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Best Sennheiser headphones

When it comes to fidelity, Sennheiser knows what’s up.
By

Published onFebruary 5, 2024

The Best
Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless
MSRP: $350.00
8
Check price
Positives
Excellent battery life
Excellent sound quality
Connectivity options
Price
Negatives
Middling ANC
Mic noise rejection
Best Value
Sennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless
MSRP: $179.95
8.3
Check price
Positives
Price
Weight
Comfort
aptX, aptX HD support
USB-C audio
Negatives
Will not get LE Audio
No TRS jack
Best Open-back
Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX
MSRP: $199.00
7.8
Check price
Positives
Sound quality
Removable/replaceable cable
Open back
Soft velour padding
Price
Negatives
Might need amp
No isolation
Best comfort
Sennheiser HD 599
MSRP: $249.00
7.5
Check price
Positives
Very comfortable
Decent bass for open-back headphones
Removable cables
Negatives
Some distortion with loud volume
Frequency response is not ideal for all music
Adapter is clunky
Bang for your buck
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
MSRP: $129.00
7.5
Check price
Positives
Neutral mids
Fairly revealing headphones, suitable for mixing
Comfortable with/without glasses
No sound leaks
Cheap price
Negatives
Can feel hot during long sessions
Not the best looking

Sennheiser is one of a handful of audio monoliths making some of the best over-ear headphones on the market, so knowing where to start in its wide array of headsets can be an overwhelming process. Despite not having the catchiest of model names, Sennheiser headphones are reliable and consistently perform above their price bracket compared to the competition, so much so that they often make our list of the best headphones. So, let’s dig in to help you find the best Sennheiser headphones for your needs.

What's new?

  • This post was updated on February 5, 2024, to add the Sennheiser HD 490 Pro to our recommendations and ensure the timeliness of the information within.
  • Sennheiser is releasing the ACCENTUM Plus headphones this year as a middle option between the MOMENTUM 4 and the ACCENTUM Wireless headphones. We got to try them at CES, and first impressions were good, but stay tuned for our full review to see if they get our recommendation.

Why is the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless the best Sennheiser headphones?

The Sennheiser momentum 4 wireless sits on a headphone stand
The Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless is very comfortable for hours on end.

Sennheiser upped the ante with the MOMENTUM 4 Wireless, a premium set of active noise canceling (ANC) headphones. These cans feel comfortable for extended listening sessions and even for folks with glasses. Good luck draining the very impressive 56 hours and 21 minutes of battery life (with ANC on), but if you do, there’s always an optional wired connection. You even get an airplane adapter for flying.

Through the combination of isolation and ANC, the MOMENTUM 4 Wireless reduces the loudness of high-pitched sounds by 75-95%. Low-pitched sounds see about a 75% reduction in volume. Adding to this premium experience is the suite of high-quality Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX, or aptX Adaptive.

This chart shows the MDAQS results for the Sennheiser Momentum 4 in Default mode. The Timbre score is 4.8, The Distortion score is 3.5, the Immersiveness score is 4.1, and the Overall Score is 4.6.

As is the trend lately with premium headphones, the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless uses touch controls. These work well, and you can adjust them to your taste in the app, which has some niceties like an equalizer. Most listeners won’t want to alter the sound much, given that the MOMENTUM 4 Wireless arrives sounding very close to our preference curve. The fact that the MOMENTUM 4 Wireless sells for a bit less than the flagship Sony WH-1000XM5 means it’s not only a great headset with better codecs and battery life but also cheaper. Still, if you need a more affordable headset, look at our next pick.

Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 WirelessSennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless
SoundGuys Editors Choice
Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless
App for EQ changes • Simple, elegant design • USB-C charging
MSRP: $350.00
High-end ANC over-ear headphones focus on style and comfort
If you need total immersion in your music, you need some ANC over-ears. The Sennheiser Momentum 4 focus on style and comfort while delivering the core features high-end shoppers need with their headphones.
See price at Amazon
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Sennheiser Momentum 4
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Sennheiser Momentum 4

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Considering the limitations of built-in mics on headphones, the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless mic sounds fairly natural. It can struggle with noise rejection. Take a listen for yourself.

Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless microphone demo (Ideal conditions):

Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless microphone demo (Windy conditions):

Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless microphone demo (Street conditions):

How does the microphone sound to you?

8241 votes

The Sennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless is one of the best value buys on the market

The Sennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless held above wood.
The Sennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless is one of the best values in the ANC headphone world.

The Sennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless has excellent sound quality and brings ANC capabilities for roughly half the cost of other top-end competitors. With their support for aptX and aptX HD, listeners can indulge in high-fidelity audio for prolonged listening, thanks to their lightweight and snug, albeit not overly thick, padding. They boast a robust 46+ hours of battery life, which is near the top of their class, ensuring the music doesn’t stop on even the longest journeys.

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On the downside, the ACCENTUM doesn’t feature LE Audio or a TRS jack, limiting some connectivity options. Also, while it provides active noise cancelation (ANC), it may not be the fortress of solitude that commuters in boisterous environments desire. The ANC performs admirably at higher frequencies, effectively silencing 90% of noise above 1kHz, but it doesn’t quite match the prowess of more premium competitors.

The Sennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless may not boast the cutting-edge features of its pricier cousins, but it stands out where it counts. These headphones are a compelling pick for those whose priority is a balance between cost, audio fidelity, and day-to-day functionality.

Sennheiser ACCENTUM WirelessSennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless
SG recommended
Sennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless
Comfortable • Impressive battery life • Effective ANC
MSRP: $179.95
An affordable set of ANC headphones with excellent sound quality.
The Sennheiser Accentum Wireless headphones are a great choice for immersive, comfortable, and extended listening experiences. With up to 50 hours of battery life, they offer high-definition sound and effective ANC. These headphones deliver comfort and audio quality, making them a fantastic choice for both at-home enjoyment and on-the-go use.

True to form for a set of wireless headphones, the Sennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless can be used for phone calls. The 2-microphone array of the headset uses beamforming to pick up your voice over the din of the outside world and cuts off pickup at 8kHz — it wouldn’t make it over a mobile network anyway.

Sennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless microphone demo (Ideal conditions):

Sennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless microphone demo (Office conditions):

Sennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless microphone demo (Street conditions):

Sennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless microphone demo (Windy conditions):

How does the microphone sound to you?

1026 votes

Audiophiles on a budget will love the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX

The Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX on a desk.
Premium headphones like the Sennheiser HD 6XX don’t offer many features, but they do pack performance.

The Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX is a budget-friendly pathway to high-end audio. A successor to the venerable Sennheiser HD 650, it boasts similar acoustics at a significantly reduced cost, making it an irresistible choice for audiophiles prioritizing sound quality over frills. Its construction, while modest with matte black plastic and metal, doesn’t skimp on durability or aesthetic appeal, satisfying both to the eyes and the ears.

Comfort is key with the HD 6XX; its lightweight design and deep velour pads cater to extensive listening sessions without the strain, a boon especially for glasses wearers. Additionally, the open-back design, while not suitable for noisy environments, offers an immersive audio experience indicative of its professional heritage. With a resistance rating of 300Ω and a sensitivity of 103dB/1Vrms, the HD 6XX delivers a clean, neutral-leaning sound profile, minimizing distortion and channel imbalances and presenting music with clarity and fidelity that respects the original recordings.

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The Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX is great for those looking to upgrade their home audio experience without breaking the bank. This headset is not about features; it’s about pure performance, and at $200, it punches well above its weight in the audiophile market. While it’s not designed for the mobile listener, those with a stationary setup will be rewarded with audio quality that rivals more expensive headsets.

Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XXDrop x Sennheiser HD 6XX
Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX
Sound quality • Removable/replaceable cable • Open back
MSRP: $199.00
If you're looking for a set of headphones to stay by the computer, few offer a better price-to-performance ratio than the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX. Based on the design of the legendary Sennheiser HD 650, the HD 6XX is a steal at half the price.

Stay home with the Sennheiser HD 599

A close up photo of the Sennheiser HD 599 resting on its side on a turquoise surface with a TV in the background.
With its comfy headband and ear cups, the HD 599 is a good companion for relaxing at home.

Not every set of headphones needs to follow you on your commute. Sometimes, you only need a comfortable pair of headphones like the Sennheiser HD 599 to plug in and relax. Sporting a balanced weight distribution and adjustable fit with velour and foam, the HD 599 has a long 3m cable for the times you want to move about or a shorter, 1.2m cable.

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Its sound is characterized by a reasonably good treble reproduction and some exaggerations in the low end. For casual music and media consumption, it’s totally fine, but for studio-grade, it is not. The HD 599 having open backs means you won’t want to use it out of your home due to sound leaks and almost no isolation. However, as a set of headphones for milling about the house and watching shows or using your computer without bothering to charge batteries, it’s a solid set.

Sennheiser HD 599Sennheiser HD 599
Sennheiser HD 599
MSRP: $249.00

Is the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro good for studio work?

The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro studio headphones with the ear cups rotated in different directions.
Swiveling earcups mean singers can listen in the room in one ear and through the headphones with the other.

The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is a studio classic and the only sub-$100 pick here. This set of dynamic, closed-back cans is ideal for studio use and comfortable to wear for extended periods. Considering studio headphones are a category that can get quite expensive, this budget pair does its job pretty darn well.

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The headband cushions may look silly, but they promote even weight distribution, and the earpads are breathable, preventing your ears from overheating. The 3.3-meter-long coiled cable offers plenty of leeway for navigating a studio environment; it’s also replaceable, which is a nice touch. Moreover, the earcups rotate and lay flat on the chest when not in use.

Sennheiser HD 280 ProSennheiser HD 280 Pro
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
Neutral mids • Fairly revealing headphones, suitable for mixing • Comfortable with/without glasses
MSRP: $129.00
The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro may be a little lightweight on bass, but if you're mixing or recording, it's a solid tool and offers a good value. It's not the most portable, but there's a spot in every studio where you could use it.

Sennheiser’s latest open-back headphones, the HD 490 Pro, launched this year, and they promise to be an upgrade in their studio reference headsets. Notably, they come with two ear pads: velour for a slightly warmer sound and fabric for a flat, neutral response, giving you two options to mix with depending on your stage production preference.

In our brief ears-on time with the headphones at NAMM 2024, we were impressed with the clarity and depth of sound they produced. The price tag may seem high, but they include a license for the dearVR MIX-SE plugin, developed by Dear Reality. This audio software provides a virtual mixing environment, simulating what it’s like to listen to your mix through loudspeakers in different environments, making for a complete package.

We look forward to putting the Sennheiser HD 490 Pro headphones through our testing gauntlet soon to let you know how they compare to the rest of the Top Picks on this list.

Sennheiser HD 490 PROSennheiser HD 490 PRO
Sennheiser HD 490 PRO
Open back • Two washable ear pads • Includes Dear Reality dearVR MIX-SE plugin
MSRP: $399.99
Built for comfort, clarity, and versatility.
The Sennheiser HD 490 Pro are professional open-back headphones tuned for professional use. Swappable ear pads and reference sound make this an ideal headphone for music producers.

Break the bank with the Sennheiser HD 800 S

A photo of a man listening to the Sennheiser HD 800 S headphones.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S does a great job of recreating the illusion of space in recordings.

When it comes to high-end headphones, the Sennheiser HD 800 S is a defining model. At 300g, these are not light but feel comfortable, and the weight is well distributed. Being a set of open-back headphones, they’re not as great at attenuating external noise, but they are one of the best open-back headphones you can get.

