Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 vs. Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700: Which should you buy?

White/silver Bose NCH 700s in hand
White/silver Bose NCH 700s in hand (Image credit: Bose)

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3

Side shot of Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3

The Momentum Wireless 3 from Sennheiser has a lot going for it. It offers really great ANC performance, comfort, and sound quality.

Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3

Feature packed

Excellent sound quality
Superb ANC performance
Great comfort
USB-C charging
Convenience features
Battery life could be better

Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700

Side render of the NCH 700s

The Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 are solid heapdhones that features great sound, ANC, comfort, but most importantly, battery life.

Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700

Long battery life

Superb ANC performance
Excellent comfort
USB-C charging
Long battery life
Can't be folded for compact traveling

The Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 are great for those who want reliable headphones that don't overload you with features. On the other hand, the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 packs a ton of extra convenience features. So which one is right for you?

More similar than you think...

Side profile of Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 headphone on the head

Source: Sennheiser (Image credit: Source: Sennheiser)

In terms of sound quality it's a tossup. The NCH 700s feature a more neutral sound signature but the soundstage isn't as great as the Momentum Wireless 3. On the other hand, the Momentum 3 Wireless features a slightly darker sound signature but makes up for it in its soundstage, which is much wider than most other closed-back headphones. Fortunately, for the Momentum Wireless 3, you can tweak the sound signature within the app. It's a fairly basic equalizer that doesn't allow you to fine tune the sound but it's foolproof and is easy to understand.

For battery life, the NCH 700s nets up to three hours more than the Momentum Wireless 3, coming in at 20 hours of battery life versus 17 hours, respectively. The NCH 700s have average battery life compared to others on the market, which means the Momentum Wireless 3's are quite lacking. Ideally you'd want at least 25 hours of battery life from over-ear ANC headphones. Fortunately, both headphones charge over USB-C, which is great for future proofing and for people with modern devices, but only the NCH 700s provide fast charging. This means that the Momentum Wireless 3 will take several hours to charge and without a cable, you'll be stuck waiting for them to charge.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700
Battery life17 hours20 hours
Fast chargingNoYes
ANC levels111
Ambient sound modeYesYes

Comfort is excellent on both headphones. You won't have any issues with warm ears, fatiguing, or heaviness on the crown. The ear cups extend deep as well, so you won't have any issues with your ears hitting the headphones. The cups are tall enough to accommodate most ears, including larger ears (like my own).

Active noise cancelation (ANC) performance is neck-to-neck on both headphones with the NCH 700s taking a small lead. Both headphones block out things like engine noise from planes, busses, trains, cars, and the such. However, the NCH 700s is more versatile thanks to it having up to 11 different levels of ANC, from off all the way up to completely silent. This is tremendously helpful if you're walking through a city and still need to hear the cars around you, for example.

Both headphones feature ambient sound modes that let you hear your environment around you without removing your headphone. For those who don't know, ambient sound mode reverses the ANC microphones and pumps the outside world in through your headphones, giving you a sensation of not having headphones on at all. The NCH 700's ambient sound mode is solid. It does do some amplifying, especially for voices and can sometimes sound a bit unnatural. The Momentum Wireless 3s has one of the most natural and true to life sounding ambient sound modes we've heard.

Which one is right for you?

Demonstration of touch gestures on Bose NCH 700s

Source: Bose (Image credit: Source: Bose)

In the end, the Bose NCH 700s are great for those who travel a ton, need the extra battery life, and desire having customizable ANC. They have the superior sound signature here even if that comes at the expense of a slightly worse soundstage, and they lack some extra features.

On the other hand, the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 feature a more darker sound signature, weaker battery life, and only one ANC mode. The soundstage is much better, and they offer a handful of convenience features many will come to love. This includes auto-play/pause when you remove them from your head, automatically turning on when you first put them on, and off when you've had them off for a certain period of time. They also have automatic pairing, which pairs to your last connected device when you put on the headphone.

Both are the same price and will make a huge dent in your wallet, but if you want a pair of headphones that's marginally better than the other, than Sennheiser's offering is for you.

Peter Cao