Sennheiser is one of the most storied names in headphones, with a number of massive hits in the high end headphone world, and a number of headphones widely considered to be among the best in their class. At Bloom, we carry a selection of their best and most recent models, including the HD660S, HD800S, and IE900. In this guide, we’ll look at their current lineup and lay out each headphone’s unique design and capabilities.
Sennheiser Over-Ear Headphones
Sennheiser’s headphones range in price from around $25 for the HD206 to around $2000 for the HD820S, with quite a bit in between. While you might find the HD206 on the shelves at your local Best Buy, Bloom’s selection is taken from the HD500, HD600, and HD800 series, which start at a more premium price.
The HD560S is the latest headphone in Sennheiser’s HD500 line, which focuses on a natural, transparent, reference sound. Expect tight, accurate bass, with a neutral, detailed overall signature. The treble provides strong definition and amazing resolution for the price point, along with good air and extension.
If you’re looking for a headphone that hits as close to neutral as possible, HD560S isn’t just “good” for $200. It’s an excellent example of a neutral, reference tuning that outdoes many more expensive headphones in terms of pure accuracy. While it’s certainly not the pick for bass enthusiasts, those craving a clean, transparent sound will find a lot to love.
HD600 is an open-back headphone that bridges the gap between professional and consumer headphones with a detailed, reference sound that stands the test of time. Originally released in 1997, it has inspired numerous other headphones, and has served as the starting point for Sennheiser in their creation of future headphones like the HD650 and the HD660s. Along with its stellar sonic capabilities, HD600 delivers comfort and great built quality.
HD650 was the next generation in terms of sound and design in Sennheiser’s HD600 series. HD650 takes the same basic reference tuning as the HD600 and makes some subtle improvements to the bass, while enhancing the technical capabilities of the drivers to deliver a faster response and a more expansive sound. Sennheiser also made some tweaks to the chassis to create a headphone that’s a step up in both sound and comfort.
HD660S offers a similar tuning to HD560S, but with a smoother treble response and a slight bump in the midbass. Imaging and soundstage were a big focus of the tuning and design for HD660S, and it delivers an immersive image, with excellent spatial delivery. The feeling of speed and dynamics is also a step up from HD560S. In terms of power and efficiency, HD660S has a lower impedance than previous models in the HD600 series and can achieve optimum performance with a broader range of portable devices.
Few headphones have the performance and longevity to achieve the status of being truly Legendary, and the HD800S is among those few. HD800S features a distinct design that audio enthusiasts spot immediately, with a durable build and comfortable, lightweight fit. Sonically, HD800S is renowned for its detail, clarity, immense soundstage, and immersive imaging. For critical listening, HD800S is among the best headphones ever made.
While the HD800S has legendary performance and sound, it’s also one of the most open open-back headphones, and is fully capable of letting everyone within 1000 square feet know what you’re listening to. If you want HD800S’s detailed, incisive sound, and legendary imaging without serenading your office mates or fellow passengers on the train with your personal soundtrack, check out the HD820. HD820 doesn’t reach the same heights as HD800S, but it does provide an exceptionally wide soundstage in a closed-back, while also delivering excellent detail and insight into the music.
Sennheiser is primarily known in the audiophile market for their over-ear headphones, but they have also been developing excellent IEMs, which take a different approach to tuning and design than their more famous over-ear headphones.
While most of Sennheiser’s lineup is focused on reference, neutral tunings, IE300 delivers a fun, v-shaped tuning, with strong impact and rumble in the bass, coupled with a snappy, engaging treble. Though Sennheiser’s core sensibilities remain in IE300’s construction of its soundstage and stereo image, IE300 leans pretty far into the fun and away from a reference sound.
IE600 lands somewhere in between the unabashed fun of IE300 and the more traditional reference sound of the rest of the lineup. You get a well crafted midrange that's more reminiscent of Sennheiser’s over-ear headphones, along with a slightly more subdued treble than on IE300. The bass is still big and punchy, but with less bleed into the midrange than the IE300. In a lot of ways, it’s a refinement of the IE300 sound and concept into a technically stronger IEM.
While you might expect IE900 to refine things even further as a flagship IEM, it turns and runs back to IE300’s core tuning, but delivers that fun, v-shaped sound with more precision and technical prowess. While IE300’s mids are overshadowed by its bass, IE900 provides clear, detailed mids in addition to a strong bass emphasis. The treble is strong as well, but tighter in its construction than IE300. Overall, IE900 is a nearly perfect example of a single dynamic driver flagship IEM sound.
The Momentum series represents the best of Sennheiser’s wireless technology and design. Their combination of top notch wireless performance and Sennheisers tuning expertise of headphones has made major waves in both the mainstream and audiophile wireless space.
The Momentum 3 are top notch TWS earphones, with all the features you need to be competitive with AirPods, while having an audiophile pedigree. In terms of features, you get ANC, transparency, and solid battery life. In terms of sound, you get a tuning that evokes Sennheiser’s classic tunings, but with a little more bass added in to satisfy the larger market for TWS earphones.
Sennheiser Momentum 4 offers the best of both worlds with ANC, 60 hours of battery, and top notch call quality, combined with Sennheiser’s legendary sound. If you’re an audiophile who’s looking for wireless convenience and features – without compromising on sound quality – or if you’re someone who values the convenience of headphones like Bose Quiet Comfort or Sony WH1000MX5, but want to take the next step in sound quality, Sennheiser Momentum 4 delivers the best of both worlds.
What’s the best Sennheiser headphone for me?
Sennheiser’s over-ear headphones have a clear house sound, and generally stick to a neutral, reference tuning, with a focus on accuracy and transparency. There are some minor differences, like the slightly smoother character of the 660S when compared to the 560S, but the majority of differences between models are qualitative. Each increased price tier offers an improved version of the previous model, meaning if you like the Sennheiser sound, the best headphone for you is probably the one that fits your budget.
The in-ear models are a bit different – and a bit more fun. Rather than stick to Sennheiser’s classic reference sound, Sennheiser’s IEMs have a more consumer friendly tuning with a highly engaging low end impact. The IE300 has the most V-shaped tuning of the three, with the IE600 bringing in more midrange and less emphasis in the treble. IE900 is in between, with an overall sound that’s closer to IE300, but stronger detail and better technical performance. And if you’re in the market for wireless, Sennheiser has you covered with both in-ear or over-ear options.