Back in July Sennheiser released itsearbuds, the follow-up to the , a more affordable alternative to its excellent earbuds. The have essentially the same design as their predecessors but offer some small but notable improvements with a lower $130 list price. They're now $30 off or $100 at Amazon.
The price drop isn't surprising given that the CX 400BT were regularly on sale for $100 and even dipped to as low as $80 on Amazon Prime Day this year. Still, $100 is a good deal for the new CX, which are chunky enough to stick out of your ears but sound excellent for their price, with good clarity and well-defined bass.
The CX adds an extra microphone on each bud, which does improve the voice-calling experience and makes it easier for callers to hear your voice, even in noisy environments. The earphones do a good job muffling background noise, though some of it leaks in when you speak during calls (there's a sidetone feature that lets you hear your voice in the buds). To be clear, however, these aren't active noise-canceling earbuds, they simply offer noise reduction for calls.
The step-up($180) does have active noise cancellation, but that model was just released in the last month and hasn't gone on sale yet (but it certainly could this holiday season).
The buds are equipped with Bluetooth 5.2 and presumably an upgraded chipset. Battery life is up to 9 hours at moderate volume levels (the slightly bulky charging case stores an additional three charges) versus 7 hours for the previous model. These are splash-proof, with an IPX4 water-resistance rating. And along with the SBC and AAC audio codecs, the buds also support aptX streaming for aptX-enabled devices, which include certain Android smartphones.