If the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless are for the style conscious traveller, their cheaper PXC 550 siblings are for those that put functionality first.

They’re a much more Bose-esque proposition – understated in their design, lighter and more compact, with a longer battery life (a whopping 30 hours) than their prettier sibling.

Being from the same camp, you might expect the PXC 550s to offer a similar performance to their talented big brother, but there are a surprising number of differences.

While the Momentums go for a popular full-bodied balance, the PXC 550s are a little leaner. There’s still enough bass to make itself known, but it’s not the rich rumble you’ll get with the Momentums.

It makes for a clean, clear and precise sound, with a midrange that’s king. The treble sits on the bright side of neutral but keeps itself reigned in enough that it’s never annoying - if anything, it helps to give the PXC 550s an upfront and enthusiastic tone.

The Momentums do take them for outright expression and subtle detail though, as do the talented Sony MDR-1000Xs. And while the PXC 550s are pretty spacious and dynamically sound, we’d say their topped in this department too. They occasionally lack a little kick when it’s needed.

There are absolutely no grumbles when it comes to comfort – the 550s will cushion your ears for hours without worry – and the noise cancelling on offer here is almost on par with its Bose competition, and better than the Momentums.

The PXC 550s have a few tricks up their sleeve for those that like to tweak too. There’s a button on the right earcup that’ll let you cycle through effect modes for speech, ‘club’ and movie, but download Sennheiser’s CapTune app, and you can tweak the EQ more precisely, and save a number of custom modes for easy switching.

The PXC 550 are talented pair of headphones that really hold their own against their pricier sibling. A critical listen will want for a touch more detail and better dynamics, but pick these as your travel companion and you won't be disappointed.

The best noise-cancelling headphones

Although the Sennheiser PXC 550 made it to out Top 10, you can find out more about other noise-cancelling headphones here.