I’m living with the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4, and they beat Bose, Apple and Sony in one crucial area

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4 on a desk
(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Usually, the more you live with a product, the better you understand its pros and cons, quirks and nuances. But it took just one morning commute with the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4 to make their mark.

To my surprise, it had nothing to do with their five-star sound quality – but it did make me think that Apple, Bose and Sony need to up their game in one key area…

Of course, I would be lying if I said I hadn’t been impressed by the audio from these excellent wireless earbuds. Sennheiser’s Momentum range of headphones, whether  in- or over-ear models, has historically served up a fun, entertaining sound; and its latest flagship earbuds are no different.

They are up there with the best wireless earbuds from the top brands in this area, namely the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds and the Sony WF-1000XM5. Each of these pairs sounds quite different, and each has its merits in terms of comfort and features too. The Sennheisers offer several customisation options, good noise-cancelling and solid battery life too. They even include some clever tech designed to prolong the batteries in the buds.

Get yourself connected

Noise-cancelling earbuds: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

But it’s time to return to my original point. Every time I head onto public transport and into London to work from What Hi-Fi? headquarters I am filled with dread. Not because I don’t like the prospect of spending quality time with my work colleagues, but because there’s a certain stretch of my journey (well, two stretches to be precise) where my morning podcast catch-up is disrupted. It only happens for a minute or two each time but also on the journey back, so that’s double the disruption.

So what happens? It’s quite simple, really. The connection between my earbuds and my iPhone repeatedly drops out. I’m listening to my favourite podcast and, just as it gets to the good bit, it all starts to fall apart. Sentences break and fracture leaving me to either fill in the blanks with my imagination or rewind and retrace my steps. It’s all very irritating.

The main culprits are my current wireless earbuds of choice, the Apple AirPods Pro 2. They seem almost guaranteed to drop out when walking through London Waterloo or Paddington at rush hour. But it has also happened with the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds and the Sony WF-1000XM5 to name but two. So colour me surprised when I took the Momentum True Wireless 4 for a spin, crossed my fingers as I headed into Waterloo and… nothing happened. I breezed through the station without so much as a flicker of discontent from the new earbuds. My podcast continued uninterrupted down to the tube station – and I made it out of Paddington unscathed too.

It's all in the design

Noise-cancelling earbuds: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

This got me wondering, so I reached out to Sennheiser to ask what improvements it had made to the Momentums that would be contributing to this. And they highlighted a couple of things which I found interesting.

First, the TW4 use an optimised RF antenna design to improve the antenna gain (i.e how efficiently it turns radio waves into electricity). Also, Sennheiser uses a technology called LDS (Laser Direct Structuring), which means “the conducting material needed for the antenna is directly injected into the housing of the earbuds.” This allows for more complex 3D antenna shapes to be created compared with cheaper designs, where the antenna has to be placed in one geometric layer.

Sennheiser also pointed to the Qualcomm S5 Gen 2 chip used in the earbuds, which it says “has a superior Signal-to-Noise ratio, so can better separate the Bluetooth signal from RF interferences.” So, it seems a two-pronged approach has benefitted the Sennheisers; and, in my opinion, it’s about time that rival models caught up.

The AirPods Pro 2, will be two years old at the end of September so I would hope that any AirPods Pro 3 model that might be on Apple’s drawing board gets a chip upgrade and a boost in the stability department.

There are some great-sounding premium wireless earbuds on the market but if there’s not much between them audio-wise, useful features and extra convenience can give one pair the edge over another. And Sennheiser is currently making a great case for itself thanks to the Momentum True Wireless 4.


Read our Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4 review

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4 vs Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds: which are better?

Our pick of the best wireless earbuds we have tested

Andy Madden

Andy is Deputy Editor of What Hi-Fi? and a consumer electronics journalist with nearly 20 years of experience writing news, reviews and features. Over the years he's also contributed to a number of other outlets, including The Sunday Times, the BBC, Stuff, and BA High Life Magazine. Premium wireless earbuds are his passion but he's also keen on car tech and in-car audio systems and can often be found cruising the countryside testing the latest set-ups. In his spare time Andy is a keen golfer and gamer.