Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4 review

Premium wireless earbuds take the fight to Apple, Bose and Sony Tested at £260 / $300 / AU$500

Noise-cancelling earbuds: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4
(Image: © What Hi-Fi?)

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Watch out Sony and Bose! The Momentum True Wireless 4 offer a level of sonic refinement and comfort that makes them a serious contender at this level

Pros

  • +

    Refined presentation is easy to listen to

  • +

    Rich, detailed and dynamic sound

  • +

    Comfortable fit

  • +

    Responsive controls

Cons

  • -

    Noise cancelling can be bettered…

  • -

    And so can call quality

  • -

    Some might prefer a more neutral sound

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Sennheiser will be hoping its Momentum True Wireless 4 continue its recent trend of getting high praise and five-star reviews for its premium wireless earbuds.

The company claims a raft of improvements have been made to this new model, with user experience, features and sound quality all being tweaked to boost performance. We know from our experience with Sennheiser’s older Momentum earbuds they have always been competitive and quality performers, but can this pair finally overthrow the class leaders from Bose and Sony? 

Price

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4 in black copper in their charging case

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

The Momentum True Wireless 4 are a premium pair of wireless earbuds and are priced accordingly. They come in at £260 ( $299.95 / AU$499.95) which is a slight jump in price compared with their predecessors but is still in the same ballpark as their closest competition, including the Sony WF-1000XM5 (£259 / $299 / AU$419), Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds (£300 / $299 / AU$450) and the Apple AirPods Pro 2 (£249 / $249 / AU$399). The Apple and Sony pairs do get regular price drops which are worth keeping an eye out for.

Design

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4 in black copper held in hand

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Aesthetically, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4 look virtually identical to the Momentum True Wireless 3. The ovular shape returns, as do the touch-sensitive surfaces. The biggest news externally is that the earbuds now come in three new colours: metallic silver, black graphite (pictured), or black copper (also pictured in this review).

Inside each earpiece, though, there are plenty of changes. The antennae have been redesigned to improve stability, while the headphones now use something called dynamic-load switching, which is designed to improve the consistency of sound quality. The closest bud to your smartphone is always connected to it and the pair will switch during use to maintain the best sound quality.

The drivers found in the Momentum True Wireless 4 are similar to those used in Sennheiser’s IE 600 and IE 900 in-ear headphones, although they have undergone some extra tuning for this wireless model. 

There is also a slight change to the eartips for 2024. They are now washable and feature a new plastic guard at the end to keep the ear tubes clear of unwanted debris.

Sennheiser’s now trademark fabric-wrapped charging casing returns with the Momentum True Wireless 4, looking identical to the previous iteration; both wireless and USB-C charging are supported. There are a couple of new interesting features on the charging front, which we shall discuss later.

Features

Noise-cancelling earbuds: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

The headline news for the new Sennheiser Momentum 4 True Wireless is that they feature Qualcomm's S5 Sound Gen 2 processor and Snapdragon Sound Technology. These will allow you to stream losslessly not only 16-bit/44kHz audio but also (following an update to the Qualcomm chip) 24-bit/48kHz.

It’s claimed the new chip extends Bluetooth range and improves stability, so you should experience fewer dropouts in crowded areas.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4 tech specs

Noise cancelling earbuds: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4

(Image credit: Sennheiser)

Bluetooth version 5.4

Codec support SBC, AAC, aptX Lossless

Noise-cancelling? Yes

Battery life 7.5 hours (BT + ANC), 30 hours (including charging case)

Finishes x 3 (white silver, black graphite, black copper)

The Sennheisers also support Bluetooth 5.4, aptX Lossless and LE Audio should you own a compatible device, while Auracast support will also be added via a future firmware update. Auracast will allow users to receive audio simultaneously through separate channels or stream to two pairs of compatible earbuds from one device.

While they are not being pitched specifically as gaming headphones, Sennheiser also points out that latency as low as 20ms is possible with the earbuds via a Bluetooth dongle and you can listen in stereo while chatting in mono to players online.

Battery life is a claimed seven and a half hours per charge, with the case providing three extra charges and extending the life to 30 hours.

The big news for these buds and the way they charge is that, for the first time, Sennheiser has introduced intelligent charging to its premium earbuds. In a bid to extend the life of the headphones, the case will slow down the speed of charge the closer it gets to maximum capacity.

There’s also a new battery-protect mode which you can enable or disable through Sennheiser’s control app – this can optimise charging to extend the lifespan of the battery. The trade-off is that charging times get a little longer and maximum battery life is reduced a little.

Noise cancelling earbuds: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

All of these features and more can be accessed through Sennheiser’s Smart Control app. It’s packed with various settings and customisation options which, at times, can seem quite overwhelming but will be useful to some depending on how involved you want to be.