A bar chart showing the Multi-Dimensional Audio Quality Scores of the Sennheiser HD 800 S.
As audiophile headphones aren't generally tailored for the mass market, it's not surprising that the simulated panel scores are a little low.

With an excellent analytic frequency response, you can expect that whatever you hear on the HD 800 S is basically accurate. Of course, these be-all-end-all headphones don’t come cheap.

Sennheiser HD 800 SSennheiser HD 800 S
Sennheiser HD 800 S
Sound quality • Illusion of space • Comfort
MSRP: $1,699.95

The Sennheiser HD 660S is a great set of headphones for indoors

The Sennheiser HD 660S shown held in one hand.
42mm transducers are visible through the HD 660S’ steel mesh.

Were it not for the limited use cases of the Sennheiser HD 660S combined with the midrange to expensive price tag, it would be one of our top choices. First off, it sounds great with a frequency response designed for analytical listening. However, the HD 660S is also open-back, meaning you’ll have to listen exclusively in quiet spaces. Sennheiser ships the headset with different cables for optional balanced connections, and the build is good.

For producers, it could be just the ticket for mixing and mastering, with excellent natural-sounding reproduction of instruments. It might be a bit steep in price for niche usability unless that’s your niche.

Sennheiser HD 660SSennheiser HD 660S
Sennheiser HD 660S
MSRP: $499.00

What about true wireless earbuds from Sennheiser?

The Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 sits open on rough concrete outside.
The very strong case magnet hampers single-handed operation, which also means it stays closed in your bag.

If you’re set on true wireless earbuds, Sennheiser has your back with the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3. These gorgeous earbuds have active noise canceling miles better than their predecessor. It also sounds great and has voice assistant support. The Sennheiser Smart Control app lets you equalize the sound, update the firmware, enable the transparent hearing function, and remap the earbuds’ touch controls. The buds use aptX Adaptive, aptX, AAC, and SBC. aptX Adaptive is a rare inclusion on even the most premium wireless earbuds and headsets, and it balances connection stability with audio quality.

With the MOMENTUM True Wireless 3, you get a USB-C charging case that supports wireless charging. It can also fast charge the earbuds: 10 minutes in the case yields 60 minutes of playtime. The case provides an additional three charge cycles to the standalone 5-hour, 33-minute battery life.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3
SG recommended
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3
Great sound quality • Feature-rich app with custom EQ • Broad codec support
MSRP: $249.95
These feature-rich earbuds exceed all expectations.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 show you can have great sound, great active noise-canceling, and a sturdy build all at once in a pair of true wireless earbuds.

The Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless is really good for the price

The Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless sits on a table in front of a window.
The Sennheiser CX Plus is a great all-around pair of true wireless earbuds.

If the price of the MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 seems a bit steep, the Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless might be more your speed. These blocky earphones have an IPX4 rating, great isolation, and ANC for the price, and sell for not much scratch. You’ll get good ANC and isolation, as well, so they’re suitable for commuting or listening to your tunes without distractions.

Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless EarbudsSennheiser CX Plus True Wireless Earbuds
SG recommended
Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless Earbuds
Good noise canceling • Good sound quality • IPX4 rating
MSRP: $129.95
The Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless improves on the older CX True Wireless with noise canceling.
The Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless build on the success of their predecessor with active noise canceling, making them a great choice for everyday buds.

Take the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless to the court

Sennheiser Sport True Wireless earbuds next to a basketball
Athletes will love these earbuds.

Athletes may favor the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless, which does not have ANC but supplies an IP54 against dust and sweat. Out of the box, it sounds good and has one of the best transparency modes we’ve reviewed for anyone exercising outdoors. These buds are an excellent pick for gym goers, or folks who are a bit more rough on their buds.

