Every two years, Sennheiser updates its top over-ear model for the consumer market, the Momentum Wireless, with a new edition. Version 4, however, marks a watershed: The new Momentum 4 Wireless is not only the first Bluetooth over-ear under the aegis of Sonova Holding AG and Sennheiser’s licence (as we reported on our german website kopfhoerer.de), but the design, along with the headphones’ basic handling, now take a completely different approach.
In the past, Sennheiser’s Momentum over-ears (to our review) have always had a distinctive character: Thanks to the metal headband and leather head cushion, the striking design with its pleasing look always had a retro feel and conveyed a sense of value. However, the problem was: All controls had to be operated by push button because the design did not support touch commands. So another solution was needed. In the case of the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless, this solution means new ear cups that are touch-sensitive, so it makes sense that the characteristic look has been shelved. It’s a shame that version 4 has very little resemblance with the past three generations. Of course, there is no accounting for taste and appearance, but the new edition could be a completely different Sennheiser model. The unobtrusive, unadorned black or white ear cups reminded us a little of the Sennheiser PXC 550-II Wireless, although even these seem somehow more “designer” in direct comparison. Plastic is now the predominant material of choice, and the – rather basic – suspension of the earcups will certainly not make it any easier for the manufacturer to stand out in the crowded headphone market.
Features and wearing comfort of the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless
Thanks to swivelling cups, these over-ears can be stored in a travel-friendly hard case that bears a Sennheiser logo and is covered in grey fabric. It also contains a mini-jack cable (3.5mm to 2.5mm – 120cm), including an aeroplane adapter, a USB-A to C charging cable (120cm) and the usual documents (quick start guide, legal information) in various languages.
The Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless headphones now have a rail for continuous size adjustment that disappears into the headband. This bears the manufacturer’s logo on the left and right, is covered on top with the same grey fabric as the hard case and has a soft filling in a skin-friendly silicone lining as padding. There is also a notch for pressure relief. The thick, replaceable ear pads are made of soft imitation leather and have a diameter of 4cm x 6cm, and they distribute the pressure extremely pleasantly on and around the ears. Even if you wear glasses, you will have no problems here: Nothing presses, and the pads seal so well that the acoustic chamber under the ear pads always remains closed.
The Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless use Bluetooth version 5.2 and support SBC, AAC, aptX and aptX Adaptive codecs, rather than aptX LL as their predecessors did. Qualcomm’s Adaptive codec offers a dynamic compression rate, can deliver up to 24 bits / 48 kHz and handles data rates of 276 kBits as well as 420 kBits. The advantage of this is the codec automatically adjusts the performance, regardless of whether you are streaming films, listening to music or playing games.
In our practical test, the Bluetooth stream inside an apartment was interrupted when we changed floors to the room below; in an open space, we achieved a range of a good 26 metres.
The headphones are switched on by pressing and holding the single hardware button on the underside of the right ear cup for five seconds, this then indicates that they are ready for pairing. Multipoint, i.e. the simultaneous connection with several (in this case two) devices, is supported, and the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless effortlessly pass on incoming calls from an iPhone, pauses media content from the other player and automatically resumes it when the user hangs up. However, there were sporadic hiccups, with the playback of the second player not always being continued. For a few milliseconds, the last media file played can be heard; a tap on the right ear cup is needed to resume playback.
We noticed something similar with the practical auto-pause function. Here, the track only played for a few milliseconds before a touch on the right earpiece solved the problem. The sensor also seemed to be a little too sensitive: If you put the headphones around your neck and then turn the earcups by 90 degrees, playback starts again and only stops when you briefly lift the earphones again. If this bothers you, you can, of course, deactivate it in the app.
As mentioned at the beginning, the operation of the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless has fundamentally changed compared to its predecessor. Now, the media content, calls and comfort functions are controlled exclusively by touch on the right ear cup. There are two exceptions, however: Voice assistants such as Alexa or Siri, as well as the microphone’s mute function during phone calls, are available at the touch of a button.
These headphones understand different tapping and swiping gestures and quickly implement them accordingly. Volume change or track forward/backward are done via swipe gestures; playback pause, resume and switching between noise cancelling and transparency mode is done via single and double taps. By pulling the fingers apart or together (“pinch”) on the ear cup, it is also possible to “morph” continuously between ANC and Transparency.
The smartly designed app ( for iOS and Android) acts as a kind of hub for all Sennheiser headphones that can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Multiple Momentum or other compatible Sennheiser headphones can be conveniently managed here.
Not only can firmware updates be carried out, but the app also allows headphones to be reset to factory settings and time until automatic switch-off can be set. A simple three-band EQ lets you tune the sound, or you can select a suitable EQ curve from six pre-sets (classical, film, rock, pop, dance, hip-hop). These can be edited and saved. In addition, the app also offers individual frequency adjustments by clicking through several sound profiles while your favourite music is playing. You can save this hearing-adapted EQ curve and repeat it as often as you like. This requires you to set up a free account with Sennheiser in order to be able to use your own EQ settings as well as Sound Zones (see below) across devices.
Here, you will also find a special EQ pre-set for more intensive bass and one for podcasts that ensures better speech intelligibility by slightly boosting the mid-range.
