Sennheiser Accentum vs. Sony WH-CH720N: Which are the best mid-range ANC headphones?

Sennheiser and Sony have some of the mostly closely matched noise-canceling headphone models in the wireless audio category. Both brands have some of the best noise-canceling headphones money can buy, and their latest mid-range models — the Sennheiser Accentum and Sony WH-CH720N — are two great examples.

Both pairs of headphones come with near-flagship performance for ANC and sound. They also boast special features that personalize the listening experience, plus lengthy battery life and versatile connectivity.

With luxury specs at non-luxury price points, it’s tough choosing between two of the market’s most affordable, premium-performance ANC headphones. Which is the better purchase? Our Sennheiser Accentum and Sony WH-CH720N comparison breaks it all down for you.

Sennheiser Accentum vs. Sony WH-CH720N: Specs compared

Sony and Sennheiser headphones held by reviewer

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Header Cell - Column 0 Sennheiser AccentumSony WH-CH720N
Price$179 / £159 / AU$299$149 / £99 / AU$249
Size6.4 x 1.8 x 7.6 inches8.16 x 2.17 x 9.34 inches
Weight7.8 ounces6.8 ounces
Battery life (rated)50 hours34 hours (ANC on); 50 hours (ANC off)
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.2 with SBC, AAC and aptX HD supportBluetooth 5.2 with SBC and AAC
Special featuresAdaptive active noise cancelation, Bass Boost mode, customizable EQ, Google Fast Pair Smart Control, Sound Zones360 Reality Audio, Adaptive active noise cancellation, multipoint, customizable EQ, DSEE upscaling, Google Fast Pair, touch and voice controls

Sennheiser Accentum vs. Sony WH-CH720N: Price & availability

There’s a $30 difference between the two products at their full MSRP. The Accentum headphones are listed at $179, while the WH-CH720N are listed at $149 and can regularly be found discounted. They are currently available at $128 @ Amazon for the black option.

You can’t go wrong with either purchase, based on features and performance. Given that we saw the Sony WH-CH720N discounted in recent sales, it’s possible that we'll see prices drop for both models as part of this year’s best Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday deals, meaning you can score either pair of headphones for even less. 

Don't forget to bookmark our best headphone deals page to keep track of all the latest bargains.

Winner: Tie

Sennheiser Accentum vs. Sony WH-CH720N: Design

Sennheiser Accentum held up against an abstract backdrop

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The Accentum are essentially a scaled down version of the Momentum 4 that retains most of their sibling’s minimalist appearance and sleek craftsmanship. They come in black and white color options. Peep the genuine leather and solid plastic construction. Only one distinctive detail is missing: the nylon fabric headband with metallic debossed logo. Nonetheless, the Accentum have a clean and stylish look that blends well with other swanky models. If only their clamp force wasn’t as tight. They’re not cranium-crushers like the Beats Studio Pro, but wearing them for two hours straight can be fatiguing. 

Sony’s WH-C720N headphones have a lightweight, all-plastic frame like the WH-1000XM5 that provides great comfort for long listening sessions. The build quality feels a more flimsy by comparison, and these headphones also lack their flagship’s creative touches such as the arched yokes, gold branding, and plateau earcup design. Sony sells the headphones in more colors though — black, blue (a Best Buy exclusive), and white.

Winner: Sennheiser Accentum 

Sennheiser Accentum vs. Sony WH-CH720N: Controls

Sony WH-CH720N held in hand and showing button controls

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Neither headphone comes with touch controls or wear detection. Instead, you get physical button setups that enable several functions (e.g., playback, call management, volume), along with voice activation. The WH-CH720’s larger button scheme is easier to locate and more user-friendly. Sennheiser made their buttons too small, and the multifunctional action button’s assigned control scheme is confusing. Voice assistance works well on both models, so you’ll be able to speak and execute voice commands quickly. Google Assistant fires up quicker on the WH-CH720N.

Winner: Sony WH-CH720N

Sennheiser Accentum vs. Sony WH-CH720N: Sound quality

Sennheiser Accentum headphones

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The Accentum pump out warm, detailed sound that’s discernibly better than some luxury models I've heard. Bass is rich and blends beautifully with crisp mids that give vocals just the right amount of expression. Sennheiser added a Bass Boost preset to increase the low end without muddying up the soundstage. There’s even a Podcast preset that emphasizes vocals when listening to dialogue-centric content. 

Signature features like Smart Control and Sound Zones are available, should you want to arrange sound performance based on your hearing preferences or location. The 5-band EQ in the Sennheiser Smart Control app lets you create a sound profile by adjusting frequencies or select from 7 presets that accurately represent their titles (e.g., Hip Hop, Movie, Jazz). Streaming quality has also received a boost via aptX HD, resulting in higher quality audio signal handling over Bluetooth and lower latency when streaming video.

