A reliable performance in most areas marks the Sennheiser Accentum Wireless as one of the better over-ear headphones at this price. Call quality is very good, battery life is long, and the audio quality is good. The noise-cancellation doesn’t like being pushed out of its comfort zone, however.
- Good audio performance
- Long battery life
- Very good call quality
- Comfortable to wear
- Could want for more bass
- Not the most dynamic sounding
- Noise-cancelling falters when stressed
- BluetoothBluetooth multipoint and aptX HD streaming
- BatteryUp to 50 hours on a single charge
- Sound Control Customise headphones’ performance with iOS/Android app
Any major headphone brand worth its salt knows it needs a range of options for every budget. That’s partly what makes Sennheiser’s Accentum Wireless an intriguing proposition.
The Accentum Wireless joins the flagship Momentum 4 Wireless as Sennheiser’s mid-range option, aiming to offer a mix of value and performance.
There are other options around this price from Urbanista, Edifier, and Technics, so the Accentum Wireless won’t have it all its own way for the title of market leader.
- Functional looks
- Good comfort
- No carry case
Like the Momentum 4 Wireless, the Sennheiser Accentum Wireless have a plain, discreet, and simple design. They shy away from style, but they’re not bulky or conspicuous when worn.
I can’t argue against the comfort of the Accentum Wireless, though. They’re light (222g) and hug the sides of my head without the clamping force feeling intrusive, helped by the softness of the earpads and headband. The space for ears is big enough for mine to slot in, avoiding that cramped feel of some headphones.
The means of operation is through physical buttons – all located on the right earcup. There aren’t many (four) and they feel basic in terms of touch and feedback.
At least it’s not hard to decipher which is which, with playback in the middle of the volume controls. Double and triple taps on the playback button skip forward and backwards respectively, while a double click on the power button engages the transparency mode. A single click calls up your mobile’s voice assistant.
Volume can only be operated when music is playing, which took me a little by surprise.
There’s a USB-C port and it has a double purpose – charging as well as turning the headphones into a headset when connected to a PC, with the ability to listen to lossless audio.
There’s no carry case, which is odd for a pair of travel-friendly headphones. The black colourway was joined by a white version, though bear in mind that the latter colour will be more susceptible to dirt and scuffs.
- Solid enough ANC
- Long battery life
- Very good call quality
In general, the noise-cancelling is solid in outdoor environments. Noise still gets through while walking, as cars and traffic are noticeable, but the intensity of sounds is reduced so there’s more focus on what I’m listening to.
The headphones also clear out ambient noise on buses and trains well, though I didn’t feel that they had as great an effect on suppressing voices, like a baby screaming in the background or people behind me on a bus. Used on a plane I’d rate them as solid – they didn’t remove all cabin noise, but suppression was enough that it didn’t distract. For travel, the Accentum Wireless appear to be a reliable pair.
There are instances, nevertheless, where the Accentum is prone to complaining about its ANC situation. When it gets loud on the Jubilee and Victoria lines, there’s distortion that becomes distracting. And on the bus, it doesn’t like the potholes of London roads, which also creates distortion.
The headphones also struggle in windy conditions. With the wind-noise reduction mode on it doesn’t lessen wind noise as much as the (less expensive) Soundcore Space One or (similarly priced) Edifier WH950NB. Blustery conditions cause wind to whip around the frame and make it harder to hear music. The Accentum Wireless are good within certain parameters, but not when stressed. Perhaps this is an area where the Accentum Plus Wireless will perform better.
On a plane, the headphones’ transparency mode offers clarity and good amplification of cabin sounds and crew announcements. It sounds natural enough, and turning the transparency mode on automatically pauses audio or video, though this can be turned off in the app.
Sennheiser claims up to 50 hours and having performed a battery drain for four hours, the Accentum only gave up 10% in charge, putting these among the best cans for battery life alongside Sennheiser’s own Momentum 4 Wireless. 50 hours seems eminently doable.
Fast-charging extracts five hours from a 10-minute charge, and a full charge from a dead battery is three hours.
Call quality is very good in outdoor environments, with noise-reduction blocking out sounds during calls and not much getting through aside from large vehicles or wind blowing past. My voice was slightly suppressed during calls, but not too much, although I found it hard to hear in loud settings. If you find you have this issue, turn sidetone down to low and you’ll be able to hear better.
The Smart Control app is where you can customise and fine-tune the Accentum Wireless’ performance. You can monitor battery life, customise the EQ with a five-band preset (or use Bass Boost and Podcast modes). The Sound Check feature creates a specific EQ tailored to your hearing abilities, though you need to create an account to log in. It’s a feature that can be carried through to multiple Sennheiser headphones, hence the log in.
