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Sennheiser Momentum 4 review

Hey, Bose and Sony…on your left!

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review
(Image: © Alex Bracetti/Future)

Laptop Mag Verdict

Design flaws aside, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 is a serious contender for the market’s best noise-cancelling headphones.

Pros

  • +

    Outstanding soundstage

  • +

    ANC and call quality that nearly rivals the Bose 700

  • +

    Everlasting battery life

  • +

    Strong connectivity

  • +

    Lots of adaptive and customization features

Cons

  • -

    Downgraded design

  • -

    Uncomfortable

  • -

    Finicky touch controls

The Momentum 4 is a definitive release for Sennheiser. It features remarkable active noise cancellation (ANC), audio quality, and battery life, making the well-received Momentum 3 a complete afterthought, along with many other newcomers that have strived to step out of Bose and Sony’s shadows.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 SPECS

Price: $399
Colors:  Black; White
Battery life (rated): 60 Hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2
Water resistance: None
Size: 7 x 7.67 x 1.82 inches
Weight: 10.3 ounces

Several upgrades were applied to Sennheiser’s latest flagship headphones. Not every change is considered an improvement. Still, that doesn’t stop the Momentum 4 from establishing itself as one of the best noise-cancelling headphones ever assembled.

Let’s not keep you waiting any longer. Read our Sennheiser Momentum 4 review for the full breakdown on these sensational noise-cancellers.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review: Availability and price

You can purchase the Momentum 4 for $399 on Sennheiser’s website or at major online retailers, including Amazon and Best Buy. Black and White are the two versions available. Inside the box are a carry case, USB-C cable, airplane adapter, and 3.5mm to 2.5mm audio cable.

These headphones share the same MSRP as the Sony WH-1000XM5 and are priced slightly higher than the Bose 700 ($379). If this is out of your budget, check out more affordable options like the critically acclaimed Cleer Enduro ANC ($149) or Bose QuietComfort 45, which is currently down to $279 on Amazon (opens in new tab).

Be sure to bookmark our headphone deals page for the latest sales.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review: Design and comfort

The Momentum 4’s redesign is more streamlined and unobtrusive, but it lacks the Momentum 3’s premium look and feel. Gone are unique details like the aluminum accents, genuine leather, and stainless-steel yokes that linked the earcups to the headband. These headphones don’t stand out in the same way. The nylon fabric headband with metallic debossed logo is an attractive touch. However, the earcups just scream stock design and bear resemblance to some cheap noise-cancelling headphones (check out the Treblab Z7 Pro (opens in new tab)).

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

At least the build quality is on point. Sennheiser didn’t compromise the Momentum 4’s sturdiness, employing hard plastic and aluminum components to deal with the daily abuse you’ll put these cans through. The genuine leather and nylon are of high quality. Most importantly, the headphones don’t feel as flimsy as some other high-end models (*cough* WH-1000XM5 *cough*). The carrying case is also handsome and has enough space to store everything.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

Comfort isn’t the greatest due to the extra weight (10.3 ounces is heavy). You should be fine wearing them for an hour before taking a breather. Anything longer and you’ll feel the headband apply unwanted pressure atop the head, while your ears heat up from the leather.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

The extenders are easily adjustable to achieve optimal fit and have plenty of length to accommodate listeners with large heads. Learn what setting best suits your skull because having a slightly loose fit increases slippage, and you don’t want these hitting the ground.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review: Controls and voice assistant

A mix of physical, touch, and motion controls are utilized on the Momentum 4. Most functions – playback, call management, volume, and listening mode activation – can be activated on the touch pad, though for some odd reason it falls asleep after several minutes of inactivity. This becomes frustrating after a while, but when it does function properly, the tap and long-hold gestures are instantly executed. It even lets you perform a pinch gesture with your thumb and index finger to adjust the ANC/Transparency levels.

Wear detection is 50/50. There is occasional latency when removing or placing the headphones on your head; auto-pause/play will take a second to initiate.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

An action button sits on the rear of the right earcup to enable the digital assistant (1x press) or pairing/power mode (long hold). It’s responsive and produces solid tactility to ensure users of intended commands being met.

Siri, Google Assistant, and Bixby are all compatible with the Momentum 4 and work flawlessly. Sennheiser’s mic array captures every syllable, and all three AI bots recognize and respond to voice commands accurately.

Sadly, these headphones do not offer control customization.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review: Audio quality

Sennheiser equipped the Momentum 4 with a powerful 42mm transducer system, Hi-Res playback, intuitive features, and multiple EQ settings. These headphones pump out audio-grade sound with excellent reproduction to enjoy the subtle nuances in complex recordings. They also complement all music genres and select media (e.g., podcasts, movies). 

Jennifer Warnes’ hauntingly beautiful vocals on “Ballad of the Runaway Horse” sounded so natural, as if she was serenading my ears up-close and in person. The upright bass was handled delicately, tickling my ear with every pluck, while the softly played fiddle was given prominence.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

I’m always intrigued by headphones that can reveal obscure background noises on songs. Listening to a lo-fi conversion of Wu-Tang Clan’s “Clan in da Front” left me speechless. I picked up on the bee-inspired buzzing during the RZA’s intro soliloquy (I’ve never noticed this), and I was able to identify certain members screaming in the background. Switching to the hi-fi version made these noises more distinctive. I was loving the punchy lows and crisp mids as well.

