Sound controls

With headphones, sound quality depends on fit

Headphones are a great way to listen to your music.

I remember my first Sony Walkman, back in the 1980s. Its headphones went over your head, and the headphones were little speakers that went into your ears. It was very immersive, and I remember really liking the sound.

Fast forward over 30 years, and today’s headphones have lost the wires, but I’m still impressed with the sound.

I tested two sets of headphones that have very different ways of fitting in the ear, and both have advantages. They also have very different prices.

It is not a comparison. These products have different target markets.

Eppfun Cute Meet 300 Headphones

The Eppfun Cute Meet 300 earbuds ($50.99 at Amazon.com) have a very similar earbud design to Apple’s original AirPods, but the Eppfun earbuds are a bit smaller.

There is no silicone tip that fits into the ear canal. The part that fits in your ear is hard plastic. It sits just inside your ear and does not seal.

You still hear a fair amount of ambient noise when listening to music or talking on the phone.

Since there are no removable silicone tips, the fit of the Cute Meet 300s will work for you or not.

I’m a big guy, and to me they feel comfortable.

I mostly write about fit because the sound is not adjustable. You can twist the earbuds a bit in your ears and the sound changes, but there’s no way to adjust the sound coming from your phone. There is no app to provide equalizer presets or bass boost.

Sound quality will depend on how the earbuds fit in your ear.

Specifications

The Cute Meet 300 uses Qualcomm True Wireless Mirroring technology, which means that only one earbud is connected to your phone and the second earbud mirrors the connected earbud.

There are no sensors to indicate when they’re in your ear, so when you’re listening to music and you take them out of your ears, the music continues to play until you put them back in the case .

The buds will play for six hours on one charge, and the charging case provides enough juice for an additional 26 hours of listening. You can also use just one while charging the other, if you prefer.

They’re IPx5 waterproof, so you can train with them or use them in the rain, but don’t go swimming.

Each side has two microphones and my voice sounded pretty good on phone calls. I’ve heard my voice sound better on more expensive headphones, but for the price, I have no complaints.

Each bud has a 13mm driver. The product description says it will deliver “powerful bass, rich mids, and crisp, clear highs.” It’s wishful thinking.

Final Thoughts

I would say the music sounded a bit better than I expected from a $50 set of headphones.

I used them while mowing my lawn last week and they sounded great and they never cut out, that’s all I can ask for.

I am impressed with the size of the headphones and the case. The buds fit into the case horizontally, and the case is very thin but long. It looks more like a contact lens case and it really disappears in my pocket. The case charges with an included USB-C cable, but you’ll need to provide your own charger.

Rates and discounts

The Cute Meet 300 are available on Amazon in black, green, silver or gold. The list price for the black is $50.99 at the time of publication, but there’s also a 30% coupon you can click to apply when you add them to your cart, bringing the price down to a just under $36. Other colors list for $61.99.

Advantages: Small long battery life, decent sound for music and calls.

The inconvenients: No EQ settings, no auto-pause when you remove them.

At the end of the line : For the price, I think the Cute Meet 300s are a bargain.

The Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless headphones.

Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless

Sennheiser has been synonymous with great-sounding headphones for as long as I can remember.

The company offers a wide range of headphones and earphones with an equally wide price range.

The CX Plus True Wireless Earbuds ($129.95, en-us.sennheiser.com) are all about true sound reproduction. Their slogan is His superior. No compromise.

Seems about right. I really like the sound of the CX Plus, but again, it all comes down to fit.

Get the right fit

The CX Plus earbuds sit flush with your ear with a small silicone tip that seals into your ear canal.

They come with four sizes of ear tips (XS, S, M, L). You should allow a few minutes to sit in a quiet place to try on all the tip sizes.

Everyone’s ears are different and you may even need different sizes for your left and right ears.

The tips pull out right away, and you can press a different size in about five seconds.

Once you’ve put the earbuds in your ears, rock them back and forth until they’re comfortable and isolate outside noise.

You’ll probably know if your ears are big or small, but you might be surprised which size ear tip is right for you.

Smart control app

After getting a good fit, be sure to download the free Smart Control app which will let you try out different equalizer presets or even create your own custom preset.

You can also enable active noise cancellation, which works great.

The CX Plus headphones also have a transparency mode that lets in some of the sound from the outside world. You can configure the transparency mode to pause the music when you press the left earbud.

This is handy when someone starts talking to you. Press the bud, and the music will stop and the microphones on the buds let you hear clearly while the buds are in your ears.

The app will allow you to customize the touch buttons for each bud. You can customize what happens with a single tap, double tap, triple tap or long press.

By default, pressing the right earbud plays/pauses music. Long press on the right to increase the volume and long press on the left earphone to decrease the volume.

Battery life

The CX Plus headphones will play for about eight hours on a charge.

Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless headphones in their charging case.
Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless headphones in their charging case.

The charging case can recharge them two more times for a total of 24 hours of playtime before you need to charge the case. They come with a USB-C cable to charge, but you need to provide a charger.

Used

The CX Plus have proximity sensors to know when you are wearing them.

You can press the right button three times to bring up your phone’s voice assistant.

They are IPX4 rated for water resistance. They can handle sweat and light rain, but not much more.

Each bud has a 7mm dynamic driver and dual mic beamforming arrays.

I found my voice to be clear on phone calls, but since the headphones are flush with your ears, I really had to speak louder to be heard clearly on calls.

As I said above, I really liked the sound of the CX Plus.

I’m wearing them as I type this review, and Robert Earl Keen sounds great.

Advantages: Great sound, many tip sizes, in-app EQ settings.

The inconvenients: The microphones could not pick up a soft voice.

At the end of the line : Buy them for listening to music, not so much for phone calls.