Sound Zones works like Sony’s Adaptive Sound Control, where you can set ‘zones’ through geolocation and have preferred settings applied. They’re automatically applied whenever you enter or leave these zones.
There are noise-cancellation settings (Wind Noise Reduction), Sidetone, firmware updates and other customisation such as editing what can be seen on the homepage.
Bluetooth support equals SBC, AAC, aptX and aptX HD, with Bluetooth multipoint support included for two devices. The wireless performance can fall down in busy areas, though.
- Clear, sharp audio performance
- Punchy bass
- Not the most dynamic
First off, though the Sennheiser Accentum Wireless matches up in terms of aesthetics to the flagship headphone, its audio tuning differs.
A listen to Elaine’s Fading Away marks the Momentum 4 Wireless as smoother and richer in tone. There’s more depth to bass, but voices take on a bigger presence with the Accentum. Vocals are also crisper and sharper, which spreads out to the rest of the midrange – the guitars in Joan Jett & The Blackheart’s I Love Rock ‘N Roll don’t carry the same weight. It’s a contrast to the Momentum 4 Wireless’ reserves of smoothness.
Fire these headphones up against the model they’re supplanting in the HD 450BT, and they’re a step up in terms of clarity, sharpness, and definition, making the older model sound loose and fuzzy in comparison.
The Accentum Wireless are another headphone that sounds reined in at default volumes. Push the volume up and you’ll get better expression – you’ll hear more of its true character at higher volumes than at default.
With that clarified, how good does the Accentum Wireless sound? Solid and steady are the two words that spring to mind. Like their aesthetics, they’re not flashy or extravagant; the tuning renders the mids and upper frequencies with sharpness, the bass has a punchy quality with enough thump to give the low-end some heft in London Grammar’s California Soil.
Staying with that track, there’s a nice sense of the soundstage being filled in the song’s opening thirty seconds as the orchestra swells, with decent power behind it, though it (unsurprisingly) lacks the definition and all-round composure of the Momentum 4 Wireless. Pitched against a closer rival in the Edifier WH950NB, the Sennheiser draws out the better performance.
It’s clearer in describing the strands of the orchestra and takes on a more natural tone, with lead singer’s Hannah Reid’s vocals presented with more clarity and naturalism. The Edifier, by contrast, is a little smoother but short of the Sennheiser’s clarity and naturalism.
Switching to GoGo Penguin’s Erased by Sunlight, and the Accentum Wireless’ treble performance is clear and sharp without over-egging the brightness to where it becomes thin and brittle.
There’s not as much dynamic variation with the piano notes as I expected – the Edifier stands out a shade more in this regard, though the WH950NB’s treble is rolled off and not as sharp or bright.
I do like how the Sennheiser carries the track’s momentum forward; highs, mids, and lows coalesce in a more natural manner for a sound that, to me at least, is more cohesive.
Lastly, there’s The Beatles While My Guitar Gently Weeps and again the Sennheiser strikes for the win. There’s more detail evident in the midrange and upper frequencies, the cymbal crashes sounded out with more confidence though the Accentum isn’t as heavy on the bass.
Where it stands out most is in the midrange – the vocals are clearer, more natural, the guitar solo around the two-minute mark isn’t as thin, nor does the track sound as crude as on the Edifier.
Plug them in via their wired connection with some lossless files and their character is consistent, blessed with greater dynamic expression and a more assertive handle on detail, clarity, and sharpness.
Should you buy it?
If you’re after solid, sub-£200 performance
Good audio, solid ANC, long battery life, and very good call quality; the Accentum Wireless are one of the better performers for less than £200.
If you find yourself in windy conditions or on the Tube a lot
These headphones aren’t fans of blustery conditions, nor do they cope well with very loud and sustained noises or bumps.
The good parts outweigh the underwhelming aspects of the Sennheiser Accentum Wireless. The noise-cancellation doesn’t always hit the mark when stressed, but overall, these are a solid and reliable pair of mid-range wireless headphones.
They’re a better listen than the Edifier WH950NB, though at this price I’d recommend a look at the Technics EAH-A800, which dropped from £299 RRP to £200 at the time of review.
I’d also suggest waiting to see how the Accentum Plus Wireless pans out. If you’re a Sennheiser fan, they might be worth the wait and the £20 / $50 jump in price. Otherwise, make sure to check out our Best Headphones guide.
How we test
We test all the headphones we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry-standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
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Tested with real world use
Battery drain performed
Tested across three months
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There is no case or pouch that’s supplied with the Accentum Wireless, but the more expensive Accentum Plus Wireless will come with a carry case.