Legacy audio brand Sennheiser has been putting out great gear since the ‘40s, and it hasn’t slowed down: its Bluetooth headphones and earbuds are some of the greatest you can buy, regularly vying for best-of picks against market leaders like Sony. Sennheiser’s newest ANC headphones, the Momentum 4, offer outstanding audio quality that can go toe-to-toe with anything else in their segment and battery life that puts most headphones to shame — but middling performance in other areas means they might not be right for everyone.
The Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless are a great option for anyone who doesn't mind paying a premium for high-end wireless audio; they sound utterly great. Battery life is also phenomenal at up to 60 hours per charge with ANC on. That ANC isn't particularly impressive, though — especially compared to similarly priced options from Bose or Sony.
- Battery Life: Up to 60 hours
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.2
- Noise Cancellation: Active
- Waterproof: No
- Microphones: 4
- Weight: 292g / 10.3 oz
- Colors: Black, white
- Supported codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX Adaptive
- Folding/Storage: Comes with case
- Charging: USB-C
- Multipoint: Yes
- Excellent audio quality
- Unbelievable battery life
- Bluetooth multipoint
- Subpar ANC for premium headphones
- Controls could be better
- Middling call performance
Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: Design, hardware, what’s in the box
The Sennheiser Momentum 4 look and feel like a premium piece of hardware. The top of the headband is lined in a durable-feeling fabric that matches the headphones’ carrying case, and there’s a small, metallic-finish Sennheiser badge on either side — just subtle enough, in my opinion. Aesthetically, this generation is a pretty radical departure from 2019’s Momentum 3, which had metal arms and folded into a smaller footprint for storage and travel. The new format might have a little less character, but I don’t mind a more restrained look.
The inside of the band is padded most of the way around, with a small indentation in the middle for hanging the headphones on a hook. I always worry hanging headphones will muss up the padding over time, so I appreciate that Sennheiser thought to account for that in the Momentum 4’s design. The ear cups are lined in faux leather filled with super squishy foam, and the headphones grip my head just right. Overall, the Momentum 4 are very comfortable; I don’t mind wearing them for an entire workday at all.
On the right ear cup, there’s a single button that pulls triple duty: a long press turns the headphones on or off, a longer press puts them in pairing mode, and a single short press activates whichever voice assistant is set as your device’s default. It's not an especially intuitive setup, but it's manageable once you get the hang of it. There are also five LEDs that show the headphones’ remaining battery in 20-percent increments and a 2.5mm aux port for wiring the cans up to your audio source. I’m a little annoyed it’s not a more standard 3.5mm jack — there’s certainly room for one — but the headphones come with a 2.5mm-to-3.5mm cable, so it hardly matters for most use cases. There’s also an airplane adapter included, in case you’d prefer whatever entertainment your airline is providing over your own media for some reason.
The included carrying case is reassuringly sturdy and has labeled elastic bands inside for storing the Momentum 4’s included USB-A-to-C charging cable, aux cable, and airplane adapter, plus a little mesh pocket to keep the headphones’ literature in.
Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: Sound quality
No need to mince words here: the Sennheiser Momentum 4 sound fantastic. Out of the box, treble is sharp, and mids are well balanced. I was genuinely surprised by the headphones’ low-end response: bass and sub-bass out of the Momentum 4 is thick. Bass-heavy music like electronic and hip hop really shines here.
As a fairly casual listener — I’m streaming over Spotify and, when I’m not reviewing something, not thinking too much about fine details — I typically like some extra bass in my headphones. That said, I think Sennheiser’s default tuning in the Momentum 4 is a little bassier than I’d prefer. But the company’s Smart Control app includes a customizable three-band equalizer, and nudging the bass slider down just a touch gets the sound right where I want it. If you’re a true bass fanatic, on the other hand, pumping the low end up in the app makes for a positively skull-rattling listening experience.
There’s no heavy-handed compression or ANC hiss tainting the audio here — the Momentum 4’s sound is clear as a bell. The headphones support the AAC and SBC codecs, plus both aptX and aptX Adaptive. None of the devices I tested the Momentum 4 with, including the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, Pixel 6, and a Mac Mini, exhibited notable A/V delay, but it’s always possible your mileage could vary on that front.
Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: Features
The Momentum 4 don’t have Fast Pair, which is a shame — it’s a personal favorite feature of mine, and as someone who uses a lot of different Android devices, I miss it when it’s not available. But they do support Bluetooth multipoint, which, on balance, is probably more useful to more people.
