated than usual which brings out a lot of details in height, but also makes them a bit stiffer. In Hysteria by Muse, the applause gave a slight jolt to the ear. However, you can always reduce the height by a smudge on a customizable EQ. Although it is our very nitpicky and most people will not be too bothered by the slight excitement of this range.
The Sennheiser CX 400BT is not a powerhouse in terms of battery life and the charging case is not necessarily in terms of battery power. The company claims a respectable 7-hour playing time in earbuds from full to empty. However, according to the company, the charging case is only capable of 13 hours, which is slightly less than the two additional charges. Total battery life is about 20 hours as claimed. In our experiment, at about 60 percent volume, we were able to extract 6 and a quarter hours of juice from the earbud, the case providing two additional charges, which is close to what the company claims.
However, competing devices find the Sennheiser’s battery somewhat inadequate so that the Sony WF-SP800N Sporting has 26 hours of total battery life, the Jabra Elite Active 75t 28 hours of battery life, and finally the Sony WF-1000XM3 3 hours. Total playing time. Compared to this number, 20 hours of CX 400BT looks rather trivial.
The last row
The Sennheiser CX 400BT features stellar sound quality and customizable touch controls and EQ features, but nothing else. Priced at Rs 16,990, the earphones face stiff competition from competitors who offer ANC, ambient sound, wear detection and / or wireless charging at this price point, unlike the CX 400BT. They come with quite a good fit and comfort which is guaranteed to be used in their gym or while running, but since they do not come with IP rating, we would advise against it. Overall, the earphones seem to be a missed opportunity for Sennheiser because they do not provide adequate value for the price they are asking for, omitting some expected features.