Upgrades that aren’t worth the extra cost

Less than four months have passed since its debut mid-range Accentum headphones, Sennheiser has introduced another version of the flagship Momentum set at CES that is more affordable. dubbed Accentum Plus, this more expensive model swaps physical buttons for touch controls while offering redesigned active noise cancellation (ANC), wear detection, and other conveniences not found in the first version. All extras come at a price Plus ($230) it’s $50 more than the regular Accentum. For a set of headphones that look basically the same, are the internal updates enough to justify the bigger investment?


Accentum Plus and Accentum are hard to tell apart at first glance. The lack of physical controls on the old model is what differentiates the two in the first place. The Plus version still has a button that controls power, pairing and voice assistants, but all audio and call controls are touch-based and located on the edge of the right ear cup. They work well, from taps for playback to sliders for volume, but depending on your preferences, you may end up giving up physical controls for touch. Another difference is that the Plus has a 3.5mm aux jack along with a USB-C connection, while the original Accentum only had the latter.


Despite the changes to the ANC and a few new features, the Accentum Plus isn’t a significant upgrade over the regular Accentum that debuted last year.


  • Better battery life than expected
  • Trademark Sennheiser sound louder
  • Multipoint Bluetooth
  • Wear detection

  • Cheap looking design
  • Adaptive ANC is not a big difference
  • The sound suffers at low volume

$224 on Amazon

The near-identical design means that Sennheiser hasn’t addressed my main criticisms of my first Accent. The headphones are made almost entirely of plastic, giving them a cheap look and feel. Plus, it doesn’t inspire much confidence in the build quality for a $230 set of headphones. The company introduced a new design style Momentum 4 In 2022, it continued with the general appearance of the Accentum line. But the latest Momentums are a bit more polished than these two newer models.

Software and features

In most cases, the Sennheiser Smart Control Software offers the same features for the Accentum Plus as it does for the Accentum Plus. Almost everything you need is on the main screen, with the battery percentage at the top. Below that sits connectivity control for multipoint Bluetooth and My Sound audio customization. There you can adjust the five-band EQ, choose a preset sound, or create your own. The company also offers Voice Personalization, which calibrates the voice based on your responses to several samples in the app.

Sennheiser’s Sound Zones are also here, allowing you to configure specific audio settings based on your location. You can create up to 20 of these for places like home, work, gym and more. Of course, you have to give the app permission to track your location, which can be a turn-off for some users.

The last element in the main interface of the program is the ANC control. Here you can turn off the Accentum Plus’s automatic “adaptive” noise cancellation setting and enable “regular” noise cancellation. There is a slider to mix ANC and transparency as you see fit. You can toggle between ANC and transparency mode by double-tapping the right ear cup, but this action doesn’t let you activate any preferred mix. Instead, it only enables full ANC or full transparency.

Sound quality

On the side, Sennheiser Accentum Plus headphones are placed flat on top of two books.On the side, Sennheiser Accentum Plus headphones are placed flat on top of two books.

Photo by Billy Steele/Engadget

Sennheiser’s flagship headphones and earphones consistently offered the best sound quality of all the products I tested. The company has a knack for a well-tuned audio profile that is dynamic but not overpowering and offers plenty of subtle detail thanks to excellent clarity in the EQ. That trademark sharpness is returned in the Accentum Plus, but at about 65-75 percent volume at best. Lower that level to about 50 percent and the sound quality starts to deteriorate.

Fever Ray has a pleasant airy, atmospheric quality to watch Radical Romantics In the Accentum Plus, it surrounds you like the sound in more expensive headphones. However, when you turn the volume down to about 50 percent, the bass overwhelms some detail and the audio profile starts to get muddy. The clarity that makes Sennheiser’s headphones so good is gone at this point, which is confusing for those of us who don’t always want to listen louder.

While most genres have a wide bass sound that alternates with highs, more chaotic styles like metal can be a mixed bag. Boomy bass are still available in July in Texas Without reason and better lovers God made me an animal, but finer details start to get lost in the guitar and drum textures. Overall performance is a little flat, with all instruments feeling compressed compared to other sets. Go for something softer like Charles Wesley Godwin Live from Echo Mountain and it’s like you’re wearing different headphones. You feel more like you are in the room where it was recorded.

ANC performance

Sennheiser says the Accentum Plus has hybrid adaptive ANC, where the Accentum just has hybrid ANC. This means that the Plus model adapts to changes in ambient noise, while the regular model only has one level of blocking capability. During my tests, I struggled to tell much of a difference between the two, even when quickly switching from one set to the other. Overall ANC performance is solid for the most part, but far from the best offered by Bose, Sony, or even Sennheiser. Since the Plus version is more expensive, I was obviously expecting an improvement.

Call quality

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

Photo by Billy Steele/Engadget

Like most headphones, the Accentum Plus is good for calls. The sound quality isn’t pristine, but it’s certainly passable for most uses. This includes business calls, although if you’re really leading a presentation, I’d suggest something with a better microphone. Overall, the sound quality seems compressed and a bit dark. It’s not the worst, but probably not what you want when how you sound really matters. You can choose to have the headphones switch to automatic transparency mode when you’re on a call. However, the Accentum Plus doesn’t mimic your voice, so the overall sound isn’t as natural as more expensive options like the AirPods Max.

Battery life

The Plus’s battery life remains unchanged from the regular Accentum at 50 hours. This is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I exceeded that number during my tests, getting 57 hours of use with ANC on. This included a mix of listening and calls, and during the latter I switched to transparency mode instead of noise cancellation. There were also several days when the headphones were not used between sessions. When it runs out of juice, you can get five hours of listening time after just 10 minutes of networking.


Given that the improvements on the Plus are marginal, it’s hard to recommend them over the cheaper Accentum. Both carry Sennheiser’s crisp, clear sound, which it performs well most of the time. The ANC improvements aren’t enough to justify spending more, and the only thing you’ll really benefit from is the automatic pause that wear detection brings. The company’s Momentum 4 will definitely be an upgrade over both Accentums, but it costs about $300 more. Plus, Sennheiser’s flagship headphones still have a newer, more boring design – albeit with some improvements.

If you’re in the market for affordable noise-canceling headphones that don’t cut too many corners, consider them. Sony WH-CH720N. Currently on sale for $105, this budget option won’t win any design awards because it’s also all plastic, but it’s more comfortable and has great sound for the price. Noise cancellation is good, though, with Adaptive Sound Control letting you automate sound settings based on activity or location, and there’s support for Sony’s 360 Reality Audio.


Sennheiser’s attempt to improve upon its original mid-range Accentum offering is a mixed bag. For all updates Accentum Plus It’s not the big improvement you’d expect with its higher price. Sure, the sound is great at times and ANC will do, but the best thing about this Plus version is the better-than-expected battery life. However, you can get the same playtime for $50 less on the regular Accentum. Some small design improvements and a clearer step up in terms of sound quality and ANC performance would have made a bigger impact. But, as it turns out, the Accentum Plus isn’t a significant upgrade over last year’s model.

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