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Upgrades that aren’t price the additional price

Lower than 4 months after debuting its mid-range Accentum headphones, Sennheiser revealed one other model at CES that continues to be extra reasonably priced than its flagship Momentum set. Dubbed the Accentum Plus, this more-expensive mannequin swaps the bodily buttons for contact controls whereas providing revised lively noise cancellation (ANC), wear-detection and different conveniences the primary model didn’t. The entire additions come at a worth, although, because the Plus ($230) prices $50 greater than the common Accentum. For a set of headphones that principally appears to be like the identical, are inner updates sufficient to justify an even bigger funding?


It’s tough to inform the Accentum Plus and Accentum aside at first look. That lack of bodily controls on the older mannequin is what primarily distinguishes the 2. The Plus model nonetheless has one button which manages energy, pairing and voice assistants, however all the audio and name controls are touch-based and situated on the skin of the best ear cup. They work properly, from faucets for playback to swipes for quantity, however relying in your preferences, ditching the bodily controls for contact could also be a flip off. The opposite distinction is that the Plus has a 3.5mm aux jack together with a USB-C connection whereas the primary Accentum solely has the latter.


Regardless of modifications to ANC and some new options, the Accentum Plus isn’t a big improve over the common Accentum that debuted final yr.


  • Higher-than-expected battery life
  • Trademark Sennheiser sound at louder volumes
  • Multipoint Bluetooth
  • Put on detection

  • Low cost-looking design
  • Adaptive ANC isn’t an enormous distinction
  • Sound suffers at decrease volumes

$230 at Amazon

An almost similar design means Sennheiser didn’t tackle my key criticism of the primary Accentum. The headphones stay virtually solely made out of plastic, which provides them an affordable feel and look. Plus, it doesn’t encourage a whole lot of confidence within the construct high quality for a set of $230 headphones. The corporate launched its new design type on the Momentum 4 in 2022, which it continued with the general look on the Accentum line. However, the most recent Momentums are a bit extra polished than these two newer fashions.

Software program and options

For probably the most half, the Sennheiser Sensible Management App presents the identical options for the Accentum Plus because it does for the Accentum. Virtually every part you’d want is on the principle display, with battery share on the high. Under that sit connection administration for multipoint Bluetooth and My Sound audio customization. There, you’ll be able to alter a five-band EQ, choose a prebuilt sound preset or make your personal. The corporate additionally presents Sound Personalization that calibrates the audio based mostly in your responses to some samples within the app.

Sennheiser’s Sound Zones are right here as properly, supplying you with the power to configure particular audio settings based mostly in your location. You may create as much as 20 of those for locations like residence, work, gymnasium and extra. After all, you must give the app permission to trace your location, which could possibly be a nonstarter for some customers.

The final merchandise on the principle interface of the app is ANC management. Right here, you’ll be able to disable the automated “adaptive” adjustment to the Accentum Plus’ noise cancellation and go away “common” noise cancellation on. There’s a slider to mix of ANC and transparency as you see match. You may cycle between ANC and transparency mode with a double faucet on the best ear cup, however that motion doesn’t assist you to activate any most well-liked blends. As an alternative, it solely activates full ANC or full transparency.

Sound high quality

Sennheiser Accentum Plus headphones from the side, laid flat on two books.

Photograph by Billy Steele/Engadget

Sennheiser’s flagship earbuds and headphones have constantly provided the perfect sound high quality amongst all the merchandise I’ve examined. The corporate has a knack for a well-tuned audio profile that is dynamic, however not overbearing, and that gives loads of fantastic element because of wonderful readability throughout the EQ. That trademark crispness returns on the Accentum Plus, but it surely’s at its finest at round 65-75 p.c quantity. Knock that degree all the way down to round 50 p.c and sound high quality begins to undergo.

There’s a pleasing ethereal, atmospheric high quality to tracks on Fever Ray’s Radical Romantics on the Accentum Plus, enveloping you the way in which the sound on dearer headphones would. Nevertheless, once you lower the amount to about 50 p.c, bass begins to overpower a few of the particulars and the audio profile begins to muddy. The readability that makes Sennheiser’s headphones so good is gone at this level, which is a bummer for these of us who do not all the time want louder listening.

