How to buy the best Sennheiser headphones

We run you through each type of Sennheiser headphones and explain the differences between them

Sennheiser makes a huge range of headphones in all shapes, sizes and prices. If you're looking for a cheap pair of ear-buds or some $2500 over-the-ear headphones, there are Sennheiser models that should suit you.

Look at our top-rated Sennheiser headphones.

We've also put together a list of what we think are the best Sennheiser headphones.

If you want to see everything, here's a list of every Sennheiser headphones review we've done.

In-ear headphones, earphones and ear-buds

Ear-bud headphones sit in the outside of your ear, generally hanging on the ear itself to project sound into your ear canal. They're the type of headphones usually thrown in for free with a new phone or MP3 player. In-ear headphones sit deeper in your ear canal — because of this they're able to block out more outside noise and offer generally superior sound quality, but some users find the intrusion uncomfortable.

Designed for use with MP3 players, portable DVD players or netbooks, At the lower end of the price scale are products like the Sennheiser CX 271 and CX 310, while more expensive models like the CX 400 Precision II and CX 980 promise better sound quality, smaller size or increased comfort for an extra cost.

In-ear and ear-bud Sennheiser headphones we have reviewed include the MX 581, MX 471, CX 300-II and OMX 181.

On-the-ear and clip-on headphones

On-the-ear headphones sit on your ears and clamp against them to hold steady. Clip-on headphones do a similar job, but instead of using a headband they use sunglasses-style hooks that sit on top of your ears. They're not as large as over-the-ear headphones but offer richer sound than ear-buds — on-the-ear and clip-on headphones strike a compromise between portability, comfort and sound quality.

Portable headphones and travel models like the PXC 150 are usually based around this kind of design, and Sennheiser also makes plenty of wireless models based on Bluetooth technology like the PXC 210 BT. Cheap on-the-ear headphones include the popular HD 218 and HD 238 Precision models, but you can also buy more expensive on-the-ear headphones that sound better or are more comfortable.

Clip-on and on-the-ear Sennheiser headphones we have reviewed include the OMX 680i Sports, HD 238 Precision, PXC 210 BT and MM 450 Travel.

Over-the-ear headphones

Full-size headphones sit over the edges of your ears and rest against the side of your head. You can buy closed headphones that clamp tight to block out ambient noise, or open headphones that are more comfortable but can let in a bit of outside noise.

Full-size, over-the-ear headphones make up the largest portion of Sennheiser's headphone line-up — there are plenty of cheap, mid-priced and expensive models with commensurate sound quality, design and comfort. You can buy a pair of full size Sennheiser headphones for less than $50 street price if you opt for a model like the HD 202 or HD 418, but spending a little more will buy you a pair of HD 448 headphones with superior specifications and better construction. You can also buy extremely high quality models from Sennheiser's high-end line of over-the ear headphones — models include the HD 595, HD 650 and $2500 limited-edition Sennheiser HD 800 headphones.

Over-the-ear headphones from Sennheiser that we have reviewed include the HD 438, HD 418, HD 428 and HD 800.


Read more: Marshall Monitor headphone review

Sennheiser makes some on-the-ear and over-the-ear headsets for use with desktop PCs and notebooks. A headset lets you talk to your friends on video chat, or teleconference with your business partners, or voice chat while you're playing a video game with your friends. Like its other headphone ranges, Sennheiser makes a huge variety of headset models — there are cheaper on-the-ear models like the PC 151 all the way up to hardcore gaming models like the PC 360. Internet voice-chatters will be happy with an ear-bud headset like the PC 100, an earpiece like the PC 121 and full on-ear models like the PC 36 USB.

Headsets from Sennheiser that we have reviewed include the MM 100, PC 163D G4ME, PC 360 G4ME and Sennheiser PC 161.

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Campbell Simpson

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