The Momentum 4 has extensive sound settings. You can manually adjust the three-band EQ or pick from six well-engineered presets (Rock, Pop, Dance, Hip Hop, Classical, Movie). There’s even the option to enable two different sound modes – Bass Boost or Podcast – no matter what EQ is in use. These are useful for increasing bass or speech clarity; the latter is perfect for ebooks and podcasts.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

Next is the Sound Check feature that automatically adjusts the EQ to your sonic preferences via three-step test. It’s a must for those who desire more nuance from their music, and it boosts the bass and treble performance on contemporary tracks. My customized preset made the low end tighter, clearing up the fuzzy bassline and synths on funk-inspired tracks like Tame Impala’s “Is It True”, while also bettering the midrange (the lo-fi vocals sounded sharp).

Lastly, we have Sound Zones, another one of Sennheiser’s newer features that optimizes the EQ setting (or noise cancellation) by adjusting audio to your location. It does a noteworthy job of stabilizing sound when entering different environments. 

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

Sennheiser added aptX Adaptive codec support to achieve near-lossless sound on compatible services (e.g., Tidal, Qobuz) at up to 24-bit/48 kHz. The results were satisfying when listening to music on my Google Pixel 6 Pro. SBC and AAC are also supported.

An audio cable is included for wired listening. Bass and volume take dips, resulting in more neutral sound that is still satisfying.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review: Active noise cancellation

The Momentum 4 has elite noise-cancelling technology that puts a kibosh on nearly every sound it encounters across the frequency spectrum, especially wind.

Sennheiser engineered the headphones to have ANC on at all times, so you’re always getting some form of noise reduction. Setting the feature to its highest level guarantees the best results. Maneuvering around the house during work hours was peaceful, especially at a time when there was so much foot traffic (e.g., family members, repairmen, rowdy toddlers). Noises occurring in the kitchen while our fridge was being fixed were silent, along with any dialogue exchanges and my toddler’s loud cries during nap time.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

Airplanes that flew over the house went unnoticed. Speeding cars and gusty winds were heavily minimized, thanks to the Wind Noise Reduction feature, which can be set to Max or automatically adjusted via Auto setting. Really loud high-frequency noises like sirens and whistles could be heard from several feet away, but they weren’t too distracting.  

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

I love Sennheiser’s Transparency Mode. It has what looks like over 20 levels of adjustment (the increments are so small that I lost count). Everything around me was highly perceptible, from the construction work happening across the street on the Intracoastal Waterway to my baby’s wakeup cries on the monitor during naptime. The mode was most useful for communicating with my wife in the same workspace; hearing her loud and clearly from across the room was clutch when sharing babysitting duties.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review: App and special features

It’s amazing to see how many features Sennheiser crammed into their headphones. Downloading the Smart Control app grants you access to all of them, including the aforementioned ANC/Adaptive/Transparency mode, Equalizer, Sound Check, and Sound Zones. There is plenty more to toy with.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

The homescreen has a battery level indicator, Connection Management setting that plays a pivotal role with connectivity (more on that later), and Sidetone slider for adjusting vocal clarity on calls. Select the settings menu at the bottom right and stumble upon several toggle controls for different functions. You can enable/disable On-Head Detection, Smart Pause, Auto Power Off, and Comfort Call, a proprietary feature that adds signal processing to the voice of callers on the opposite end and reduces listening fatigue.

Rounding things out are firmware updates, a reset function, and a Discover menu that acts as a content hub for Sennheiser releases.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review: Battery life

Battery life is rated at 60 hours. Is that with ANC on or off? Good question. According to Sennheiser, ANC is never turned off. Nonetheless, the Momentum 4 has nearly triple the battery life of the Bose 700 (20 hours) and can be used moderately for a month before recharging. I’ve used the headphones throughout the workweek (3 hours daily) and still have 60% in tank life.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

Sennheiser’s quick charging can generate 4 hours of playtime on a 5-minute charge. That beats the WH-1000XM5’s quick charging: 5 hours on a 10-minute charge.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review: Call quality and connectivity

Voice and video calls sound superb. The missus couldn’t tell I was using headphones when speaking indoors, and the results were even more convincing outside. Common noises like cars and landscaping tools were silenced. Wind had zero presence when talking in drafty conditions.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

Bluetooth 5.2 was a smooth operator that extended up to 100 feet in open spaces. There was zero dropout during calls and streaming sessions. The pairing process was instantaneous, especially on Android devices with one-tap Google Fast Pair.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

The headphones come with multipoint technology (pair to two devices simultaneously), but you must go through a different process to enable it. Normally, you would select the headphones in the Bluetooth settings of your two preferred devices, but that never seemed to work. Instead, I had to select my secondary device in the Connection Management settings.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review: Verdict

Sennheiser just put Bose and Sony on notice with the Momentum 4. These headphones are a fierce competitor backed by grade-A sound, everlasting battery life, and intelligible ANC that blocks out incidental sounds as well as the Bose 700 and Sony WH-1000XM4. The redesign is a step back from the series’ past entries, and the touch panel could use some refining, but the overall performance these cans deliver is irresistible.