- Type: Over-ear, closed, wireless
- Drivers: 42 mm
- Frequency range: 6 Hz – 22 kHz
- Active noise reduction: Yes
- Ambient sound: Yes
- Battery life: Up to 60 h w/ ANC
- Protection: No
- Voice control: Google Assistant, Siri
- App: Sennheiser Smart Control
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2 (SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX Adaptive), 3.5mm analog
- Charging: USB-C (quick charge 4 h in 5 min)
- Other: Touch control
- Weight: 293 g
- Colors: Black, white
- Web: sennheiser.com
PLEASE NOTE. Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless will be available in stores on August 23, but can be pre-ordered from August 9.
The development has been rapid in noise-cancelling headphones, and once a year the manufacturers launch an improved top model that outperforms its predecessor. Unless you happen to be Sennheiser, that is. Here things have gone a bit slower, because we have to go back three years since the previous model was launched, the Momentum 3 Wireless.
Unsurprisingly, the new wireless headphones are called Momentum 4 Wireless, and you probably won’t be surprised to learn that this is the fourth generation of Momentum wireless headphones. We were very pleased with the previous model, and the expectations are therefore high for the successor. At least when we see how far the rivals have come, where Sony so far trumps at the top when it comes to noise reduction itself.
Sennheiser claims that Momentum 4 delivers best-in-class sound, with 42 mm high-quality drivers. The same size as on the predecessor, and you may suspect them to be the same.
The headphones have improved, adaptive noise cancellation, which adapts to the environment you’re in. And then ambient sound, or transparency, where the noise cancellation is reversed and instead pipes the outside world into your ears. We are also promised fantastic comfort, and where the predecessors had only physical buttons and switches, on the new ones you can swipe to the previous and next song, and adjust the sound level.
On the audio side, aptX Adaptive audio codec is used for better sound, which is available for Android users. Apple users will have to get used to AAC. You actually get a bit more airiness with aptX Adaptive, which makes me prefer Android for music listening.
60 hours battery
The battery life is rated at 60 hours, with noise cancellation activated and with the sound level in the middle position. That’s quite extreme, and twice as long as rival Sony WH-1000XM5 and three times as long as with Apple AirPods Max. Still, the price of the Sennheisers is lower, just €350. That places them at the same price point as the Yamaha YH-E700A, another excellent pair of headphones.
Fast charging is also available, here you get up to four hours of use after just five minutes of charging, if you have a capable fast charger.
Where the predecessors had a more distinctive and industrial look, with black or brown earcups attached to a metal headband with visible slits for length adjustment, the Momentum 4 has a cleaner design. The new ones are smoother, with a softer design, but at the same time they look more like any other wireless headphones. With a smooth surface on the cups themselves, and with headbands upholstered with grey fabric of the same type as on the case for the earbuds Momentum True Wireless 3. Thus, for the first time, the Momentum family shares a common expression, so that you can actually see that they belong to the same family. We like that!
Unlike its predecessors, the Momentum 4 Wireless cannot be folded. The best thing to do is to rotate the cups 90 degrees, so that the headphones lie flat. The case is included, and it is necessarily wider than before, but also flatter.
The case includes a charging cable, a 3.5 mm analogue audio cable and an “airplane adapter” with two mono plugs at one end.
Momentum 4 can be controlled from the app Sennheiser Smart Control, which in addition to updating the headphones lets you tune a simple three-band equalizer, and also personalize the sound through a sound test. Simply put, you switch between three presets and choose the one you like best. You do this for three rounds of different music, then the app tries its best to tune the sound to your preferences.
It must be said that I did not get this to work on the Momentum 4, as there is no sound at all from the app. I expect this to be fixed in a future update.
Momentum 4 Wireless has two microphones in each ear cup, with beamforming to best distinguish your voice from the surroundings. This is just half the number Sony has put into its 1000XM5, and two fewer than you’ll find in the new Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2 (review upcoming).
But speech works fine through the Momentum 4, the recipient will hear you clearly and distinctly through these. Sennheiser doesn’t stand much ground for the Sony ones, and the Px7 S2 sounds more artificial and prosessed. Bose NCH 700 sounds clearer, but not as lound as the Sennheisers. All in all the sound quality is good.
The headphones fit very comfortably around the ears, thanks to the soft cushions. I do however find they get a bit warmer around the ears than both the B&W Px7 S2 and Sony WH-1000XM5, which make the ears stickier over time. Hot summer days and indoor use can tip the balance towards the uncomfortable if you use them for long periods at a time.
The noise reduction
Sennheiser have always been quite good at noise reduction, and the same can be said for the latest Momentum models. Still, it doesn’t seem like much has been improved since last time. It works well enough, and they can also muffle the sound of wind throws somewhat.
They are about on a par with the Px7 S2, but not in the league of the WH-1000XM5, which attenuates around 10 dB more effectively all the way, and up to 20 dB more in the bass range. That’s because the Sony is miles ahead of everyone else here, and not because Sennheiser does a bad job. They do what they are supposed to do, and whether I am near construction work or on the train, the noise is minimized so that the music comes through.
The sound of the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless
And for music, the new Momentum 4 sounds very good. There where the predecessors had a very powerful, but also slightly muddy bass, Momentum 4 also adds extra energy in the bass register. But they are perceived tighter and more punchy, which is not great with electronic party music. On the predecessors, the bass sounds more “subwoofer-like” by comparison.
The midrange is also clearer here, so the vocals stand out better from the music. Aurora’s airy voice in A Potion For Love sounds silky smooth at the same time as it has fabulous dynamics. B&W Px7 S2 sounds a notch more resolved and more neutral in the bass, but compared to Sony WH-1000XM5 Momentum 4 is more open in the midrange and not least in the treble. Although the Sony sounds more open than its predecessors. There’s something about the Sennheiser’s presentation of midrange that makes listening to them very addictive. There is also more midrange here than with the more bass-heavy Yamaha YH-E700A, and overall I like the Sennheisers even better.
The piano for Alexis Ffrench on the song Golden sounds very nice, with both attack in the impacts and fullness in the fundamentals. A notch above the Momentum 3 all the way. With the exception of the maximum sound level, which I certainly believe was higher on the predecessor.
It was about time that Sennheiser came up with a new pair of wireless Momentum headphones. And the Momentum 4 Wireless delivers on almost every level. The sound is more balanced than before, but still never gets boring. The bass is punchy, and in fact we’d say this is the best sound you’ll get at this price. You’ll have to pay more if you want even better sound than this!
The noise cancellation clearly does the job, although it doesn’t threaten the position of the absolute best. The comfort is also very good (though the cups get a bit warm over time).
Battery life in a class of its own, and with fast charging it takes a lot of effort to run out of power. Overall, an winner at this price!