Whether it’s lycra cycling shorts or running trainers, nothing screams sporty more than a splash of neon. But the Sennheiser CX Sports are more than just a few flashy green accents, they’re a jolly good pair of sports headphones.
Build and Comfort
Compared to standard Bluetooth in-ear headphones, the Sennheisers boast a couple of extra touches which elevate them to sporting status. First there’s a choice of rubberised ear fins which help lock the buds in for a more stable fit. Then there’s the splash and sweat-resistant design which should help prolong a life spent rattling around at the bottom of a gym bag.
As with any pair of headphones, fit is king. The CX Sports come with three different fin sizes and four different sizes of eartips so you should be able to find a combination that works for you.
The earbuds are a bit fiddly due to the size and shape of the outer housings, but once they’re in place, we don’t have any major issues – they’re more than secure enough to survive the most intense bout of burpees.
Noise isolation is good so you can listen at decent levels without any outside interference. The only downside to this is you’ll need to be more aware of your surroundings when you’re out pounding the pavement. Cable noise isn’t a major issue with the CX Sports – they do a decent job of keeping interference to a minimum.
The Sennheiser headphones follow the traditional wireless configuration of left and right earpieces connected by a short length of cable. You can hang it around the back of your neck or have it dangling down in front.
All the controls, including a mic are built into a rectangular box that sits along the cable a few centimetres beneath the right earpiece.
Sennheiser opts for a slightly tweaked control system compared to some rivals and the CX Sports are all the better for it. Tapping the middle button still plays and pauses, but you don’t use it to skip a track. Instead, you press and hold volume up to skip forward and volume down to skip backwards.
It’s more intuitive than trying to nail a double tap, especially when you’re trying to concentrate on not being flung off the end of a treadmill.
Battery life 6 hours
Charging Micro USB
Besides supporting aptX Bluetooth, the CX Sports also embrace aptX Low Latency (LL). This means that when you use them with an aptX LL-compatible display (such as the Samsung Galaxy S9) you shouldn’t experience any dreaded lip sync issues that some wireless headphones suffer from. We tried the CX sports with an iPhone 8S Plus across a range of apps, including YouTube, Netflix and BBC iPlayer and the Sennheisers performed well. YouTube wasn’t quite locked in sync but it was still perfectly watchable.
Battery life is a respectable six hours and the Sports take around one and a half hours to reach full capacity. Even a ten minute quick charge via Micro USB will breathe an hour of life back into them.
Sonically, the CX Sports deliver a large dose of Sennheiser’s traditional in-ear sound. Clarity permeates through the frequence range, allowing for lots of detail to shine through. The sound is also built on a solid foundation of full-bodied and powerful bass.
The Sennheisers pick apart the enthusiastic drumming, vocals and electric guitaring from Nothing But Thieves’ Amsterdam and lay all the elements out in front of you. The lead vocal is expressive and emotive enough to capture and hold your attention for the duration of the track. Delivery is frenzied when required, but never confused.
Switch to some enthusiastic hip-hop in the shape of Kodak Black’s Patty Cake, and they make short work of the tuneful piano play before dropping the track’s powerful and probing bassline. There’s loads of weight, which is just what you want from a sports headphone, but there’s also agility in equal measure.
The best wireless in-ear headphones at this level, though, just have the edge as far as timing and balance are concerned. Compared to a pair of Sony WF-1000Xs for example, the CX Sports sound a little less enthusiastic and a little less sure of themselves. It’s not a huge gap by any means, but enough to rob the Sennheisers of a fifth star.
We wouldn’t classify the CX Sports as a Sennheiser personal best, but they’re still a solid and appealing pair of Bluetooth headphones. They’re good all-rounders and we’d certainly consider slipping a pair into our gym bag.
- Sound 5
- Comfort 4
- Build 4
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