Android Central Verdict
Sennheiser chose to go with a different look in the Momentum 4, but the best tweaks are the ones on the inside, helping to produce improved ANC and excellent sound to go with it.
Superb audio quality
Excellent ANC performance
Very comfortable fit
Outstanding battery life
EQ could be more elaborate
Can't customize controls
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Sennheiser doesn't often make radical changes, nor does it stand out a whole lot for its design language. Substance always trumps style with the company's products, something that comes across yet again with the Momentum 4 Wireless. The "Wireless" part of the name is probably redundant in 2022, given Bluetooth headphones are more the rule than the exception.
Despite that, these headphones truly shine when you take the opportunity to help them reach those heights. As Sennheiser becomes more comfortable embracing user control over sound, it becomes all the more important when a pair of cans give you a good foundation to start from.
Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: Price and availability
Sennheiser launched the Momentum 4 Wireless in August 2022, and are widely available in retail and online stores. They started at $350, and apart from the odd discount here or there, they'll likely stay in that range for the foreseeable future. They come in either black or white.
Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: What's good
If we're comparing these headphones to the previous Momentum 3 Wireless, it's very clear Sennheiser abandoned the design principles it applied up to that point. Gone are the metal bar, exposed cables, and faux leather with stitching. Here, you get a cleaner look with fabric on the headband and the ability to fold the Momentum 4 Wireless flat. Whether you like it or not, this look falls a lot more in line with what other headphone manufacturers are doing these days.
These changes didn't make the headphones any less comfortable. Aside from the odd time I readjusted the headband on top of my head over long periods, I wore the Momentum 4 Wireless with little to complain about.
As I've come to expect from Sennheiser, the company put thought into the protective case, where it's really easy to slot the headphones in, plus sleeves for the USB-C charging cable, 3.5mm-to-2.5mm Aux cable, and airplane adapter.
Sennheiser's Smart Control app is a necessary instrument to getting more out of the Momentum 4 Wireless, primarily because it's where you can better understand the sound and noise cancelation features. The default tuning is standard Sennheiser, which is to say you get a balanced sound signature that doesn't veer too far toward or away from the bass.
Use the onboard equalizer and you get the chance to tweak things further, which I tried for bringing out the mids just a little more. My one gripe is that a company like Sennheiser should do better than a super simple three-band EQ. It's not enough to just have bass, mid, and treble sliders. Something closer to eight or 10 bands would've been preferable. Despite this unnecessary simplicity, you can make pretty good use of the existing EQ, though it helps immensely that the default sound is already strong.
The Momentum 4 Wireless don't force you to choose based on the music you like. I'd argue that part is far less relevant compared to what kind of sound you appreciate. If you're looking for bass to overpower everything, other headphones come with that kind of tuning out of the box. The focus here is on delivering a tighter, crisper, and more accurate sound, albeit with a slight boost in bass to cater to everyone. If you want to get real personal, you can try the Sound Check in the app to tailor the sound to what works for your ears.
And while there's no support for hi-res Bluetooth codecs, you do get aptX Adaptive, which is a nice plus, on top of AAC and SBC.
I could say the same about the active noise cancelation (ANC). Sennheiser usually does well in that regard with its headphones, though it can't match the consistent prowess Sony and Bose maintain with their cans.
The good news here is you will get better ANC performance than the previous Momentum 3 Wireless, and the main reason why is an improved ability to nullify some higher-pitched sounds. They will still break through, though not in the same way, and low-frequency sounds, like what you would hear on a plane, train, or vehicle, are largely removed. Adaptive ANC effectively readjusts based on what's happening around you.
Wind Noise Reduction is a separate feature that's on Auto by default, though you can crank it to Max if you're in windier conditions outside. It's pretty good, though you may detect a slight hiss if it's quiet enough. You won't be able to tell if you're listening to audio and have wind gusts periodically crashing into the headphones, so it's hardly a deal-breaker.
The strong mics extend to what I consider excellent phone call quality. Callers didn't realize I was wearing headphones, though they could tell if there was a fair amount of ambient noise around me. Sidetone is back to let you hear your own voice while talking, with a slider to adjust the effect based on how quiet or noisy your environment is.
The touch controls on the right ear cup are basic and responsive. Tap once to play/pause, and twice to turn on ANC. Swipe forward to skip a track, back to repeat it. Up to raise the volume, down to lower it. They all work well enough, but you have no way to customize or change them.
There are wear sensors to automatically pause when taking them off, and then resume when you put them back on. They also support multipoint connections to pair with two devices at once. Nothing too surprising here when I played music from a tablet while then taking a call on a phone.
What was surprising was the battery life because the Momentum 4 Wireless absolutely demolish their predecessors in that department. With ANC on, they can play for up to 60 hours per charge — a massive increase over the 17 hours in the previous pair. That 60-hour endurance also trumps many of the best competitors available, so you won't be reaching for the USB-C cable to charge these all that often.
Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: What's not good
It's hard to find much fault with headphones that get so much right. I would've liked a more intricate EQ and more customizable controls, but I recognize those are critiques more personal than applicable to all. The new design may polarize longtime Sennheiser users, and I can understand why, considering the previous build had more character to it. It's not that the Momentum 4 Wireless look bad, they just look a lot more like other headphones do these days.
Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: Competition
There are plenty of reasons why the Momentum 4 Wireless are in the same company of the best wireless headphones, but other great options are out there, too. If you're really serious about ANC performance, you would have to strongly consider the Sony WH-1000XM5 or Bose QuietComfort 45. Even the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 deserve real consideration.
At $350, Sennheiser's pair are competitive in price. If you've got more to spend and want excellent sound quality to go with the extra bread, the Bowers & Wilkins Px8 will run you double the price. If you're on a tighter budget, and want to stretch out your dollar more, the 1More SonoFlow may surprise you with their ANC quality.
Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if...
- You want great sound
- You want effective ANC.
- You want a comfortable fit.
- You want good app support.
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You want the absolute best ANC performance.
- You prefer a more elaborate EQ.
Sennheiser may have changed what the Momentum 4 Wireless look like, but didn't alter their purpose, which is to deliver great sound and solid ancillary features. The company's tuning gets a lot of things right, and you don't need to really consider what music you like most because all of it will sound good wearing these.
Granted, ANC performance isn't at the top of the class, but it's still superb and wind noise reduction isn't something you'll find everywhere else. Putting these on your head will be worth the price of entry.
Sennheiser refashioned the Momentum 4 Wireless with a new look, yet the performance retains the great qualities you'd expect from the brand. Excellent sound quality and effective noise cancelation round out one of the best over-ear pairs available.
Ted Kritsonis loves taking photos when the opportunity arises, be it on a camera or smartphone. Beyond sports and world history, you can find him tinkering with gadgets or enjoying a cigar. Often times, that will be with a pair of headphones or earbuds playing tunes. When he's not testing something, he's working on the next episode of his podcast, Tednologic.
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