We have been seeing some more high-profile Bluetooth headphones released recently, with the Sony WH-1000XM5, and the Bowers and Wilkins PX7 S2. Now, another headphone looks to not only join their ranks but be a trailblazer for audiophile-centric wireless headphones. Headphones that put their sound quality first. The same thing could be said about Sennheiser’s last mainline Bluetooth headphone, the Momentum 3. However, the new Momentum 4 looks to improve focus on sound quality, while also upgrading many of its quality of life features, such as ANC and battery life. Does the Momentum 4 have all of the elements to make a great wireless headphone?
What You Get
- Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless Headphones
- Carrying case
- USB-C to USB-A Charging Cable
- 3.5mm Audio Cable
- Airplane Adapter
- Warranty and Instructions
Look and Feel
On the surface, the Momentum 4 might not have the most striking style, but it is a significant change from its former design. It actually shares some similarities with some recent popular wireless headphone models to come out, with a lightweight build and a thinner but nicely padded headband. Its ear cups more resemble their HD series Bluetooth models, like the 350 and 450, except the Momentum 4’s cups are bigger and the ear pads are much softer. Although most of the parts are plastic, the Momentum 4 still has a sleek presentation no matter which color variation you choose. It is a stable build that doesn’t feel too loose or cheaply put together.
Design and Functionality
Inside the Momentum 4 is a 42mm dynamic driver, and it delivers a pretty substantial output. Usually, Bluetooth headphones don’t leave you with much headroom to adjust your volume, but the Momentum 4 does a good job of feeling like a particularly loud headphone, especially with ANC turned on. Speaking of ANC, the Momentum 4 houses Sennheiser’s best version yet. On its max setting, the strength of the ANC rivals that of the best on the market, completely eliminating most disturbances. The strength of the ANC can be adjusted using the Smart Control App, Sennheiser’s headphone companion app. Smart Control is home to the Momentum 4’s main features, including transparency mode, sound zones, and EQ.
A special sound check mode is also implemented in order to personalize your sound with custom presets. In terms of its controls, the Momentum 4 has a completely touch-sensitive interface on the right ear cup. These actions are extremely responsive and almost instant with their feedback. Dragging your finger up and down to adjust volume feels particularly reactive and friendly to use. To add to that is on-head detection and smart pause, which automatically pauses and unpauses music, and even holds calls when the Momentum 4 is removed from your head.
The Momentum 4 uses Bluetooth 5.2, and it has fast pairing with great stability. No dropouts or desyncing were had throughout my testing. It supports AAC, Qualcomm aptX, and aptX adaptive.
If there’s any spec that Sennheiser is significantly upgrading, it’s the battery. With the Momentum 4, you’ll be able to get a whopping 60 hours of playback time. That’s more than any wireless headphones on the market, and using the Momentum 4 myself for many hours, I think this is accurate. That’s not even mentioning how only 10 minutes of charge can grant you about six hours of listening.
It is rare to hear a wireless headphone sound so clear and separated in its imaging. Not only is the Momentum 4 one o the widest closed-back Bluetooth headphone I have heard, but maybe one of the deepest. The layering that the Momentum 4 displays appears a bit more complex than your average wireless headphone. Instruments are more spatially distinct, with non-linear positioning that gives them a slightly more holographic space compared to more traditional stereo. There’s more backward and forward spatial presentation at work here than just left to right. Vocals are presented marginally above the listener’s headspace with the rest of the instruments appearing more in a bubble of sound surrounding them. This gives the Momentum a soundstage with great wrap-around, which is rare for a wireless headphone that doesn’t include spatial audio features.
Even though you can use EQ to significantly increase the amount of bass impact you’re getting on the Momentum 4, without it these headphones still have some great low-end clarity. This bass feels just as clean in fidelity as it does rich in texture, fulfilling a meaty response that doesn’t overstay its welcome. At the same time, even more bass drive can be achieved by using the in-app EQ. This can increase the amount of forwardness the bass has, and how much slam it can deliver. Without it though, the bass still has some incredible weight to it. You can sense its fullness from the bottom of the sub-bass underneath to the punch of the mid-bass. A fun and gripping timbre altogether.
The midrange of the Momentum 4 has some impressively revealing details in some ranges, while other parts feel like they could use a bit more of a lift. I think it is a case of the Momentum 4 considerably favoring vocals than it does a lot of other elements. Thankfully the soundstage helps bring out some of the musicality, but it doesn’t quite reach a balance with the more prominent upper-midrange. I never felt like there was much missing though, or that anything in the Momentum 4 appeared too much in the background. Instead, the Momentum 4 keeps its resolution as equally transparent as the vocals, just not with as much gain.
Let’s talk about those vocals though, because they are quite spectacular on the Momentum 4. They protrude forward and feel above the rest of the mix, while also showcasing crisp character. Without even using EQ, the Momentum 4 displays male and female vocals with exceptional realism, as if the performance is right in front of your face. By far it is one of the best vocal responses that I have heard on wireless headphones.
I think Bluetooth headphones are getting the memo that treble is okay! It is especially okay when it is well-balanced with the more aggressive frequency ranges that already exist within the sound signature. Like the expressive vocal response in the upper-midrange, the highs build on its fidelity by adding a satisfying sizzle to it. This textures vocals and instruments quite nicely within the mix, adding a crisp tail to each note being performed. Specific elements like cymbals, bells, and tambourines have a shine to them that also adds some light airiness to give the high-end some extra flavor.
I had some high expectations for the Momentum 4 and since its initial teaser, it has become one of my most anticipated headphone releases this year. Now that I have spent a good amount of time with it, I feel confident saying that it is one of the best wireless headphones I have had the pleasure of testing. Many features of the Momentum 4 are the best they’ve been on wireless Sennheiser headphones and beyond. This includes the sound signature, ANC, touch-controls, and especially the battery life. No matter if you’re looking for sound quality, strong ANC, comfort, or a headphone for phone calls, the Momentum 4 seems to have it all.
The Sennheiser Momentum 4 is available at Audio46.
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