Sennheiser has been in the audio industry for decades — they have managed to provide quality products despite fierce competition from the likes of Sony, Bose, and others. However, the German company has been fairly silent with its Momentum series of wireless headphones. After launching the Momentum 3 in 2019, the company seemingly took a small hiatus before announcing its successor.
But now, three years later, it’s here. The Sennheiser Momentum 4 retails for a price tag of Rs 34,990, which means it’s priced slightly higher than the newly launched Sony WH-1000XM5. It comes with a new design language as Sennheiser seems to be parting ways with the retro and rugged look. The company has always hit gold with its classic signature sound, which has also been followed in its latest edition. Should you buy the Sennheiser Momentum 4 or go for a safer bet with Sony? We’ve been using the headphones for over two weeks, and here is our full review.
Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless Review: Comfortable on the ears, easy on the head
We believe comfort is one of the most important aspects when it comes to buying headphones, and the Momentum 4 excels at it. The headphones are available in two colour variants: Black and White. For this review, we received the latter. However, the black variant gives off a subtle and classy vibe, so if that’s your thing, you can surely go for it.
The headphones are made of good quality plastic, but they somewhat lack their predecessors’ premium feel. The earcups do not feel that sturdy, and the white colourway tends to collect dust and markings. Although, despite some rough usage, it did not register any scuff marks, which is good. The shift from its signature ‘retro’ look with metal sliders to this modern, minimalist look is a drastic change in this series. The change is by no means negative, but it feels like the company is trying to blend in with the competition instead of standing out. The older look helped the headphones stand out in a sea of devices that seemed alike. Then again, looks are subjective.
The headband has a fabric finish which looks and feels very premium. We liked this woven cloth finish a lot and kept caressing it most of the time. The plastic build helps keep the weight of the headphones in check, and the plushy cushions all over help for a very comfortable fit, one of the best we’ve tried in a long time. The headband has decent padding, and the clamping force is just about right. The duo of plush ear cups and woven fabric have earned it the moniker of sofa headphones among our friends and colleagues.
The headphones never fell off, even while tilting our heads down while using a smartphone. Our only gripe with this design language is the fact that you cannot fold it inwards for easy portability. However, the cups pivot inwards, which helps you rest the headphones around the neck. The right ear cup holds all the controls and physical ports. So, here you get a 2.5mm headphone jack, a USB Type-C port, five LED lights for battery and power indication, a physical button to turn on the device, and a microphone. The left earcup is devoid of any physical buttons or ports, except for the microphone.
We used the headphones extensively over a period of two weeks and did not face any discomfort. Binge-watching TV shows with headphones for over 6 hours on a stretch was also possible. The cushions are very comfortable, and even in humid conditions, our ears did not sweat much with the headphones on. The proximity sensor built inside the right ear cup works flawlessly and detects the placement well. In-ear detection works on almost all platforms.
The all-new design revamp is not the only major change with the Sennheiser Momentum 4. These are the first Momentum headphones ever to have touch controls. Apart from the ports and lights, the right ear cup also holds all the touch controls.
We are usually sceptical about touch controls, as they lack a tactical response. They also do something crucial, play, pause or change music, but since you can’t see what you’re pressing, it’s important they should be reliable and snappy. Many headphones get touch controls wrong, making you feel and look silly when you don’t get a touch gesture right.
Surprisingly, that’s not the case with Momentum 4. A single swipe up or down on the right ear cup can increase or lower the volume. Pinching in or out can help you fiddle with the ANC and transparency mode without having to turn one on altogether completely. This way, you get a taste of both. Not that it’s ideal to use it that way, but it’s good to know they provide an option to toggle.
Swiping left or right lets you change the music track. A single physical button can be used to summon your voice assistant on the phone. It also acts as a power button, but you won’t use it much since the headphones turn on the moment you pick them up from the case and turn off after sitting idle for a couple of minutes.
Speaking of the case, the Momentum 4 comes in a neat hard shell carrying case. It holds in place a USB Type-C cable for charging, a 2.5mm to 3.5mm headphone jack, an aeroplane travel adapter, and some paperwork.
Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless Review: Crisp sound quality and handy companion app
With their Momentum series of headphones, Sennheiser has been pretty consistent in terms of sound quality. The latest edition is no slouch. Like its predecessors, the Momentum 4 also has support for the “Smart Control” app, which incorporates some very useful settings. The app lets you manage all the connected devices. The Momentum 4 has multi-device support, and it works without any hiccups.
The Smart Control app also lets you tweak the equaliser settings. However, we found the audio quality to be well balanced, and we didn’t tinker around with the levels much. It also showcases two interesting features: ‘Sound Check’ and ‘Sound Zones’. The former lets you create your personalised presets, while the latter allows you to create particular zones, automatically enabling the sound settings you’ve made.
