We've currently tested over 45 pairs of Sennheiser headphones. They're a well-trusted brand that makes various models for different uses, focusing on open-back, reference-quality headphones. We generally test several Sennheiser headphones yearly, so we'll update this article as we release new reviews.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S are the best Sennheiser headphones for audiophiles that we've tested. They have a high price point, which can set them out of reach for most people, and to get the most out of them, you'll need an amp to power them, adding an additional expense if you don't already have one. However, if you can afford it, these open-back headphones can create a wide, spacious, and natural soundstage that's worth checking out.
They have a very well-balanced and neutral sound profile. Although they lack low-bass, like most 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 shelling out quite as much as our top pick, check out the Sennheiser HD 598. Compared to the premium Sennheiser HD 800 S, they don't feel as well built due to their cheaper plastic body. 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. On the upside, they're very comfortable and won't get tiring to wear during 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, though. If you're looking for headphones with less warmth, consider the Sennheiser HD 600 instead. They're better built and have a flatter bass range but aren't as comfortable.
The Sennheiser HD 560S are a more wallet-friendly audiophile alternative to Sennheiser's pricier models. 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 or more cables. Their soundstage doesn't feel as large or spacious as the Sennheiser HD 598, but it's still quite decent overall.
That said, they retain a similarly decent build quality and can reproduce a bit more low-bass than their upper mid-range sibling, which is nice if you're looking for a little more thump and rumble in your sound. Their well-balanced sound also reproduces bright vocals and instruments without becoming piercing. They're comfortable, so you can wear them for long listening sessions without fatigue.
If you're an audiophile that wants to keep spending costs down, we recommend 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, due to their design, their passive soundstage won't be as immersive or spacious as open-backs like 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 sounds like ambient chatter.
These over-ears deliver audio consistently, so you'll get a consistent sound each time you use them. Their fairly balanced sound reproduces low-bass well and won't overwhelm the rest of the mix. Vocals and instruments are present but veiled and dull due to a recessed treble. Their headband also feels tight on the head, which can be uncomfortable over time.
If you're looking for more casual-use headphones, try the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless. Unlike audiophile headphones, these well-built and premium over-ears are packed with features, including an active noise cancelling (ANC) system that does a good job of blocking background noise, an integrated microphone for 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 have a comfortable fit 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. However, they can only receive audio via this connection, so you can't use their mic. On the upside, they support multi-device pairing, so you can simultaneously stay connected to your PC and smartphone.
Users seeking mid-range casual-use headphones can consider the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3. They're the best Sennheiser earbuds available and offer similar performance to the over-ear Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless 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 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 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 needed.
If you're on a tight budget, Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless give the best bang for your buck. They're the upgraded Sennheiser CX True Wireless variant and come with active noise cancelling (ANC). Despite their budget-friendly price, their build quality still feels premium. Their warm sound profile suits EDM and hip hop, but instruments and vocals sound somewhat dark and veiled. You can adjust their sound using their companion app's graphic EQ and presets to suit your taste. They last about seven hours on a single charge and have an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life when you're not using them.
While lightweight, their bulky bud design sticks out of your ears. 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.
HiFiMan and Sennheiser both produce top-of-the-line audiophile headphones that are renowned for their accurate sound but differ in significant ways. While HiFiMan's headphones feature a planar-magnetic driver that ensures a flatter sound, Sennheiser's headphones feature dynamic drivers, which aren't as prone to imaging issues due to their simpler design. Additionally, HiFiMan only produce expensive high-end audiophile headphones, while Sennheiser produce a wide range of headphones at different price points for both critical listening and casual use.
Beyerdynamic and Sennheiser make headphones for audiophiles, but each company is known for a different specialty. Beyerdynamic are best known for their closed-back models, which help passively isolate you from outside noise but don't create as wide of a passive soundstage. Sennheiser, on the other hand, are best known for their open-back options, which give you a wider and more natural-feeling soundstage but leak more audio. Both headphones perform well, so the choice comes down mainly to your preferences and requirements for audio leakage. However, Beyerdynamic's audiophile lineup is generally far more affordable than Sennheiser's, making them a great option for the budget-conscious hi-fi enthusiast.
Apple and Sennheiser both offer upper mid-range in-ear headphones with premium features, great build quality, and powerful sound. Their flagship models often perform very similarly, so your ideal headphones may come down to personal preference. While Sennheiser's in-ears often feature more bass than Apple's, they lack Apple's proprietary chips that help seamlessly integrate them with the brand's product ecosystem. The best Apple headphones also support Spatial Audio, which changes the stereo image based on your head's position. If you don't have an Apple device or just don't care about quick pairing, Sennheiser's line of casual-use headphones are comfortable, stable, and have comparably good active noise cancellation (ANC) for commutes and busy offices.
Bose and Sennheiser are two headphone manufacturers with great-performing active noise cancellation (ANC) features. Bose's lineup of over-ear and in-ear headphones is renowned for its versatile isolation system that cuts out noise across the entire audible range, making it a go-to for commuters. Sennheiser is a close runner-up to Bose regarding ANC, but not all their models have the same powerful noise cancelling performance. Additionally, Sennheiser's lineup is quite large compared to Bose's. They produce casual-use, audiophile, and gaming headphones that'll suit many listeners' needs and budgets.
Sony and Sennheiser have extremely diverse headphones that cover a wide range of uses and listener preferences. Both make truly wireless in-ears, Bluetooth noise cancelling over-ears, and audiophile headphones. Their offerings are comfortable and have great noise isolation performance, although Sony's are typically better at blocking out the low-bass from traffic or bus rides. Sony's casual-use lineup also leans more bass-heavy, which can better suit genres like metal and EDM than the neutral sound profile found in most models made by Sennheiser. If you want more from this manufacturer, check out our best Sony headphones article.
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 range of headphones that range in price and intended use.
If you're an audiophile, you know this manufacturer as one of the key players in high-end reference headphones. They mainly produce these under one name:
If you're looking for casual use, Sennheiser has a few sub-categories to suit your preferences:
Sennheiser also produces models for specialty uses, like the SPORT, which are In-ears with stability fins and an IP54 rating for dust, splash & sweat resistance. They also manufacture a line of TV headphones:
Sennheiser also makes gaming headphones, like the Sennheiser Game One Gaming Headset, but their naming conventions aren't as strict with these kinds of models. They frequently collaborate with other companies in the gaming space, like Drop, who released the Drop + Sennheiser PC38X and the audiophile-centric Drop + Sennheiser HD 8XX as website-exclusive models.
Jun 06, 2023: We've checked our picks for product accuracy and availability. However, our recommendations have remained the same.
Feb 03, 2023: We've overhauled our Lineup section to better reflect Sennheiser's current offerings and improved the "Compared to other brands" section with more detailed comparisons between Sennheiser and its competitors in both audiophile and casual-use markets.
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.
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.