We've currently tested over 40 pairs of Sennheiser headphones. They're a well-trusted brand that makes a wide variety of models for different uses, with a particular focus on open-back, reference-quality headphones. We generally test quite a few Sennheiser headphones each year, so we'll continue to update this article as we release new reviews.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are the best Sennheiser headphones for audiophiles that we've tested. These open-back over-ears have a premium feel, with a solid metal frame and large, spacious ear cups with suede-like ear cup padding. They're breathable and don't clamp onto your head too hard, so you should be able to wear them for long listening sessions without much discomfort or fatigue. Their very well-balanced, neutral sound profile is suitable for a wide variety of musical genres. Their soundstage is perceived as very open, spacious, and speaker-like, yielding an immersive listening experience.
However, the big ear cups may be uncomfortable for people with smaller heads. Also, like most open-back headphones, they're not well-suited to noisy environments since they hardly block out any ambient noise and leak a lot of sound. If you're looking for more affordable options with an open-back design and a well-balanced sound profile, the Sennheiser HD 560S or the Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee are worth considering; however, their passive soundstage isn't as good.
The best Sennheiser headphones for casual use that we've tested are the Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless. These premium-looking over-ear headphones have a solid metal frame and leather ear cup padding. Their default sound profile is well-balanced and a bit bass-heavy, which may suit fans of genres like EDM and hip-hop, and if you prefer a different sound, you can customize it with a parametric EQ and presets in the companion app. Their active noise cancelling (ANC) feature does a great job of blocking out background noise, including sounds like rumbling bus and plane engines. Their mic's recording quality is decent, so if you use them for phone calls your voice sounds clear and reasonably full-bodied.
However, like most headphones with an open-back design, they leak a lot of audio, so they aren't the best choice if you want to listen to music at high volumes on the bus or at the office. Also, their bulky size means they aren't the most convenient to carry around, although they fold into a more compact shape and come with a soft case to store them. If portability is important to you, the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 are much smaller in-ear headphones, although their ANC feature isn't nearly as effective. If you want more portable headphones with an over-ear design, the Sennheiser PXC 550-II Wireless are more compact, although their build quality isn't as good.
The best Sennheiser headphones for home theater we've tested are the Sennheiser RS 195 RF Wireless. These dedicated home theater headphones are well-built and comfortable, so you can enjoy long listening sessions without feeling a lot of fatigue. They come with a specialized receiver dock that plugs directly into most TV sets, and their low latency ensures that the audio you hear matches the images you see. Thanks to their bass-heavy sound profile, you can feel the thump and rumble in action-packed scenes in your favorite movies, and dialogue is still clear and present. Also, with 24-hour continuous battery life, they can last through multiple films without needing a recharge.
Unfortunately, they're powered by rechargeable AAA batteries, and they can take more than eight hours to charge up, depending on the age and wear of the rechargeable batteries. Also, they struggle to block out a lot of background noise, which may be distracting if you're watching TV in a lively environment. They leak a bit of noise, which can be annoying for those around you. However, they ultimately rank among the best headphones for watching TV that we've tested, and they're a solid addition to your home theater setup.
The best Sennheiser headphones for gaming we've tested are the Sennheiser Game One Gaming Headset. These well-built wired gaming headphones have an open-back enclosure, which should yield a more natural, speaker-like listening experience while gaming. They also have a reasonably well-balanced sound profile. Some fans of action-heavy games may prefer a little more low-end thump and rumble, though this underemphasized low-bass response is normal for open-back headphones. Their boom microphone delivers excellent performance overall, as it makes your voice sound full-bodied, clear, and detailed. It also does an amazing job of isolating speech from background noise, so teammates can hear you clearly, even in noisy environments.
Unfortunately, they don't have any customization features via companion software, so you can't adjust their default sound profile or make any adjustments to their mic. Their open-back enclosure also leaks a lot of audio and does almost nothing to block out background noise. Otherwise, they're a good option if you're looking for a pair of simple, sturdy gaming headphones.
Overall, Sennheiser has a varied lineup of headphones but seems more focused on quality audio reproduction than more versatile or casual designs. Many of their higher-quality models are on the pricey end; however, many of their cheaper models also perform admirably. That said, they're easily one of the best when it comes to high-end open-back headphones, with some models offering stellar sound quality for critical listeners.
Sennheiser has a wide variety of headphones that range in price and intended use. They do well for critical listening headphones with the HD series. Below are the typical uses for the different lines.
Jul 08, 2021: Verified that the recommended products are in stock and updated text. No changes made to product picks.
Apr 12, 2021: Verified that all main picks are still in stock and represent the best choice for their given category.
Sennheiser is a big brand. Therefore, they have a wide variety of headphones that are either specific to a certain use or well-rounded enough for everyday casual use. However, in general, they tend to focus more on better sound quality than versatility, offering more models that cater to critical listening or home theater entertainment than sports or travel.