The Momentum 4, the latest iteration of the Sennheiser Momentum introduced a decade ago, harks back to the dawn of luxury wireless headphone design, ditching the classic earcups and stainless steel band of its predecessors. responsible for a sleeker, more modern package that matches it to the top Bluetooth noise cancellation competition.
The Momentum 4 is a serious contender if you’re looking for an over-ear wireless headset. They deliver the great sound that Sennheiser is famous for, and while the updated look and feel makes them harder to distinguish from the competition, their solid all-round performance comes at a price-friendly slightly compared to high-end competitors. it’s worth considering for discerning listeners who want something full-featured that they won’t have to bother much to get good performance out of.
An updated Bluetooth noise-cancelling flagship from the veteran headphone brand
The updated Sennheiser Momentum 4 ditches the classic styling of their predecessors for a more vanilla look, but the improved ANC, a solid application, and great sound make them an appealing choice for Headphone enthusiasts.
The most important thing to know about the new Sennheiser Momentum 4 is that they sound great right out of the box. With a long tradition in headphone design, Sennheiser has been responsible for some of the most beloved professional and consumer headphones, and that shows here in the Momentum 4’s careful dubbing. No matter what material we chose to listen to, we encountered satisfying, balanced performance, with controlled lows and plenty of detail in the mids.
The three-band EQ is effective, and you get a range of useful presets suitable for different genres of music. You can also subscribe to Sennheiser’s “Audio Test” service, which automatically applies presets based on what you’re listening to. However, we don’t think most people might want this level of optimization for everyday listening, and those looking to use the EQ on a track would likely be inclined to do it themselves, but it’s an option. choose neatly. You don’t get the level of granular control that Sony or Technics apps offer, or the Sony or Apple-style spatial and personalization features, but all the essential functionality is there.
Soundgarden’s “Superunknown” title track – balancing Chris Cornell’s soaring vocals, Kim Thayil’s mid-range guitars, and Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd’s dominant rhythms, plus a bunch of stereo layout trick – can sound cluttered on smaller headphones, but even flat, it’s a pleasant listening session here, with everything in its place and reproduced with great bass. precise tone and texture. Dropping 1.5 to 2 decibels in the low end of the EQ did dampen the lows a bit, but that’s just a matter of preference.
Acoustic music is equally well reproduced. We Watched Gil Evans’ Classic Big Band Join Kurt Weill’s “Bilbao Song” From “Out of the Cool”” and even without any EQ applied, the Momentum 4 does a great job of recreating Evans’ elegant orchestration, from Ron Carter’s deep bass to Ray Crawford’s proto-skronk guitar.
Call quality is solid and the convenient “Sidetone” function transmits an adjustable amount of your own voice back to the headset while you’re on a call – if you’re the type of person who’s a bit surprised by the sound own voice, this produces a more natural sound.
Active noise cancellation (ANC) – which wasn’t the strongest suit of previous Momentum models – is improved here and on par with most of the competition, although it’s not as effective as the Bose 700 top or Apple AirPods Minimize noise from our air conditioners and kitchen exhaust fans. Cancellation has indeed brought these types of steady-state noise down to a lower subjective level than the Sony XM5, but the result is a slightly less natural sound, so they may not be the way to go. choose best for self use to remove background noise without playing music or other sounds. With music playback, all of these headphones reduce background noise to the point where it’s barely perceptible unless you’re listening to something really important, which you wouldn’t use noise-cancelling headphones for every day. case.
That said, turning on ANC on the Momentum 4 doesn’t interact pleasantly with the EQ, so it shouldn’t have much of an effect on the tonal character of what you’re listening to. You can equalize ANC with transparency via a crossover or enable “adaptive” mode, which chooses for you based on microphone input.
If that’s not enough automation for you, “Audio Zone” lets you use geofencing to change the behavior of your headphones depending on your location; you can let the headphones automatically turn on transparency at home and cancel noise when you’re at the office – while these modes are fun, their practical utility is a bit hazy and we’d love to Adjust to your preferences while scrolling the app’s controls. It’s meant to offer something along the lines of Sony’s Adaptive Sound Control, though you get more say in how it adjusts this way at the expense of some pre-planning.
For travel purposes (or if you prefer a hard-wired connection), a 2.5mm to 3.5mm cord is included with a two-prong aviation adapter. The Momentum 4 works wired without powering on, which is great if you run out of battery or just want to preserve it if you’re using an older device as a power source. Plugging in the cable even puts the headset in airplane mode and turns off Bluetooth, which is a good way to avoid confusion or end up on the bad side of the flight attendant.
Like the Technics EAH-A800, these have significantly slashed the Sony XM5 (somewhat) and Apple AirPods Max (significantly) in terms of price; In our opinion, it’s a positive trend to see audio specialist brands drop prices on these feature-packed headphones, even if these newer models aren’t quite the same. in line with the larger tech companies’ offering in some technical respects and we expect to see a bit more downward pressure on prices.
Older Momentum models have a distinctly classic look, with stainless straps, leather ear cups, and a little Radar O’Reilly aesthetic. That has been dropped with the new model as it has a design that closely resembles the latest models from Sony, Bose and Jabra, with lots of black plastic surfaces and minimalist design cues.
As with other minimalist headphones, you won’t find much in the way of physical controls on the Momentum 4: A single multi-function button powers the headphones, giving you access to the voice assistant, provides system information, initiates and manages pairing. Everything else is done via touch controls on both ear cups.
While this arrangement is popular these days and we understand its appeal (less broken, upgradeable functions, and a sleek touch panel), this is not is our favorite arrangement. First off, we really like at least one physical volume control for emergencies – the digital knobs on the AirPods Max or the buttons on the Bose QC 45 are a lot more intuitive to grab as you switch. from listening to speakers without adjusting your computer’s volume controls, or you stumble across a track that’s already been controlled too hot.
Although you will eventually get used to where the various functions are located, without looking around it can be difficult to find exactly what you want without practice and it’s easy to accidentally trigger something you don’t want. do not want while adjusting the fit or put the headset on or use them off. Touch surfaces also respond to input more slowly than physical buttons, and many functions require multiple presses.
The Sennheiser Smart Control app is nicely designed, but you won’t get the granular control over sound and performance characteristics like you would from the Technics EAH-A800 (that said, the Momentum 4 sounds better than the EAH -A800, and we imagine many users won’t mind the limited EQ provided here). Also, some of the more interesting options are only accessible if you’re signed in to a Sennheiser account, which not everyone might want.
With the Momentum 4, Sennheiser has re-launched the competition for the top wireless headphones – which the company pioneered with the original Momentum – in a big way, and the brand has been successful in most respects. While we miss the signature design of the previous Momentum and think most listeners would be better served with the better ANC available from Sony or Bose or the convenience and more robust interface design of Apple AirPods Max, Sennheiser Momentum 4 is an overall stronger competitor than ever – the arena for Bluetooth flagship headphones is more crowded and offers great sound without any testing.