ANC is, unfortunately, the Momentum 4’s Achilles heel. Compared to other headphones (and even some earbuds) of this caliber, it’s just not up to snuff. The headphones can mute quiet, low noise like the hum of domestic climate control, but in 2022, that’s table stakes. Wearing the Momentum 4 on an airplane, a lot of cabin noise made it to my ears — and the headphones offered very little protection from an unhappy baby a few rows away. The Momentum 4 do make sound around you quieter, but noise canceling performance is closer to what I’d expect out of decent ANC earbuds, or maybe midrange over-ear headphones — not ones that cost $350.
The Momentum 4’s transparency mode is similarly unimpressive. It’s good enough to have a conversation with someone nearby without having to take the headphones off, but the sound comes through a little muffled, and there’s a faint but audible hissing present at all times. That’s a more forgivable fault than the pedestrian ANC performance, but it’s still a notable misstep for headphones in this price range.
The headphones are controlled with gestures on the touch-sensitive right ear cup. Swiping up raises the volume, down lowers it; forward skips to the next track and back is previous. A single tap plays or pauses your media. When ANC is on, a double-tap switches to transparency mode and pauses your music — handy for quick interactions with people around you. Double-tapping when the headphones are in transparency mode turns ANC on, but doesn’t pause what’s playing.
You can also adjust ANC by pinching: pinching in turns ANC up, pinching out turns on transparency. It’s a cute idea that seems like “opening” and “closing” the headphones to external noise, but it’s also unintuitive and kind of finicky. Double-tapping has been my go-to for swapping between the two modes.
The Momentum 4 are fine for calls; in my testing, my voice came through with good clarity. A lot of background noise is audible, though — again, more than I’d expect in headphones that cost this much. They’re fine for taking video meetings and making calls from spaces that aren’t excessively loud, but if you need a headset you can reliably talk on from, say, bustling coffee shops, the Momentum 4 might not work for you in that regard.
Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: Battery life
Battery life on the Momentum 4 is unreal. Sennheiser quotes it at 60 hours with ANC, and after several weeks of using the headphones, that seems right on the money. That’s about twice as long as the Sony WH-1000XM5 can go on a charge. Granted, the ANC here isn’t doing the same heavy lifting, but depending on your usage, these things can feasibly go weeks at a stretch without ever seeing a charger. Just to drive the point home: you could listen to these headphones nonstop for an entire workweek, have plenty of juice left for the weekend, and make it through the following Monday and maybe even Tuesday without needing to top up. Nuts.
Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: Competition
At an upmarket $350, the Sennhesier Momentum 4 Wireless are in competition with some of the best wireless headphones you can get. The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 and the Sony WH-1000XM5 are both more expensive than the Momentum 4 at MSRPs of $380 and $400, respectively, but it's not unusual to see the Bose headphones for much less. The XM5s have recently started seeing healthy discounts, too.
While the ANC in either of those other two options far outclasses what's on offer in the Sennheisers, to my ear, the Momentum 4 offer the best audio quality of the three — and healthier bass output, to boot. They've also got broader codec support than the Bose 700, which only offer SBC and AAC. The Sony XM5s have AAC, SBC, and Sony's proprietary LDAC codec. LDAC boasts a higher maximum bitrate than the aptX you'll get on the Sennheiser cans, but whether you can take advantage of that depends on how you're listening to music. Either is more than enough for Spotify's "Very high" quality setting.
The Sennheiser Momentum 4 also clean up on battery life with a runtime of up to 60 hours. That's twice as long as the Sony WH-1000XM5 can manage between charges at 30 hours, and three times as long as the Bose 700, which can "only" go for about 20 hours between charges.
Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: Should you buy them?
The Sennheiser Momentum 4 are exceptional headphones in a number of ways. Sound quality is fantastic, battery life is effectively unlimited, and fit and finish are very good. If there were better noise canceling on offer here, the Momentum 4 would be my new favorite headphones. In fact, for at-home listening, they are.
But at an MSRP of $350, the Momentum 4 cost nearly as much as top ANC cans from market leaders like Sony and Bose. These headphones may sound better than those ones do, and you can listen to them forever on a single charge, but to me, it’s a little hard to justify the asking price when similarly priced options offer a better-rounded package. If you’re only out for sound quality, battery life, and styling, though, the Momentum 4 are among your best options today.
Buy them if…
- Audio quality is your top priority in Bluetooth headphones.
- Marathon battery life is a must.
- You don’t often listen to music in noisy places.
Don’t buy them if…
- You need great ANC — the competition has the Momentum 4 beat there.
- Fast Pair is a requirement for you.