Since the release of the new Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 recently, there are now two juggernauts of true wireless. The other is the Sony WF-1000XM4, as part of their massively popular Bluetooth line. With similar price ranges, it can be hard to decide which set of earphones has all the right features for you. Hopefully, this comparison review will be able to help you make a more informed decision.
What You Get
|Sony WF-1000XM4||Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3|
|· Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds
· 3x foam tip sizes
· Charging case
· USB-C to USB-A charging cable
|· Pair of earbuds
· Ear adapter sets (XS/S/M/L)
· Ear fin sets (S/M/L)
· Charging case & USB-C cable
· Quick guide & safety guide
Look and Feel
Each set of earphones sports a different style but a similar in-ear fit. Putting the two pairs together, the XM4 is significantly bigger than the Momentum 3, and doesn’t appear as comfortable to wear. While the Momentum 3 is definitely a lighter and more ergonomic fit, the XM4 isn’t as cumbersome as it may seem.
Design and Functionality
Sony’s XM4 uses a standard 6mm driver, while the Momentum implements Sennheiser’s patented 7mm true response driver. Each unit comes with its own sonic characteristics, and Sennheiser’s has had the best track record in my opinion. However, Sony’s unit is still effective, just not as innovative as their other technology. Getting to some of that tech, the quality of ANC on the XM4 is unsurprisingly the best reason to buy it. The Momentum has some good ANC, but it is hard to come to the level of strength and control you get with Sony’s wireless series.
Both earphones have companion apps with similar features like EQ and ambient control, but only Sennheiser’s app has a feature where you can customize the touch controls. However, Sony’s app has a much better EQ, with more options, as well as ambient-aware features and spatial audio. As far as the actual controls are concerned, the Momentum 3 is a lot more sensitive and responsive, whereas the XM4 sometimes requires hard presses on its surface in order to operate an action.
You will find the 5.2 version of Bluetooth supported on both the Momentum 3 and XM4. They’re both easy to pair and hold a stable connection. I never experienced any dropouts while testing both earphones. Sony has their high-quality LDAC CODEC, but the Momentum 3 has aptX LL which has its own advantages.
The XM4 and Momentum 3 have similar battery life, with the XM4 advertised as having one more hour of playtime than the Momentum. Realistically it should all even out to both earphones having virtually the same amount of playback time.
There are a few factors to consider when comparing the soundstage and imaging of these Bluetooth earphones. Mainly, there’s the natural imaging of both models, and the spatial audio features of the XM4 that all current Sony wireless products have. Sennheiser has yet to implement spatial audio in their wireless earphones and is something to consider when deciding on what you would prefer. I actually thought with the XM4 that Sony’s 360 Reality Audio started to really impress me. Although the Momentum 3 has the more open and spacious stereo imaging compared to the XM4’s more constricted body, Sony’s 360 Reality Audio helps bring greater immersion to your experience.
Sennheiser’s is clear and traditional, while Sony’s is a bit more holographic with spatial audio. However, you are more limited to what you can actually listen to with 360 Reality Audio, as you only have a specific selection of albums that support the feature. With the Momentum 3 True Wireless, you have a more natural wide and tall stage that can communicate its stereo field effectively without the need for spatial audio. It weaves itself across the sound spectrum with great dimension and comes more out of your head than the XM4 can even with 360 Reality Audio enabled.
Sennheiser and Sony’s mainline true wireless earphones have had a good reputation for good bass, and on both the XM4 and Momentum True Wireless 3 they present their best tuning to date. I’ve been critical about Sony’s bass in particular, but in my original review for the XM4, I stated that the bass was much clearer this time around, while also retaining the energy they are known for. The Momentum series has always had a leg up on Sony for having the stronger fidelity in their bass, and that’s still true for this comparison. I don’t think you’re losing out with either choice though, as they both sound full and impactful in their bass timbre.
Both of these earphones aren’t the best in their midrange, but the Momentum 3 definitely appears less hollow than the XM4 in most cases. It’s noticeably more articulate, but the XM4 isn’t that much of a downgrade when putting the two together. There’s a lot of weight and fullness to the XM4’s tone, but the Momentum 3 appears a lot more natural in comparison and does a better job delivering clearer instruments and vocals.
Sony’s wireless headphones never seem to highlight the treble in any considerable way. The Momentum 3 is a lot more satisfying with its clarity, giving you more resolving tones to sink your teeth into. The sound signature comes into a more fulfilling endpoint on the Momentum 3, as it reproduces a more effective pop compared to the flatness of the XM4 without some EQ work.
There’s really no wrong answer when trying to figure out whether the XM4 or the Momentum 3 is better. They both have great designs and sounds that will bring you the best of what true wireless has to offer. When it comes down to it, I think I’ll always prefer the more natural sound of the Momentum series over Sony’s in-house sound signature, but Sony will always be more cutting edge when it comes to new innovations in ANC technology and spatial audio.