Over-Ear headphones

Still the best in the business, even if the gains are more marginal than before

These newly released Sony over-ear ANC headphones take their predecessors’ place as some of the best headphones money can buy at the moment – even if they cost more money than previous iterations in the line up.

Active noise cancellation is the headline act among a whole bunch of smart features Sony includes with the WH-1000XM5 headphones, many of which automatically kick in without you needing to do anything, improving the overall listening experience without you having to lift a finger.

Charging quickly, the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones want to get you back to your music as quickly as possible, while their app also does a good job of making you aware of the damage loud music can do to your ears if not kept in check. Likewise, the construction of the headphone enclosure and packaging has been done with an eye on sustainability.

These smart features feel snappier and more responsive than with previous versions – and the noise cancellation and sound quality remains unbeatable at the level. We like these headphones a lot, and we think they’re the best wireless buy for the vast majority of people.

Over-Ear headphones

Cans Shine Sonically, Despite Their Plain Looks

We said under intense review that Sennheiser’s welcome update to its 2019 Sennheiser Momentum third-generation Wireless headphones (listed below) would soon be sitting pretty at the top of this buying guide, and here they are. The Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless are the newest August 2022-issue wireless over-ear headphones from Sennheiser and if Sony isn’t worried, it should be. 

These cans boast an incredible 60-hour battery life, a likeable app, an extensive feature set, easy on-ear controls, talented adaptive noise cancellation and a zealous sound that’ll have you nodding your head happily wherever you go. Yes, they’re a tad plain aesthetically, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and these headphones sound outrageously good for the level. 

Sennheiser has packed everything and the kitchen sink into the Momentum 4 Wireless’s spec sheet, including Sidetone to better hear your voice during calls and  ‘Sound Zones’, EQ and ANC presets which can be set to magically kick in when you’re, well, in the zone. Make no mistake though, the headline-grabber is still the sound. And what a sound it is! Think open, detailed, expansive, neutral and crisp. Never is it overly warm; never is it congested or muddied through the bass.

Move over Sony XM5, there’s a new set of cans in town and honestly, they’re just that little bit better across the board… 

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