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Best Sennheiser headphones: brilliant headphones for every style and budget

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You probably already know this, but Sennheiser is a brand with a lot of prestige. Founded in 1945, it began as a manufacturer of microphones before soon expanding into other areas of audio. It claims to be the first company to have made an open-backed pair of headphones.

Today, it makes (a lot of) headphones to suit all styles and budgets – and (a lot of) very good-sounding ones at that. So good, in fact, that many pairs feature in our very best headphones for all budgets list. We've lost count of how many What Hi-Fi? Awards the brand has acquired over the years.

Whether you're after sporty earbuds for running and the gym, a premium pair for travelling, or a high-end pair of headphones for home listening, you'll find something here to satisfy you.

So, without further ado here are the best Sennheiser headphones...

Best Sennheiser headphones

(Image credit: Sennheiser)

1. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2

A fine addition to the world of true wireless headphones.

Specifications
Connector: N/A
Cable length: N/A
In-line remote and mic: N/A
OS support: Android/iOS
Bluetooth: Yes
Noise-cancelling: Yes
Battery life: 7 hours (28 hours with charging case)
Reasons to buy
+Refined sound+Lightweight, comfortable+User friendly
Reasons to avoid
-Pretty pricey-Bettered for timing

The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2s bring a raft of improvements compared to their predecessors and one of the most refined sounds we've heard from a pair of wireless headphones.

The design looks much the same as the original, but there has been a slight aesthetic tweak. The earpieces are slightly slimmer, so they protrude less from your ears, and, more importantly, they're more comfortable to have in place for long listening sessions. One of the major changes is the introduction of noise-cancelling, which works extremely well and is pretty much on par with the Sony WF-1000XM3. They're nice to use too, with touch-sensitive pads on each earpiece which can be customised to control music playback and features.

Battery life is competitive, with a single charge giving seven hours of playback and the charging case providing an additional three charges, bringing the total battery life at your disposal to 28 hours.

It's all positive and we haven't even touched on the sound quality, which is extremely refined and sophisticated for the money. Highs and lows are composed and controlled but dynamics aren't sacrificed. The Sennheisers present a detailed soundstage with impressive scale and authority. They're a little pricier than other wireless in-ear headphones, but if your budget can stretch, your ears will be rewarded.

Read the full review: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2

Best Sennheiser headphones

(Image credit: Sennheiser)

2. Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless

Superb noise-cancellers that enhance Sennheiser’s reputation

Specifications
Bluetooth: Yes
Noise-cancelling: Yes
Battery life: 17hr
Charging: USB-C
Built-in mic and controls: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Energetic, rhythmic presentation+Convenient usability features+Effective noise cancellation
Reasons to avoid
-Uncompetitive battery life

Sure, the 17-hour battery life can be bettered, but with these Sennheisers Momentum 3 Wireless, that's where the gripes end. Their thick leather earpads make these headphones incredibly comfortable and even provide a good dose of noise isolation - handy if you don't have enough juice left to power the noise-cancelling feature. The on-cup controls and their collapsible design also make them easy to use and very convenient to take with you, too. And then there's the sound.

They're rich and gloriously full-bodied but still maintain clarity, particularly in the midrange. It gives them a superb tonal balance alongside their depth of bass, which will reward listeners of all stripes.

Admittedly you can get some great competitors for a fair bit less. But rhythmically speaking, these Sennheisers are cohesive and consistently dynamic too, making them quite the class leaders. Proof that you get what you pay for.

Read the full review: Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless

Best Sennheiser headphones

(Image credit: Sennheiser)

3. Sennheiser IE 900

Sennheiser’s wired flagship earbuds set high standards.

Specifications
Connector: 3.5mm, 2.5mm, 4.4mm
Cable length: 1.2m
In-line remote and mic: No
Bluetooth: No
Noise-cancelling: No
Sensitivity: 123dB
Weight: 4g (each)
Reasons to buy
+Detailed, articulate sound+Refined yet entertaining presentation+Clever engineering
Reasons to avoid
-Cable transmits noise-No in-line remote

Sennheiser’s IE 900 in-ear headphones will appeal to purists who want to get the best audio possible from a high-quality source. The premium in-ears come with six ear tip options and three cables with a choice of normal 3.5mm and balanced 2.5mm and 4.4mm connectors. The only thing they don't have is an in-line remote.

Sennheiser's engineers have chosen to go with a single driver rather than the more fashionable multiple unit approach that many rivals take and it's made with rigidity and low resonance in mind. The results? Fantastic. The IE 900 sound clear, open, confident and insightful, revealing layers of detail and organising every track into a structured and cohesive whole.

Partner these high-end Sennheiser headphones with a high-quality outboard DAC, such as the Chord Mojo and use good quality files and you'll hear just why the IE 900 justify their punchy price tag.

Read the full Sennheiser IE 900 review

Best Sennheiser headphones

4. Sennheiser Momentum M2 IEi

A superb pair of in-ears for the money.

Specifications
Type: In-ear
Wireless: No
In-line mic/remote: Yes
3.5mm connector: Yes
Weight: 16g
Reasons to buy
+Comfortable fit+Attractive design+Clear, detailed sound
Reasons to avoid
-Nothing of note

There are actually two variants of the Momentum in-ears: the M2 IEis have the relevant in-line mic and controls for Apple phones, while the IEGs work with Android handsets. But they both share the same excellent sound quality – it's smooth and balanced, with plenty of drive and a good sense of musicality. A fine option and among the best wireless earbuds costing less than a ton.

They may not be the newest earbuds around (they won our Product of the Year award way back in 2017), but they still remain up there in the competition – especially now they can be picked up for a lot less.

