How to buy the best Sennheiser headphones for you
From wireless headphones to TV, here's what you need to know
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Though we review (and highly recommend) headphones from pretty much every manufacturer, from Beats to Bose, sometimes you already have a brand in mind. For shoppers committed to Sennheiser, you still have dozens of models that you need to sift through to find the right pair.
We're here to help. We've reviewed a ton of Sennheiser models, including some of the company's best headphones, and can help you narrow it down. Here is our guide to the best Sennheiser headphones, where to buy them, and what models are really worth your money.
If you want a great pair of headphones for general use, Sennheiser has you covered. If you prefer over-ear designs (with large earcups that surround your entire ear), Sennheiser has over 40 different models to choose from.
Looking for travel headphones? The Sennheiser HD 4.50 headphones are a highly-affordable and highly-praised alternative to pricier noise-canceling over-ears from Bose and Sony. They're also smaller and lighter while offering nearly the same level of isolation you so dearly want on a long flight or train ride.
If you're looking for headphones for at-home listening rather than travel, Sennheiser's most popular model is probably the HD600 series, which debuted more than 20 years ago. It's been updated significantly in that time, and you can choose between the HD600, HD650, and the newest model, the HD660 S.
All three share similar characteristics, including large, plush ear cups and an open-back design. Open-back or "open air" headphones are designed primarily for listening in a quiet environment since they don't keep out ambient noise, and let your music leak out. Though this makes them a poor choice for travel, the trade-off is a fantastic open, airy sound profile that is the closest thing to being in the studio with whatever performer you're listening to.
Though Sennheiser's in-ear lineup includes some truly premium (and premium-priced) in-ear headphones, we are especially partial to the company's shockingly affordable CX100 earbuds. They're just $30, and they sound awesome—though they don't have much in the way of fancy features or wireless connectivity.
Need an affordable pair of earbuds to use with your phone (assuming it has a headphone jack or you still have your 3.5mm dongle)? These are a perfect fit. They do everything you want affordable earbuds to do, and nothing you don't.
If you're looking for wireless earbuds, Sennheiser also has a few excellent choices. For general commuting, the Momentum Free are the best-reviewed wireless earbuds in Sennheiser's stable. Though battery life and water-resistance are lacking, they offer top-notch sound quality for $200 (and they're closer to $150 on sale).
If you need water-resistance and want similar sound quality, the CX Sport are your best bet. We're not quite as fond of these, since they use an in-ear wing design to stay in place during workouts, which we find less reliable than an earhook. Sennheiser does offer wireless earbuds with an earhook, the new IE 80S, but they're not designed for workouts. These are audiophile-grade wireless earbuds with a price to match, but for what you're paying they do support high-end codecs.
Of course, Sennheiser also has "true" wireless earbuds as well. Unlike older wireless models, these have no wires at all, just two separate earbuds that communicate wirelessly. The Momentum True Wireless earbuds cost a mint at just under $300 on sale, but they sound great. If you want zero wires and audiophile-level sound they're worth considering, but we find other (more affordable) true wireless earbuds to be more convenient and reliable.
Headphones for your TV
One area where Sennheiser stands truly alone is in the Wireless TV Headphones space. Whether you're hearing impaired or just want to watch TV at night without disturbing other people in your home, Sennheiser is one of the best options you'll find.
For most people, we think the RS 185 over-ear headphones will fit the bill perfectly. They feature a transmitter that connects to your TV via optical audio cable or 3.5mm headphone jack. Though we haven't reviewed these in our labs, they are extremely well-regarded for their excellent surround sound, with many user reviews lauding the home theater-level experience.
If you need something similar but are hearing impaired, the RS 195 offer the same quality but with several modes to alter the audio to make things like speech more intelligible. These settings are adjustable, letting you find a mode that suits your needs. We'd recommend discussing these needs with a doctor for more specific medical advice, but Sennheiser is one of the few headphones companies offering products for this use case.
For people who find over-ear designs uncomfortable but otherwise would like the RS 195, the RS 5000 in-ear headphones are worth looking into also. They have similar speech-boosting modes that help with understanding TV and movies better, but still offer excellent all-around sound quality.