Sennheiser Momentum Wi-fi Three overview: Your ears will like it
“Sennheiser’s newest flagship wi-fi headphones are higher than ever.”
Straightforward to make use of controls
Nice passive noise isolation
Noise discount is not pretty much as good as Sony and Bose
Headband nonetheless wants higher padding
Middling battery life
Within the three years since Sennheiser final gave us a refresh of its common Momentum Wi-fi headphones, Sony has launched its WH-1000X line — reigning as our favourite headphones for 3 generations working — and Bose has completely retooled its flagship mannequin after almost a decade of recycled design. However the place has the Momentum been?
When the Momentum 2.zero got here out, we have been content material with a pair of wi-fi over-ears that provided Sennheiser constancy and middling noise-canceling. Now we demand extra.
And but, regardless of shorter battery life and worse noise-canceling than the present greatest from Sony and Bose, the Sennheiser Momentum Wi-fi Three nonetheless handle to carve out a transparent place in our listening life. They might not journey as effectively, however superior options and improbable sound make them a few of our favourite wi-fi headphones in 2019.
Out of the field
The Momentum are available in a gray, soft-sided carrying case with a frivolously padded inside. Unzip the case, and also you’ll catch your first glimpse of the traditional rounded earcups, steel band, and plush leather-based earpads which have been the hallmarks of Sennheiser’s retro-tastic Momentum design for almost a decade.
With traditional seems to be that recall studio headphones from the ‘70s and ‘80s, the Momentums have lengthy been a few of our favourite trying headphones in the marketplace, and we’re glad Sennheiser didn’t mess with a great factor for technology Three. An assortment of microphones that encompass the middle of every earcup are among the many solely notable adjustments in design.
They nonetheless look superb, however there are some issues we may see modified that wouldn’t take away from aesthetics. For one, we want the scarf swiveled in two instructions. In contrast to the newest fashions from Sony and Bose, the steel hinges above every earcup solely enable the Momentum Three to fold inwards, somewhat than flat, which takes up more room in backpacks and carry-ons.
A few of the greatest trying headphones in the marketplace.
We additionally want the scarf had a contact extra padding. After multi-hour listening periods, the leather-wrapped band started to hassle the highest of a number of members of our overview groups’ heads. This isn’t unusual in headphone land, however the most effective journey headphones pump up the padding for longer periods.
One other minor gripe applies to the case itself. We want it had arduous sides, as a result of the big footprint on the headphones means they’re extra more likely to get stuffed in a bag than others. That’s the primary indication that — not like the aforementioned Sony and Bose fashions, and even Sennheiser’s personal new $350 PXC 550-II mannequin — the Momentum are meant much less for critical journey and extra for infrequent journeys and commuting.
That stated, if you find yourself on the go, one factor we do like concerning the case is its built-in pocket that incorporates a 2.5mm-to-Three.5mm cable for wired listening, and a USB-C cable for charging, so that you’ll by no means surprise the place your cords are.
Options and performance
Fairly than utilizing contact controls like Sony and Bose, Sennheiser opted for an assortment of bodily buttons on the surface fringe of the appropriate earcup to allow you to management tune skip, quantity, play/pause, and extra.
In contrast to contact controls, the place we are likely to spend a couple of minutes determining every firm’s gestures, we have been immediately smitten with the straightforward flat buttons on the brand new Momentum. A raised bump on the play/pause button makes it simple to find together with your thumb, with the amount up and down buttons situated above and under it, respectively.
Logical design makes it simple to skip the handbook.
A change above the amount button permits you to shortly flip noise-canceling on and off, and even pipe in sound from the surface world. Imagine it or not, there’s no energy button: In stead, you merely fold them closed or open them up on the hinges and so they flip on and off routinely.
Such logical design makes it simple to skip the handbook. Even the pairing and voice assistant button is situated under the amount down change, in a spot the place you’re unlikely to by chance hit it when adjusting different controls. The Momentum Three even have stress sensors, which imply that whenever you take off or placed on the headphones it is going to pause and play music, respectively.
Even with such an unlimited assortment of bodily controls, the headphones do include substantial app integration. Utilizing the Sennheiser Sensible Management app you’ll be able to choose between three completely different ranges of noise-canceling: Most, Anti-Wind, and Anti-Stress — aimed to assist scale back stress on the ears when flying. You may also activate audio transparency to listen to the surface world, and modify equalization settings must you not like a given sound signature. In idea, that’s.
We received’t beat across the bush: The EQ part of the app is extraordinarily complicated. It doesn’t supply frequency ranges, separate EQ bands, or decibels of discount/addition for any given frequency, which makes utilizing it like studying a graph with no scale written on the x or y-axis. You’ll be able to fumble round a bit and discover settings that aren’t too horrible if you wish to scale back treble, midrange, or bass, however it’s extra of a novelty than an really function. For sure, we caught with the usual, “flat”, EQ for the overwhelming majority of our listening.
