CX 400BT: Sennheiser sound for the rest of us

Mala Bhargava | Updated on October 02, 2020

These earbuds lose out on some features and frills but offer great audio for less

I’m not sure how many would call ₹17,000 affordable, but Sennheiser’s CX 400BT true wireless earbuds are certainly that when compared with the Momentum 2 which come in at almost ₹25,000. It’s roughly the equation Apple uses to differentiate its AirPods and AirPods Pro. With that difference in price, come a number of differences in the product and they start with the case.

The 400BT earbuds come in a truly plasticky case that I would have said doesn’t quite fit the image of the German audio legend. But if you’re not bothered about it not looking very premium, you’ll find it’s light and easy to carry. The Momentum has a fabric covered case which is heavier and immediately looks worth what it costs. Sennheiser has obviously had to strip away a few things to offer these earbuds at a lower price than the Momentum and after the case, it’s the absence of active noise cancellation. However, it’s not essential for everyone and there is some dampening of noise whenever you put something deep into your ears and turn the music on.

Also read: Sennheiser HD 450BT: Affordable headphones with a whole lot of pluses

The 400BT earbuds are not exactly small but they have no specific fit issues and should do fine for most people. They do stick out a bit, but why wouldn’t you want the Sennheiser logo in your ears to show? Choose your ear-tips, put the buds in and give them a light twist to seal them into your ears and they sit in there quite securely though they are perhaps not designed for vigorous workouts.

Pairing is simple enough but best done with the Sennheiser headphones app so you get access to controls. You have an equaliser and can also choose how you want the touch controls to work on the earbuds. The touch is quite sensitive which is both good and bad. You can trigger actions accidentally which is why you also have the option of turning them off.

Also read: Sony’s WF-1000XM3: Fine, intelligent wireless listening

The best part is really the sound quality on these earbuds. They use 7mm drivers, Bluetooth 5.1 and support codecs AAC, SBC and aptX. Although it’s best that you use the equaliser controls, sound quality is fresh and natural with clarity and detail. I wouldn’t have minded more pronounced bass, personally. The soundstage is not as open and wide as with higher end products but isn’t closed in either. I certainly felt happy wearing them for long hours. The battery life is 20 hours with re-charges. Should the light on the case be bafflingly off, just press the tiny button on the case or use the app for status.

The CX 400BT earbuds may have lost out on features and frills but they do guarantee you the Sennheiser sound.

Price: ₹16,990

Pros: Very good audio quality, light compact case, sensitive controls, app support, codecs support

Cons: Expensive, plasticky, doesn’t feel premium

Published on October 02, 2020

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