If you travel frequently or work in a busy environment, headphones with ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) are an excellent option. This review looks at the attractive and feature-rich Momentum 4 with ANC from Sennheiser.
Sennheiser Momentum 4
The Sennheiser Momentum 4 offers exceptional sound quality that is highly customizable. A serious contender as one of the leading wireless studio headphones you could use in a studio setting.
There is a lot to love about the Sennheiser Momentum 4. From its refined design to its outstanding sound profile, this is a set of highly versatile cans while maintaining a reasonable price point.
I have a tiered approach when assessing a headphone sound profile. I first look for neutrality to ensure they are viable for the studio. The second is the flexibility to adjust output so I can sculpt the sound for casual listening or DJ sessions. In both scenarios, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 delivers.
Its base Flat setting does an admirable job of providing balanced and neutral sound. The bass is rich and dynamic but perhaps a little over-emphasized. Still, it is neutral enough that I can make confident decisions, and after some additional EQing, they are near perfect for my needs.
The mid-range is equally dynamic with ample vibrancy to ensure a pleasant and engaging listening experience. The response is also nice and tight, providing high accuracy for studio work. There is a slight dip in the upper mids as it transitions to the highs, but it isn’t overly noticeable.
Loud output that retains accuracy.
Speaking of the highs, the Momentum 4 holds onto its tight response in the upper end. An area in which some competitors start to show their weaknesses. It’s clear and precise without any harshness. A viable analytical tool when working on your latest project without experiencing fatigue.
These headphones also offer super-low distortion levels. You can comfortably blast these without experiencing a hint of muddiness. But where they do fall short is in their soundstage. These are closed-back headphones, so inevitably, there is no room for an expansive soundstage. Audio will feel cramped and in your head, but this is symptomatic of all closed-back cans.
Further flexibility is available within the Smart Control App, allowing you to switch between presets and customize the output to suit your preference. I had no trouble flicking to a more colored profile for casual listening and DJ sessions.
To summarize, these headphones offer exceptional sound quality. Whether you need them for detailed studio work or your daily commute, they are up to the task.
Comfort is another critical consideration for headphones in this category. You want comfortable cans that you can wear for extended periods in the studio or a busy office environment. And once again, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 delivers.
These headphones feature thick padding that isn’t too firm and gives plenty of room for your ears. They are a bit shallow, so if you happen to have more prominent ears, there is a chance of them hitting the interior driver lining. But for most people, there should be ample room.
The faux-leather padding is durable and comfortable.
The headband also features a generous amount of padding for a secure and comfortable fit. The clamping force is lighter than I anticipated but very welcome for headphones that could see a lot of use in a day. These also are lightweight at just 0.64 lbs. (290 grams) which adds to the overall comfort level. Nothing worse than struggling with bulky and heavy headphones when you have work to get done!
Heat build-up is present due to the closed-back design, but it wasn’t distracting or uncomfortable. But I could foresee it becoming an issue if you are in a hot environment. Overall these are fantastic for long listening sessions and miles ahead in comfort compared to some competitors.
The Sennheiser Momentum 4 is a stark contrast to the Momentum 3. The design here is entirely different, but in every way, I prefer the look of the Momentum 4.
These headphones have an understated elegance which I enjoy immensely. Far too many headphones aim to be the center of attention, while these headphones opt for a more laid-back, simplistic design.
That’s not to say that they are bland but rather refined. I especially like the textured fabric at the top of the headband. It adds dimension and personality without screaming at you.
The Momentum 4 is also available in white.
Beyond appearance, the Momentum 4 also packs a suite of impressive technical inclusions. Of course, one of the most prominent is the ANC which helps block out exterior noise. I’ve seen more powerful ANC in other headphones, but the Momentum 4 is still very impressive. It will still struggle with loud, low rumbles, but for the most part, you can enjoy what you are listening to in peace.
The control scheme is also intuitive, with touch controls that you’ll quickly become familiar with. You can increase and decrease the ANC or even turn it off with a tap to hear your surrounding. You’ll also be able to jump forward or backward in your playlist or skim forward and back within the current track with ease. Accepting or declining phone calls is equally easy with touch controls.
The other standout feature is the extensive battery life. These headphones can go up to 60 hours off a full charge which is fantastic. Not only does this mean you’ll have to charge your headphones less, but it also ensures greater longevity of the internal battery.
The Momentum 4 doesn’t fully collapse.
Perhaps the only stumbling block in an otherwise flawless design is the lack of full foldability. These headphones offer swivel cups that can lay flat, but you can’t collapse the earcups into the headphone frame like some other options. This does slightly reduce its potential as a traveling companion.
Bluetooth functionality is also expertly executed with Bluetooth 5.2. The range is long, and connection dropouts are non-existent. Some general latency is apparent in some situations, but everything is tight and dependable for the most part. The integration with the Smart Control App is also seamless.
