Sennheiser is known for their premium in-ears or headphones that are generally well received by audio critics and users alike. The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless won the Digit Zero1 award for the best performing true wireless earphones in 2019, and the version 2 the company launched this year also offers solid sound quality. These headphones and earphones also come with impeccable build quality and design. The Sennheiser CX 150BT Wireless are mid-range wireless Bluetooth earphones priced at just under 5K. Let’s see if these earphones manage to impress us as good as Sennheiser’s more premium offerings time and time again.
Construction and comfort
The Sennheiser CX 150BT certainly has design touches and stylistic choices associated with Sennheiser products, but with this product they are much more understated. The earphones have a glossy black finish on the earbuds and on one side of both plastic modules (weighted boxes consisting of the battery). The other side of the plastic modules has a matt finish. These are wireless in-ear headphones that can be worn neckband style, albeit missing the partially rigid, partially flexible neckband usually present on wireless earphones.
The cables hang loose in this case and the weight of the plastic modules often causes the buttons to be pulled out of the ear from one side or the other. Oddly, one module is positioned to rest on the nape of your neck, while the other sits in the more traditional position, on the side of your neck. The unconventional placement made the unit feel shaky and unbalanced, negatively impacting the overall structure.
Nevertheless, the materials used are still quite solid and robust. The plastic modules don’t feel cheap and rickety, the three-button control system has tactile and responsive buttons, and the earbuds themselves are lightweight and ergonomic, allowing users to wear them for hours on end without being overly comfortable. The knobs also provide adequate seals, resulting in good passive isolation. Unfortunately, however, the device lacks useful magnetic modules that are usually present on wireless neckband earphones. When not in use, the earbuds just dangle loosely from your chest, which just doesn’t feel as secure as earbuds with magnetic housings that are securely fastened together.
The company has provided 3 additional pairs of silicone ear tips – XS, S, L (the M size is already on the ear tips), which allow users to get the best possible fit. In the box you also get a Type-C charging cable. The Type-C port on the earphones is tucked away under a plastic flap on the plastic module on the right.
Overall, the earbuds are lightweight and ergonomic, but the odd placement of the modules makes the earbuds feel unstable in the ears at times, and the lack of magnetic housings on the earbuds is also disappointing. The design is understated and minimalistic, but marred by some of the construction issues we mentioned above.
The Sennheiser CX 150BT wireless earphones aren’t exactly a feature-packed pair of wireless earphones, and they lack some of the integral features expected in the 5K price range. Let’s start with the good. Powered by Bluetooth v5.0, the earphones have solid connectivity and good wireless range. We can go from one end of the apartment to the other without being disconnected from the source device and the connection can also go through a wall or two. There is support for the AAC and SBC codecs, but the earphones lack aptX codec support that some wireless earphones in this price range do have.
The operating system of the CX 150BT allows users to control media and calls. The center multifunction button just feels overworked, though, as it’s used to pause, play, and search for songs. Pressing the button once will pause/play the music, a double press will take you to the next track, while a triple press will take you to the previous one. Personally, we dislike triple tap commands, here at the Digit test labs, as they accidentally fail by either not registering at all or performing the task assigned to double tap. The plus and minus buttons easily control the volume with a few taps. We’d prefer the song search controls to be placed here so that users can double-tap or long-press to skip to the next and previous songs. Also, the earphones have no control whatsoever to summon voice assistants, which is just absurd in 2020.
The earphones don’t have any IP rating either, so while the earphones fit in the ear quite well, we don’t recommend using them at the gym or while jogging/running as sweat can damage the earphones. In addition, the earphones also do not provide a favorable experience during intense workouts or activities, as the earbuds are often pulled out of the ears due to the unbalanced placement of the plastic modules.
Oddly enough, the earbuds do connect to Sennheiser’s Smart Control app, but there’s absolutely nothing you can do in the app once you have the earbuds plugged in. You can’t even see the battery percentage of the earphones in the app.
However, the earphones have one redeeming feature, which is the fantastic battery life. The company estimates battery life at a solid 10 hours and in our testing, at 60-70 percent volume, we were able to extract over 10 hours of juice! You can easily go 2-3 days between charges even if you listen to music for 3-5 hours a day, which is impressive.
The Sennheiser CX 150BT has an A-shaped sound profile that excels when it comes to reproducing the midrange. In an A-shaped sound profile, the bass and treble are usually slightly suppressed while the mids are slightly extended, which is the case with these earphones. This is not to say that the bass response is seriously lacking. It certainly has some spice and depth, without being overwhelming. However, if you’re a basshead, you might find the bass response a bit lacking for your taste.
Now, moving towards the middle, the Sennheiser CX 150BT really rises here. Vocals, especially male ones, have sufficient clarity and sparkle. Female vocals can sound a little tinny at higher volumes, but it’s not too jarring. In songs like pull me under by means of Dream Theater and Selkies by means of BTBAMthe vocals and lead instruments sound excellent, almost as good as on the more expensive Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2. However, the bass guitar and drums in both songs sound dull and energyless.
The earphones seem best suited for vocal tracks and pop songs rather than rock and EDM. Yet they do not disappoint for those genres either. Overall, these are one of the better sounding earphones under 5K and most users will be more than happy with the sound quality (apart from bass lovers perhaps).
As for the microphone quality, we were impressed with the intelligibility of the microphone. We tried to dictate a paragraph in the notes app by voice and the app was able to pick up most of the words accurately. For calls, the microphone also does a pretty good job. The voice is clear and does not sound muffled or far from the receiver.
The Sennheiser CX 150BT are a great sounding pair of wireless earphones under 5K that are marred by the absence of some integral features and some construction flaws. If you don’t mind the lack of voice assistant support and an IP rating, and if you think the design is good enough for you, there aren’t too many wireless earphones in this price range that sound as good as the Sennheiser CX 150BT. However, if you’re a basshead, you’ll have to look elsewhere to meet your bass needs.