I’ve been a fan of the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless headphones ever since buying the M2. Now, it’s upgrade time as Sennheiser is (very obviously) pitting their latest Momentum 4 Wireless model against Sony’s flagship wireless headphones, the WH-1000XM5. Here’s why we believe the Momentum 4’s might just take the crown from Sony this time around.
Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless Features
Compared to the previous Momentum headphone models, the Momentum 4 headphones depart from its distinct design to fit more into the current trend of wireless, over-ear headphones.
This makes them more corporate-elegant or vanilla and less characterful if you will. They also come in a white color so there’s still some degree of standing out if you’re looking for that.
The change of design also means you can not fold up the Momentum 4s like you could with their predecessors, which is kind of a shame. You can only fold in the earcups, so that the headphones become flat. The fancy hardcover case where you can store them in, however makes up for that.
The headband is now plastic instead of metal and has plenty of bending room, making the whole headphones feel more durable than before.
The leathery earpads feel very lush and soft and sit comfortably on your ears when wearing the Momentums. One issue is that it’s easier for your head and ears to sweat when wearing these (as opposed to the more stiffer earpads on the previous versions). But this is an issue found on the Sony MX5’s as well.
For me, the amount of features on this pair of headphones is impressive, even though you might not need all of them.
First, there’s the new and improved Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). You can go between a transparency mode, amplifying outside noise alongside your music, to full ANC, to separate you from the outside world entirely.
This all happens by double-tapping on the ear cup, or making a pinch gesture for a more gradual change between noise cancellation and transparency. Sony’s MX5 has a cool trick where cupping your hand over the earcup enables transparency mode.
There are more touch controls for the right ear cup. Tapping once will play / pause your current track, swiping up and down will change volume and swiping left or right will skip to the previous/next track.
All in all, it’s a lot of possible gestures, which sometimes can be frustrating when you’re cycling and your swipes are being misinterpreted. Sometimes, some old-fashioned button controls, like those on the previous Momentum models, do the job better.
On-ear detection (with a smart-pause feature) and an auto-shutdown preserve your headphone battery, though it doesn’t seem like the Momentum 4 headphones need a lot of that. They run for 60 hours on a single battery charge, which is double the amount of the Sony MX5 headphones.
An associated Sennheiser app offers even more features and control over your headphones. You’re able to set the headphones EQ (turning bass boost on or off) and with a registered account you’re also able to set up different sound profiles, to tune your headphones’ sound to your liking.
Here’s a rundown of the full specifications of the Momentum 4 Wireless:
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.2 compliant, class 1, 10 mW (max)|
|Transmission frequency||2,402 MHz to 2,480 MHz; GFSK, π/4 DQPSK / 8 DPSK|
|Supported Profiles||A2DP, AVRCP, HFP|
|Codecs||SBC, AAC, aptX™, aptX adaptive™|
|Speaker Type||42mm diameter|
|Speaker frequency range||6 Hz to 22 kHz|
|Speaker sensitivity||106 dB SPL (1 kHz / 0 dB FS)|
|Total harmonic distortion (THD)||Speaker: <0,3% (1 kHz / 100 dBSPL)|
|Impedance||Speaker: Active 470 ohms / Passive 60 ohms|
|Active Noise Cancellation||Hybrid Adaptive ANC|
|Frequency response (microphone)||50 Hz to 10 kHz|
|Microphone pick-up pattern||2 mics per side, beamforming for noise reduction|
|Battery time||Up to 60 hrs music playtime via Bluetooth and with ANC (test condition: iPhone, mid volume level)|
|Charging time||Approx. 2 hrs for full charge; 5 min charging for up to 4 hrs playtime; Remark: Ambient temperatures >30°C may lead to extended charging times|
|Battery type||Built-in Lithium-Ion rechargeable batteries 700 mAh|
|Power Supply||5 V⎓, 800 mA max, USB charging via USB-C socket|
Sound quality has been the self-proclaimed north star of Sennheiser and the Momentum 4’s do not disappoint in this area. The sound is full-bodied, yet still refined. The default (non-boosted) bass is not overpowering, but carries a good amount of weight and low-end.
It’s a very driven sound, not too clinical and not overwhelming on either side of the spectrum.
The sound stage and stereo field is impressive and noticeably improved over the previous models. It outperforms the Sony WH-1000MX5 in this area.
All in all, it might come down to preference, so it will help if you have the opportunity to try out both of the headphones yourselves, but our vote definitely goes to the Momentum 4 when it comes to sound quality.
Call quality has always been the weak spot in the Momentum series. My co-workers often said I sounded like a robot using the headphones of the M2 over my internal Macbook microphone.
The Momentum 4 headphones definitely stepped its game up in call quality. Voice comes across crips and natural. The only thing the Momentum 4s struggle with is dealing with heavy environmental noises, which still comes through during calls. The Sony MX5 is the king of
Who are the Sennheiser Momentum 4’s for?
The Momentum 4 Wireless is suitable for casually listening to your favorite music. It’s the perfect pair of office headphones or whenever you have a non-intensive commute to work. It does a good job suppressing the office chatter when you need it to and works pretty good on calls over your default internal laptop microphone.
The sound quality is the Momentum’s strong point, so if you value that over extremely good noise suppression (something the Sony’s do better), this should be your pick. I’m impressed by the audio quality over Bluetooth, after going from the Momentum M2 to the Momentum 4.
It’s not a pair of headphones for working out or for hiking in extreme weather conditions, as neither the Momentum 4 or the Sony MX5 are really waterproof. And we’re not even mentioning the sweat-inducing earcups.
Where can I buy the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless?
A big reason to choose the Momentum 4 Wireless over the Sony MX5s is the price. They retail for 50 bucks less than the Sony’s at the time of writing.
Buy your pair of Momentum 4 Wireless on Amazon, via the link below.
17 used from $279.96
- Maximum audio resolution with Sennheiser Signature Sound: Enjoy premium music quality all-day long thanks to the headphone's audiophile-inspired 42mm transducer system and aptX Adaptive.
- Personalized sound via the Sennheiser Smart Control App: Adjust the sound to your individual listening preferences via the integrated equalizer, presets and sound modes - for a unique sound experience.
- Stay immersed in your music: Thanks to the headphone's Adaptive Noise Cancellation, you stay distraction-free - and with the Adjustable Transparency Mode you stay in touch with the world around you.