As I’ve come to expect from Sennheiser, the build quality of the Momentum 4 is excellent. These are rugged headphones that can withstand the rigors of frequent use.
There is abundant plastic throughout, but it is solid and thick. Creaking is minimal, and they present well with fantastic hinges and high attention to detail throughout.
High-quality components and excellent durability.
The padding is excellent, and the earpads are replaceable. The included charging and audio cable are equally great, and the connection points are secure. These are quality cans with premium components.
But they are also not without a few minor issues. The built-in microphone isn’t the best, but this is an issue I tend to see across all built-in microphones. You’ll inevitably want a dedicated headset with a boom mic if you want a decent microphone.
The only other issue is the plastic finish on the ear cups. It presents well and gives the headphones a lovely look, but it also attracts fingerprints. And when you consider that most controls are via touch, they can rapidly start to look a little messy. Thankfully it is easy to give these a quick spruce up with a microfiber cloth.
The Momentum 4 sits in an interesting position in the market. These are relatively affordable when lined up against comparable competitors from the likes of Sony or Bose.
But within that same breath, it is worth mentioning that these are not exactly budget-friendly. These are premium headphones with a daunting price tag. Having said that, if you want a quality pair of cans with ANC, these are worth exploring if your budget allows it.
Tough and attractive case.
As for extras, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 comes with a great case to store the headphones and cables. It’s a high-quality and attractive case that will protect your headphones and has dedicated slots for all the extras.
You’ll have access to a 4.10 ft (1.25 m) straight cable when you want a hardwired connection. A charging cable is also present, along with a flight adapter, for added convenience. A solid overall package of inclusion adds to the appeal of these headphones.
The Sennheiser Momentum 4 is a well-liked set of ANC headphones with a long list of glowing reviews. People highlight the supreme audio quality and slick appearance. Some mention that the ANC could be better, but with such high-quality audio, they happily overlook that element. The Momentum 4 is also popular amongst professional reviewers and critics, with abundant high scores.
The Power of ANC
One of the hallmark features of the Momentum 4 headphones is the built-in adaptive ANC technology. We live in an increasingly crowded and noisy world, and with more and more people working from home, there is a growing demand for this technology.
It’s remarkable engineering. The headphones will feature a microphone that captures the surroundings and will use phase inversion to cancel out the offending frequency. Applying a 180-degree inverted version of the incoming soundwave results in the two waves canceling each other out.
ANC eliminates exterior noise.
Of course, the microphone’s accuracy and the headphones’ quality will impact how effective this process is, but you can comfortably expect a generous amount of ambient noise to be eliminated. The result is a distraction-free listening experience that is perfect for studio work or to block out the noise on your daily commute.
After spending a long time working from home with an infant during the pandemic, ANC headphones have proven themselves to be one of my most invaluable tools to ensure I can focus. So don’t hold back. ANC headphones are worth the investment if you work in a noisy environment or want peace and quiet.
There has been an explosion of options in the market. Bluetooth headphones are increasingly in demand, and the result is every manufacturer clamoring for your attention. Below we highlight some alternatives worth exploring.
Shure AONIC 50 Review
Shure is another audio industry powerhouse, and their AONIC 50 is a superb set of ANC headphones. Fantastic sound quality and useful features at a price point similar to the Momentum 4.
- Balanced sound profile with high neutrality. A good choice for studio work.
- Solid ANC and decent passive isolation.
- Much like the Momentum 4, they only fold flat and do not entirely collapse.
Shure AONIC 50
Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT2 Review
The ATH-M50xBT2 is an appealing alternative due to its lower price point. It also sets itself apart from the Momentum 4 since it can fully collapse, making it a more travel-friendly option.
- Punchy and lively sound profile that will appeal to bass lovers.
- Solid construction and long 50-hour battery life.
- The more colored profile won’t appeal to people looking for cans for studio work.
PreSonus Eris HD10BT Review
These affordably priced headphones are a great choice if you don’t want to spend too much on your Bluetooth headphones. While they might be cheaper, they still offer impressive performance.
- Outstanding clarity and precision in the mid-range frequencies.
- High-quality construction and impressive battery despite the low price point.
- Audio quality is not as refined and accurate compared to the Momentum 4.
PreSonus Eris HD10BT
Should You Buy?
I’ve tried to nit-pick the Momentum 4 as much as possible in my evaluation, and I’ll have to admit it is a challenge to find fault with these headphones. The sound quality is remarkable, and I can comfortably listen to these cans daily. The high comfort level is another standout, as well as the robust construction.
While the ANC could be more powerful, it still offers excellent isolation from the outside world. Couple that with up-to-date Bluetooth technology and intuitive controls. The result is a dependable and enjoyable set of headphones that can do the distance. Excellent in a studio setting but also amazing for casual listening. These should be high on your list of options if you need a solid set of ANC cans.
Sennheiser Momentum 4