Home / TVs & Audio / Headphones / Sennheiser CX 3.00

Sennheiser CX 3.00 review

By

Updated:

1 of 8

Sennheiser CX 3.00
  • Sennheiser CX 3.00
  • Sennheiser CX 3.00
  • Sennheiser CX 3.00
  • Sennheiser CX 3.00
  • Sennheiser CX 3.00
  • Sennheiser CX 3.00
  • Sennheiser CX 3.00
  • Sennheiser CX 3.00

Summary

Our Score:

7

Pros

  • Easy to fit and very comfortable
  • Nice low-profile jack plug
  • Simple but effective design
  • Easy-going, gutsy sound
  • Good noise dampening

Cons

  • Bass is just too powerful
  • Carry case is impractical
  • Don't justify the price

Best Deals for Sennheiser CX 3.00

  • Compare prices
  • ebay

Key Features

  • Stereo in-ear headphones with boosted bass
  • Elliptical, tangle-free cable
  • Available in black, white and red
  • Angled earpiece design for optimum fit
  • Manufacturer: Sennheiser
  • Review Price: £44.99

What is the Sennheiser CX 3.00?

Although a well-established player in the audio market, Sennheiser has a fight on its hands with the surge in popularity of the Beats brand. Its latest earphones – or in-ear headphones, if you prefer – the CX 3.00 are aimed squarely at hitting back at Beats. They're an update to its entry-level CX 300 range, sporting a new angled earpiece design and more bassy sound.

Video: Trusted Explains – What type of headphones should you buy?

Sennheiser CX 3.00 – Design and Features

Costing under £45, it’s no surprise that the CX 3.00 aren’t exactly awash with premium materials or a snazzy finish, but you still get a reasonable amount for your money. In the box you get a little carry case which includes space for a spare set of earpiece tips, and there are four different sizes of tip to choose from.

The headphones themselves are smart looking, too. We tested the black version, which has a suitably understated style, although versions with white or red cables and earpiece accents are available, too.

Sennheiser CX 3.00

SEE ALSO: Best Headphones Round-up

Being such a small set of earphones, there’s only so much of a design statement you can make with them, and the main visual feature is a silver Sennheiser logo on the outer face, which adds a touch of shine. Otherwise, at least in their black form, they’re subtle rather than standout, and a far cry from the instantly recognisable look of Beats earphones.

The chassis of the earpiece is glossy plastic, while the back edge uses a more matt finish, with a matching section of rubber cable protection hanging down from its back edge.

The cable itself is slightly flattened to reduce tangles, which it seems to do quite well, and although it’s far from kink-free out of the box, it does hang reasonably straight.

The cable lengths for each ear are identical and there’s a little sliding woggle for tightening the cables up under your chin – like all the cool kids do nowadays.

Sennheiser CX 3.00

The 1.2m cable terminates in an angled 3.5mm jack plug that’s gold plated. The plug is a particularly slimline one that sits only 7mm proud of the device it's plugged into. Of course, the debate over whether a straight or angled plug is better rages on, and we aren't going to get involved.

Overall it’s not a bad selection, although we would’ve preferred to see a more practical cloth carry bag for the money. We fully expect the price of these ‘phones to drop to more like £30-35 quite quickly, but at their list price of £44.99 it feels like you’re getting a bit more with the iBeats for the same money.

Sennheiser CX 3.00

Sennheiser CX 3.00 – Fit and Comfort

The most obvious thing about the CX 3.00 design is that Sennheiser has moved from a straight earpiece to one with a slight angle to it, and this makes all the difference to how well they fit, as well as the resulting comfort and sound quality.

All too often these sort of in-canal earphones, where the rubber earpiece tips sit in and seal against the outer edge of your ear canal, are scuppered by not reaching far enough into the ear to get a good seal – at least, not without being pushed uncomfortably far in. This can be avoided by having a longer earpiece that gives more room for the tip to reach into your ear without the cable fouling against your earlobe, but a much easier solution is to angle the earpiece to more accurately match the angle of the canal itself, as done here.

Sennheiser CX 3.00

These Sennheisers, then, fit in totally effortlessly, providing an instant and utterly comfortable seal with the default medium-size eartips. If your ears are particularly deep, you may still find the cable fouls against your ear before you can get a good seal, but you can get round this by looping the cable over your ear and inverting the earpiece.

Due to the perfect fit and lightweight nature of these earphones, we found we could wear them almost indefinitely. The sealed nature of them means you sometimes want to let your ear breathe every now and again, but otherwise they’re just a joy to wear. We even found we could sleep with them in, with them not pressing on our ears when resting on a pillow.

SEE ALSO: What is Hi-Res Audio?

Sennheiser CX 3.00 – Sound Quality

That great fit has another consequence, which is impressive noise isolation. You’re not going to block out as much external noise as you can with true in-ear or custom moulded earphones, but the CX 3.00 take the edge off quite nicely.

