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Sennheiser CX 1.00 review

Sennheiser lets its solid reputation do the work with these budget in-ear headphones Tested at £25

Our Verdict

Strong performers, but the absence of an in-line remote is disappointing

For

  • Good dynamics and timing
  • Clear and balanced
  • Lightweight
  • Choice of tips

Against

  • No in-line remote
  • Could sound a little more solid

You’re much more likely to pick up the Sennheiser CX 1.00 earphones based on the company’s solid reputation than their looks – and the German brand knows it!

It appears to have finally tied the knot in the brand/consumer relationship and no longer feels obliged to make too much of an effort with appearance. Certainly not at the budget end, anyway (lest we forget, the Sennheiser Orpheus headphones). Sennheiser simply hasn’t appeared to spend too much time on the aesthetic design here.

Available in black or white, the CX 1.00 in-ears have a basic, understated look which, but for some minimal branding on the buds, could be largely captured by a four-year-old’s silhouette drawing. At this price point, we don’t feel too hard done by, though.

MORE: Best headphones 2016

Comfort and build

The Sennheiser CX 1.00 earphones don't have an in-line remote, which will frustrate some, so you'll have to deal with the First World problem of taking your phone from your pocket and lifting it to your ear.

But for £25, it's perhaps no surprise that every possible feature isn't ticked off the list.

The CX 1.00s feel well made and their svelte physique, weighing just 10g, plays into the hands of comfort – as do the four different sizes of supplied ear tips.

We apply the ones that give us the best seal, and hear straight away, just as we did with the four-star Sennheiser CX 3.00 earphones, that clarity and balance take precedence in these Sennheiser headphone’s presentation.

MORE: Sennhesier CX 3.00 review

Sound

Instruments and vocals alike sound pleasingly direct, and the Sennheiser CX 1.00s pay the same amount of attention to each frequency band.

Either side of a lucid midrange, bass is taut, and highs are crisp, the latter just about keeping the right side of edgy when dealing with brighter recordings.

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Their skill set isn’t restricted to entry-level stuff, either.

There’s the timing and dynamics to keep you hooked to Nils Frahm’s piano playing in Ambre, and while they could be more detailed – they don’t quite hang onto every harmonic – and deliver more substance behind the notes, there’s ample insight to hail them a comfortable and entertaining listen.

MORE: 15 of the best piano tracks to test your system

Verdict

Surprise, surprise! The Sennheiser CX 1.00 earphones are yet more solid, if not special, performers from Sennheiser.

We can’t hide the fact we’d easily part with an extra £15 for the Soundmagic E10C’s improved sound and features, but if you don’t mind manually answering calls and aren’t buying headphones to fish for compliments, the CX 1.00s are a good budget option.

See all our Sennheiser reviews

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What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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