Sony WH-CH720N with mobile streaming device

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As superb as the Sennheiser Accentum headphones sound, I prefer the WH-CH720N for their broader sonic presentation. The 30mm drivers deliver satisfying frequency range. You can expect impactful, well-balanced bass with striking mids and clear highs. 360 Reality Audio gives optimized recordings a livelier presence. DSEE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) is fantastic for upscaling low-quality tracks. Sony’s EQ offers greater customization and presets that complement several music genres. 

The option to create your own sound profile is available or you can use the Find Your Equalizer feature to effectively tailor audio to your hearing based on a series of listening tests. Lastly, the Sony Headphones Connect app lets you prioritize sound quality over connection (and vice versa), which auto-selects the best available codec. The WH-CH720N do not support Sony’s LDAC codec.

Winner: Sony WH-CH720N

Sennheiser Accentum vs. Sony WH-CH720N: ANC

Son WH-CH720N worn by Alex Bracetti

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These are two terrific noise-cancelers. Performance differs within certain frequencies, but you still get solid ANC that keeps disruptions to a minimum. Low frequencies and rumbling noises are handled well on both sets of cans. Common household sounds like doorbells, family chatter, kitchen appliances, and loud TVs go unnoticed. Construction noises are also subdued at a high level. The Accentum tackle high-frequency noises better; my 2-year-old toddler’s cries were less disruptive during work hours. 

Sennheiser and Sony’s transparency modes are just as impressive and increase awareness in all environments. I had clear-sounding and engaging conversations with the missus from across the room, while also hearing cars and runners passing by during afternoon walks. However, the WH-CH720N’s version is stronger and features up to 20 levels of ambient listening that can be adjusted in the companion app. This grants more control over how much noise you want to let in, which is a lot when set to max level. I could hear everything clearly from conversations on the Starbucks order line to police sirens from several blocks away.

Winner: Tie

Sennheiser Accentum vs. Sony WH-CH720N: Call quality

Sony WH-CH720N testing call quality

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Voice calling goes to the Accentum. Conversations were loud and clear, for the most part. There was less background interference and stronger wind resistance, though a few people complained about my voice sounding tinny at certain points. The SideTone feature was useful for increasing how loud I sounded on calls. 

Meanwhile, the WH-CH720N struggled in loud and gusty environments. Incidental sounds and wind were audible on voice and video calls, and there was occasional dropout that made it tough for callers on the other end to make out full sentences.

Winner: Sennheiser Accentum

Sennheiser Accentum vs. Sony WH-CH720N: Connectivity

Both pairs of headphones support Bluetooth 5.2 with multipoint technology that provides seamless connectivity with two devices at the same time. Wireless range extends up to 50 feet before dropout occurs during streaming sessions. Managing device pairing from the companion app is another sweet perk that these two models share. The deciding factor is codec support, which the Accentum have in the bag.

Winner: Sennheiser Accentum 

Sennheiser Accentum vs. Sony WH-CH720N: Battery life

Sennheiser Accentum and Sony WH-CH720N side-by-side with green vegetation in the background

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Playtimes favor the Accentum based on advertised ratings. According to Sennheiser, they provide up to 50 hours of listening time with ANC on, though our testing showed the headphones tapping out around the 42-hour mark. The WH-CH720N can achieve 50 hours of playtime, but only when disabling ANC. Turning it on caps battery life at 34 hours, which is accurate. 

Sony’s quick-charging technology operates quicker with a 3-minute charge netting you 1 hour of playtime, while the Accentum’s version is stronger, generating 5 hours of use on a 10-minute charge. 

Winner: Sennheiser Accentum

Sennheiser Accentum vs. Sony WH-CH720N: Verdict

The Sennheiser Accentum narrowly edge out the Sony WH-CH720N for best mid-range ANC headphones. Exceptional sound with stronger codec support, on top of long battery life and powerful noise neutralization, make for an enticing package at an affordable price. Sennheiser could have programmed the controls better and more features could have been included, but these quibbles mean little when taking overall performance into account.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Sennheiser Accentum Sony WH-CH720N
Price and value (5)55
Design (15)1210
Controls (10)78
Sound quality (25)2223
ANC performance (20)1717
Call quality (10)86
Connectivity (5)43
Battery life (10)98
Total score (100)8480

Don’t sleep on the WH-CH720N. It’s rare to see Sony headphones this inexpensive that can produce near-signature ANC and sound. A boatload of features enhance listening on multiple fronts, and effective controls and extended playtimes add to their value. We would have loved for Sony to put more effort into the design though. The absence of LDAC also hurts. Still, these headphones are definitely worth the listen for their price. They just fall slightly short of their competitor.

Winner: Sennheiser Accentum

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Alex Bracetti

A lifestyle journalist with an affinity for consumer products, Alex has over a decade of experience and has worked with popular publications such as Complex, Thrillist, Men’s Health, Gear Patrol, AskMen, and Hoop Magazine. He currently focuses on audio, reviewing the most coveted headphones in the market for both Tom’s Guide and Laptop Magazine.

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