Sennheiser Sport Wireless EarbudsSennheiser Sport Wireless Earbuds
Sennheiser Sport Wireless Earbuds
IP54 water and dust resistance • Secure, comfortable fit • Companion app with EQ adjustment
MSRP: $129.95
Hear your surroundings while absorbing your favorite music
The Sennheiser Sport Wireless Earbuds are excellent workout headphones for runners and cyclists who need to be aware of their surroundings. While you won't get ANC, you get an IP54 water and dust resistant build with a comfortable fit. Battery life of over seven hours in our tests sweetens the deal.

The best Sennheiser headphones: Notable mentions

The Sennheiser HD 350BT Bluetooth headphones folded on top of a Chrome sling bag with the Sennheiser HD 450BT in the background.
The Sennheiser HD 350BT keeps all controls on the right ear cup.
  • Sennheiser HD 450BT ($129 at Amazon): Before the ACCENTUM, these were the budget pick ANC headphones from Sennheiser. They supply high-quality codecs like aptX and aptX Low Latency alongside standard AAC and SBC. You can also plug it in with the optional headphone jack.
  • Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee ($149 at Drop): Drop teamed up with Sennheiser to release the HD 58X Jubilee, which is a modern version of a limited edition pair from the past. This also happens to be very similar to the HD 600 and HD 650, with new drivers and a lower 150Ω impedance.
  • Sennheiser HD 559: Similar in style to the Sennheiser HD 599, the HD 559 markets itself as the more budget-friendly version of the with one less cable.
  • Sennheiser HD 569: Alternatively, for the person who likes the idea of the HD 599 but wants a closed-back isolating fit, this might be the set for you.
  • Sennheiser HD 650 ($399 at Amazon): This expensive set of headphones is a classic for production and audio enthusiasts. It has a neutral frequency response and open-backs.
  • Sennheiser HD 350BT ($86 at Amazon): These Bluetooth 5.0 headphones have great sound quality and are very portable, though not the most comfortable headset in the world.
  • Sennheiser IE 100 PRO Wireless ($149 at Amazon): Want a pair of earbuds that can go from wired to wireless in just a few seconds? Well, then check out the IE 100 PRO Wireless. With this, Sennheiser even includes its Bluetooth neckband adapter and MMCX earbuds.
  • Sennheiser IE 200 ($119 at Amazon): These wired earphones have a consumer-friendly sound, and a nice build, striking a balance between price and performance.
  • Sennheiser IE 300 ($281 at Amazon): These wired earbuds will please audiophiles with their 7mm Extra Wide Band Transducers. Its sound profile is similar to the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 earbuds, but it has ear hooks and an easily replaceable cable. By no means cheap, but it’s still nice.
  • Sennheiser IE 900 ($1199 at Amazon): If you want the cream of the crop when it comes to enthusiast IEMs, the Sennheiser IE 900 are the headphones to beat. It’s certainly a premium pick with the high price, but if you have extra cash to spend, these will never become obsolete.

Listeners who want to stick to the Sennheiser family should consider any one of the alternatives below. Otherwise, there are great options beyond the Sennheiser brand. We like companies with a good track record, like Audio-Technica, Sony, and Bose. with some of our favorite individual headsets being the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2, Sony WH-1000XM5, and Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700.

What you should know about Sennheiser headphones

Sennheiser HD650 on benchtop, no cable connected.
The Sennheiser HD 650 is a classic, but it’s pretty expensive.

Most models are more specialized than general consumer cans, so you’ll need to know more info before you buy. While that doesn’t preclude every option from being a worthy consumer headset, it does mean Sennheiser headphones are a bit more niche than something like Beats.

The cat’s out of the bag: wireless headphones just can’t compete with wired equivalents. If you’re looking at one of the wireless Sennheiser headphones or wireless headphones in general, watch keenly for aptX compatibility. If you’re an iPhone user, stick to AAC.

How should the best Sennheiser headphones sound?

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It depends on which headphones you’re looking at. If you’re going for a consumer headset like the MOMENTUM 4 Wireless, then you’ll notice the headphones that the treble aligns well with the SoundGuys preference headphones curve with a hint of more bass. Treble notes are typically louder than mids, and Sennheiser seems to under-emphasize a certain treble range (usually from 3-7kHz) as on the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 True Wireless earbuds.

