In another test under windy conditions, it did a creditable job of reducing wind noise during a hands-free call – although not quite as good as the Bose 700. The app allows for Anti-wind and Anti-pressure ANC settings (when you are in low ambient noise environments).
Transparent mode is good and allows for normal levels of conversation or listing to announcements. The app allows you to set a default for music on/off in this mode.
Alas, I could not test them on a long-haul, business class flight but if Sennheiser is listening – Vielleicht könnten Sie
ANC Summary: The Sennheiser has ANC on/off/transparent mode where others offer more adaptive modes. Subjectively the Sony is a tad better for altitude compensation and the Bose 700 for overall adaptive (10 levels of conditional) noise cancellation.
Press the speaker button once, and you have complete access to OK Google, Siri or Alexa (need a phone connection).
Responsiveness is excellent – there is no lag (on BT 5.0) after you hear the tone. Like the rest it, however, you do not get any voice feedback (foldback) inside the earphones when speaking.
If you are in the habit of misplacing your $599 cans, then worry no more. It has Tile integration that allows location by Bluetooth or via the wider Tile community. You need to create a Tile account, and it will nag you to upgrade from free to premium to get wider use.
The 700mAh battery life is 17 hours (BT/ANC) – I have yet to test that fully. At this stage, after about three hours use it is sitting at 85% left, so 17 hours sounds fair.
You can use any USB charger from 5V/.333mA (takes longer to charge) to USB-C PD 2.0 from 5-18W (3-hours to charge) – it will not damage the device. It also supports USB-C quick charge – 10 minutes gives 1.5 hours use.
Of course, the Sony WH-1000XM3 (at 30 hrs) and Bose 700 (at 20 hrs) beat this, but Sennheiser has a secret weapon that blows almost all others out of the water. You can listen and charge via USB at the same time.
Clever Sennheiser has a USB DAC (digital analogue converter) that presents to Windows, Android, macOS, iOS and more devices as a USB headphone/speaker. Apart from Sennheiser, very few ‘cans’ do this, and we think it is a glaring omission. On that basis alone it gets our recommendation (as do other Sennheiser model headphones).
I left this to last as it weigh 305g against the Sony at 280g and Bose at 260g. The sheepskin headband and covered ear cups are larger and plusher than the Bose Alcantara/Pleather (synthetic) and Sony (Pleather).
Bear in mind that this comment is after two x 1.5 hours use and not a 16-hour, trans-Atlantic flight.
I think Sennheiser is on a winner with sheepskin – it is a natural material (poor sheep), breathes beautifully and the wide headband and infinitely adjustable side bands make it perfect for travel comfort. Subjectively the extra weight does not mater with a good fit, and the earcups are not hot.
And I wear glasses. The larger and plusher pads accommodate these better with less pressure on the arms.