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Sennheiser’s new budget-friendly headphones get a very high-end feature

Sennheiser Accentum wireless headphones in black and white colors.
Sennheiser

Sennheiser’s new Accentum wireless noise-canceling headphones look a lot like its top-of-the-line $380 Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless headphones. And while they have similar features, the Accentum are priced at $180 and can do something the Momentum 4 can’t: they accept lossless digital audio via their USB-C port. The black version is up for preorder on September 25 and is expected to ship starting on October 4, while the white version begins shipping in late November. Both models will be available at select retailers and at sennheiser-hearing.com.

The Accentum are the successors to Sennheiser’s 2020 HD 450 BT, and the company’s approach to this more affordable product line remains the same — preserve as many features from the Momentum line as possible while keeping the price under $200. Needless to say, you can’t do this without some trade-offs. The Accentum don’t come with a carry case or any kind of analog input. They use only physical controls, not touch controls, and they don’t have wear sensors for auto-pausing your tunes when you remove them.

Sennheiser Accentum wireless headphones in black.
Sennheiser

Despite these cost-saving measures, it’s impressive what Sennheiser has been able to pack into the Accentum. They adopt the same styling as the much pricier Momentum 4 (albeit without the use of fabric on the headband) and their battery life is amazing — a claimed 50 hours of use between charges. That beats every set of Sony, Apple, and Bose wireless headphones, though it’s still shy of the Momentum 4’s crazy 60-hour stamina.

The 38mm drivers may not have quite the same frequency response as the Momentum’s 42mm units (10Hz to 22Hz versus 6Hz to 22Hz), but with Qualcomm’s aptX HD Bluetooth codec, you’re still getting hi-res audio at 24-bit/48kHz if you use them with a compatible Android phone.

Sennheiser Accentum wireless headphones in white.
Sennheiser

Speaking of hi-res audio, we’re genuinely surprised to see USB-C digital audio on the Accentum. This has traditionally been an exclusive feature of very high-end wireless cans like Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2/Px8 models. Even the Momentum 4 lacks this ability. Until the Accentum, the most affordable set of wireless headphones to offer USB-C audio was the $250 Shure Aonic 40. However, unlike the Aonic 40, which only supports USB audio at a CD-quality 16-bit/48kHz, the Accentum support up to 24-bit/48kHz hi-res lossless audio via USB-C. That falls short of what the best headphone DAC/amps provide, but should nonetheless be a big step up in quality over the headphones’ wireless connection.

A model wearing Sennheiser Accentum wireless headphones in black.
Sennheiser

In terms of Bluetooth, it’s version 5.2 and it supports Multipoint so you can connect to two device simultaneously. As with Sennheiser’s other wireless headphones, earbuds, and soundbars, you can use the Sennheiser Smart Connect app to get firmware updates, manage Bluetooth connections, and adjust the Accentum’s sound via a five-band equalizer.

The Accentum use the same two-mic with beamforming arrangement as the Momentum 4, but adds wind-reduction technology. They also have hybrid active noise cancellation (ANC) and transparency modes, with adjustable side-tone for hearing yourself on calls.

Editor’s note: an earlier version of this article said that the Beats Studio Pro were the least expensive headphones to offer USB Audio. This has been corrected.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like…
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