Sennheiser CX 3.00 review

Another solid performer from Sennheiser Tested at £40

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Light and shade is expressed well, but let down by a slight lack of detail and a capped treble


  • +

    Good dynamic range

  • +

    Accurate timing

  • +

    Comfortable design


  • -

    Lack of detail

  • -

    No inline remote

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While the company hasn’t always delivered clear class leaders, Sennheiser’s reputation is solid. That isn’t about to change with the CX 3.00.


Beginning with Alexis Weissenberg’s interpretation of Sergei Rachmaninov’s Prélude No5 in G Minor, the performance sounds human. The headphones capture the dynamics well and you can feel Weissenberg becoming alternately aggressive and withdrawn as he moves through the piece.

Timing, too, is good. The CX 3.00s track the polyrhythm in Atoms For Peace’s Before Your Very Eyes… with ease, and while it could be weightier, there is enough bounce in the bass guitar and synthesizer to send Thom Yorke into one of those epileptic caterpillar jigs.

What’s lacking is a little detail. The crispness of each note is sometimes lost in Rachmaninov’s Prélude, as it is with some of the synthesised noises and samples that make up Atoms For Peace’s complex percussion. A rounding off of the treble, which tends to dampen what should be two lively pieces of music, doesn’t help.

Minimalists will be pleased by the CX 3.00s’ muted design: they come in a choice of black, white or red, the cable is clean of any mic or volume control (though that does mean they weigh only 12g) and, but for modest logos on each ear piece, the brand is largely anonymous.

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In general, they’re comfortable. There is a carry case and four options of ear buds, so a good fit isn’t difficult to find.

Cable noise is only a minor issue so most of the time you can enjoy what is essentially a balanced overall sound, only lacking some detail and clipped somewhat at the top end.

For £40 they’re good, but, if you can stretch to the extra £15, your investment would be better placed in Klipsch.

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What Hi-Fi?

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, Reading 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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