Sound Intone CX-05 On-Ear Headphones Review


Editor rating

4/5 on February 18, 2017 Reviewed by: Peter Alexander

User’s rating

842 reviews


  • Comfort
  • Durability
  • Style
  • Price


  • Nothing significant


If it weren’t for the subpar sound quality, the CX-05 would be a budget purchase of the century. As it is, these headphones can only be recommended to those listeners who have yet to spoil their ears with high-end headphones. Those who are used to audiophile-grade sound would quickly discover various weaknesses in the sound of the CX-05, and they would surely ruin the overall listening experience.

The Sound Intone CX-05 headphones may not be well known, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy of your attention. The company behind them, Shenzhen Nanruirun Technology, has created over 200 different headphones over the last 20 years, and they continue their relentless pursuit of innovation and customer satisfaction. Sound Intone is one of their younger brands, created to meet the growing demand for affordable headphones that combine style with excellent sound quality.

Build and Design

Despite the affordable price of the Sound Intone CX-05 headphones, the earcups are made from zinc alloy, which is a highly durable yet lightweight material. The headband features a special construction that prevents deformation and ensures maximum comfort. A layer of fabric hides memory foam and helps with air circulation.

The foldable hinge design makes it easy to pack the headphones in any backpack or pouch. The hinges seem to be rugged and well built. We dig the professional look of the headphones—something we would love to see more often in the budget category. Another thing that we would quickly get used to is the fantastic omnidirectional microphone. The mic is part of the included 3.5mm audio cable, which was tested by the manufacturer to prove that it can survive repeated strain.

Sound Quality

To be fair, we didn’t have the time to put the headphones through several days of burn-in time. It’s possible that their sound might improve after a few days, but we wouldn’t personally count on it. The most glaring problem is their hollow representation of mids. Both lows and highs take the stage, and mids are left glumly standing in the corner. It’s almost as if the manufacturer was afraid that any more emphasis placed on the mid-range would expose even more flaws.

Without a balanced sound, you’re left with headphones that occasionally sound fun, depending on which music genre you listen to the most. If it’s EDM, you’re likely going to be satisfied. But if it’s rock or hip-hop, your experience will be much different.

The one thing the headphones get right is noise isolation. We can imagine that someone who listens mostly to ambient music at low volume levels while at work would be very happy with the amazing value the CX-05 provide.

What’s in the Box?

Included in the box are the CX-05 headphones and two original cables. That way, when one breaks, you still have one that you can use as a replacement. Both cables are highly durable, and we don’t believe they will break anytime soon, unless you abuse them, of course.

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