Whereas there’s ample bass that’s offset by crisp highs all through most genres, extra chaotic kinds like steel could be a combined bag. Boomy bass continues to be there on Texas In July’s With out Motive and Higher Lovers’ God Made Me An Animal, however finer particulars in guitars and drum textures begin to get misplaced. The general efficiency is a bit flat with all the devices coming throughout compressed in comparison with different units. Change over to one thing extra mellow like Charles Wesley Godwin’s Stay From Echo Mountain and it’s such as you placed on completely different headphones. It feels rather more such as you’re within the room the place this was recorded.

ANC efficiency

Sennheiser says the Accentum Plus has hybrid adaptive ANC the place the Accentum simply has hybrid ANC. Which means that the Plus mannequin adjusts to modifications in environmental noise whereas the common mannequin has only one degree of blocking means. Throughout my exams, I struggled to inform a giant distinction between the 2, even when switching rapidly from one set to the opposite. The general ANC efficiency is stable in most circumstances, but it surely’s removed from what you’d get on the perfect that Bose, Sony and even Sennheiser have to supply. And because the Plus model is dearer, I anticipated an apparent enchancment.

Name high quality

Sennheiser Accentum Plus headphones power button, USB-C port and 3.5-mm jack.

Photograph by Billy Steele/Engadget

Like most over-ear headphones, the Accentum Plus is simply fantastic for calls. The audio high quality isn’t pristine, but it surely’s actually satisfactory for many makes use of. That features work calls, though I’d counsel one thing with a greater mic if you happen to’re really main the presentation. General, the voice high quality comes throughout compressed and a bit tinny. It’s not the worst, but it surely’s additionally most likely not what you need when the way you sound actually issues. You may select to have the headphones robotically swap to transparency mode once you take a name. Nevertheless, the Accentum Plus doesn’t pipe in your voice, so the general audio isn’t as pure as more-expensive choices just like the AirPods Max.

Battery life

The Plus’ battery life stays unchanged from the common Accentum at 50 hours. That’s undoubtedly not a nasty factor. Actually, I exceeded that determine throughout my exams, notching 57 hours of use with ANC enabled. This included a mixture of listening and calls, and throughout the latter I switched to transparency mode as a substitute of noise cancellation. There have been additionally a couple of days in between periods the place the headphones sat unused. If you do end up out of juice, you may get 5 hours of listening time after plugging in for less than 10 minutes.

The competitors

On condition that the upgrades on the Plus are marginal, it’s exhausting to suggest them over the cheaper Accentum. Each carry Sennheiser’s crisp, clear sound that performs properly more often than not. The ANC enhancements aren’t sufficient to justify spending extra and the one factor you could really profit from is computerized pausing that wear-detection brings. The corporate’s Momentum 4 would undoubtedly be an improve over both Accentum, however that prices round $300. Plus, Sennheiser’s flagship headphones nonetheless have its newer, more-boring design – albeit with a couple of refinements.

In case you’re out there for reasonably priced noise-canceling headphones that don’t reduce too many corners, take into account the Sony’s WH-CH720N. Presently accessible for $105, this finances possibility received’t win any design awards because it’s additionally all-plastic, but it surely’s extra comfy and has nice audio for the value. Noise cancellation is simply okay, although Adaptive Sound Management lets you automate audio settings based mostly on exercise or location and there’s help for Sony’s 360 Actuality Audio.


Sennheiser’s try to enhance on its preliminary mid-range Accentum providing is a combined bag. For all of its updates, the Accentum Plus isn’t the large enchancment you’d anticipate with its increased worth. Certain, the sound is nice at instances and the ANC will get the job finished, however the perfect factor about this Plus model is the better-than-expected battery life. Nevertheless, you may get that very same play time on the common Accentum for $50 much less. Some small design refinements and a more-obvious step up when it comes to audio high quality and ANC efficiency would’ve made a bigger impression. However, because it stands, the Accentum Plus is not a big improve over final yr’s mannequin.

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