Best Sennheiser Headphones

Updated December 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
60 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best Sennheiser headphones

Choosing the right headphones is vital to your listening experience. Sennheiser headphones are available in a wide range of styles and levels of quality, from basic in-ear headphones for daily use to professional-quality headphones suitable for studio use. Whichever pair you choose, you can be certain that your new Sennheiser headphones have been designed and produced to exacting standards.

Depending on your requirements, you may select either in-ear, on-ear, or over-ear headphones, so it's important to learn a little more about each to choose the style that's right for you. Sennheiser offers both wired and wireless models. While many people prefer the convenience of wireless headphones, you'll still find many purists who like the simplicity of wired headphones and the fact they're compatible with devices that don't have Bluetooth connectivity. Other factors to consider include noise cancellation, open-back designs, and built-in voice assistants.

All the information you need to find your perfect pair of Sennheiser headphones is contained within this guide. What's more, we've selected our top headphones from Sennheiser, one of which might be your ideal choice.

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Some Sennheiser headphones have buttons on the side of the earpieces or the wires so you can easily skip tracks, pause, and adjust volume without touching the device that’s playing the music.

Key considerations

Headphone type

In-ear: These headphones, more commonly known as earbuds, consist of small speakers that fit inside the ear. Sennheiser models have silicone tips that fit comfortably and are easy to clean. In-ear headphones are extremely compact and lightweight. They're great for using on the go if you feel too conspicuous wearing large headphones out and about. In-ear options are the most affordable Sennheiser headphones.

On the downside, in-ear headphones don't always give you the best sound quality compared to other styles.

On-ear: These headphones have fairly large ear cups attached to a band that sits over the head to keep them in place. The cups sit directly on the ears, which provides a more immersive sound experience than in-ear headphones. On-ear headphones are a mid-price option between earbuds and over-ear headphones, and they generally have mid-range features and sound quality.

On the downside, on-ear headphones tend to produce more sound leakage than over-ear models, which can be annoying for those around you. Also, the pressure from the ear cups on the ears can become uncomfortable if you wear your headphones for an extended period of time.

Over-ear: These durable and comfortable headphones have even bigger ear cups than on-ear models so that the ear cups fit snugly around your ears rather than sitting on top of them. This naturally blocks out more sounds from the environment around you, so you have fewer distractions, plus less sound leaks out, which is better for the people around you. Though you can find over-ear Sennheiser headphones in a range of quality levels, they tend to be on the higher end of the spectrum, with great sound and impressive features.

On the downside, some people may find over-ear headphones to be too bulky for use on the go.

Wired vs. wireless

Sennheiser makes both conventional wired headphones and wireless models that connect to compatible devices using Bluetooth.

Wireless: With wireless headphones, you never need to worry about the wires getting tangled or damaging your headphones by tugging too hard on the wires. In addition, they're ideal for use with new smartphones, many of which don't have a headphone jack.

On the downside, wireless headphones need recharging between uses and cost more than wired headphones of a similar quality.

Wired: If you choose wired Sennheiser headphones, you'll get better sound quality and build quality for your money, plus you never need to worry about running out of juice on a long journey.

Open-back vs. closed-back styles

You can find both open-back and closed-back Sennheiser headphones, though the latter are more common.

Open-back headphones have grilles or vents to allow free passage of air through the ear cup. They are generally preferred by audiophiles because the audio sounds more open and realistic without a closed ear cup. They also weigh less, don't cause your ears to feel too hot, and have a greater number of advanced driver options.

Closed-back headphones have speakers and drivers sitting inside a completely closed ear cup, They’re better at keeping out ambient noise and keeping the sound from your headphones from leaking out. Plus, closed-back models tend to have deeper and more impressive bass.

Most wireless Sennheiser headphones can only be paired with Bluetooth-capable devices. However, most have a jack and come with an audio cable, so you can plug them into audio players that don't have Bluetooth.

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Features

Noise cancellation

All over-ear closed-back Sennheiser headphones offer a reasonable amount of passive noise cancellation since the ear cup padding forms a light seal around your ear to block ambient sounds.

True noise-cancelling headphones use active noise-cancellation technology to detect ambient sounds around you and emit a frequency to cancel them out. The ambient sound and the frequency emitted by the headphones cancel each other out so you shouldn't hear either.

Voice assistant

Some wireless Sennheiser headphones have a built-in voice assistant. Using this technology, you can give your headphones commands, such as "pause" or "skip" so you can control your music hands-free.

Frequency response

An ideal frequency response is between roughly 15 and 25,000 hertz (Hz). The full range of human hearing is 20 to 20,000 hertz, but a slightly larger frequency response gives the sounds at the top and bottom ends a bit more breathing room so you can hear them better. Any greater range of frequencies is unnecessary since you won't hear them.

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Did You Know?
Sennheiser has an app that works with some of its wireless headphones to change audio levels and let you switch between sound modes.
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Sennheiser headphone prices

Inexpensive: Between $20 and $100, you'll find a selection of excellent in-ear Sennheiser headphones, as well as basic on-ear and over-ear headphones that are usually wired.

Mid-range: These Sennheiser headphones cost from $100 to $400. You can find some exceptional wireless and wired on-ear and over-ear headphones in this price range that sound great and perform well.

Expensive: Most high-end Sennheiser headphones are priced between $400 and $1,500. These are top-notch headphones suited to music professionals and true audiophiles. Sennheiser has also created the Orpheus headphones, dubbed the best headphones in the world, which sell for $55,000 new.

If you choose wireless Sennheiser headphones, it's important to check the battery life to make sure it meets your needs.

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BestReviews

Tips

  • Choose collapsible ear cups if you'll be using your headphones on the go. This means the ear cups fold slightly, making the headphones smaller when you need to slip them into your bag or even a large pocket.
  • Protect your headphones. You'll receive a case with certain Sennheiser headphones, especially wireless models, because the case can have charging capabilities. If you don't get a case, consider buying one separately to protect your headphones when not in use, particularly if you're buying an expensive pair.
  • Enjoy enhanced audio with your TV. If you want to use wireless headphones with a surround sound system or other audio system linked to your TV, choose a radio frequency (RF) pair that comes with a receiver that links to your television set or cable box.
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You can find Sennheiser headphones that have a built-in microphone, so you can use them to make and receive phone calls.

FAQ

Q. What is "soundstage" and should I care about it when choosing headphones?

A. Soundstage is the ability of headphones to give you a sense of space and direction relative to what you're listening to. Ultimately, this means the headphones trick your brain into believing that the sound you're hearing is coming from another part of the room, not just from a speaker positioned right next to your ear. Large over-ear and open-back Sennheiser headphones do this best, whereas in-ear headphones have next to no soundstage abilities since the speaker is in your ear with no space for the sound to bounce around.

Q. Are Sennheiser headphones comfortable to wear?

A. Over-ear and on-ear Sennheiser headphones tend to be well padded, thus making them a comfortable choice. When listening to music for long periods, however, on-ear headphones can cause some discomfort since they exert a constant light pressure on your ears.

Q. What's the sound quality like on Sennheiser headphones?

A. That really depends on your budget. If you have several hundred dollars to spare, you can find Sennheiser headphones with professional-level sound quality that the most enthusiastic of audiophiles will be pleased with. You can also find much more affordable Sennheiser headphones that still sound great for their price but might not cut it for the most discerning listeners.

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