Sennheiser HD1 In-ear Wireless Headphones Review

Sennheiser's HD1 in-ear headphones will make you a wireless convert

Sennheiser’s HD1 In-ear Wireless are the perfect all-day companion for discerning listeners on the go.
Sennheiser’s HD1 In-ear Wireless are the perfect all-day companion for discerning listeners on the go.
Sennheiser’s HD1 In-ear Wireless are the perfect all-day companion for discerning listeners on the go.

Highs

  • Clear, vibrant soundstage
  • Warm, punchy bass
  • Great passive noise isolation
  • Hard case included

Lows

  • Not sweat proof
  • Bulky band

Whether you’re a constant traveler or simply an owner of the latest headphone jack-free iPhone model, there are plenty of reasons to consider a pair of wireless in-ears these days. And while we still feel the world of fully-wireless earbuds has a long way to go, impressive battery life, great sound, and increasingly elegant design has led to a fantastic generation of neck-banded wireless in-ears. This, along with our excellent experiences with the Sennheiser brand thus far, made us all the more excited to spend time with the brands latest offering to the class for our Sennheiser HD1 wireless in-ear review.

We were right to be excited. The sleek and sturdy HD-1 wireless in-ears follow up on the company’s history of quality wireless headphones like the gorgeous Momentum 2.0 Wireless and the Bose-rivalling PXC 550. The latest model not only provide an extremely vibrant sound signature, they do so in a package that’s attractive and comfortable, even after a full day of jamming.

Out of the box

The HD1 wireless come in a simply dressed, thin black box with a molded travel case inside. Opening the case reveals a thin halo in matte black cloaked in soft leather, with dangling buds attached. A shortlist of accessories includes a charging cable, four sets of rubber tips, and an instruction manual.

Features and design

The design of Sennheiser’s latest wireless in-ears is simple and minimalist, but there’s enough style here to allow them to stand out in a crowd. Sure, the black, leather-clad neckband screams business class, but touches like Ferrari-red stitching, red accents along the connection wires, and gleaming silver caps on the back of the buds themselves combine for enough style to turn heads.

Sennheiser stuck to the tried-and-true halo design for the HD-1 in-ears, including a slim band that transitions to two larger rectangular segments on each end, short wires connecting the buds to the band, and easy-access controls.

That said, while the leather looks good and feels great, we can’t help but wish Sennheiser chose a waterproof/sweat-proof coating instead, as we love using banded wireless in-ears for workouts, or out and about in the rainy Northwest.

The right segment of the band contains no buttons or inputs, whereas the left side boasts a power button, an LED to indicate pairing and power status, volume control keys, and a multifunction button in the middle. The end of the left side also pops open for the micro USB charging port. Holding the volume keys for two seconds controls song skip, while the multifunction button allows you to play or pause tunes and field calls.

Design touches like Ferrari-red stitching and gleaming silver earbuds turn heads.

The earphones are attached at the bottom of each side, set behind the control section — a nice touch that means you won’t accidentally rip them out of your ears when you reach for the volume. The metal earpieces are ergonomically angled, allowing for a secure fit and a stable seal.

A tight fit makes for great passive noise isolation, making our open-floor office nearly silent as soon as we put them in. The same is true for public transit — we almost missed several stops because we couldn’t hear the announcements, even without music playing.

Battery life is a respectable 10 hours, and Sennheiser also include fast charging technology that will replenish the headphones fully in 1.5 hours, which comes in handy during layovers.

Setup

For those with Android phones, there are two ways to pair to the HD1 wireless in-ears. You can pair them manually by pressing and holding the power button until the LED flashes blue and red, and then selecting the headphones in your device’s Bluetooth menu. (This is the only method for iOS users.) Those with NFC-supported devices can also simply hold the device to the outer right side of the earphones, then hold the power button until the LED flashes.

Audio Performance

The HD1 wireless in-ears offer a warm and revealing soundstage that makes them extremely enjoyable for long listening sessions.

sennheiser hd1 ear wireless headphones hero6
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Where most in-ear headphones shine best in the upper-midrange and treble registers, the HD1 is most enjoyable at the low end, with kick drum and bass lines on songs like Julia Jacklin’s Small Talk rounding out the sound signature in a way we genuinely miss on many similar models.

