It’s not often headphones will surprise me. After reviewing dozens, if not a hundred different sets, you could say I’m kind of a hard sell. So when I had the opportunity to review Sennheiser Momentum 4 over-ear wireless headphones, three things drew me in: the 60 hour battery life, super fast charging, and the promise of amazing adaptive noise cancellation to help me focus while working.
The noise-canceling Bluetooth headphone market has become one of the most competitive segments in the audio industry. And rightfully so because Active Noise Canceling (ANC) technology is a godsend for a lot of frequent travelers, parents, music aficionados, those with loud neighbours, and for anyone just looking for a way to escape the noise of everyday life. That’s the premise of Sennheiser Momentum 4 over-ear wireless headphones. I’ll test out phantom four and see how good the noise cancelling is, test the overall sound quality, wear them for comfort and fit and review the battery life. I’ll wrap things up by telling you if I think I can recommend these headphones for you.
Sennheiser Momentum 4
Are pricey headphones worth it? These headphones are packed with every feature you could want, and then some.
- Killer 60h battery life
- Good noise cancelling
- Outstanding sound quality
- Foldable for travel
- Fast charging
- Lacklustre design?
Sennheiser Momentum 4 headphones review
Sennheiser’s Momentum 4 is the company’s latest model, and it comes packed with both ANC technology and some high-end audio features that make it worth a closer look.
|Bluetooth 5.2 compliant
|SBC, AAC, aptX™, aptX adaptive™
For me, the design of these is nothing to write home about but I’m not marking Sennheiser down for streamlined design either. They’re simple, basic and not going to raise any eyebrows… that’s kind of the Sennheiser way. Classically classy.
You can choose between a matte black and a white variant, both of which are obviously designed with minimalism in mind.
The headphones are lightweight and don’t clamp too tightly on my head, making them ideal for long listening sessions. This gentle clamping force and lightweight design make it stable even if I need to move around while wearing it.
The ear cups are buttery soft and squishy with nice soft foam. It’s made of polycarbonate, which gives them a combination of premium feel and (Sennheiser promises) durability. (The earpads are also replaceable, which is great for maintenance and extending the life of your headphones.)
The headband is made of the same material wrapped in silicone with cloth cushioning. The plastic build is extremely pliable, which means you can move it around to get it on your melon, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to break.
How to Set Up Sennheiser Momentum 4
What is Active Noise Cancelling (ANC)?
ANC was specifically designed to reduce the effect of loud aircraft engine noise on standard aircraft headsets. It works by using microphones that detect ambient sound waves in the environment, then creating inverted sound waves through an amplifier to cancel out unwanted sounds. For frequent fliers, it can make a big difference in background noise on board an aircraft by quickly reducing annoying cabin drone. But, for the rest of us, ANC essentially filters out interference like surrounding noise and vibrations, allowing you to enjoy a fully immersive sound experience almost anywhere, creating an aural oasis even in noisy environments like busy streets and shared workspaces.
Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode
We’ll get to the sound quality momentarily, but one of the main reasons you’re probably looking at these is for its active noise-canceling technology.
There’s also a transparency mode that reverses the noise-canceling properties and allows you to hear what’s going on around you. This feature is especially useful when talking with people or when listening to a podcast while walking around and keeping an ear on traffic or listening for the kids, dog or doorbell.
I always test out my noise cancellation and transparency mode without any music on to truly evaluate its prowess. It’s easy for headphones to hide external sounds behind a wall of noise. So silent listening is always my first test.
I can say that the noise cancelling is pretty good on its own. My gold standard at the moment for best noise cancelling our Apple AirPods Max. While these are not quite as powerful at creating that con of a silence, they might come in a close second. For me, it’s still possible to hear things like keyboard, tapping my space heater running and other gentle noise while ANC is fully on.
Conversely, the transparency mode doesn’t excellent job of letting sound so I can hear things like the doorbell or the dog wanting to go out. You can use the slider bar in the app to adjust ANC and transparency mode to your personal preference levels. Or if you turn on the adaptive noise, cancelling feature, the headphones, listening for noise around you and will adjust as they need to to keep sound bleed to a minimum.
With music or other audio on, it’s possible to really silence anything happening around you. I usually like Lo Fi Hip Hop for work, or nature sounds when I need to focus. Overall the addition of the noise cancelling with my sound preferences created a nice work cocoon.
