If you've been hankering after the five-star sound of Sennheiser's range-topping Momentum 4 active noise cancellation headphones but can't quite justify the price, the newly launched Accentum headphones could be just what you're looking for.
They deliver many of the features of their more expensive siblings, which we rate among the best headphones for their premium build, but at a much more affordable price point. That means they could be a strong contender in the race to deliver the best noise canceling headphones too.
Accentum – it sounds like a made-up word but it's the accusative singular of accentus, which can mean a tone or a signal – promises "breathtaking Sennheiser sound". The drivers here are 37mm, which is slightly smaller than the 42mm drivers of the Momentums, but otherwise the feature set is very similar. There's Bluetooth 5.2 with multipoint and almost as much battery life as its siblings: 50 hours to the Momentum's 60 hours.
Sennheiser Accentum ANC headphones: key features
We were really impressed by the Momentum 4s. In our Sennheiser Momentum 4 review, we praised their sound quality, their excellent companion app, their ridiculously long battery life and their ANC.
By comparison the Accentum appear to use slightly less premium materials and lack the touch controls of their siblings. But the ANC is similar and might even be better: Sennheiser says that "the acoustics have been optimized for broad ANC performance, dramatically reducing cacophony from the outside world". Bluetooth has been improved too, so while it's still Bluetooth 5.2 the codec support now includes aptX HD for bitrates of up to 576kbps via compatible devices.
In addition to the hybrid ANC, there are two mics with wind reduction for better clarity in calls, and like the Momentum 4 there's Sidetone, which is Sennheiser's system for letting you decide how much or how little of your own voice you'd like to hear in calls. You can use the Sennheiser app to adjust presets, manage your connections and tweak the equalization.
The other big improvement here for many potential customers is the price. Where the Momentum 4 headphones have a suggested retail price of $380 / £390.99 / AU$579.95, the Accentum are $180 / £159.99 / AU$299.95. Pre-orders begin today, September 26, and you have a choice of black or white. The black version will start shipping on October 4 and the white one will arrive in late November.
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Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.