The new Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 show how successful a version upgrade can be: new design, new functions as well as many small improvements together with a price reduction of 50 euros.
When you think of True Wireless in-ears, you usually have a specific model in mind. There are now thousands of cable-free headphones (go to overview), and alongside Apple, Beats and Sony, Sennheiser is one of the brands synonymous with True Wireless in-ears.
The previous versions Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless and Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 still occupy top spots in our best-of list. Good sound and app connectivity secured top ratings for both models. Will this continue with version 3?
Look and feel
Two years after the Momentum True Wireless 2, version 3 introduces a slightly different design: the edges of the earpieces have been smoothed, their rounded shape looks more modern and ergonomic and also saves weight. The new charging case has gained some weight and continues to feature Sennheiser’s signature fabric cover. The battery performance, however, has remained the same: these in-ears can run for seven hours, and the case can then charge them up to three times so that a total runtime of 28 hours can be achieved. The USB-C port has moved from the back to the front, and the case can be charged wirelessly on Qi-compatible charging mats.
Available in black, grey and white, the headphones feature the familiar manufacturer’s logo on both sides and these double as touch surfaces for controlling the functions. In addition to the standard silicone earpieces, additional support is now also provided by ear fins. This is a feature that is familiar to sports headphones. These, too, can be exchanged with different sizes to suit the anatomy of your own ears. Indeed, the wearing comfort has also improved: we were able to wear the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 for several hours without feeling any discomfort from pressure.
Despite what some other publications might have claimed, nothing has changed in terms of certification: the in-ears are still protected against splashes of water according to IPX4, while the charging case has no certification. This means that when inserting the headphones, they should be dry, just like the charging case.
The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 now work with the latest Bluetooth version 5.2. In terms of codecs, they support SBC, AAC, aptX and – a new one – aptX Adaptive. The latter was introduced by Qualcomm in 2018, it offers a dynamic compression rate, can deliver up to 24 bits / 48 kHz and processes data rates of 276 kBits as well as 420 kBits. The advantage of this codec is that it automatically adjusts the performance, regardless of whether you are streaming movies, listening to music, or playing games.
Pairing these earphones, which can also be used in single mode, is done as usual: insert them, hold down the touch surfaces for three seconds and then select Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 in the Bluetooth menu of the external player. In our test, this worked reliably and without difficulty with both iOS and Android. After the wireless connection was made, we heard an English-speaking women’s voice telling us the status, but these spoken alerts can be almost completely deactivated in the app.
Update from 2.11.2022: Thanks to a firmware update (2.10.19), the manufacturer has added some interesting features so that the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 now (finally) support multipoint. The in-ears can now be connected to two devices at the same time, for example to switch quickly between tablet and smartphone.
The Bluetooth connection proved to be extremely stable: in open space, the first drop-outs were only heard after more than 40 metres; inside, drop outs did not occur until we had gone upstairs to the next floor.
There have been some changes in the operation of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 compared to the previous model, as the manufacturer has reversed the assignment of the left and right earphones. However, if you’re moving up from version 2, you do not have to change your habits; the controls can be adjusted accordingly via the app.
Tap once on the right to pause or resume playback, tap twice to skip one track, tap three times to call up a voice assistant, and press and hold to increase the volume. On the left side, you can control the transparency mode with one press, a double-tap jumps back one track, noise cancelling is triggered by a triple-tap, and a press and hold reduces the volume.
For calls, both sides react in the same way: one press accepts and ends calls, and two presses rejects calls. This all worked fine and was reliable; the actions were carried out with a delay of less than one second.
The well-designed app serves as a kind of hub for all Sennheiser headphones that can connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth. So if you own multiple pairs of Momentum or other compatible Sennheiser headphones, Smart Control offers you a fairly convenient way to manage them.
Not only can firmware updates be carried out in the app, but it is also possible to reassign the touch interface. A simple three-band EQ lets you tune the sound, or you can select a suitable EQ curve from six pre-sets. These can be edited and saved. In addition, the app offers individual frequency adjustment 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. However, this requires you to set up a free account with Sennheiser in order to be able to use your own EQ settings and sound zones (see below) across devices.
There was a special EQ pre-set for more intense bass as well as one for podcasts, which ensured better speech intelligibility by slightly boosting the midrange.