The factor that is probably equally as important to the active noise cancelling you’re paying good money for is the overall sound quality.
Headphones like these should be well, balanced, letting things like phone calls, podcast, audio, and other vocals carry along the top. I can say there’s a lot of audio fidelity in these headphones. Listening to salsa and latin music was poppy and precise, while vintage hip hop was thrumming.
The bass on these headphones is actually really great. The headphones give you quite a bit of vibration and bump.
I listened to a variety of music on these headphones over a few weeks of testing. I also use them with my MacBook computer for zoom calls, and for phone calls.
In short, everything sounded A-plus.
Phone calls: Four Microphones at work
The four microphones strategically situated on the earcups are the most important hardware features that enable the Momentum 4’s noise-canceling feature.
It’s worth mentioning that the Momentum 4 uses two microphones for listening to ambient noise and another two for voice pickup. This combination of mics makes for excellent call quality, as the noise-canceling feature ensures that only your voice is heard on the other end.
Auto-Pause and Auto Shutoff
Sennheiser also included an auto-pause and auto-shutoff feature, which detects when you take the headphones off your head and automatically pauses the content you’re listening to or shuts off the headphones altogether to preserve some battery life.
Speaking of battery life, the Momentum 4 battery life promise is staggering. Sennheiser promises these headphones will last up to 60 hours with Noise Canceling or Transparency Mode, double the 30 hours offered by its closest competitor, the Sony XM5.
Just think about that for a moment. If you use these headphones all day every day at work, you could use them for more than a week and a half, without needing to recharge them. Or for frequent travelers, you could practically leave the charging cable at home.
Recharging takes two hours using the included USB-C cable and there’s fast charging where about 5 minutes of juice gives you three hours of listening time. Again, this is astonishingly fast and way better than most other headphones.
Momentum 4 have earcup touch controls, and I’m glad to report they work great.
The right ear cup lets you adjust volume by dragging your finger up or down, and you can play/pause with a tap. Pulling across the cup forwards or back skips tracks.
You can also use the on your cup touch controls to turn active noise, cancellation, or transparency mode on. Sennheiser takes this one step further by allowing you to use a pinch gesture, either straight up and down, or at an angle to adjust the level of transparency or noise cancellation. This seems a bit complicated to get right, and you have to remember which angle manager switch feature, but it does work quite well.
If you want a little more precision with your control, download the Sennheiser Smart Control app. The app is your control centre over all features of your new headphones.
You can view battery status, EQ settings, adjust ANC or transparency levels as well as change preferences like the on-ear detection and auto power off delay.
Connections: Aux, Airplane or Wireless (x 2!)
One feature of the headphones I appreciate they didn’t really get a chance to use is that you can connect in multiple ways. You can connect wirelessly of course, use the hardwired auxiliary or 3.5 mm jack, and there’s also a two-prong airplane adaptor in case you want to plug in during your flight.
Another feature I love: I could connect to both my phone and my tablet at the same time.
Overall review: Sennheiser Momentum 4 over ear wireless headphones
Overall, these headphones are packed with every feature you could want, and then some. Let’s start with the pros. They’re comfortable, sound great, the battery life is absolutely stellar and the charging is lightning fast.
Downsides? I’ve gotten nothing folks. If I want to be nitpicky, I could complain about how much harder it is to fit something the size of over ear headphones in a travel backpack. But that is certainly no fault of Sennheiser’s. I guess I could also try complaining about the basic simple design, but again, that seems bratty.
Bottom line here: If you’re looking for a pair of killer over ear headphones, Sennheiser Momentum 4 headphones check all the boxes.
Selling for $349US/$459CAD seems like you’re getting a lot for a fair price.
Sennheiser Momentum 4 How-Tos +FAQ
How to set up Sennheiser Momentum 4
How do I turn on noise Cancelling on Sennheiser Momentum 4?
You can use the gesture control on the touch pad to toggle between the active noise cancellation (ANC) and the Transparency Mode, though take note this function is not available during an active call.
How do you skip songs on Sennheiser Momentum 4?
How to do a factory reset on momentum 4?
If you’re having a serious problem with your Momentum 4 you may be wondering how to do factory reset on Sennheiser headphones.
Use the USB cable to connect the headphones to a power source. Connect the headphones to the Sennheiser Smart Control app and select “Factory Defaults” from the app’s system menu. The headphones are reset to the factory default settings
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