There’s also a five-band graphic equaliser, and the option of using Sennheiser’s Sound Personalisation tech to reach your ideal sound balance through a series of test tracks.

There’s even the option to create up to 20 ‘Sound Zones’ where the earbuds will automatically apply specific sound settings when you enter or leave certain areas.

The touch controls on the earbuds can also be customised to carry out most demands, whether it’s controlling playback and volume or switching between noise-cancelling and transparency modes. This does help simplify things; the touch controls are responsive and you can assign virtually any combination of commands, which can’t be said for a lot of pairs of wireless earbuds.

Noise cancelling

Noise-cancelling earbuds: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

For those who like to use their earbuds out and about, Sennheiser claims improved active noise cancelling (ANC) and call quality for the Momentum True Wireless 4. To start with, the three microphones on each earbud have been upgraded from the previous model. Also, built-in AI from the Qualcomm chip will not only help with noise-cancelling but also learn how your voice sounds and be able to reduce background noise and lower background voices while keeping you audible. This element will come via a future firmware update.

While the noise-cancelling is of a good standard, it doesn’t quite block out quite as much external noise as the very best-in-class. The Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds smother a wider range of frequencies and ambient sounds. We tested the Sennheisers in a busy pub environment and more noises (particularly in the upper frequencies) were audible through the Momentum True Wireless 4 compared to the Bose. We found the Sennheisers to be on a more similar level to the AirPods Pro 2.

Using the adaptive noise cancelling we were impressed with the Anti Wind setting which helps to minimise the effects of wind blowing around the earpieces. The slightly scratchy sound that you can get from the odd gust is nicely subdued. We also find the mode helps minimise the noise created by, say, a jacket hood rubbing against the outside of the buds.

Call quality

Noise-cancelling earbuds: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

During our product briefing from Sennheiser, the company was keen to get over the fact it’s done a lot to improve call quality through the Momentum True Wireless 4. And we were impressed with some aspects of how they performed.

When you are having a conversation, the person on the other end sounds clear and direct, although during testing we do sound more muffled than when being heard through the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds. We find the Sennheisers stop outside noise from intruding into your calls better than the Bose but they still aren’t quite as accomplished at subduing ambient noise during calls as the Sony WF-1000XM5.

Sound

Noise-cancelling earbuds: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Before you fire up your favourite playlist we’d recommend opening the app and taking Sennheiser’s ear adapter fit test, just to make sure you’ve got a good seal.

Once you’re good to go, you’ll find listening to the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4 is like slipping your feet into a comfy pair of slippers.

They’re a satisfying, easy listen straight out of the box. Their rich, mature presentation is an attractive proposition (and also means they don’t need hours upon hours of running in to sound good) – there’s sophistication across the frequency ranges with a smooth, refined treble and midrange and weighty, full-bodied bass.

Play I Dare You by The XX and the Sennheisers poke you with deep, probing lows and also caress you with detailed and rich vocals from Oliver Sims and Romy Madley Croft. Both of their soothing tones make for an engaging, enjoyable listen.

The headphones still fire out the track’s pacey tempo with ease and the Sennheisers’ good sense of timing keeps all the elements organised and flowing effortlessly. We switch between various genres during testing and their easygoing nature and rhythmic qualities come over whether you’re listening to ’90s house music or noughties hip-hop.

We swap the chilled vibe of the XX for the drama of The Battle taken from the Gladiator OST and the Sennheisers put in a powerful performance. The weighty drumbeats start building a sense of atmosphere and the Sennheisers add all the extra layers, from the swaying, soaring strings to the wind instruments that add punctuation. All the elements come together in an accomplished performance that does this epic track justice.

We listen to the Sennheisers against the Sony WF-1000XM5 and it’s apparent the balance of each pair is hugely different. While the Momentums favour richness and luxury, the Sonys have a more neutral overall balance and dig out even more detail with even greater precision. The Bose QC Ultra Earbuds also sound a little clearer, especially in the midrange, but are a little peaky in the bass in comparison.

Verdict

Noise-cancelling earbuds: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

We’re talking about the Sennheisers in the same breath as our favourite Sonys and Bose, which shows you just how competitive the Momentum True Wireless 4 are.

They offer a very different flavour of sound to their closest rivals, but it’s just as engaging and enjoyable and this makes them very easy to recommend. Yes, there’s still a little room for improvement when it comes to noise-cancelling and call quality, but we still think their all-round appeal easily warrants a five-star recommendation. Prepare yourselves for hours of sonic enjoyment.

SCORES

  • Sound 5
  • Features 5
  • Comfort 5

MORE:

Read our review of the Sony WF-1000XM5

Also consider the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds

6 sound settings you shouldn’t ignore on the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4

Best wireless earbuds: top pairs tested by our experts

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