Sennheiser CXC 700 Review
All in all, the Sennheiser CXC 700s perform about as well as they should.
The lion's share of what we dislike about the Sennheiser CXC 700s lies with its disproportionately sized in-line remote—though this isn't a performance feature. On the audio quality side of things, the CXC 700s are decent noise-cancelers, delivering an great frequency response, a low level of distortion, and mostly even tracking.
The most interesting performance points here lie with the frequency response, and how these buds work to actively cancel noise.
An interesting frequency response.
For the most part, the Sennheiser CXC 700s manage to stay relatively within our ideal limits, but there are a few anomalies that are worth mentioning. For instance, the 0-350Hz range (the bassiest sounds, synths, and kick drum attack) is emphasized, as well as the 7-9kHz range (where you’d find most of your sibilants and cymbal sounds) will sound a lot louder than the rest of your music. Not ideal for those who prize a flat response, but many people like emphasis in these ranges, as this response looks a bit like an equal-loudness contour in most places.
The CXC 700s have three different isolation modes.
The Sennheiser CXC 700s are interesting in that they have three separate modes of active noise cancellation that you can choose from. Using the one that blocked out the most noise (in our labs), you can see something bizarre happen. For whatever reason, and against all logic, turning the active cancellation unit on actually makes the attenuation worse than the passive attenuation in some ways. We struggled to explain this phenomenon away, but the only conclusion we could come to is that because of the selected destructive interference pattern, additional noise must have been pumped into the ear canal by the headphones. Overall, though, the Sennheiser CXC 700s do attenuate noise fairly well, dropping total sound pressure levels (SPL) down by an average of just over 19dB.
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