Testing the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4: one step back, several steps forward
About a month ago, Sennheiser once again launched new over-ear headphones, the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4. I was able to test for several weeks what improved with these.
The last Sennheiser I testedProproducts were all in-ears. Either they were a bit more expensive than the models of the IE series or the MOMENTUM TrueWireless 3 or they were located in the lower price, like the devices of the CX series. But one shouldn't forget that Sennheiser also offers over-ear headphones, including the models in the MOMENTUM series.
I could already do that MOMENTUM 3 test, which delivered well in many areas, but also had some shortcomings. So I didn't like the ANC and the battery life that much. But now there is a successor, which has a new design, adaptive noise cancellation and a (viel) got longer battery life. In this test report, I want to find out how the new Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 performed in my everyday life.
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Unboxing and initial setup
The packaging of the MOMENTUM 4 is of course larger than that of all in-ears, but the design is unchanged. The headphones are shown in black on the box and the usual information about features and the built-in technologies can be seen.
After removing the plastic seal, you can see the contents of the packaging. The headphones themselves are in the transport case, which also includes a USB-C cable, a jack cable and an adapter for air travel. The now standard thank you card with a few tips for personalizing the user experience, a quick start guide and a few other pieces of paper are also included.
The first setup is easy as always. You take the over-ears out of the case, which turns them on automatically. They then appear immediately in the settings of a device, where they only have to be selected. Alternatively, the setup can be completed using the Sennheiser Smart Control app.
Design and workmanship
With the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4, the manufacturer relies on a completely new design language. While the predecessor still stood out from the crowd with its eye-catching look, this year's model looks much simpler and, as a result, has some competitionproducts similar. The headphones are available in black and white.
The two sides are now bare, with the right one acting as a touchpad. The gestures this supports are easy to learn. You can control the volume by swiping up or down. The whole thing is much easier than finding the physical buttons on the predecessor. However, one button is still present. This switches the MOMENTUM 4 on and off manually and you can use it to initiate the pairing. I mentioned "manually" because the headphones can also activate and deactivate themselves. A jack connection and a USB-C port are found in terms of connections. The status LEDs are also practical and sometimes allow you to easily read the battery status.
The headband and ear cups are padded with soft leather. Therefore, these over-ears are also very comfortable to wear with glasses. It also gets warm after a while, but that's no surprise. So it's not Protrouble listening to music or watching a movie for several hours. The size is infinitely adjustable, with the largest level fitting my (slightly larger) head exactly.
The transport bag became bulkier around a whole corner. This is because the MOMENTUM 4 can no longer be folded. I don't like them because they take up more space in a backpack, for example, but that seems to be the current trend in this one Proto be product division. But it's far from all bad. Starting with the loops inside for the airplane adapter, the charging cable and the jack cable. Thanks to these, the accessories in the case do not fly around. Furthermore, the MOMENTUM 4 is a hard case and there is a loop on the outside for attachment to a backpack or bag. You just have to be careful how you put the headphones in the case. Inside it is written which side has to be where. If you don't do this, you won't be able to close the case.
One thing has not changed, namely the good workmanship. If the over-ears were mine, I would take them with me in a backpack with a clear conscience, even without a transport bag - they would definitely not get broken.
Sennheiser gives an incredible value of 60 hours for the battery life. Legendary because most of the competition doesn't even come close to doing that. For comparison:
- Sony WH-1000XM5: 30h
- Bose QC45: 24h
- Apple AirPods Max: 20h
- Teufel Real Blue NC: 56h
According to the manufacturer's website, this was tested with an iPhone, ANC and medium volume.
To be honest, at some point I stopped paying attention to my playback time, because even after several hours, the battery level only decreased slightly. During my test phase, I ended up charging only once and that's only because the MOMENTUM 4 was about 30 Procent battery arrived at me. Even on longer journeys, you don't necessarily have to think about a charging option.
Loading takes about two hours.
There are two 42mm drivers in the headphones. Bluetooth 5.2 with SBC, AAC, aptX and aptX adaptive is primarily used for the connection. Optionally, as mentioned, the connection with a cable is also possible.
My impression of the sound itself is actually the same as with any other SennheiserProalso out. You hear details that you tend not to perceive with comparable headphones. With the MOMENTUM 3, I criticized that the highs are a bit short, but that is now a thing of the past. Sennheiser once again makes it clear that you can play at the very top in terms of sound. It is also very striking how the MOMENTUM 4 master the balancing act between different musical styles. To remember that, you just have to look at it once Melody from Sigala and Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) by Kate Bush listen one after the other.
There is adaptive noise cancellation so that you can enjoy your music in peace. The level at which the environment is hidden is therefore dynamically adjusted. However, you can also deactivate this if you wish. The surroundings can also be heard via the microphones if you tap the touchpad twice. The transparency mode also supports the new sidetone feature, which automatically fades in your own voice during phone calls. I really like the idea as I tend to unwittingly tend to speak a little louder when on a call with active noise cancellation on.
Overall, I liked the noise reduction much better than with the MOMENTUM 3. You can no longer hear anything from your surroundings and wind noise is also excellently erased. In my opinion, Sony still does a better job with their latest top-of-the-line over-ears.
Smart control app
We already know the Smart Control app as the command center for all SennheiserProproducts.
However, nothing has changed since the last major redesign of the app a few months ago. There is still a central list with all paired devices. If you tap on one, you get to the settings for this Product. With the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4, however, the view for regulating the ANC is presented somewhat differently and a separate area for configuring sidetone has been integrated.
Prices and availability
Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4: Conclusion
Sennheiser is catching up with the MOMENTUM 4. This is primarily noticeable with the ANC and the battery life. In addition, there are things that Sennheiser is good at anyway, such as sound quality or processing, and new things, such as the sidetone feature. On the other hand, I didn't like the regression from the "cult design", the larger footprint of the transport case and a few other points.
Still, it has to be said that if you're looking for over-ear headphones in this price range, you've come to the right place. They offer everything you could expect, and sometimes even at a lower price than the competition. Due to the long battery life, these over-ears are particularly relevant for commuters. However, if you can sacrifice the good sound quality and battery life, I would rather recommend Sony if the price of the WH-1000XM5 drops in the future.
We would like to thank Sennheiser for providing the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4.