In addition, the transparency mode can be tuned: You can define whether media content is paused when activated or whether it continues to play. You can also define wind noise reduction in the “Active noise reduction” section; you can deactivate it completely, let it run automatically or simply set it to “Max”.
The Sound Zones, which let you decide how the headphones behave when you enter or leave certain places, are also interesting. You can configure whether the noise cancelling and individual EQ settings go off as soon as you approach your house. On a map, you can define a corresponding action radius between 100 and 1,000 metres.
Another important feature of the app is the smooth transition between noise cancelling and transparency mode as well as the sidetone function. This allows you to mix in your own voice during phone calls. There is hardly anything to complain about in terms of the range of functions, but Sennheiser has dispensed with a lock function to make the touch surface insensitive to accidental touch. The app also reacts somewhat sluggishly on a Google Pixel 3a and for some reason, a messaging claiming “No audio transmission” was displayed under the “Codec” tab; despite playback being active, this could not be solved by trying several firmware updates.
With a whopping 60 hours of runtime (manufacturer’s specifications), the new Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless sets the bar pretty high. While their predecessor only lasted 17 hours, the manufacturer is now showing the competition what is currently technically feasible: No other wireless over-ear headphones currently offer a better runtime, and no others manage to deliver six hours of music enjoyment with only ten minutes of charging time. In practice, however, these values – depending on external influences – are never entirely accurate.
Noise cancelling and transparency mode
Noise cancelling has been completely overhauled, not only on the new Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3, but also on this over-ear model. It now automatically adjusts to the noise level of the environment, i.e. it now works adaptively. Whereas the Momentum 3 Wireless was particularly efficient in the bass range, the ANC of the new model is much more aggressive and manages to create a much larger quiet space. The slight background noise is negligible and of no consequence. This means that the Momentum 4 Wireless catches up in terms of “effectiveness”, especially compared to the Sony WH-1000XM5. In a direct comparison, however, the Sony headphones cancelled out white noise a bit more broadly. It was also pleasing that the sound of the useful signal was not changed in the process. The Momentum 4’s transparency mode amplifies environmental noise so that, for example, train announcements or conversations can be followed without removing the headphones. They do this well – despite audible background noise – however, the Apple AirPods Max still remain the benchmark for “naturalness” in our tests.
From the first few bars of music, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless were surprising. These closed headphones reveal a large stage and spread out not only from left to right but also nicely into the depths. This spatial impression is further enhanced by clear speech intelligibility: Vocals are skilfully brought out by these headphones so that they reveal character and details and, depending on the mix, also pleasantly stand out from the rest of the musical accompaniment. Fortunately, the Momentum 4 Wireless always managed to deliver music as a homogeneous whole – but with a focus on vocals. If you were looking for something to complain about, it might be the fact that some sibilants were reproduced as a little too present.
The bass range of these headphones was powerful right down to the sub-bass, delivered volume, always remained tonally comprehensible and was sufficiently fast and precise. If that’s not enough, you can use the equaliser and/or the special EQ pre-set for more intensive bass via the app. Despite the enhanced bass, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless never fell out of step and did not radiate into the mids or treble, nor was there any unsightly pumping or compression effects.
Mids are reproduced clearly and in detail, with a tendency towards warmth, although it’s noticeable that the lower midrange holds back somewhat from the upper midrange. The tuning of Sennheiser’s specialists in the treble range is just as skilful: Clean, clear and not too boisterous. Spikily mixed tracks (Madonna “Jump”) tend to be sharp but do not cut into the ears.
We listened across a myriad of music styles via both Bluetooth and analogue jack cables, and in no genre did we feel like the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless were being overwhelmed.
Talking on the phone with the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless
The manufacturer has installed two beamforming MEMS microphones with a frequency response of 50 Hz to 10 kHz on each side. Thanks to this microphone array, calls and exchanges with voice assistants are supposed to be natural and interference-free, and we confirmed this in our practical tests. Conversation partners heard our voices clearly and understandably, and background noise was barely perceptible, if at all. The situation was similar the other way round: The voice on the other end of the line could be understood without any problems, and even spatial information could be distinctly heard.
The Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless is a convincing successor to the familiar over-ear series made in Wedemark. Although some people may miss the chic design of the earlier versions – including the author of this text – the flagship consumer model from Sonova does not make any major blunders. The sound signature of the new M4 is extremely successful, as is the new adaptive noise cancelling, which does a very good job. The wearing comfort and the outstanding battery life of up to 60 hours also deserve high praise. Unfortunately, the interplay with Sennheiser’s Smart Control app was problematic again and again during our tests, but this could certainly be easily resolved with an update.
Apart from that, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless deserve a prime spot in the category “Best Headphones: Noise Cancelling 08/2022”.
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)6 - 22.000 Hz
- Impedance75,05 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)102,8 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head555,5 g
- Weight with cable300 g
- Cable length120 cm
What's in the box
- Mini jack cable (3.5 mm to 2.5 mm)
- Aeroplane adapter
- USB-C charging cable
- Carrying case
- Available in black and white
- BT codecs: SBC, aptX, aptX Adaptive
- BT version: 5.2
- BT profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP