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SENNHEISER MOMENTUM 4 Wireless Headphones

Sennheiser completely revises the design of the series with the Momentum 4 Wireless. In terms of sound, the new ANC headphones are superior to the Sony WH-1000XM5, but not when it comes to ANC. The battery life of around 60 hours with ANC and the wearing comfort is just as convincing as the improved range of functions compared to the predecessor.

The Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless takes on the legacy of the series. It has to prove that the premium headphones can continue to convince even after selling to Sennheiser’s consumer division. As the “perfect balance between superior sound and exceptional design”, the Momentum 4 Wireless breaks with the design of its predecessor, as Sony recently dared to do with the WH-1000XM5 ANC headphones (review). In addition, the active noise cancellation is said to have been improved again with the new model.

In addition to a battery life of up to 60 hours, Sennheiser promises a transparency mode and a built-in equaliser, as well as a new function for individual sound adjustment, with which wearers can adapt the sound to their personal preferences and needs.

In addition to a 2.5-to-3.5-mm audio cable, buyers of the Momentum 4 Wireless receive a travel case and, unlike Sony, an aeroplane adapter and a USB-A-to-USB-C charging cable.

The technology in the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless

The dynamic audio drivers of the Momentum 4 Wireless measure 42 mm in diameter. This makes them just as large as the Momentum 3 Wireless and significantly more significant than the 30 mm drivers of the Sony WH-1000XM5. However, size alone is no guarantee of quality. Sennheiser states the frequency response as 6 Hz to 22 kHz, identical to the predecessor, and the sensitivity as 106 dB SPL (1 kHz). The distortion factor is less than 0.3 per cent (1 kHz, 100 dB SPL). The impedance is 470 ohms active or 60 ohms passive.

Bluetooth 5.2 with Multipoint, AAC and aptX Adaptive


The Momentum 4 Wireless uses the latest Bluetooth version 5.2. Sennheiser also supports Multipoint so that two devices can be connected to the headphones at the same time. This means that playback can be switched at any time without first having to disconnect and pair the devices manually. If desired, calls from the smartphone can be accepted even if the headphones are currently connected to the tablet, for example.

In addition to SBC, Qualcomm’s aptX and aptX Adaptive, as well as AAC, are supported as audio codecs. aptX Adaptive is not only backwards compatible with aptX and aptX HD but also uses a variable bit rate of 276 to 420 kbit/s. The codec is thus supposed to provide comparable sound quality. Thus, the codec is supposed to deliver a similar quality as wired headphones during audio playback at 24 bit/96 kHz. The sampling depth of aptX Adaptive is 24 bits instead of the usual 16 bits, and the sampling rate is 96 kHz in addition to 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz. In order to benefit from aptX Adaptive, the end device used must also support the codec. As a rule, this is only the case with high-end smartphones with Qualcomm SoC.

The new design dispenses with a retro look


With the Momentum 3 Wireless, Sennheiser relies on leather and stainless steel for the headband, in which the ear cups slide. With the Momentum 4 Wireless, the manufacturer has wholly abandoned this retro look, relying on a classic headband suspension for the ear cups and dispensing with genuine leather on the headband. Instead, the top of the headband is covered with fabric, which Sennheiser also uses for the charging case of the Momentum True Wireless 3. Inside the headband, the Momentum 4 Wireless also continues to use metal, which is not visible to the user. As with the Sony WH-1000XM5, the ear cups no longer slide on a guide of the headband, but the bars of the headband retract and extend. The new design is said to provide comfort, allowing the headphones to be worn all day.

The new design also allows the ear cups to be rotated 90 degrees forwards and backwards, so the headphones can be worn around the neck or laid flat and stored in the supplied carrying case.

Now with a 2.5 mm jack


Interfaces are located on the right ear cup. In addition to USB-C for charging, Sennheiser relies on an audio connection with 2.5 mm instead of the usual 3.5 mm jack. A suitable cable from 2.5 to 3.5 mm is included, but you can’t use any cable that’s handy – sometimes an annoying detail in everyday life. The only button on the headphones is located on the right ear cup. It allows manual switching on and off by pressing it for 3 seconds and Bluetooth pairing by holding it down for 5 seconds. A five-stage LED display provides information about the headphones’ current status and charging level.

USB audio is no problem either


Those who prefer to transfer music to the Momentum 4 Wireless via USB instead of an analogue jack can also do so, as with the predecessor and in contrast to the Sony WH-1000XM5, which does not handle this. For example, connected to an Android smartphone via USB-C, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless immediately plays music or can be used for sound in games – as always, it must be switched on for this. Playback control, ANC, transparency mode and volume control via the headphones are also available when used via USB.

The weight of the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless is 293 g, making it slightly heavier than the Sony WH-1000XM5, which weighs around 250 g, but is lighter than its predecessor Momentum 3 Wireless, which comes in at 306 g.

Four microphones should also suppress wind noise


A total of four beamforming microphones (2×2) are supposed to achieve a high level of intelligibility even during telephony. Automatic suppression of wind noise is considered to ensure voice quality even under challenging environments. Statements that will be verified in the further course of the test. The frequency response of the microphones is 50 Hz to 10 kHz.

60 hours of battery life with fast charging


The 60 hours of battery life that Sennheiser promises in combination with AAC at medium volume and activated ANC are combined with a fast charging mode. This is supposed to guarantee a further six hours of battery life after a charging process of just ten minutes. In addition, the headphones have an Auto-On/Off function that turns them on when you lift them and off after 15 minutes (factory setting) when you put them down to save energy. The predecessor also offered such an automatic function via the hinges of the ear cups.

In the test, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless achieved a battery life of around 56 hours, playing a colourful mix of music at medium volume with changing ambient volume with maximum ANC and aptX Adaptive. Compared to the predecessor, which officially achieves a battery life of 17 hours, Sennheiser has improved in this area.

Fully charging the headphones takes just over two hours, which is also faster than the predecessor, which takes around three hours. Charging is done via the USB-C port on the right ear cup. The headphones’ battery has 700 mAh (2.7 Wh) and comes from Synergy. Sennheiser also uses this model in the MB 660 and PXC 550. In the Momentum 3 Wireless, the battery capacity is only 330 mAh – one of the reasons for the significantly better battery life of the Momentum 4 Wireless. Music can still be listened to while charging.

The good control even without buttons

The touch surface, however, can be tapped and swiped. Tapping once starts or pauses playback. Swiping forward skips forward one track. Swiping back jumps back one track. This works surprisingly reliably, even if you don’t concentrate much on swiping and don’t make sure to always swipe the surface perfectly from one end to the other. A double tap switches between ANC and transparency mode. The volume can also be controlled via swipe gestures on the headphones. In this case, it must be swiped up or down. This is also done reliably. When the volume limits are reached, the headphones indicate this. Generally, short signal tones accompany the operation.

Only the single tap to start and pause caused unintentional actions in the test when the headphones were adjusted or their fit was adjusted. This cannot be prevented.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: Infrared sensor

 
However, with functions such as Speak-to-Chat and activating the transparency mode by placing the palm, Sony offers more tasks with the WH-1000XM5. In addition, with Sony’s headphones, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa on Android and Alexa on iOS can also be activated purely by voice via the respective wake word without having to use the controls – this is not possible with the Momentum 4.

Adjustments in the Sennheiser Smart Control app


The Momentum 4 Wireless is also compatible with Sennheiser’s Smart Control app, which can also be used with the predecessor and the company’s True Wireless in-ears to adjust and configure the headphones. When pairing the Momentum 4 for the first time, the app guides you through the connection process and displays any available firmware update.

Under the “My Device” tab, functions such as connection management, where you can set which two devices the headphones should connect to, the equaliser, the “Sound Check”, the sound zones, ANC or transparency mode and Sidetone are then available.

Quality and wearing comfort


The Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless is a clear break from its predecessor. Although the quality of the new model is impeccable and has neither sharp edges, burrs, nor significant gaps, the Momentum 3 Wireless, with its pearl-blasted stainless steel and leather, radiates something different – which, however, is not an unqualified positive. The Momentum 4 is visually much more modern and, despite the extensive use of plastic, will appeal to a broader target group than its predecessor – apart from the outdated use of genuine leather.

Conclusion

Sound-wise, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless is superior to the Sony WH-1000XM5, partly because Sony’s headphones focus (too) much on bass. However, the WH-1000XM5 is the better choice regarding ANC, transparency mode, functionality and telephony. The Sony model delivers a better result not only in filtering ambient noise with ANC but also in the wind. If you set the wind noise suppression of the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless to “Maximum”, wind noise is also suppressed very well, but at the expense of the ANC. On “Auto”, on the other hand, wind noise always reaches the ears.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: LEDs, USB-C and jack
Opinions will differ on the design of the Momentum 4. Less retro, less metal, more plastic and modern. The Momentum 4 Wireless appeals to a younger target group than its predecessor and thus compete even more strongly with the Sony WH-1000XM5. However, it also loses a unique selling point that makes it stand out from the crowd – it now looks like any other ANC headphones. However, the new design is perfect for wearing comfort, and the Momentum 4 is very pleasant to wear.

Regarding battery life, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless are ahead of the competition. Almost 60 hours with ANC and aptX Adaptive is a real achievement for headphones with active noise cancellation. Although Sennheiser switches to 2.5 mm for the cable connection, which is not convincing, music can also be transferred via USB-C, unlike Sony. It is also possible to listen to music while charging, which does not work with the WH-1000XM5 either.

 

Sennheiser HD 660S2

★★★★★

SENNHEISER MOMENTUM 4 Wireless Headphones - Bluetooth Headset for Crystal-Clear Calls with Adaptive Noise Cancellation, 60h Battery Life, Customizable Sound and Lightweight Folding Design, Black

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Highest Price £24,210,242.00 February 9, 2024
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Since April 19, 2023

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Richard Garrett

Richard Garrett

As an expert on the latest techy stuff, the primary focus is PCs and laptops. Much of his time is split between smartphones, tablets and audio, focusing on the latest devices.
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