This way, you can create a sound zone for gym or work, wherein the ANC is turned on automatically. The only downside with these settings is that the app asks you to sign up or register with your email address. It’s not really ideal for an app to ask for your data to ‘unlock’ a bunch of features. It also has the ‘Sidetone’ feature, which allows you to listen to your voice during a call. This way, you won’t be shouting at the top of your lungs when conversing with someone on the phone because of the noise cancellation.
The app also allows you to tweak the ANC settings depending on your preference. The Smart Control app pushes firmware updates, but installing them takes an awful amount of time. The other day, we received a bug fix update of 2MB, which took the app about 45 minutes to install. That makes no sense.
While we were reviewing the Momentum 4, our area had a bunch of musical events going on, and to drown out the loud noise while watching a TV show, we picked up the Momentum 4. We found the Active Noise Cancellation on the Sennheiser Momentum 4 to be very good, close to what the Sony WH-1000XM4 is able to deliver.
Even if you are in a room with a couple of people talking, the headphones manage to cancel the sound out. The Sony WH-1000XM4s offered excellent noise cancellation, and the Momentum 4 is close but not quite there.
The Sennheiser Momentum 4 are a great pair of headphones to listen to your favourite music or even watch a bunch of movies. We usually prefer neutral sound when it comes to music listening experience, and the headphones were able to deliver. The vocals and trebles were clear, while the headphones were also capable of punchy bass whenever required. It has a wide soundstage, and we could discover new elements in a bunch of songs we didn’t know existed.
It has excellent sound clarity and brings out the details well. No matter the song, be it “World’s Smallest Violin’” by AJR or “Fireflies” by Owl City, we can distinguish between the instruments used, and there’s a clear disparity between them. Dialogues and other aspects of the movie-watching experience were also produced well by Momentum 4. The headphones support Bluetooth 5.2, and the codecs can run SBC, AAC, Qualcomm aptX, and aptX Adaptive. Overall, it’s a great pair of headphones, and our experience with it was quite decent.
As for the microphones, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 uses two beamforming microphones on either cup. The microphone is capable of blocking out an ample amount of distracting noises from the background. It only focuses on the voice of the person. While on the call, the other party did not complain about any kind of noise. We tried the microphone on Discord too, and it worked flawlessly.
Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless Review: Insane battery life
The battery life on the Momentum 4 is outright monstrous. That pretty much sums it up. The company claims a total of 60 hours of playtime at mid-level volume. We charged the headphones about a week ago to 100%. As of writing this review, the battery is still at 70%.
We’ve used the headphones for over 20 hours as of now. This is with ANC enabled at all times. Depending on your usage, you can juice out several days of battery from the Momentum 4. We are very impressed with its battery life so far.
The Sony WH-1000XM5, which is the direct competitor of the Sennheiser Momentum 4, claims a battery life of 40 hours. However, the disparity in pricing justifies it to an extent.
It took Momentum 4 around two hours to completely charge from the dead. The headphones automatically turn off after 15 minutes of inactivity, which also helps with saving some battery. If you somehow manage to drain out the battery, the headphones can be used with a wired connection.
Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless Review: Verdict
The Sennheiser Momentum 4 is a very impressive pair of headphones. At Rs 34,990, they have a lot to offer. Cutting down on metal hinges and sliders has helped lower the weight of the entire thing. The classic Sennheiser sound signature is great for music listening and watching movies. Besides, ANC is also quite decent and does its deed well. The touch controls are good and respond well. The inclusion of a headphone jack is underrated and much appreciated. Handy features on the app also make the overall experience a tad bit better.
Another highlight of the Momentum 4 is its insane battery life. This thing can go on for days and weeks. The multipoint feature is also handy and allows you to connect to multiple devices at a time. The design approach is minimalistic, we don’t hate it, but the fact that Sennheiser is looking to blend in with the competition makes us question their choice. The Momentum 3 could stand out in a barrage of wireless headphones, which is somewhat hard to say about its successor. We would’ve liked it if the headphones could be folded inwards for portability during a trip. Sadly, that’s not possible. However, you do have a carrying case.
If you are someone who is looking for a pair of headphones that will give you excellent sound quality with great battery life, the Momentum 4 should be considered. As for options in this price segment, the WH-1000XM5 from Sony can be snagged at a lower price. A relatively similar audiophile experience can also be found on the Sony WH-1000XM4, which retails at about Rs 20,000, saving you a tonne of money. There are multiple offers from online retailers such as Amazon and Flipkart, so keep an eye out.
Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless
What Is Good?
- Neutral sound signature
- Insane battery life
- Good fit and comfort
- Wired connection
What Is Bad?
- Costlier than the competition
- Not very portable
- Plastic build
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