February 10, 2017

In today's head-to-head comparison we look at two of the most popular earphones at the below Rs.1000 price point. In the spotlight, are the CX 180 from Sennheiser and  MDR-EX150 from Sony.

Both these earphones have been applauded by music lovers, one for its amazing pounding bass, whereas the other for its high on comfort functionality. The in-ears serve their own set of audience. We hope that  the differences that we have put together helps put your confusion to rest.


"The Sennheiser CX 180 puts together a simple design, great comfort and solid sound, all in all a complete budget package.

The Sony MDR-EX150 is an earphone that gives you just the right amount of bass and is specially designed to be used with your Smartphones."

-Raghav Somani

Sennheiser CX 180

Simple Design with Audio Detail

Sony MDR-EX150

Attractive Metallic Earphones With Heavy Bass




The Sennheiser CX180 in-ears are one of the most popular earphones sold in the country. Fun Fact: Sennheiser has specially launched these in-ears for the Indian market and it comes as no surprise that these are one of the best sellers from the brand.

The CX 180 has been built entirely from plastic but that doesn't deter its build quality. The earpieces are not the most sturdiest but are fairly decent. Designed in an unconventional circular design, these in-ears are extremely tiny to hold and feel. A nice feature, the ear pieces have afinger-contoured housing designand can be easily gripped in between your fingers to be  quickly placed into your ear canal. However, if aesthetic appeal is something that you love, the CX 180 is big turn off. The Piston Fit is definitely better styled in that aspect. 

Another small drawback is the lack of colour choices, the CX 180 comes only in a grayish black colour. With a glossy finish on the front and a dull finish on the back doesn't help in making a style statement. However, ifcolour is your priority you may want to consider the CX 213, which is an upgrade to CX 180. (Also Read-Sennheiser CX 213: A Worthy Upgrade of CX 180)

Sony has been one of the most popular brands in India. Standing the test of time in this competitive market, the brand has clearly carved a niche for itself. The Sony MDR-EX150 is the entry level budget in-ear from the brand. Sony has given the in-ears a touch that is typically Sony. The earphones have been designed to look extremely cool and stylish.

The Sony MDR-EX150 is definitely deceptive to price its tag when it comes to its design. The ear pieces sport a nice metallic finish that looks very elegant and is flaunt-worthy. A nice design quirk the MDR-EX150 in-ears feature an angled in-ear design lending these the look of extremely high priced IEMs. Sony has put in great effort into building these in-ears and this evident through the attractive build. .

Sony has ensured that brand recognition comes across clearly. The logo is printed on the back of the ear piece and comes to notice in an immediate glance. You can change from colours ranging from Red, Blue, Violet, Yellow or more subtle Black, White and Light Blue.



The Sennheiser CX 180 earphones are pretty lightweight and comfortable due to its plastic housing. Hence, are they are perfectly suitable even for prolonged use. The earphones come with 3 added pairs of earbuds for better in-ear comfort.

Ergonomically, these earphones are not very superior, and the Piston Fit is definitely a better option if you must consider this aspect. The Finger-contoured Housing design allows you to easily take these on and off and further aids in better usability. 

The cables are a total let down, tangle prone, they will last for a while, albeit, you'd take care of them.

The in-ear comfort is the soft eartips in varying sizes too help. You can also get yourself a pair of ComplyFoam 400 Series for added comfort.
A thoughtful feature, the Sony MDR-EX150 features earpieces that have an angular shape, thus, they snugly fit inside your ear canal. Packed with 3 pairs of earbuds, you can further enhance your comfort by interchanging the silicone ear tips.

The matching coloured cable adds its own touch to the aesthetic appeal of the earphones. Easy to hold, the textured cable looks strong and sturdy and is not likely to snap easily. In order to further make your life easier, the Sony MDR-EX150 comes packed with an added cable adjuster.

If you are looking for a mic and remote, the Sony MDR-EX150 does not come with the same. However, you can opt for the Sony MDR-EX150APthat comes with a mic and remote.

Both, the Sony MDR-EX150 and the Sennheiser CX180 do not come with a microphone and remote. If you are looking at answering calls and controlling other  function, you should look elsewhere.



Sennheiser is one of the best brands when it comes to solid performance. Like most earphones in this price range, the CX180 are bass oriented. The bass boost is clearly enhanced to match the expectations of people in this price category. The bass however, is not well refined and does sound muffled at times, but can we complain at this price point?  A great feature, the heavy tones can be felt in the vain, without it sounding too aggressive. 

Notably, the vocals are clear and work themselves up even through the heavy bass.Coming to the tonal detail, it is decent. Nothing to write home about. The mids and highs get drowned in the lows and do tend to fall short on sparkle. 

Soundstage is not worth getting in to. Entirely narrow, it feels like the sound is coming from one direction.


The Sony MDR-EX150 is certainly targeted towards people who love audio that is more flatter, with a suitable amount of bass. Built in with 9mm high sensitivity drivers, these in-ears bring to the table every tone with great clarity. 

Deceptive to Sony's otherwise Bass Heavy sound signature, the EX150 articulates the mids and highs to sound clear. Another good audio aspect,
the instruments are well separated. Thus, if you are looking for a tonally balanced sound signature, you should look at the MDR-EX150. 

What did pose an issue however, is the noise isolation. Althoughangled in structure, the MDR-EX150 does not very effectively attenuate external sound. Consider getting yourself a pair ofComply Ear tips to eradicate this issue.


  • Heavy Bass Sound Signature
  • Simple Plastic Built
  • Weak Tangle Prone Cable
  • No Mic and Remote

Sony MDR-EX150
  • Comparatively Lesser Bass Response
  • Stylish Metallic Finish
  • Sturdy Cable
  • No Mic and Remote


The Sennheiser CX 180 gets most things right with its heavy lower-end, simple design, and comfortable fit.

The Sony MDR-EX150 is a fairly bass driven in-ear, that is well designed and extremely stylish looking for its price.

Both these earphones make for a great choice if you are looking for in-ears that can be used daily with your smartphone. However, do no expect too much on the sonic front.


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

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