A good seal also means you can get a good bass response, and with Sennheiser having upped the bass level on the CX 3.00 compared to the CX 300 II, bass is definitely something you get plenty of here. The deepest bass lines reverberate around your head in a way that few earphones can match.

We’re definitely fans of having a little extra bass in earphones, rather than have them sound weedy – especially for these sort of cheap everyday models that could never hope to drag out every nuance of detail anyway. However, we think Sennheiser may have gone a little far on this occasion. The level of thump really can overpower the rest of the mix, muddying everything else when those kick drums and bass lines are rolling.

Sennheiser CX 3.00

As is so often the case with headphones that have a forced bass-heaviness, the problem is often that the bass can kick in too suddenly. A bassline will be rolling down the scale and then just suddenly drop below the ‘boost the hell out of it’ range and become really loud, which can become a bit distracting.

Of course, it’s just that sort of limited level of sophistication one would expect for a sub-£45 set of earphones, as is the limited mid-range and treble detail. There’s enough here to get a basic level of listening enjoyment from your music, but most subtle details are lost. All those little overtones that allow you to pick out which cymbal is being hit, whether a guitarist is playing a passage legato or picking every note, or whether that’s the oboes or clarinets, is somewhat lost.

Unsurprisingly this also makes for a fairly flat soundstage with limited dynamic range – other than those massive bass hits kicking in.

But let's be clear, these are a huge upgrade over most in-the-box earphones and they're specifically aimed at those who like their bass – in that regard they live up to their billing.

Sennheiser CX 3.00

Should I buy the Sennheiser CX 3.00?

The Sennheiser CX 3.00 are great low-cost earphones. They’re lightweight, easy to handle and incredibly comfortable. Their angled design also makes for a top-notch seal, resulting in great bass response and noise isolation. There’s even a choice of four tips and a case.

However, they're for bass-heads only. Sennheiser has cranked up the bottom end from its CX 300 II to compete with the low-cost Beats models, but in doing so it's lost a bit of finesse. Kick drums and deep basslines blast through the mix in a way that, although it’s quite good fun, is also obviously false.

We’re all for a bit of a bass boost on these sort of everyday earphones, but wonder if Sennheiser's taken it a touch too far. Also, at list price they’re just a bit expensive. We feel they need to drop to more the £30-35 mark for their sound quality to match their price, especially as the carry case isn't of practical use.

Verdict

The Sennheiser CX 3.00 are almost the perfect entry-level earphones. They’re incredibly light and comfortable, and just easy to get on with. However, they're very bass-heavy, so only really for casual listening unless you're seriously into low frequencies. Their price needs to drop a little, too.

Next, read more Headphones Reviews

Overall Score

7

Best Deals for Sennheiser CX 3.00

  • Compare prices
  • ebay

Cody

February 9, 2015, 4:36 pm

These were $80 in Australia, but in my opinion worth the price. Sennheiser earphones are known to be more bass heavy than other brands, however these earphones are pretty much perfect (in my opinion). The bass doesn't drown out the highs, nor is it overwhelming. The high's are very clear for a more bass centric earphone and are not harsh on the ears. As a previous owner of the CX 300 II, I can say these are a great step in the right direction were we are able to have bassy earphones yet still have clear, crisp highs. I would definitely recommend these to anyone i come across! :)

Cosmin

February 14, 2015, 8:51 pm

Hey, thank you so much for your opinion on this product. I had in mind both CX 300 II and CX 3.00 but after reading what you said i think ill go with the second one. As a fan of trance music, CX 3.00 is what I am looking for. However, I have one question. If by any chance I will listen to some other type of music(metal, blues etc) can CX 3.00 handle well the songs?

Cody

February 15, 2015, 3:54 am

Hi there, Thank you for the compliment on my review :). I just went through some heavy metal music and Blues songs and the CX 3.00's handled them really well. The earphones themselves aren't fully encapsulated so they have a very, very slight sound stage which compliments vocals and guitars. Blues songs sounded really nice, especially the vocals, and if you like the sound of saxophones (I like blues that have saxophone solos) you definitely won't be disappointed. Metal was also handled really well. One again the highs were clear which include vocals and guitar and the percussion was nice, although it felt like the mids were withheld slightly compared to the highs and lows (The drum hi hat cymbal feels slightly muffled and only feels full when a particular song gives the instrument priority). The mids can be attributed to both the driver of the earphones and the song that would be playing, seeing as the earphones must give leeway to bass and treble. The earphones are great overall and I can say it's definitely one of the best out there in it's price range :). (sorry if this doesn't help, I'm not a reviewer haha)

Cosmin

February 15, 2015, 12:07 pm

That was a fast reply. I only wanted to know if they are decent with other genres. Seems they are more than that. Im glad to hear that they handle vocals very well, since vocal trance is what im listening most of the time.
If you will excuse me, i would like to ask you 3 more questions:
1 Do they tend to fall off from your ears? After the winter is gone i pan to start running again and listening to music in the same time is a "must do" in my case.
2 Is siblilance present when you listen yo music?
3 Do they neen some time to improve in sound quality?(the burn in thing)

Overall i made my choice. I found a store where i can test them and they have a fair price(60 US dollars).
Thank you for your time.

