I’ve tested dozens of wireless headphones, and this $500 pair is the best I’ve used

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BI Reviews_Sennheiser Headphones 4x3

Bluetooth headphones are defined by their flaws.

When you go wireless, you accept trade-offs. The questions become "Does the connection avoid freaking out all the time?" and "Do they sound that much worse than a normal pair?" Everyone would love a world without wires, and that desire goes a long way, but cords are still reliable little things from a quality perspective.

Because of those technical challenges, very few Bluetooth headphones manage to be polished enough to provide a genuinely delightful experience. But Sennheiser’s HD 1 Wireless are an exception.

They’ve been around for a while now — they used to be called the "Momentum Wireless" — and I am far from the first person to say they’re great. They also cost a whopping $500.

But that high price is really the only thing you could call a "flaw." The HD 1 Wireless aren’t much of a value, but they’re the type of product that just feels pleasant whenever you need them. If you must go wireless, and you simply want the best, they should be near the top of your shortlist. Here’s why:

SEE ALSO: These $150 noise-cancelling earbuds almost justify Apple killing the headphone jack

Let’s start with the design. The Sennheiser HD 1 Wireless are at once stylish and understated. I could see them looking good on both men and women, and I had people of both genders tell me as much, unprompted, while I wore them. They’ve got this retro vibe to them, but don’t lean so hard into it that they feel corny. Looks matter with over-ear headphones, and the HD 1 have the sort of upscale feel you’d want from a $500 product.

The materials here are just nice. There’s little plastic — instead, you get a mix of metal and leather, all of which feels wonderfully smooth to the touch. It’s also sturdy enough to survive a few drops.

Everything is exceptionally comfortable, too. The leather headband is smooth and light, and the soft earpads are both thickly padded and sizable enough to fit over most ears. It’s not overly heavy, and, for me at least, it was spacious enough to keep my ears from getting sweaty. I wore them for hours at a time without issue.

Just don’t expect these things to accompany you to the gym; that’s not the point here, and you should know that just by looking at them.

The controls on the HD 1 Wireless are simple enough. There’s a power/pairing button and a toggle that manages to control volume, play/pause, and track skipping all at once. All of this works fine, though the power button could stand to be a little more pronounced.

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