Redesigned from the ground up, the CX3.00 looks like a worthy replacement for Sennheiser's legendary CX300/II in-ear headphones
Sennheiser has revealed a completely revised line-up of in-ear headphones, led by the CX3.00 – the successor to one of the company’s most popular pairs of earphones, the million-selling CX300/II. The CX3.00 is deserving of the new name, as it’s much more than a third generation CX300. Designed and built from scratch, it has a whole host of improvements and tweaks that ex-CX300 owners will almost certainly appreciate.
Sennheiser has worked hard to make its brand stick out on the new range, with a prominent logo on the side of each earpiece that contrasts nicely with the black finish.
The cable has an elliptical shape that effectively reduces tangles, the 3.5mm audio jack is much more rigid and sits flush to your smartphone or MP3 player to avoid putting unnecessary stress on the cable, and the earpieces themselves are angled to fit deeper into your ear canal. Each pair of in-ears now comes with four sets of rubber ear tips, with an extra small tip joining the existing small, medium and large tips for anyone with exceptionally small ear canals.
There’s no in-line remote; Sennheiser told us it had concentrated on making the CX3.00 the purest set of earphones rather than shoehorn in extra features that many existing customers weren’t interested in. The more useful addition is the rigid case, which includes a simple cable management system. It should protect the earphones from damage and reduce tangles far more effectively than the faux leather pouch bundled with the CX300/II.
The upgrades aren’t just cosmetic, though; inside, the tiny driver produces a frequency response of 17Hz to 21Hz, compared to a low-end of just 19Hz in the old model. Impedance has increased from 16 ohms to 18, and overall sound pressure level has increased from 113dB to 118dB. In practice, this means the sound is more balanced, has better clarity at the high end and bass has a more subtle nuance than the outgoing model.
The company is also taking steps to reduce the chances of counterfeiters replicating this new model – a real problem with the CX300/II. As well as adding a difficult-to-replicate anti-counterfeiting sticker to the box and a hologram on the cable Y-splitter, Sennheiser will be moving all driver and transducer manufacturing to its plant in Ireland, rather than use far eastern third parties.
With consumer research finally signalling market growth for in-ear headphones, after years of decline as fashionable over-ears grew in popularity, users are finally growing wise to sub-par sound quality and overpriced brand names – leaving Sennheiser with a major opportunity to fill the void with the CX3.00.
The CX3.00 should be on sale right now, with three variants (black, white and red) set to cost £44.99 each. We hope to be giving them a full review soon, to see if they can live up to the legacy.