Sennheiser CX 3.00 review: All the fun of the fair
Sennheiser has, for a long time, been a watchword for quality in the headphones sector, and not just at the high end. Its cheaper in-ear models have always been a reliable budget-buy, and the CX 3.00 are no different.
Designed as an extension to the bass-heavy, fun-filled Momentum in-ear headphone family, the CX 3.00 offer a slice of the action for a good bit less. They’re obviously not a premium pair of headphones: the earpieces are all-plastic, there’s no inline remote control, and the CX 3.00 are supplied with only four pairs of ear fittings.[gallery:4]
There is a storage case, but it’s hard plastic and a little fiddly to use, plus the “tangle-free” elliptical cabling is quite microphonic. This means that you can hear thumps through the headphones as the cable taps and drags on your clothing. There’s no clip to prevent this from happening, either. I do like the low profile right-angled 3.5mm plug, though. Assuming this doesn’t snag on your phone case, it keeps things neat and tidy at the phone end and is less likely to snag on your jeans pockets than other, more bulky connectors on rival headphones.
You’ll struggle to find a better pair of headphones for £30. The sound is detailed and full-bodied – and if you like your music bass-heavy you won’t be disappointed. The CX 3.00 serve up oodles of juicy low-end, and although it’s not the best-controlled bass I’ve ever heard, and has a tendency to overwhelm the mids somewhat, these headphones are fun to listen to.[gallery:2]
I prefer the overall balance and better control of the SoundMagic E10C, which are available for £10 more than the Sennheiser CX 3.00. They deliver a more forgiving and smoother sound that’s slightly more laid-back. The live guitars on Mike Masse’s cover of the Beatles’ “Blackbird” have a noticeably hard edge to them at higher volume on the CX 3.00, which can make them harder to listen to for longer periods.
Still, for £30, there’s not an awful lot the Sennheiser CX 3.00 does wrong. They’re fun to listen to, and apart from a few caveats, the sound quality is dynamic, powerful and detailed. If you can up your budget, though, I’d advise you plump for the SoundMagic E10C instead. For £10 more, you get better sound quality, an inline remote and a broader selection of accessories.