Sennheiser CX 1.00
You’re much more likely to pick up the CX 1.00s based on Sennheiser’s solid reputation than their looks – and the German brand knows it too! It appears to have finally tied the knot in the brand/consumer relationship and no longer feels obliged to make an effort with appearance. But rather than pile on the pounds or let itself go, Sennheiser has simply opted for 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.
Fishing for compliments
What’s disappointing is the absence of an inline remote. Even for £25, you shouldn’t have to face the First World problem of taking your phone from your pocket and lifting it to your ear.
Still, they 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 tip. We apply the ones that give the best seal, and hear straight away that, like the previously tested four-star CX 3.00s, clarity and balance take precedence in the Sennheiser’s presentation.
Instruments and vocals alike sound direct, and the CX 1.00s pay the same amount of attention to each frequency band. Either side of a lucid midrange, bass is taut, and highs (though subject to a little edginess in brighter recordings) are crisp. They also have the timing and dynamics to keep you hooked to Nils Frahm’s piano playing in Ambre and, while they could deliver more substance behind the notes, there’s ample insight to mark them a comfortable and entertaining listen.
Surprise, surprise! The CX 1.00s 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 E10’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.
“What’s disappointing is the lack of an inline remote. Even at £25, we shouldn’t face this First World problem“