The Sennheiser SC 160 USB-C are on-ear headphones designed for business professionals. They have a flippable boom microphone that ensures your voice is heard clearly, even in noisy areas like a call center. They also have a slightly v-shaped sound profile but their mid and treble ranges are neutral enough to reproduce detailed voices too. Unfortunately, some may find the USB-C cable limiting, especially if you have an older device that doesn't have this input. Still, if you plan to use these with a computer, they're decently comfortable enough to wear for long periods.
The Sennheiser SC 160 are poor for mixed use. As these headphones are designed for business use, they have a great-performing boom microphone which allows your voice to be heard clearly, even in noisy environments. However, they struggle to isolate ambient sound around you like a train engine or office chatter, but this is most likely by design so that you can hear yourself talk. They're not stable enough to wear while doing physical exercise and some may find them a little too boomy for neutral sound.
The Sennheiser SC 160 are alright for neutral sound. These headphones have a boomy sound that lacks a thumpy low bass. However, their mid and treble ranges are fairly neutral, ensuring present, detail, and clear vocals as well as lead instruments. They also have good frequency response consistency, although their treble delivery can vary a bit due to their on-ear fit.
The Sennheiser SC 160 are bad for commute and travel. They're decently comfortable, so you can wear them for long trips without too much fatigue. However, they're less than ideal for traveling as they don't cut down almost any background noise such as bus engines or passenger chatter. They're also somewhat bulky since they can't fold up to a smaller size.
The Sennheiser SC 160 are disappointing for sports and fitness. While they're decently comfortable, these somewhat bulky headphones aren't meant to be worn during physical activity and can move around or fall off of your head with the slightest amount of movement. Their USB-C cable can also limit which devices you use them with, especially if your phone doesn't support this connection.
The Sennheiser SC 160 are poor for office use. These headphones are comfortable enough to wear throughout your shift. However, they don't isolate against almost any background noise such as office chatter. On the upside, their USB-C connection can be used on compatible PCs with full audio and mic support.
The Sennheiser SC 160 is wired-only and can't be used wirelessly.
The Sennheiser SC 160 are decent for wired gaming. As they use a USB-C cable, they can only be directly used on compatible PCs or by using an adapter. That said, as they have full audio and mic support on PC, you can use them while playing your favorite games. They have a decently comfortable fit with a boomy sound to help bring out some sound effects. Their boom microphone also does a great job of capturing your voice clearly, even in noisy environments.
The Sennheiser SC 160 are alright for phone calls. These business-oriented headphones have a great performing boom mic and your voice sounds clear and natural to those on the other line, even in noisy environments. However, these headphones struggle to cut down ambient noise like office chatter, which can make it more difficult to hear your conversation.
The Sennheiser SC 160 are very nondescript and plain looking. They have a matte black look with a thin, flippable microphone.
These headphones are decently comfortable. They feel quite light on the head and barely clamp your ears. However, if you try to move the ear cup, you can accidentally change the headband length, which can become annoying.
The Sennheiser SC 160 have alright controls. There are four physical buttons including volume up/down, and mic mute, which has a red light that turns on when you're muted. There's also a dedicated call management button that additionally activates voice assistant on Android devices. Unfortunately, there's almost no feedback and the buttons don't feel very clicky.
The Sennheiser SC 160 have sub-par portability. While their ear cups can swivel to lay flat, the headband can't fold to help reduce their footprint. The boom microphone isn't detachable either, and it can snag on something if you throw them into a bag.
These headphones don't come with a carrying case.
The Sennheiser SC 160 have an alright built quality. While they're mostly made of plastic and silicone, they still feel somewhat solid. However, the ear cups are a bit loose, which makes it easy to lose your fit.
These headphones have disappointing stability. They can easily move around on your head, even with light movement. Their wired design and non-detachable microphone also make them prone to getting snagged on something, pulling them off your head.
The Sennheiser SC 160 have an excited, v-shaped sound profile. If you're taking a lot of phone calls, they have smooth and accurate mids, which helps the presence and clarity of vocals. However, fans of EDM may find the lack of thump and rumble a little disappointing,
These headphones have good frequency response consistency. While the bass response is fairly consistent, the treble response varies a bit more, most likely due to their on-ear design.
The Sennheiser SC 160 have disappointing bass accuracy. They're lacking low bass but this shouldn't really affect speech. However, they're overemphasized in both the mid and high-bass, so voices sound very punchy and boomy.
These headphones have excellent mid accuracy. They're a little overemphasized in the low-mids, which makes them sound a little muddy and cluttered. However, mid and high-mid are both very neutral and flat, which results in present and clear speech.
The treble accuracy of these headphones is decent. The even and neutral low-treble ensures that voices sound detailed and present. However, the mid-treble is overemphasized, which makes sibilants like S and T sounds bright and piercing.
The Sennheiser SC 160 have a mediocre peaks and dips performance. While they may not have a thumpy sound, the peak in the mid-bass brings intense punch and boom to your mixes. There's also a peak in the mid-treble which makes sibilants like S and T sounds very sharp and piercing.