That doesn’t mean Sennheiser’s mighty wireless in-ears don’t have any shimmer up top, however. On acoustic songs like Ryan Adams’ To Be The One, the piano, harmonica, and bright stereo guitar lines are joined by a particularly focused vocal line, with just the right touch of tape noise hiding in the background up high.

As with many quality in-ears, heavily stereo-mixed songs really pop on these headphones. Mac Demarco’s Cooking Up Something Good is an absolute joy, with the hard-panned guitars leaping out at you from either side of your head, tied together by drums and layered vocals in the middle.

These are accurate headphones, but they aren’t tuned to be flat, warts-and-all audiophile cans, and the added touch of color makes them more fun. From hip-hop and jazz to Appalachian folk, everything on the HD1 wireless in-ears is punchy and dynamic, rather than sterile and boring.

The excellent passive noise isolation also helps the overall appeal of the sound signature, providing a blank canvas over which the in-ears can paint rich sonic images.

Our Take

The Sennheiser HD1 wireless in-ears are an excellent option for those eyeing warm, exhilarating sound and sleek style in a hyper-portable package.

Is there a better alternative?

Perhaps the only banded wireless in-ears we have tested that compete with the HD1 wireless in-ears for sheer audio quality in this price range are the excellent V-Moda Metallo Wireless headphones. Those headphones are geared more towards the workout crowd with a sweat-proof coating, and are a bit more revealing sonically, but they don’t offer a hard case, and sound isn’t as punchy down low.

How long will it last?

Like many other Sennheiser products, the HD-1 in-ear wireless are excellently built, and should last for many years of consistent use. In addition, the included hard case should aid in durability long term.

Should you buy it?

Yes. If you are looking for fun, high-performance in-ears — and you don’t care about using them in the gym — the Sennheiser HD1 in-ear wireless are among the best on the market.

Product Review

JBL’s Live 650BTNC are a wonderful everyday listening companion

A long-lasting battery, solid active noise cancelation, and vibrant sound make the JBL Live 650BTNC a great pair of headphones for everyday listening. Looking for feature-packed wireless headphones at a low price? These are just the ticket.
Deals

Get some bud-green Master and Dynamic wireless headphones for $50 off this 420

Looking for the best possible audio experience to pair with your favorite herb? Master and Dynamic has announced a special 420 edition of its gorgeous on-ear and over-ear headphones, which will be available for $50 off this 4/20.
Trash

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.
Home Theater

Surface Buds? Microsoft might make AirPods competitors, joining Amazon and others

Microsoft is reportedly hard at work developing its own true wireless headphone model to compete with top offerings from Apple, Samsung, and others. It's aiming to take on the AirPods and Galaxy buds with its own pair of portable in-ears.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Puro’s kids headphones don’t just sound great, they help prevent hearing damage

Puro Sound Labs' PuroQuiet headphones are a pair of noise-canceling over-ears that are designed for young listeners, allowing them to jam out to their favorite tunes, but limiting volume to avoid long-term hearing damage.
Home Theater

Amazon’s free Spotify competitor is here. Just ask Alexa

Just ask Alexa to play your favorite song. Amazon has launched a free, ad-based music streaming service to compete with Spotify's free tier on its popular Echo devices, aiming to bolster subscriptions to Amazon Music Unlimited.
Home Theater

The best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2019.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our favorites, with all the features you want.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny, muffled TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Deals

Walmart deal drops the price of the 55-inch TCL 4K Roku smart TV to just $338

Was last weekend's Game of Thrones streaming experience lacking? Look no further than this 55-inch TCL TV, which features built-in Roku functionality, and can be had at Walmart for just $338.
Music

YouTube Red is now YouTube Premium. What's changed, and should you subscribe?

Thanks to Google, YouTube Red is now YouTube Premium. We explain what exactly a YouTube Premium subscription gets you, how much it costs, and break down if it's a good choice for you.
Product Review

Now that every speaker has Alexa, don't you want the best? Get the Sonos One

To compete in smart speaker space, Sonos could have just made a better-sounding Alexa speaker, but the company has a reputation to uphold, and went much further. Our Sonos One Review reveals how Sonos does Alexa better than Amazon.
Product Review

It sounds like a Sonos, but the Beam pulls one trick none of its siblings can

Sonos makes really good surround sound speakers for home theaters, but they’re expensive. A cheaper model with great sound would be a win. The Sonos Beam is that speaker, but were too many corners cut to make a more affordable product?