February 13, 2017

Today, we have two competitors who aim to produce good quality audio without ripping your pockets off. The Sennheiser CX 180 from the brand that has captured the Indian audiophile markets and the Audio-Technica ATH-COR150 from Audio Technica, which is relatively new yet creating a wave.

If you are in for some cheap thrills, and rather turn it into a good investment then here's the right place to know what your next budget earphone should look like.


CUTTING THE LONG STORY SHORT

"The Sennheiser CX 180 comes with the promise, brand value and appeal of the German brand Sennheiser. 

The Audio-Technica ATH COR150 is not very different from the Sennheiser CX 180 in terms of sound signature, but comes with a plethora of accessories."

-Raghav Somani

Sennheiser CX 180


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Finger-contoured housing design with punchy bass

Audio-Technica ATH-COR150


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Myriad Coloured Earphones with Advanced In-ear Fit

 


DESIGN: SENNHEISER CX 180 vs AUDIO-TECHNICA ATH-COR150

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The Sennheiser CX 180 is most selling earphones in the country. It comes as no surprise as the earphones have been specially designed to fit the taste and preference of the Indian consumer. In fact, Sennheiser specifically launched this model for the Indian market, keeping in mind the average consumer's audio palate and budget requirements.

To be honest, ergonomically, these earphones are not very superior. You will find better-engineered earphones in at this price-point. The plastic build feels cheap and also comes across as fragile, you may not want to take care of these. The Finger-Contoured Housing design allows you to easily take these on and off while the soft ear tips in varying sizes also aid in comfort.

Looking to choose from a slew of colour shades? You are in for a disappointment. The CX 180 comes in just one colour i.e greyish black. The glossy finish front and the dull finished black housing does not really aid in adding drama to the look of these in-ears.

If colour is your priority you may want to considerCX 213, which is an upgrade to CX 180. 
SENNHEISER CX 180'S FINGER CONTOURED DESIGN VS AUDIO-TECHNICA ATH-COR150'S TWO WAY HANG DESIGN


One glance at the Audio-Technica ATH-COR150 and you will be quick to notice tat these in-ears are well engineered. The Earbuds have been designed in an angular shape and do look premium. So what sets the ATH-COR150 apart from other earphones in this category? The answer is the two-way design that is unique to it in this price category. The earphones can hang down in the traditional way or can also hang over the ear with the help of plastic ear hooks for extra security. We have to give it to Audio-Technica for this impressive and innovative feature. 

ATH-COR150 comes in 8 myriad colour combinations, you can choose from Red, Purple, Blue, Orange, Pink, Lime Green and of course Black and White. That being said, it is better to choose from the darker colours as the bright shades tend to look a bit tad tacky. The brand successfully proves that powerful punchy bass along with being attractive can be done on a budget.


USABILITY: SENNHEISER CX 180 vs AUDIO-TECHNICA ATH-COR150

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Designed to be used mostly with your smartphones, the Sennheiser CX 180 earphones are pretty lightweight and comfortable due to its plastic build. Hence, these make for a brilliant fit even during prolonged use. 

The CX 180 comes packed with 3 pairs of earbudsfor added comfort and noise isolation.  Although a pair of Comply ear tipswill be all worth the extra snug fit you get.

The cable is tangle prone and you should definitely consider getting yourself a Cable Manager in order to prevent the cord from getting tangled.

If a mic and remote is your priority, then you may want to consider upgrading to the Sennheiser CX 275s.

SENNHEISER'S TANGLE PRONE CABLE VS AUDIO-TECHNICA'S COMPLIMENTARY CORD WINDER 
In the case of ATH-COR150, these advanced-fit in-ears come equipped with snap-on, snap-off ear hooks for the latest in comfort and wearing stability. Snap them on if you prefer an over-the-ear cord-fit engineered to keep the Core Bass headphones perfectly in place in the gym or out and about, regardless of your activity level. Snap them off if you prefer a more traditional fit. 

Designed to be used mostly with your smartphones, these earphones are pretty lightweight and comfortable due to its plastic build. Hence, are fit for prolonged use. Who wants to sit around untangling cables in this already busy life? Audio-Technica has addressed the issue by providing a Cord-winder that keeps your cords from tangling. 

There are only 2 pairs of ear tips included along with it and you might want to consider getting the Comply Ear tips to ensure that your ear size is not missed out.
The ATH-COR150 doesn't come with mic or remote and hence leaves you stranded with no control options whatsoever. However, you may want to consider the  Audio-Technica ATH-COR150iS if a remote and mic is a necessity. 

Coming to the warranty, the ATH-COR150 is enveloped with 1-year manufacture's warranty whereas the Sennheiser CX 180 comes with 2.


SOUND: SENNHEISER CX 180 vs AUDIO-TECHNICA ATH-COR150

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When it comes to sound, CX 180's are rather biased towards bass. Indians do love that added sprinkle of bass to your music and Sennheiser has capitalized on this by designing these to cater that very whim. When you turn the music to full, you can actually feel the audio in your veins. Yes, we aren't exaggerating. 

What pulls these down is how the overpowering bass muddies the mids and highs. The mids sound inarticulate, while the highs sound overly brushed. The highs aren't as bright and detailed and this does make your music sound rough and overpowered. Music genres like Classical and Jazz are a big no with these in-ears. It is not wrong to say that one can't expect a lot from cheap earphones, but Sennheiser being a brand as big as it is, definitely could have done much better. 

DETAILED PUNCHY AUDIO VS CORE BASS TECHNOLOGY?

The Audio-Technica goes one notch higher and presents you with a unique Core Bass technology.So what does this technology bring to the table? The obvious answer is a pumped level of bass.The Core Bass offer full and heavy tones for rock, electronica and bass-driven metal, and all this without sacrificing on clarity.

The in-ears promise you an immersive bass and raspy sound. You will fall in love with the ATH-COR150 if you have a strong inclination towards that extra thump. Power-packed and a device for truly great sonic experience, the COR150 ranks high in its bass reproduction. The highs may be too harsh for your liking but do manage fairly peek out. The soundstage is surprisingly wide but definitely does not out perform the Sennheiser CX180.

The Noise isolation is decent and nothing to write home about. 


Summary


Sennheiser CX 180
  • Balanced Sound But Unimpressive Soundstage
  • Universally Compatible One-Button Remote & Mic
  • 3 Pairs of Eartips
  • Tangle Resistant Cables
AUDIO-TECHNICA ATH-COR150
  • Heavy Bass with Impressive Sound Stage
  • Core Bass Technology
  • No Remote & Mic
  • 4 Pairs of Eartips
  • Relatively Tangle-Prone but Includes Cord Wrap


Conclusion


What is the difference you wonder, well not much. The technologies used by both these earphones are impressive in terms of the price category.

It is hard to tell a difference between the two earphones as they are not very different from each other, especially in terms of audio. The Audio-Technica ATH-COR150 produce more bass and is heavily overpowering, whereas the Sennheiser CX 180 is also bass driven and ensures detail and clarity.The choice is yours.

If you want a mic and control buttons around the same price-point, you may consider the 1More Piston Fit

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 What is going to be your pick? Let us know in the comments section below.

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