The Sennheiser SC 160 have a good stereo imaging performance. Their weighted group delay almost entirely falls beneath the audibility threshold, resulting in tight bass and transparent treble. Their L/R drivers are also very well matched in amplitude, frequency, and phase response. These headphones should accurately localize the placement of objects in the stereo image, which creates a more immersive listening experience. That said, these results are only valid for our test unit, and yours may perform differently.
The Sennheiser SC 160 have a poor passive soundstage. Their on-ear design partially interacts with your outer ear, but it results in a very small and unnatural soundstage. On the upside, they offer a very spacious listening experience.
These headphones don't come with virtual soundstage features.
The weighted harmonic distortion performance of these headphones is just okay. At a high volume, there's a large spike between the mid-bass all the way through to the mid-mid. However, this can be a bit difficult to hear with real-life content.
These are the settings used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when using this configuration.
These headphones are awful at noise isolation. These on-ears block out almost no ambient noise, so you hear bus engines or office chatter as if you're not wearing anything on your ears. While they do a slightly better job at reducing the high-pitched hum of an AC unit, they still let in most treble noise. However, this could be by design so that you hear your voice as you talk.
The Sennheiser SC 160 have a disappointing leakage performance. The bulk of leakage is in the mid to treble range, which may sound a bit thin. However, if you're talking to someone or listening to music at a high volume, your nearby coworkers can hear it.
These headphones have a flippable boom microphone.
The Sennheiser SC 160's microphone has a great recording quality. Your voice should be heard as clear, full-bodied, and natural, although a little bright.
The microphone has impressive noise handling. Even in very noisy environments like a train station, people on the other end of the line shouldn't have trouble understanding you.
These headphones don't have a battery and rely on passive wired playback.
The Sennheiser SC 160 have poor companion software. The EPOS software is only available on Windows. It lets you update your headphones and that's it.
These headphones are wired-only.
These headphones are wired-only.
These headphones have a non-detachable USB-C cable. When using their USB-C cable on a PC, they have 65ms of latency, and it slightly drops to 63ms when using an Android device, which is great. However, if your PC doesn't have a USB-C port and you want to use them with a USB-A adapter, their audio latency is 61ms.
These headphones can only be used on a PC that has a USB-C port or if you have a USB-A adapter. When connected to a supporting PC, you have full audio and microphone support. They're not compatible with the PS4, though.
The Sennheiser SC 160 aren't compatible with the Xbox One.
The Sennheiser SC 160 are advertised as coming with 2-in-1 earpads, so that you can use either the included foam or leatherette padding, depending on your preferences. However, we couldn't find any variants that come with the leatherette or the 2-in-1 padding as they all only come with foam. Our test unit also has foam padding, and you can see its label here. As a result, we expect our results to be valid for these variants.
If someone comes across an SC 160 that's different from ours, let us know in the discussions and we'll update our review.
The Sennheiser SC 160 are on-ear headphones designed for business use. They have a great flippable boom microphone that ensures your voice is heard clearly by those on the other line, even in noisy environments. Unlike other office-geared headphones like the BlueParrott B450-XT Bluetooth Headset, they use a USB-C cable, which is compatible with some newer smartphones that don't have an AUX port. If you're looking for more options, check out our recommendations for the best office headphones or the best wired headphones. If you're looking for a wireless option, check out the best Bluetooth headsets for phone calls.
The Logitech Zone Wired are better on-ear headphones for making phone calls than the Sennheiser SC 160 USB-C Headset. The Logitech have better build quality and are more comfortable. They have a balanced sound profile, leak less sound, and can do a better job of reducing ambient noise around you. Their companion app is more comprehensive as it offers a graphic EQ and presets in addition to an adjustable mic level. However, the Sennheiser have a better performing boom microphone.
The Sennheiser SC 160 USB-C Headset is better for making phone calls than the TaoTronics TT-BH041 Bluetooth Headset. The Sennheiser has a more neutral sound profile and its boom microphone offers a significantly better overall performance than that of the TaoTronics. However, the TaoTronics is a well-built, wireless headset with a mono on-ear design. It has a good battery performance, so it should last you throughout your workday.
The Jabra Evolve2 65 Wireless are better office headphones and are more versatile than the Sennheiser SC 160 USB-C Headset. While both have similarly great boom microphones, the Jabra have a well-built wireless design and a great battery performance. They're more comfortable and come with a soft case. They also leak less sound and they have a more robust companion app. They can also be used with their USB-C cable if you prefer a wired connection too.
The BlueParrott B450-XT Bluetooth Headset and the Sennheiser SC 160 USB-C Headset are similarly performing headsets for phone calls but you may prefer one over the other. The BlueParrott is a mono on-ear headset with Bluetooth wireless and great battery performance. It feels significantly more stable on the head and it leaks less sound. Its companion app also offers more features when used with Microsoft Teams, which some users may like. However, the Sennheiser is wired-only, which means you don't have to worry about battery life, and it also has a more neutral, less dark sound profile.