We've currently tested over 45 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. To get the most out of these headphones, you also need to use an amp to power them, which can be an additional expense if you don't already have one. However, if you can spare the expense, these open-back headphones can create a wide, spacious soundstage, and sound seems to come from speakers around you rather than inside your head. They have a very well-balanced and neutral sound profile. Although they lack low-bass, like most other open-back headphones, their sound has a touch of extra high-bass to add warmth to mixes without overwhelming vocals and lead instruments. The headphones are very well-built and have a very comfortable fit, so they're a good choice if you like to listen to music for hours. However, you may find their ear cups large if you have a small head.
If you're looking for high-end audiophile headphones without paying quite a high price point, the Sennheiser HD 598 are the best upper mid-range Sennheiser headphones for audiophiles we've tested. Compared to the premium Sennheiser HD 800 S, they're not as well-built since they have a more plasticky design. They're also more prone to deviations in audio delivery, so it's a good idea to take the time to adjust their fit to your head each time you use them. They have a very comfortable fit, suitable for long listening sessions. While their soundstage isn't as immersive as that created by the HD 800 S, it still feels open and natural. They also have a warm sound that delivers extra boom to audio. Vocals and instruments still sound clear, accurate, and detailed. If you're looking for headphones with less warmth, consider the Sennheiser HD 600 instead. They're better built and have less high-bass but aren't as comfortable and lack more thump and rumble.
For something a bit more manageable on the bank account, the Sennheiser HD 560S are the best mid-range Sennheiser headphones for audiophiles we've tested. At this price point, there have been some small reductions in overall performance, and they only come with one audio cable, which is a step down from higher-end models that come with two plus cables. Their soundstage doesn't feel as large or spacious as the Sennheiser HD 598, but it's still quite decent overall. Our unit's L/R drivers are slightly mismatched, most noticeably in the high-mid to low-treble range. That said, they retain a similarly decent build quality and can reproduce a bit more low-bass than their upper mid-range sibling. Their well-balanced sound also reproduces bright vocals and instruments without becoming piercing. They're comfortable too, which is great for long listening sessions.
If you're an audiophile that wants to keep spending costs down, then the best budget Sennheiser headphones in this category are the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro 2016. Unlike all the other audiophile headphones that have come before this pick, the HD 280 Pro are closed-back headphones, which is more common at this price point. However, that means their passive soundstage won't be as immersive or spacious as the Sennheiser HD 560S. At the same time, this design is good for users who want to monitor live recordings since they can block out some mid-range sound like ambient chatter and have a decent leakage performance. They have a fairly balanced sound that reproduces thump well but doesn't overwhelm the rest of your audio with boom and warmth. Vocals and instruments are also present in mixes but are veiled and dull. Their headband is tight on the head, which can be uncomfortable over time.
If you're looking for more casual-use headphones, the best Sennheiser headphones for this use are the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless. Unlike audiophile headphones, these well-built and premium over-ears are packed full of features, including an active noise cancelling (ANC) system that does a good job of blocking background noise, a microphone so you can take calls, and multi-device pairing support. They have a bass-heavy sound profile, which is well-suited for genres like EDM and hip-hop, but you can adjust their sound using their companion app's graphic EQ and presets. They also have a comfortable fit that's suitable for long listening sessions and last over 62 hours continuously. You can even use them wired in a pinch if you run out of battery life. However, they can only receive audio via this connection, so you can't use their mic.
If you're shopping for something in-between expensive and cheap, then the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 are the best Sennheiser earbuds for casual use at this price point that we've tested. Although they're a bit cheaper than the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless, they offer similar performance in many aspects, even though they don't support multi-device pairing. Their adaptive ANC system can block out significantly more ambient noise, which is great if you commute or work in a noisy environment. They also have a pretty bass-heavy sound profile, but their companion app offers a graphic EQ and presets if you prefer a different sound.
Unlike over-ears, they're smaller and more portable. You can bring them with you to the gym, thanks to their IPX4 rating for resistance against water splashes. Thanks to their stability fin design, they'll stay in place during tough workouts, although their fin design can be a little uncomfortable depending on your ear shape. Their continuous battery life of over eight hours is great, and their carrying case supplies an additional three charges if you need it.
If you're on a tight budget, the best Sennheiser earphones we've tested at this price are the Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless. They're the upgraded variant of the Sennheiser CX True Wireless and come with active noise cancelling (ANC). Despite their budget-friendly price, their build quality is great and feels premium. Their warm sound profile is suitable for genres like EDM and hip-hop. Instruments and vocals sound somewhat dark, but you can adjust their sound to suit your taste using their companion app's graphic EQ and presets. They last about seven hours of continuous use and are equipped with an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life when you're not using them. They're also lightweight, but their bud design is somewhat bulky and sticks out of your ears a bit. Where they show their price point, however, is in their ANC's performance. It only offers an okay noise isolation performance and won't block out as much ambient noise as the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3.
Overall, Sennheiser offers a variety of headphones for different uses. Many of their higher-quality models are on the pricey end; however, many of their cheaper models also perform admirably. They're easily one of the best for high-end open-back headphones, with some models offering stellar sound quality for audiophiles.
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.
Oct 25, 2022: We've overhauled this article to better represent the breadth of this manufacturer's offerings. We've added the following headphones: the Sennheiser HD 598, Sennheiser HD 560S, Sennheiser HD 280 Pro 2016, Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless, and Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3.
May 31, 2022: Verified that picks represent the best recommendations in their categories and that the products are in stock.
Mar 02, 2022: We've checked our picks for product accuracy and availability. There hasn't been a change in our recommendations.
Nov 30, 2021: Replaced the Sennheiser CX True Wireless with the Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless as the CX Plus offer active noise cancelling (ANC).
Sep 01, 2021: Added the Sennheiser CX True Wireless as the 'Best Sennheiser Earbuds'.
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, 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.