PROS / The Sennheiser HD 1 Wireless headphones received the highest score for active noise cancellation in our tests. They cancelled more decibels with ANC on versus off than any other headphones.
CONS / The headband doesn’t have padding, so the leather-wrapped metal sits right on your head. This can be uncomfortable if you listen for more than a few hours.
VERDICT / The Sennheiser HD 1 Wireless headphones are perfect for those who want professional audio quality and excellent noise cancellation in a wireless package.
Very rarely do noise-cancelling headphones do everything right, but the Sennheiser HD 1 Wireless have some of the best features in every category we evaluated. The headphones have comfortable earcups and superb sound quality, and they cancel plenty of noise. They also have Bluetooth, are very light and come with a lengthy warranty. For all these reasons and more, they earn the Top Ten Reviews Silver Award in our review.
Noise Cancelling & Bluetooth
To test how well the Sennheiser HD 1 Wireless headphones cancel noise, we had reviewers use them with and without Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) on. Our testers listened to a song on repeat with the volume set at 60 dB while we played increasingly louder sounds, such as lawnmower and airplane noises, through a speaker. The HD 1 Wireless showed the biggest difference in the amount of noise cancelled with ANC turned on versus off in our tests. They also ranked second for overall noise cancellation, blocking 81.85 total decibels on average.
These are also some of the best noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones, and the Bluetooth and ANC features work together. This is nice if you always want to use ANC. However, it isn’t the most convenient if you want to listen via Bluetooth without ANC. You can listen passively when the battery dies though, so there are plenty of options.
The Sennheiser HD 1 Wireless are one of the best pairs of noise-cancelling headphones based on sound quality. During our testing, the sound was clear and defined, and there was the perfect amount of bass and treble – they definitely live up to their brand name.
Even the sound of the ANC buzz was imperceptible. Also, the sound quality was fairly consistent between when ANC was on and when it was off, though we were surprised to find they sound slightly better in ANC mode because the reverse is generally true for headphones.
Noise-cancelling headphones with Bluetooth tend to go through battery power faster than those without it. The HD 1 Wireless ranked in the middle of the pack, with a battery that lasted 16 hours and 38 minutes in our test. To find this number, we connected the headphones to an iPhone via Bluetooth and turned on a lengthy playlist with the volume all the way up. We captured the moment the battery indicator light went off with a GoPro. Sennheiser claims the battery life is more along the lines of 22 hours. Still, with normal use you can expect about a full day’s worth of power.
The headphones also speak to you and let you know when the power is on, the battery is full, they are powering off or they need to be recharged. The three-hour charge time is also fairly short, and if you don’t have access to an outlet, the HD 1 Wireless headphones can work passively with the cord but without ANC.
We evaluated design elements such as weight, earcup and headband shape, and controls during our noise-cancelling headphones review. The HD 1 Wireless are one of the lighter pairs of headphones. They weigh only 7.4 ounces, so you can wear them all day without getting a headache. The earcups are nice and plush, and our review team had no complaints. However, the headband has absolutely no padding, which is odd. Your head is butted right up against leather and metal with no soft buffer. There’s also an external cable connecting from the headphone to the earcup, which might be prone to shorting out after strenuous use. This cable connects the earcups through the headband and is usually an internal component.
There’s only one button, and it controls both Bluetooth and noise cancelling since they have to be used together. While having one button makes using them simple, it’s more convenient to have separate buttons for ANC and Bluetooth. Pairing these headphones to our test phones was a little time consuming. We also found that turning the headphones off restarts the process.
Help & Support
The Sennheiser HD 1 Wireless headphones are the only pair in our review that come with a two-year warranty – all the rest are only covered for one year. The support team is quick to answer questions over the phone and email, and there are manuals and FAQs on the website. Sennheiser doesn’t offer online chat support.
The Sennheiser HD 1 Wireless noise-cancelling headphones sound great and work wonders cancelling extraneous noise. The audio is crisp and accurate, and the earcups are light and comfortable enough that audiophiles and commuters will like them equally.