Less than four months after debuting its mid-range Accentum headphones, Sennheiser unveiled another version at CES that remains more affordable than its flagship Momentum set. Called the Accentum Plus, this more expensive model replaces physical buttons for touch controls, while offering redesigned active noise cancellation (ANC), wear detection, and other amenities that the first version didn’t offer. However, all additions come at a price as Plus ($230) it costs $50 more than the regular Accentum. For a set of headphones that mostly look the same, are the internal updates enough to justify a bigger investment?


It’s hard to tell the Accentum Plus and Accentum apart at first glance. This lack of physical control on the older model is what mainly sets the two apart. The Plus version still has a single button that controls power, pairing and voice assistants, but all audio and call controls are touch-based and located on the outside of the right ear cup. They work well, from taps for playback to swipes for volume, but depending on your preferences, the removal of physical touch controls can be a turn-off. The other difference is that the Plus has a 3.5mm aux jack along with a USB-C connection, while the first Accentum only has the latter.


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


  • Better than expected battery life
  • Sennheiser trademark sound at higher volumes
  • Multipoint Bluetooth
  • Wear detection

  • Cheap looking design
  • Adaptive ANC isn’t much of a difference
  • The sound suffers at lower volumes

$230 at Amazon

An almost identical design means that Sennheiser didn’t address my main criticism of the first Accentum. The headset remains almost entirely made of plastic, giving it 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 its new design style on the Momentum 4 in 2022, which continued with the overall look of the Accentum line. But the latest Momentums are a bit more polished than these two newer models.

Software and Features

For the most part, the Sennheiser Smart Control app offers the same features for the Accentum Plus as it does for the Accentum. Almost everything you need is on the main screen, with the battery percentage at the top. Below that sits Bluetooth multipoint connection management and My Sound customization. There you can set up a five-band equalizer, choose a preset sound setting, or make your own. The company also offers sound customization, which calibrates the sound based on your responses to several samples in the app.

Sennheiser’s sound zones are also here, giving you the ability to configure specific audio settings based on your location. You can create up to 20 of them for places like home, work, gym and more. Of course, you have to give permission for the app to track your location, which may not be an undertaking for some users.

The last item in the app’s main interface is the ANC control. Here you can disable the Accentum Plus’ automatic “adaptive” noise cancellation adjustment and leave the “regular” noise cancellation on. There is a slider to mix ANC and transparency as you see fit. You can switch between ANC and transparency mode by double-tapping the right ear cup, but this action doesn’t let you activate preferred mixes. Instead, it only includes full ANC or full transparency.

Sound quality

Sennheiser Accentum Plus headphones on the side, lying on two books.Sennheiser Accentum Plus headphones on the side, lying on two books.

Photo by Billy Steele/Engadget

Sennheiser’s flagship earphones and headphones consistently offer the best sound quality of any product I’ve tested. The company has a knack for a well-tuned audio profile that’s dynamic but not intrusive, and that offers plenty of fine detail thanks to excellent EQ clarity. That trademark freshness returns with Accentum Plus, but is at its best at around 65-75 percent volume. Lower that level to about 50 percent and sound quality starts to suffer.

There’s a nice ethereal, atmospheric quality to Fever Ray’s songs Radical Romantics of the Accentum Plus, enveloping you the way the sound of more expensive headphones does. However, when you turn the volume down to about 50 percent, the bass starts to overpower some of the details and the audio profile starts to blur. The clarity that makes Sennheiser headphones so good is gone at this point, which is a bummer for those of us who don’t always want to listen louder.

While there’s enough bass that’s offset by crisp highs in most genres, more chaotic styles like metal can be mixed. The bass are still out there in Texas in July No reason and better lovers God made me an animal, but the finer details in the guitars and drum textures start to get lost. The overall presentation is a bit flat, with all instruments coming across as compressed compared to other kits. Switch to something softer like Charles Wesley Godwin’s Live from Echo Mountain and it’s like you put different headphones on. It feels much more like you’re in the room where this was recorded.

Implementation of ANC

Sennheiser says the Accentum Plus has hybrid adaptive ANC, while the Accentum only 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 ability. During my tests, I struggled to detect much of a difference between the two, even when switching quickly from one set to the other. The overall ANC performance is solid in most circumstances, but it’s a far cry from what you’d get from the best that Bose, Sony and even Sennheiser have to offer. And since the Plus version is more expensive, I expected an obvious improvement.

Call quality

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

Photo by Billy Steele/Engadget

Like most headphones, the Accentum Plus are good for calls. The sound quality isn’t top-notch, but it’s certainly acceptable for most uses. This includes business calls, although I’d suggest something with a better microphone if you’re actually giving the presentation. Overall, the voice quality seems compressed and a bit tinny. It’s not the worst, but it’s also probably not what you want when it really matters how you sound. You can choose the headset to automatically switch to transparent mode when you receive a call. However, the Accentum Plus doesn’t sound in your voice, so the overall audio isn’t as natural as more expensive options like the AirPods Max.

Battery life

Battery life on the Plus remains unchanged from the regular Accentum at 50 hours. That’s definitely not bad. I actually exceeded that figure during my tests, clocking in at 57 hours of use with ANC enabled. This involves a combination of listening and talking, during which I switched to transparency mode instead of noise canceling. There were also several days between sessions where the headphones sat unused. When you find yourself without power, you can get five hours of listening time after plugging it in for just 10 minutes.

The competition

Given that the Plus’ upgrades are minor, it’s hard to recommend it over the cheaper Accentum. Both carry Sennheiser’s crisp, clean sound that performs well most of the time. The ANC improvements aren’t enough to justify spending more, and the only thing you could really benefit from is the auto-pause that wear detection brings. The company’s Momentum 4 would definitely be an upgrade over the Accentum, but it costs around $300. Plus, Sennheiser’s flagship headphones still have a newer, more boring design – albeit with a few improvements.

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


Sennheiser’s attempt to improve on its original mid-range Accentum offering has been mixed. For all his updates, Accentum Plus not the huge improvement you’d expect with its higher price. Sure, the sound is great at times and the ANC will get the job done, but the best thing about this Plus version is the better-than-expected battery life. However, you can get the same playtime on the regular Accentum for $50 less. Some minor design improvements and a more obvious step up in terms of sound quality and ANC performance would have had a bigger impact. But as it stands, the Accentum Plus isn’t a significant improvement over last year’s model.