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Best Sennheiser headphones
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 when 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.
- This post was updated on November 2, 2023, to add the Sennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless to our Top Picks and refresh our Notable Mentions.
Why is the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless the best Sennheiser headphones?
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.
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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. 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 it’s cheaper, too. Still, if you need a cheaper headset, take a look at our next pick.
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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?
The Sennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless is one of the best value buys on the market
The Sennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless not only have excellent sound quality, but they also bring 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.
On the downside, the ACCENTUM doesn’t feature LE Audio or a TRS jack, limiting some connectivity options. Also, while it does provide active noise cancelation (ANC), it may not be the fortress of solitude that commuters in boisterous environments would 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.
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The Sennheiser ACCENTUM Wireless may not boast the cutting-edge features of its pricier cousins, but it stands out where it counts. For those whose priority is a balance between cost, audio fidelity, and day-to-day functionality, these headphones are a compelling pick.
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?
Audiophiles on a budget will love the Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX
The Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX shines as 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 who prioritize 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.
The Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX is a great purchase 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.
Stay home with the Sennheiser HD 599
Not every set of headphones needs to follow you on your commute. Sometimes, all you need is a comfortable pair of headphones like the Sennheiser HD 599 with which to plug in and relax. Sporting a balanced weight distribution and adjustable fit with velour and foam, the HD 599 has a long cable 3m cable for the times you want to move about or a shorter, 1.2m cable.
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.
Is the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro good for studio work?
The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is a studio classic, and it’s the only sub-$100 pick here. This set of dynamic, closed-back cans is ideal for studio use and is comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. Considering studio headphones are a category that can get quite expensive, this budget pair does its job pretty darn well.
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. What’s more, the earcups rotate and lay flat on the chest when not in use.
Break the bank with the Sennheiser HD 800 S
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. As a set of open-back headphones, it’s not so great at attenuating external noise. is close to the end all be all.
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.
The Sennheiser HD 660S is a great set of headphones for indoors
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 just be a bit steep in price for niche usability unless that’s your niche.
What about true wireless earbuds from Sennheiser?
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 that’s miles better than their predecessor. It also sounds great and has voice assistant support. The Sennheiser Smart Control app lets you can 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.
The Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless is really good for a nice price
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.
Take the Sennheiser Sport True Wireless to the court
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 a great pick for gym goers, or folks who are a bit more rough on their buds.
The best Sennheiser headphones: Notable mentions
- 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 as well as 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
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.
How should the best Sennheiser headphones sound?
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?
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 you’re 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
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, Sennheiser sells replacement ear pads directly from their website.
Both Sennheiser and Audio-Technica are audio stalwarts with decades-long presences in the industry. Each company has similar, competitive offerings, and you can’t go wrong with either. However, many of Sennheiser’s more economical offerings tend to have smaller ear cups compared to 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 a set 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.