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Sonos Ace vs Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: Which over-ear headphones are better?

Following from the launch of the Sonos Ace, we were keen to see how they measure up against the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless.

We compared our reviews of the two over-ear headphones to determine which headphones are best.

Price

The Sonos Ace is the more expensive of the two headphones, with an RRP of £449 / $449 / €499.

In comparison, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless has a cheaper RRP of £309.99 / $‌379.95 / €369.90.

Design

We hailed the Sonos Ace as “the comfiest pair of over-ear headphones” thanks to the padded feel of the vegan leather earpads. Equally the synthetic leather earpads of the Momentum 4 Wireless offer a supple contact area that makes wearing them “for both short and extended periods very comfortable”.

Although both the Ace and Momentum are available in just two colours: black or white, the Momentum 4 has more of a plain finish which we concluded was “less fancy” than previous generations. Although this is down to personal preference, if visuals are important to you then perhaps these aren’t as ideal as other options, such as the AirPods Max.

The Sonos Ace has three buttons across the two earcups, including the Content Key which offers tactile means of operation for playback, adjusting volume and taking or declining calls. There’s also a dedicated power button and another for controlling ANC but no 3.5mm jack.

Instead the Momentum 4 has just one button for controlling, which is managed through the touch panel on the right earcup and unlike the Sonos Ace, there’s even a 3.5mm jack.

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Features

The Sonos Ace offers a “very good” ANC without needing the headphones to be at a higher volume than 50%, with the Aware Mode especially able to sound so natural to the point where there’s “little difference between wearing the headphones or taking them off”. 

The Momentum 4 Wireless also offers ANC and although they do “impress in a variety of environments” and when dealing with crowd noise or handling traffic, there still remains a degree of ambient noise peeking through. Having said that, we found the clarity of Transparency mode to be clear, detailed and “up there with the best”.

What especially sets the Ace apart is the Sonos TV Audio Swap which creates a direct Wi-Fi connection to the Sonos Arc (more Sonos compatibility is coming soon) via an iOS device, allowing you to play your TV audio through your headphones.

The Momentum 4 also boasts excellent battery life, with 60 hours in total that can easily last for around two weeks with general use. In comparison, the battery life on the Ace is estimated to be around 30 hours with ANC enabled.

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Sound Quality

Although the Ace doesn’t sound as clear as flagship Sony or Bose headphones, its 40mm custom designed dynamic drivers are praised as one of the most “comfortable sounding headphones” as it was able to register powerful lows and rich bass easily and midrange presented with enjoyable levels of clarity. 

In addition, we actually preferred the Dynamic head-tracking of the Sonos Ace to Bose’s Immersive Audio features, as we thought the former retains a weightiness to its sounds.

The Momentum 4 Wireless can also produce music with high levels of clarity and an expansive soundstage. We found that they took on a more “even-handed approach” to presenting music and “relay all the detail … without colouring the sound”. Of the two, we’d say the Sennheiser is the better-sounding pair.

Call quality for both headphones is decent, with the Momentum 4 boasting the edge as “noises were suppressed well” and voice clarity wasn’t impacted. While the Ace however performed well in quiet areas, “in noisy areas the headphones don’t seem to suppress as much noise as they could”.

Verdict

If you don’t want to spend too much and need a reliable pair of headphones that’ll also comfortably see you through taking calls, then the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless are a great choice.

If however you already have other Sonos products, would especially appreciate the TV Audio Swap feature and want excellent adaptive ANC quality, then the Sonos Ace is a better suited option for you.

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