Read the full review: Sennheiser Momentum M2 IEi

Best Sennheiser headphones

(Image credit: Sennheiser)

5. Sennheiser HD 450BT

Smooth, durable performers with typical Sennheiser appeal.

Specifications
Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes
Noise-cancelling: Yes
Battery life: 30 hours
Weight: 238g
Reasons to buy
+Smooth, easy-listening balance+Excellent battery life+aptX Low Latency Bluetooth
Reasons to avoid
-Busy button layout-Bass emphasis won’t suit all

While they may lack the outright transparency and simplicity of the very best noise-cancelling pairs out there, there really is plenty to like in the HD 450BTs – not least in the way of top-notch features, such as excellent, 30-hour battery life and aptX Low Latency support, which are far from given in headphones of this price. 

If battery and bass are up there on your list of priorities, you won’t regret making these Sennheisers yours.

Read the full review: Sennheiser HD 450BT review

Best Sennheiser headphones

6. Sennheiser HD 820

Serious closed-back headphones for serious home hi-fi systems.

Specifications
Type: Over-ear
Wireless: No
In-line mic/remote: No
3.5mm connector: No
Weight: 360g
Reasons to buy
+Robust, full-bodied, detailed sound+Powerful, agile base+Cleverly engineered
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey-Design limits performance

These are very much high-end headphones for proper home hi-fi systems. They're closed-backed, and use Corning Gorilla Glass which is usually found in high-end smartphones.

The tonal balance is smooth and full-bodied, while they're sure-footed rhythmically. If your system demands premium headphones and you can stretch to the HD 820s you won’t be disappointed. They’re comfortable and  engineered to last.

Read the full review: Sennheiser HD 820

Best Sennheiser headphones

7. Sennheiser HD 201

These budget over-ears are surprisingly good value for money.

Specifications
Type: Over-ear
Wireless: No
In-line mic/remote: No
3.5mm connector: Yes
Weight: 163g
Reasons to buy
+Detailed+Balanced+Tough
Reasons to avoid
-Need greater dynamism

If you thought over-ear headphones had to cost the earth, check out the HD 201s. They're a cheap, no-frills pair, about as basic as they come but surprisingly good given the price. You have to make do without any bells and whistles like noise cancelling or an in-line remote, but sound quality is decent, with highlights being insight and balance.

They paint a clear sonic picture, while the top end is never harsh. If you’re after headphones that don't cost the earth and make you drum along on your desk, these will do nicely.

Read the full review: Sennheiser HD 201

Best Sennheiser headphones

8. Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless

A very talented pair of wireless noise-cancelling headphones.

Specifications
Type: Over-ear
Wireless: Yes
In-line mic/remote: Yes
3.5mm connector: Yes
Weight: 227g
Reasons to buy
+Clear sound+Excellent timing+Impressive dynamics
Reasons to avoid
-Bass might be too rich for some-Plenty of competition

If you fly a lot and want a pair of wireless noise-cancellers, these should be on your shortlist alongside those made by Sony and Bose. They're discreet enough for the discerning business traveller (who they're aimed at), and comfortable enough for all but the longest of long-haul flights.

Two levels of noise-cancellation keeps you isolated and they fold down to fit in a carry case. Sound is clear, they're rhythmically sure-footed and they stay just the right side of overstated. A must for the business traveller.

Read the full review: Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless

Best Sennheiser headphones

9. Sennheiser CX Sport

Talented in-ear headphones with a sporty twist.

Specifications
Type: In-ear
Wireless: Yes
In-line mic/remote: Yes
3.5mm connector: No
Weight: 15g
Reasons to buy
+Clear and detailed sound+Punchy, powerful delivery+Full-bodied bass
Reasons to avoid
-Rivals more rythmically adept

Sporty types, these are for you, as indicated by that splash of neon. But there's much more to these than just an eye-catching colour scheme: they're wireless, so you won't get tangled while working out, and they're splash- and sweat-resistant, so should last a while. The sound is clear, with expressive mids and bass powerful enough to get you pounding the treadmill. A solid and appealing pair of sports headphones.

Read the full review: Sennheiser CX Sport

Best Sennheiser headphones

10. Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear Wireless

No wires, but excellent sound quality.

Specifications
Type: In-ear
Wireless: Yes
In-line mic/remote: No
3.5mm connector: No
Weight: 313g
Reasons to buy
+Empty List
Reasons to avoid
-Empty List

The neckband design won't be for everyone, but if you can get on with it there's a lot to like about these headphones. Wireless connectivity, for starters. And less chance of losing an earbud. There's a decent sense of space and openness, and sound is packed with detail. They're dynamically strong too, with the Sennheisers scaling highs and lows with ease. You're treated to an inviting presentation, with the expressive mids a particular highlight.

Read the full review: Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear Wireless

Best Sennheiser headphones 2020

11. Sennheiser HD 2.30

No funky stand-out looks here, just a solid Sennheiser sound.

Specifications
Type: On-ear
Wireless: No
In-line mic/remote: Yes
3.5mm connector: Yes
Weight: 262g
Reasons to buy
+Chunky sound+Minimalist look
Reasons to avoid
-Boxy mids-Slightly limited bass depth-Could be comfier

These aren't the most stylish on-ears around, but then at this price they're not trying to be. They do have appeal in the sound department, however – it's a chunky, relatively smooth sound that works well across a wide range of genres and recordings. An attractive price is the icing on the cake.

Read the full review: Sennheiser HD 2.30

MORE:

Our pick of the best headphones for every budget

And the best wireless earbuds around

Treat your ears to the best over-ear headphones

 

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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