In addition, the transparency mode can be tuned: you can define whether media content is paused when activated or whether it continues to play. Adaptive noise cancelling also allows you to select “Off”, “Anti-Wind”, and “On”. But more on that later.
The definable sound zones that let you decide how the headphones behave when you enter or leave certain places were also interesting. You can configure whether the noise-cancelling and individual EQ settings come as you enter or leave certain places.
Other important features in the app are the auto-answer function, which lets you answer calls automatically as soon as you take the right headphone out of the charging case, and the smart pause function. We had nothing to complain about when it came to the range of functions, and Sennheiser has also included a lock function to make the touch surfaces resistant to accidental touching.
What was missing from the app, in contrast to the Momentum True Wireless 2, was the “Sidetone” setting.
Sennheiser’s Transparency Mode doesn’t sound as natural in version 3 as it does in the Apple AirPods Pro, for example. Nevertheless, it does its job well, even if the background noise is clearly audible.
Sennheiser has completely redesigned the noise-cancelling system. It now works adaptively, i.e. it automatically adjusts to the noise level of the environment. While the purely active noise cancelling of the Momentum TWS 2 still reduced low-frequency ambient noise quite inconspicuously, the adaptive version of the Momentum TWS 3 is much more effective. Voices still come through, but their overall level is reduced – along with the absence of low frequencies. Sennheiser has also added an anti-wind function that makes the headphones far less sensitive to wind noise. Admittedly, we can’t expect complete elimination here either, but the results of this filtering were nevertheless successful.
Switching on the ANC mode does not increase the background noise, but it does increase the bass range.
Of course, the thing we were most curious about was the sound performance of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3. Here we can give the thumbs-up: the manufacturer has given its new model an excellent sound tuning! The basic sound impressed with clarity and balance combined with a slightly warm basic character. This worked very well across different genres, without a conspicuous overemphasis on any particular frequency range.
The dynamic 7 mm drivers with TrueResponse technology delivered a frequency response from 5 Hz to 21 kHz. Thanks to a firmware update (2.10.19), a new High-Resolution Sound mode is now available, which enables a depth of 24 bits and a sampling rate of 96 kilohertz. Important: The player must also support the aptX adaptive codec in order to enjoy high-resolution audio. The new feature can be conveniently switched on via the Smart Control App, but it reduces the Bluetooth range.
The bass range started correspondingly low without being spongy or boomy. Kick drums and bass were reproduced with the necessary precision and always remained tonally intelligible.
The midrange sounded natural, and acoustic instruments were nicely brought out. The agility that had impressed us in the previous model was also found here: the distinctive characteristics of string instruments or percussion were easily reproduced by these in-ears and blended into a harmonious overall picture.
This also applied to the highs: Nothing hissed, nothing sounded exaggerated. The MTWS 3 opened up reverb nicely, contributing to a soundstage that was wide and deep and able to vividly bring out details.
Compared to Apple AirPods Pro, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 managed even better than the previous model to render the virtual stage wider, more spacious and deeper, and this was especially noticeable when listening to live acoustic recordings.
These True Wireless in-ears also reproduced spoken content such as podcasts or radio plays with a nice naturalness that makes for intelligibility.
In conclusion, we rate the quality of calls as good – but this was also always dependent on the quality of the network.
Congratulations! Sennheiser has brought a great upgrade to the market with the Momentum True Wireless 3. With an RRP of just under 250 euros, they are not only 50 euros cheaper than the previous model, but the noise-cancelling and wearing comfort have also been improved. The sound quality of the previous model was already impressive, and the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 are also excellent in this area. Thanks to the firmware update (from version 2.10.19), multipoint and a high-resolution sound mode (24-bit/96kHz) are now available. Even the few hiccups that we criticised have disappeared thanks to the update. We therefore award full points for “Price/Quality” and “Function”!
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)5 - 21.000 Hz
- Sound pressure level (SPL)@1 kHz / 1 mW: 107 dB
- Weight without cable5,8 g each, case 66,4 g
- Cable length40 cm
What's in the box
- Silicone ear adapter sets (XS, S, M, L)
- Ear fin sets (XS, S, M, L)
- USB-C charging cable
- Charging case
- Available in black, white and grey
- BT codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX Adaptive
- BT version: 5.2
- BT profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP