From our initial listen, the Momentum True Wireless 4 appear to offer more of the same, but that’s no bad thing here. A similarly rich and expressive sound, with beefed up water resistance and future-proofed Bluetooth support ensure the Sennheiser wireless earbuds can hold their own against the likes of Sony and Bose.
- Snapdragon SoundCompatible with aptX Lossless Bluetooth streaming
- IP ratingImproved water resistance with IP54 rating
- Auracast supportSupports Auracast streaming and LE Audio
At CES 2024, Sennheiser gave the waiting press their first look at what’s coming this year. First up – the Momentum True Wireless 4.
In truth this headphone wasn’t a surprise announcement. Sennheiser had been teasing a new true wireless in the weeks ahead of CES and given the flagship model runs on a two-year cycle – the last being in 2022 – it was clear the Momentum True Wireless 4 was going to be announced.
The question is, is it an upgrade or more of the same. Read on for my initial thoughts.
- Visually the same
- Tougher water resistance
Visually, the Momentum True Wireless 4 don’t differ much, if at all, from the Momentum True Wireless 3 in their design. The focus for this latest iteration was on changing the internals rather than the external. Whatever changes have been made to the design; the water resistance has been bumped to a much stronger IP54.
There’s a new colourway with a copper option, and the fit remains a tight and snug one. At 6.2g per earbud they’re a little heavier than the WF-1000XM5 but 0.3g is also a very small difference. Touch controls worked well, and aside from that, there’s little else to comment on about the design. As Sennheiser said, the focus has been on revamping the internals.
- aptX Lossless support
- Tweaked Hybrid Adaptive ANC/transparency
- Auracast compatibility
What’s been altered inside the Momentum True Wireless 4? Virtually everything, it would seem.
There’s a new Qualcomm chipset inside, with the Momentum True Wireless 4’s Bluetooth specs have been bumped to v5.4 with the usual suspects in SBC, AAC, aptX, and aptX Adaptive included, along with aptX Lossless. The last one, however, will only be available to smartphones that are compatible with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sound. If you were hoping for LDAC support, you’re out of luck (again).
Sennheiser say they’ve improved the Bluetooth reception for this sequel, and considering that I found the wireless connection on the Momentum 3’s to be excellent, and the time I spent with the new wireless earbuds didn’t change that opinion, though again I’ll have to wait for a review sample to really give them a test.
There is also LE Audio support, which is (sort of) replacing SBC as a more efficient and higher quality Bluetooth codec. Auracast is also supported, an interesting new tech that you can read about it here.
The battery life appears to be the same with noise-cancelling on, with ANC off it’s 7.5 hours and 30 in total. Fast charging provides an hour’s boost from an 8-minute charge. A full charge is completed in 90-minutes.
While listening in a hotel room is probably not the best place to test the noise-cancellation, there were enough people milling about to make it worth a go, and while I wouldn’t say that the Hybrid Adaptive ANC reached whisper quiet levels of suppression, they did decrease external noises and people’s voice by a significant amount. And once music started playing, I can’t say I noticed much else around me.
The likes of the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II and Sony WF-1000XM5 raised the game, and that’s the benchmark to reach, though I always get the feeling that Sennheiser aren’t interested in slugging it out with their competitors. They seem hopeful that the noise-cancelling is good enough for the Momentum True Wireless 4’s requirements.
The transparency mode (which has also been improved) sounded very clear and natural – it was as if there was no difference with the earbuds in or out of my ears, which was very impressive.
I didn’t get a chance to play around with the Smart Control app, but I do know that it features a sound personalisation developed by the Fraunhofer Society. For call quality there’s AI optimised voice pickup to extract clearer quality.
- Rich, expressive sound
- Good midrange clarity
With the Momentum True Wireless 4 connected to an iPad and streaming from Tidal music service, that rich, clear bass and rich, expressive treble performance is retained when listening to Shortyville’s Trombone Shorty.
It’s the same 7mm dynamic TrueResponse driver, so if you liked the sound of Momentum True Wireless 3, or appreciate the richer, more mainstream sound that Sennheiser has been applying to its headphones recently, I think you’ll enjoy this performance.
With Stevie Wonder’s Sir Duke, it plays out in a wide soundstage, the bass is warmly described but also quite firm and punchy in places, while the Sennheiser gives plenty of insight to the midrange.
Switching gears to film soundtrack music with John Williams’ Hyperspace from The Empire Strikes Back and it’s fluid, confident performance; perhaps the only concern to note is that while there is dynamism in the track as the Sennheiser flits between the sweeping highs and lows of the track, it doesn’t seem keen to exaggerate them. Nonetheless, the Sennheiser seems to be another vibrant, expressive true wireless pair.
It’s hard to judge if the audio performance is an upgrade at this junction, but I imagine the aptX Lossless support will offer greater levels of fidelity – if you have a smartphone that supports it. Apple iOS users won’t be able to take advantage of it given there’s no Qualcomm chip support.
The noise-cancellation and transparency mode were of high quality in the limited time I used these earphones. It seems as if Sennheiser has found its groove with the Momentum True Wireless 3 and the Momentum True Wireless 4 should be viewed as enhanced version with tech inside that future-proofs these earbuds and ekes out more performance than before.
I’m looking forward to checking them out and it shouldn’t be too long to wait. Pre-orders begin February 15th, 2024, with pricing at £259.99 / €299.99.