I typically don’t cover a lot of exercise or sport-focused earbuds, because I don’t really exercise, but I know a lot of downsides of these earbuds. They don’t look that nice, or they don’t sound that great. Well, Sennheiser has solved those problems and these are probably some of the best sport-centric earbuds around.
We have the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless earbuds with us today, and if you told me these weren’t meant for sports, I’d still believe you.
So let’s talk design first. The case is quite like the cases for the other CX true wireless earbuds, except for the inclusion of the loop on the side so you can hang these on the lanyard provided, and I actually really like it. It’s functional and it makes it feel more sporty or rugged. It’s thick as well, so no worries about it snapping off or whatever. On the back, you get a covered charging port to help ensure the case is water resistant. Unfortunately, no wireless charging here, although I get that Sennheiser probably omitted it to keep the price relatively low, at US$129 or S$199. On the top, the logo is in a striking rose gold colour, which is a nice change from the standard silver or black.
Flip the lid and you get the earbuds inside. The earbuds also look very Sennheiser-ish, with that rounded square faceplate. These earbuds come with silicon wings, which, for me, actually pop when I twist them into my ear so I know they’re secure. The ear tips here are pretty unique, although, to me, they’re the weakest point of the earbuds, so let’s take a moment to talk about them.
There are two types of ear tips, Focus and Aware. So the Focus ear tips are supposed to be closed-ear tips that isolate sound while Aware ear tips are supposed to be open ear tips that let in more environmental sounds. You’re supposed to change modes in the Sennheiser Smart Control App as well, when you change ear tips, just FYI. Anyway, I tested both out, and I surprisingly liked the Aware tips more. Not because I like hearing external noise, but because I felt that the Aware tips sounded better, with a touch more airiness and bass.
And that’s it, you don’t get any sort of ambient noise mode, which is a bit of a shame, meaning that if you want to hold a conversation while you’re working out, you’ll have to pull out an earbud. Additionally, there’s no in-ear detection here either, which means no auto-pause of your music when you take out an earbud.
There are touch controls here, one tap on either side for play/pause, double tap on the right for track skip forward, double tap on the left for track skip backwards, long tap and hold on the left to lower volume, long tap and hold on the right to raise the volume. Triple taps on either side pull up the voice assistant.
Looking at the Sennheiser Smart Control App, you might notice that it’s been completely revamped, and I have to say, I much prefer this look. Anyway, with the Sport True Wireless, you’ll see this thing called Adaptable Acoustics, which is basically your option to choose between Focus or Aware.
Under that, you get Connections, although you’ll notice that there’s no multipoint ability on these earbuds. Granted, a bit of a bummer, but seeing as they’re meant for exercise, well, most people won’t be connected to their laptop at the gym I don’t think.
There’s a new eq look as well, although it’s still the same three adjustable bars, along with a few presets. There’s also Sound Check, which is pretty interesting. The app presents you with three choices three times and you’re supposed to choose which one sounds the best to you while listening to your favourite song. It’s basically the app doing the work of raising the bass, mids or treble and you just conveniently choose which one is nicest. Might not be the most detailed way of doing an EQ preset, but Sennheiser has made it very easy for the general consumer, so thumbs up here.
There’s also a sidetone option here, but I typically just kept it off most of the time. In the settings tab, you can update the firmware, and even check which codec is being used. That’s pretty convenient, and it would be nice if every companion app had this so I don’t have to go into dev options on an Android phone to check if the earbuds really support aptX or not.
As for connectivity, these are on Bluetooth 5.2 which is nice, and the connection is pretty solid. The earbuds also support SBC, AAC and aptX, so that’s good.
Battery life is one of the best parts of these earbuds. Sennheiser claims nine hours in the earbuds with two additional charges in the case bringing the total up to 27 hours. Nine hours on a single charge is great, and I never managed to drain the earbuds while listening at 30% volume.
These are IP54 dust and water resistance-rated, so that’s reassuring, although that’s for the earbuds as usual. The case doesn’t seem to have a rating, but the covered charging port does make me feel a bit better for accidental splashes of water on the case.
Mic quality’s actually quite decent, although the mics do pick up quite a lot of wind noise, so you might not want to take calls if you’re running outdoors.
As for sound quality, well, if you’re tired of compromising on sound quality while you’re at the gym, these are the answer. They sound great. You get an energetic sound that’s perfect for hyping you up during workouts, and the bass is impactful and packs a punch. There’s also a slight emphasis on the mids, which is nice for bringing vocals to the front. The treble, on the other hand, is not as bright as I’d like, but I think that’s a good choice here since you don’t want your music to start getting too fatiguing or sibilant while you’re exercising.
The soundstage is okay, pretty average, but again, when you’re exercising, you’re not going to be looking for expansive soundstages with precise layering.
All in all, I think Sennheiser’s onto something here. This is a great choice for people who want earbuds to bring to the gym that still sounds great. Add on to that the stylish design, and yeah, well worth the price I think.