One sensible function the Momentum Three supply that we want we noticed elsewhere? Constructed-in Tile monitoring know-how to allow you to simply monitor down your lacking cans.
That Tile integration and the wonderful controls (save the annoying EQ) make up for the Momentum’s somewhat pedestrian (for 2019, anyway) 17 hours of battery life. For reference, Bose’s 700 supply 20 hours and Sony WH-1000xM3 over 30. We’d be reticent to say that any headphones with two full workdays of juice (after which some) have poor battery life, however we do want the specs aligned a bit extra with the equally priced Bose and cheaper Sony fashions. It’s additionally a bit odd as a result of Sennheiser’s new $350 PXC 550-II, that are aimed extra explicitly at vacationers than Momentum Three, pack 30 hours onboard. Why couldn’t Sennheiser match the identical battery within the Momentum?
Audio, noise-canceling, and name high quality
The mix of aptX HD know-how, nice processing, and well-tuned dynamic drivers makes the Momentum Three an absolute pleasure to take heed to. They handle to concurrently obtain each vitality and accuracy in a method that we’ve not often skilled from wi-fi headphones earlier than.
Press play, and the very first thing you’ll discover is how tight and direct the bass is. The whole lot from kick drums to bass licks are outstanding within the combine, however the backside finish of the frequency spectrum by no means pushes your ears right into a bassy mud pit. There’s nonetheless tons of vitality in snare hits, claps, and the decrease phase of the guitar and synthesizers, with every instrument capable of occupy its personal distinctive sonic house.
On notably treble-heavy music — stuff with brass, strings, acoustic guitar, or jazzy trip cymbals — issues are crisp however by no means harsh, with a slight scoop within the midrange giving technique to a little bit of a raise within the excessive finish. This tuning actually helps with feminine vocals, which appear to poke out completely inside every combine, supported by the remainder of a given tune in a really symbiotic method.
An absolute pleasure to take heed to.
We have been notably impressed with the way in which the headphones deal with trendy rock music, the place layered guitars, synths, and different sonic results can typically mix collectively when headphones have this a lot punch within the low finish. With the Momentum Three, all the things inside every combine remained audible, even when combining with different voices to create a bigger soundscape.
The built-in noise canceling does a number of the heavy lifting in relation to clarifying mixes. Once more, it’s as highly effective as what you’ll get from Sony, Bose, or the brand new Sennheiser PXC 550-II, however the noise discount provided by the Momentum Three is greater than ample for many conditions. Frequent flyers or those that hear in extraordinarily noisy settings might want the slight edge in dynamic discount introduced by different fashions, however anybody who works in an workplace, espresso store, or travels comparatively sometimes ought to be greater than glad with the discount provided by the Momentum Three.
One other factor that makes the Momentum Three nice for is the decision high quality. Sennheiser has cooked up a really superior microphone system contained in the outer shell of every earcup, and it offers spectacular constancy when calling pals, family members, and coworkers.
Sennheiser provides a 2-year guarantee on defective components or workmanship.
The Sennheiser Momentum Wi-fi Three are among the best-sounding wi-fi headphones you should purchase. Whereas we want the battery was extra strong, the Momentum Three have all of the premium options they should justify their $400 worth.
Is there a greater different?
Those that are searching for extra battery life and a greater app ought to try the Sony WH-1000XM3, which retail for $50 much less. All for comparable fashion? The Bose Noise Cancelling 700 value the identical amount of cash, have barely worse sound, however have higher noise discount and battery life — and in addition look nice. Frequent vacationers might also wish to try the $350 Sennheiser PXC 550-II, which have almost double the battery life, however look and sound barely worse than the Momentum Wi-fi. Those that are completely after sound that competes with the Momentum Three, and don’t want noise cancellation ought to try the Grasp and Dynamic MW60, which value the identical quantity, and in addition sound improbable.
How lengthy will they final?
Sennheiser has a historical past of constructing high quality merchandise, and we count on these to be no exception. They already promote substitute earpads on their web site, which signifies that they count on the headphones to final not less than lengthy sufficient so that you can put on out the primary pair. We count on 5 years of strong use.
Must you purchase them?
Sure. There are different headphones the supply comparable options for higher worth, however there are only a few that supply an general listening expertise that feels this premium. Sennheiser’s newest flagship headphones may now not definitively be the most effective wi-fi headphones you should purchase, however they’re nonetheless among the greatest. We extremely advocate those that are searching for a pair of premium Bluetooth headphones to take them for a take a look at drive.