Sennheiser Momentum Wireless Headphones: Superb Sound, Luxury Fit

Evaluation:
9/10
?

1 – Absolute Hot Garbage
2 – Lukewarm garbage from Sorta
3 – Highly imperfect design
4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
5 – Acceptably imperfect
6 – Good enough to buy on sale
7 – Excellent, but not the best in its class
8 – Fantastic, with some footnotes
9 – Shut up and take my money
10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: $ 399.95

sennheiser momentum 3 headphonesSte Knight

Sennheiser is a name synonymous with excellent sound. He recently published an update to his Momentum 3 Wireless headset, this time offering a new color: sand white. But whatever color, how Momentum 3 helmet make sound?

Here’s what we like

Beautiful design
Outstanding sound quality
Luxurious comfort
ANC is excellent
Wired option

And what we don’t do

Relatively short battery life
The case should be a hardshell
Would have preferred a standard EQ in the app

The premium Momentum range from Sennheiser is designed to deliver exceptional sound. They can cost a dollar or two, but if the price of $ 399.95 isn’t a problem, you’re going to get a great helmet. Let’s see what the hype is all about.

A beacon of comfort and style

Let’s get this right away; the Sennheiser Momentum 3 are very comfortable. In fact, so far, I don’t think I’ve ever worn such a sumptuous and stylish helmet. They tenderly cuddle your head as they ooze premium sound all over your eardrums. Delicious.

sennheiser_headphones_in_use

The headband is made from premium leather and it shows. The material is soft and smooth, while remaining breathable. This means that you do not end up with a sweaty band on your dome while you wear them. I tested them in the scorching 79 degrees Fahrenheit weather in which the UK bathed during our seven days of summer, and there was no excessive humidity under the group.

The earbuds are also very comfortable to wear. Memory foam cushioning means it follows the contours of your head and does not create unnecessary pressure around the ears. It also means that they can be worn comfortably with glasses or goggles. Note that you will lose some of the passive noise cancellation from the cups themselves if you wear glasses with them.

The arms are made of matt steel, which means they are incredibly robust. The ear cups are attached to the arms via the iconic Sennheiser split design. This allows the cups to be adjusted vertically, with a range of 60mm. In this way, you can change the vertical positioning of the ear cups according to the position of your ears.

Momentum 3 helmet folded in caseSte Knight

A hinge connects the arms to the headband. This folds in on itself, allowing you to reduce the overall size of the helmet. This folding action also has control capabilities, but we will come back to that shortly. Once folded, the helmet fits in the supplied case.

The cups themselves can also be turned slightly using a ball joint. This means that “phones naturally follow the curvature of your head, providing even more wear comfort. It is this level of customization that makes these headphones so adaptable to your shape, making them a perfect fit.

The cans come with a fabric bag that zips open and closed around the center. I would have preferred something that seemed to protect my headphones a little better. I mean, they cost almost $ 400, so a hard case would certainly make sense. However, they fit perfectly into the case, and it has a small pocket inside for all the gadgets you may want to carry with the headphones.

Man the Controls

On the control side, you have several options when it comes to Momentum 3 headphones. They can be controlled via the buttons on the cups themselves, or via the Sennheiser app (which also adds additional levels of control). Let’s see how the controls work.

Physical controls

momentum 3 physical checks

It is the right atrium which carries all the controls of the helmet. These come in the form of various buttons and sliders. Headphones don’t have capacitive controls, and in the case of over-the-ear designs, the buttons are preferable because you don’t accidentally skip songs or turn off Active Noise Canceling (ANC) simply by rubbing against the controls.

The top of the right cup has a light that tells you when the headphones are on. A green light will appear to indicate that the headphones are on. This is accompanied by a “Power On” voice notification. The LED flashes blue when it connects to your headset, again accompanied by a voice notification “Connected to (device name)”.

Under the indicator light is the cursor to switch between the ANC and transparent hearing modes. The cursor is adjusted vertically and has three positions. The highest position is ANC deactivated. The middle position activates the ANC. You can also set the “transparent sound” to activate / deactivate ambient noise or listening to the conversation. We will discuss these two features in more detail later.

