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Sennheiser CX 400BT vs AirPods Pro (2021): Comparing True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds

The Sennheiser CX 400BT are an impressive pair of true wireless earbuds with excellent sound quality, but compared to the likes of the AirPods Pro, they’re lacking in features. That doesn’t automatically mean they aren’t worth getting. They make up for their shortcomings with raw performance that’s hard to beat.

We compare the Sennheiser CX 400BT with the AirPods Pro to point out where they lag behind and, by the same token, where they excel. That way, you can make a more informed purchase in deciding which one to get between the two.

Sennheiser CX 400BT vs AirPods Pro Comparison Chart

ModelSennheiser CX 400BTAirPods Pro
 SENNHEISER CX 400BT True Wireless Earbuds - Bluetooth In-Ear Headphones for Music and Calls - with...Apple AirPods Pro
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Active Noise CancellationNoYes
Transparency ModeNoYes
Bluetooth VersionBluetooth 5.1Bluetooth 5.0
Supported CodecSBC, AAC, aptXSBC, AAC
Water ResistanceNo ratingIPX4
Battery LifeUp to 7 hours, up to 20 hours with charging caseUp to 4.5 hours or 5 hours with ANC and Transparency mode off, up to 24 hours with charging case
Fast Charging10 minutes for 1 hour of playtime5 minutes for 1 hour of playtime
WeightPer earbud: 6g
Charging case: 37g
Per earbud: 5.4g
Charging case: 45.6g
ColorsBlack, WhiteWhite

Build and Design

The AirPods Pro are water and sweat resistant, while the Sennheiser CX 400BT aren’t.

Sennheiser CX 400BT vs AirPods Pro Build and Design
The Sennheiser CX 400BT (left) and AirPods Pro (right) have different form factors.

Right off the bat, you’ll notice right away that the Sennheiser CX 400BT are huge when put side by side with the AirPods Pro. At any rate, both have a secure in-ear fit, and they likely won’t fall out of your ears. Speaking of, the CX 400BT aren’t recommended for running or other outdoor activities, even though they do a good job at staying put in your ears. That’s because they don’t have water resistance, much less sweat resistance. You’ll be better off with the AirPods Pro for that purpose since they have an IPX4 rating.

As for their charging cases, both are small enough to fit in pockets, so they’re easy to carry around just about anywhere. The two also use USB-C ports, but in the AirPods Pro’s case, it’s Lightning to USB-C. That shouldn’t be much of a problem for longtime Apple users, as they’ll probably have plenty of the Cupertino brand’s proprietary cables on hand. Besides, it has wireless charging, and it’s compatible with Qi chargers.

Battery life is a bit of a mixed bag. The CX 400BT can last up to 7 hours on a single charge as opposed to only 5 hours, but the AirPods Pro can go up to 24 hours with their charging case instead of only 20 hours.

Now the CX 400BT are available in black and white, and to no one’s surprise, the AirPods Pro come only in white.

Sound Quality

The Sennheiser CX 400BT deliver a better listening experience than the AirPods Pro.

Sennheiser CX 400BT vs AirPods Pro Sound Quality
The Sennheiser CX 400BT (in photo) have superior sound and enough battery with their charging case for listening to music throughout the day.

Audio quality is where the Sennheiser CX 400BT best the AirPods Pro. That’s more or less expected considering that they have a similar build as the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2, including the same 7mm dynamic drivers under the hood.

First off, the soundstage of the CX 400BT is noticeably wider, and their mids are cleaner and more consistent, offering vocals and sounds in this range with better clarity. Their lows have a flatter response, but the advantage to that is they don’t drown out the rest of the sounds. In comparison, the AirPods Pro feel like their lows are artificially amped up, which isn’t necessarily bad since they do make basslines punchier without sounding fake. Lastly, the CX 400BT dampen highs a bit, while the AirPods Pro make them sound too bright for certain genres, namely jazz.

As noted, these true wireless earbuds have an in-ear design, and they both have excellent passive noise isolation. Between the two, neither one really stands out in this regard.

Click here for our comparison between the Sennheiser CX 400BT and MOMENTUM True Wireless 2.

Connectivity

The AirPods Pro support SBC and AAC codecs, while the Sennheiser CX 400BT support those two as well as aptX.

Sennheiser CX 400BT vs AirPods Pro Connectivity
The Sennheiser CX 400BT (left) have a newer Bluetooth version than the AirPods Pro (right).

The Sennheiser CX 400BT feature Bluetooth 5.1, while the AirPods Pro have Bluetooth 5.0. That doesn’t really say much, though, since the main difference here is the introduction of Direction Finding, which finds the direction of where a Bluetooth signal is coming from.

One advantage that the CX 400BT have over the AirPods Pro is support for SBC, AAC, and aptX codecs as compared to only SBC and AAC. It’s worth mentioning that Android users will find aptX support handy since it’s better than the usual AAC.

Features

The AirPods Pro have more features than the Sennheiser CX 400BT, such as active noise cancellation.

Sennheiser CX 400BT vs AirPods Pro Features
The AirPods Pro (in photo) boast Adaptive EQ, spatial audio with head tracking, and more features.

In terms of features, the AirPods Pro blow the Sennheiser CX 400BT out of the water. For starters, they’re the only one of the two that have active noise cancellation (ANC) and Transparency mode. 

The AirPods Pro also have spatial audio with head tracking for a more immersive viewing experience on an iPhone or iPad. Then there’s Adaptive EQ that automatically adjusts the sound profile based on your ears’ shape for a richer listening experience.

In the CX 400BT’s defense, they also have a built-in equalizer so you can modify the sound according to your preferences, including a couple of presets to choose from. But again, they don’t have Transparent hearing, which is a feature reserved for its more expensive counterparts, like the aforementioned Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2.

Click here to see how the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 compares to the MOMENTUM True Wireless 1.

Verdict

If it’s audio quality you’re after, the Sennheiser CX 400BT are better, but if ANC is really important, then the AirPods Pro are clearly your only option between the two.

Put simply, the Sennheiser CX 400BT have better sound quality and a lower price tag, and it’s the better pick for Android users. They’re basically a trimmed-down version of the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2, after all. Meanwhile, the AirPods Pro have more features, including ANC, transparency mode, spatial audio with head tracking, and Adaptive EQ, to name a few. It goes without saying that they’re the better pick for iOS users.

FAQs

📌 Are the Sennheiser CX 400BT worth getting?

Yes, the Sennheiser CX 400BT have a sound quality comparable to the highly rated Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2. The only difference is they don’t have as many features.

📌 Do the Sennheiser CX 400BT have active noise cancellation?

No, the Sennheiser CX 400BT don’t have active noise cancellation, but they do have excellent passive noise isolation.

📌 Do the Sennheiser CX 400BT have Transparent hearing?

No, the Sennheiser CX 400BT don’t have Transparent hearing, unlike the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2.

📌 Which is better, the Sennheiser CX 400BT or the AirPods Pro?

Each one has its own strong points. In summary, the Sennheiser CX 400BT have better audio and cost less, while the AirPods Pro have more features like active noise cancellation, Transparency mode, and Adaptive EQ.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.