Studio headphones from Sennheiser sound different from consumer ones and have a more neutral bass and midrange response. These frequencies will sound equally as loud or close to it, making it easier to mix audio. There are plenty of reasons why you’d want a studio sound from your headphones and plenty of reasons why you wouldn’t want this. It all depends on your use case, and with most of Sennheiser’s wireless headsets, you can EQ the sound within the Smart Control app.

Do Sennheiser earbuds and headphones need an amp?

A photo of a hand turning up the knob of a headphone amplifier
Most consumer headphones don’t require an amplifier.

Some headphones, like the Sennheiser HD 800 S, can require an amp and DAC combo for optimal functionality, although you can use the HD 800 S without an amp if you need to. When spending upwards of $1000, the last thing you want to do is spend more money on external components. Fortunately, the other picks can skate by sans-amp.

How we choose the best Sennheiser headphones

Sennheiser HD650 mounted on B&K5128 test head, viewed from the front.
We test our headphones on the B&K 5128.

When it comes to Sennheiser headphones, we know that most interested consumers are looking for the best sound quality they can afford, which is what we kept in mind when picking out each awardee per category.

We did our due diligence and researched top Sennheiser products carefully while taking into account the wide variety of listeners who may be drawn to the company’s products. We understand that few people will need or want the HD 820 but we felt it worth acknowledging the headset’s technological achievements.

Why you should trust SoundGuys

Each writer at SoundGuys has accumulated years of experience reporting on the consumer audio market, and our staff adheres to a strict ethics policy. We don’t use sponsored content on the website at a time when doing so is the norm. SoundGuys’ survival depends almost exclusively on readers enjoying their purchases. We pride ourselves on transparently outlining objective facts while accounting for the subjective experience to contextualize an audio product’s performance. When we do misspeak, we correct and own up to it.


Frequently asked questions about the best Sennheiser headphones

Yes, although EPOS, which used to be under the Sennheiser umbrella, has broken off as its own entity, you can still find some Sennheiser gaming headsets like the Sennheiser GAME ONE.

Yes, Sennheiser sells replacement ear pads directly from their website.

We would recommend checking to see if your headphones are still under warranty and then reaching out to Sennheiser for troubleshooting and/or a replacement pair.

Both Sennheiser and Audio-Technica are audio stalwarts with decades-long presences in the industry. You can’t go wrong with each company’s similar, competitive offerings. However, many of Sennheiser’s more economical offerings tend to have smaller ear cups than Audio-Technica, which is something to keep in mind if you have average-sized or larger-than-average ears. The compromise to this is portability; there are certainly travel-friendly Audio-Technica headphones, but Sennheiser generally has an edge. Both companies know how to make a good-sounding product. As far as Bose is concerned, it’s targeted more toward a consumer demographic and is a household name. We have a complete list of the best Bose headphones for your perusal.

Yes, several, actually! Sennheiser makes flagship MOMENTUM 3 True Wireless, CX Plus True Wireless, CX True Wireless, Sport True Wireless, CX400BT, and sometimes you can find the MOMENTUM 2 True Wireless on sale. We’d recommend going with the first two because they have active noise cancelation and are newer. However, all will give you great audio quality.

Open back and closed back refer to the physical build of headphones. Open backs do not block out room noise nearly as much as closed backs, but open backs deliver a purer sound because there are fewer echoes produced by the sound rebounding off of the headphone walls.

When it comes to choosing between the two types, it really depends on the atmosphere in which you plan to use the headphones. If you are using them in a studio with noise isolation, open-backs will give you a much more natural sound that is accurate to the recording. On the other hand, if you want headphones for commuting, you’ll want to go with closed back because the enclosed space allows for isolation. However, the closed-back barrier can also produce slight echoing or delayed response times because of the high pressure in the chamber behind the drivers.