Headphones with enormous endurance
Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless is great
By Klaus Wedekind
08/09/2022, 05:12 p.m
With the fourth generation of its flagship headphones, Momentum Wireless, Sennheiser is breaking new ground. The design and materials are now standard, but the sound and active noise cancellation are top notch and the endurance sets new standards.
A Sennheiser Momentum Wireless was previously immediately recognized by its unusual design with a shiny stainless steel bracket, leather upholstery and open cable routing. This was also the case with the third generation of the headphones, which is almost three years old. Apparently, the concept was too expensive, because the new Swiss owner Sonova since March this year decided to switch to a conventional design with lots of plastic. That’s a pity, but the headphones now cost “only” 350 euros instead of 400 euros, despite general price increases. And you can forgive the boring look of the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless as soon as you put it on.
It starts with the fact that the 293 gram headphones are even more comfortable than their predecessors. In addition, the headband fits snugly on the head, which looks better on bald men in particular. The shells leave a lot of room for the ears and the plastic pads close very well. In the long run, however, it gets significantly warmer under them than the leather of the predecessor.
In terms of sound, the new generation is also a real momentum wireless. The 42 millimeter converters produce powerful but always well dosed bass. The mids are very broad and precisely defined, crystal-clear highs deliver many details without stinging at higher volumes. In order to deliver as many subtleties as possible via Bluetooth 5.2, the headphones support the higher-resolution codecs aptX and aptX adaptive.
Overall, the sound – as befits Sennheiser – is neutrally tuned and offers a wide, airy stage where any style of music is welcome. Like its predecessor, the Momentum 4 Wireless belongs to the absolute top class, maybe it’s even the best-sounding headband headphones outside of the professional class.
It is good form that you not only find a comprehensive equalizer in the associated Smart Control app, but you can also do a sound check to adjust the sound to your own hearing. This is where it pays to experiment with different songs to spot the subtle differences.
The app also contains the settings for active noise cancellation (ANC). You can adjust the strength manually or have it automatically adapted to the environment. You can also determine whether the headphones do not reduce wind noise at all, independently or as much as possible.
In both cases, the automatic does a very good job. The ANC in particular is convincing, as it reliably suppresses permanent noise, hissing or humming. In the office, you can hardly hear clattering keyboards or conversations, even without music, and the inherent noise of the noise suppression is minimal. The ANC might not be quite as effective as the Sony WH-1000XM5, but it’s very close and the small differences don’t matter in everyday use.
If necessary, you can activate the transparency mode, which amplifies external noise. In this case, too, Sennheiser allows the strength of the effect to be individually adjusted. The same applies to your own voice during phone calls, which you can hear more or less yourself, depending on your preference. In general, the Momentum 4 Wireless also delivers high sound quality during calls.
Control is no longer via buttons, but a touch-sensitive surface on the outside of the right shells. It takes some getting used to at first, if you’ve been used to pressing buttons before. But Sennheiser keeps gestures simple, and the large touch area recognizes taps and swipes even if they’re not performed perfectly.
Extremely long running time
If you take off the headphones, playback pauses. If it stays longer, it switches off automatically to save the battery. This is not absolutely necessary, because the Momentum 4 Wireless has enormous endurance. According to Sennheiser, it lasts up to 60 hours at medium volume with ANC activated, leaving the competition far behind. Five minutes on the charger are enough for up to three hours of music enjoyment, after two hours an empty battery is full again.
The new design may be boring, but the Momentum 4 Wireless is still a hot contender for the crown of Bluetooth headphone headphones with excellent sound, a very effective ANC and enormous endurance. And the price also plays a role here, because at 350 euros, the new Sennheiser flagship is around 70 euros cheaper than the Sony WH-1000XM5.