Cody

February 15, 2015, 3:03 pm

The earphones are comfortable and i can't see physical motion being a problem. I'm quite sure that the earphones were designed to be worn over the ear as well so that should mitigate any problems with exercise of any sort.
There is virtually no sibilance or i should say it's handled well. On my previous earphones it was a big issue as it would tend to be to the point of pain if sibilance occurred, however it's not harsh at all on the CX 3.00.
I personally don't think they need time to "break in", they should sound just as good out of the box as they would in a year or two.
I know i sound like a die-hard fan boy of sorts, but these are definitely one of the best pair of earphones i've had, even comparing to $100-$130 earphones. I'm really enjoying these earphones and i hope you do as well.

Cody

February 15, 2015, 3:08 pm

Just tried some vocal trance and they sound amazing :). Just thought i would let you know haha

Cosmin

February 15, 2015, 6:01 pm

Well then, most likely on thursday ill get my hand on them. From all your information, these earphones seems to be well worth the money and just what i am looking for. Ill come back with my thoughts thursday or friday.
Thank you for your time and have a good day.

James Siggers

February 21, 2015, 3:06 pm

The SoundMAGIC E10S or E50S would be my choice rather than the Sennheiser's.

I've owned the E10 for over three years now and they're still going strong. Just upgraded to the E50S and am really impressed with the sound. Bass is powerful, but acoustic instruments and vocals also sound amazing. Truly high end sound for less than £50.

Burarum

March 11, 2015, 2:26 pm

Don´t buy these if you don´t carry them in a little pouch or case. I have had them for about 4 months, and lost two different sized rubber tips already. They come of way too easy, just about every single time I pull them out of my pocket.

Flipz77

May 11, 2015, 11:17 am

Am I the only one who's found these a bit less bassy than the cx300 IIs (which I owned for a long time)?
Loving them anyway as they really respond well to changes in equalization (using an android device with a 10 band EQ) so you can bring out any character you like. To sum it up, to me they feel more multidimensional than the previous iteration, so I can't say I agree with the review.

Dan Plant

November 9, 2015, 11:07 am

Has anyone else had a problem with the cable shredding? The rubber cladding is just so soft that it is basically disintegrating next to the headphones and the jack - I;ve had to reinforce everywhere with electrical tape but then the shredding just happens next to the join. It is really frustrating as the sound quality is great, but they look absolutely awful

Jort Draaisma

December 1, 2015, 11:26 am

Hey! I am thinking about getting the red version. I have one question, I listen a lot to Hip Hop/Rap music so a loud bass would be great right?

nikrusty

February 9, 2016, 12:50 pm

Well Cosmin, how have you liked em so far?

Cosmin

February 12, 2016, 6:38 pm

Hi there. Back then i went to a store and tried them on my phone. They were okay but i was not impressed. I purchased a pair of gaming headsets from genius. I liked them for having so much bass but in over a year they had to change them 4 times. All the headsets had the same problem. Nevermind. 5 days ago i bought the sennheiser momentum in ear paired with Fiio Q1 and i regret nothing. The sound is epic, plenty of bass no distortion at high levels and i can use the combo with my phone. If u have questions go ahead and ask.

nikrusty

April 13, 2016, 7:50 am

Hey We have almost the same setup. I've FiiO Q1 too with my old Audio Technica ATH-M50 and I love the setup. Actually I use DFX enhancer to get the fidelity up and the whole setup sounds WOW!

Juned Khan Momin

August 7, 2016, 7:28 pm

Me too, I don't think these are bass heavy, I own one, I previously owned CX 180. I find the CX 3.00 more clear and crispy, the sound is more surrounded around whole canal and beats are more seperated.They are more durable and water resistant to some extent. The bass is not much powerful but all the beats are audible. Best for punch bass. Produces best audio on higher bitrate.

Alexey Fedorov

December 29, 2016, 1:02 am

I do totally agree with you on that, and not with the reviewer. For me, the bass the cx 3.00 offer is just right. And the detail is dope. These are the trebles I find a tiny bit too jingly on some songs with lots of cymbals. I do use these with an old iPod nano with no custom EQ controls, so I am speaking of 'flat' EQ iPod-wise. Otherwise, they are just perfect for the price.

comments powered by Disqus