Next is a set of three buttons. The top and bottom buttons control the + and – volume respectively. The center button is multifunctional and is used to control the music itself. A single click switches between play and pause. A double-click skips to the next track, while a triple-click plays the previous track.

momentum charge port 3Ste Knight

The multifunction button also allows the wearer to take phone calls. A single click will answer and end a call. You can also reject the call by pressing the button for one second. If you need to mute the microphone, you can hold down the volume button; a “Mute On” notification will then be played. Holding the volume button + or – will allow you to turn off the mute, with the appropriate notification being played.

There is a dedicated voice assistant button that will activate and deactivate the little assistant on your smartphone. This is done by simply clicking the button once to activate it, and a second time to deactivate it. You can then provide voice instructions to your smartphone via the headset microphone, which is located on the left ear cup.

Closer to the bottom of the cup is the USB-C charging port. Below is the headphone cable jack, which is used with the supplied 3.5mm wire. Note that you should use this cable with headphones as the plug and plug at the end of the headphones is not 3.5mm, but rather 2.5mm. They also lock by turning and clicking, so you won’t be able to use old 3.5mm to 2.5mm cables either.

Finally, physically, you can control playback and turn the headphones on and off by simply removing them from your ears and folding them back. Removing them and leaving them unfolded will pause your music using Sennheiser’s “Smart Pause” feature. Reapplying the headset starts playback. If you fold them, you will turn off the device. Unfolding them will reactivate them. Both on and off gestures are accompanied by a voice notification.

Application controls

sennheiser smart control app screenshotsSte Knight

The Sennheiser Smart Control app (available via the google play and Apple app stores) actually offers additional headphone customization, as well as other features that make the Momentum 3 headphones really cool.

The Momentum 3 home screen offers three main options, as well as parameter control. The first option in the list is the Active Noise Canceling (ANC) setting. This allows you to switch between “Max,” which provides maximum reduction of background noise; “Anti Wind”, which gives a slight reduction in noise without disturbing the wind or structural noise; and “Anti Pressure”, which comfortably reduces noise without feeling pressure on the eardrums.

To be honest, I don’t notice any pressure on my eardrums when the ANC max was used, so I don’t feel the need to reduce it with one of the other two options. If you find the ANC uncomfortable because of the pressure, however, these options are just a click away with the app.

The second option allows you to enable or disable the transparent hearing, while allowing you to define if you always want the music to be played when the transparent hearing is active. Transparent hearing is simply a method of controlling the amount of ambient noise you want to hear. This is useful if you are on a busy street and want to hear traffic while wearing the headphones, for example.

Finally, you have the equalizer. The equalizer is a bit strange in that it appears on the screen as a kind of wave animation. With the equalizer set to “Neutral”, the wave moves to the center of the screen. A movable button in the center of the wave lets you adjust the amplitude of the treble and bass. Personally, I would have preferred a regular equalizer with a few presets, but each to their taste.

There is also a device settings menu that allows you to do the following:

Activate and deactivate “Smart Pause”, which controls the sound when you remove the headphones but do not fold them.
Switch between tones and voice prompts, which will notify you when the device is on and off.
Use the Amazon Alexa registration, which links “phones to the Alexa app.”
Access the Tile status, which allows you to link the headphones to the Tile app, in case you lose them.
Run the firmware and factory reset options.

The Tile functionality works perfectly. I have never used Tile before (mainly because the only principle of adulthood in which I am good is not to lose things). Following the instructions in the Tile app, I linked the Momentum 3 to the device finder service. A quick test revealed that Tile could locate my earphones anywhere in the house. The Momentum 3 will play a jingle to indicate their location, and the “phones also vibrate to let you know where they are hiding!” This is a great feature, especially considering the fact that the Momentum 3 are expensive headphones. If you are prone to losing your equipment, this will be a great selling point.

Superior sound quality

Momentum 3 helmet on helmet holderSte Knight

I have to wear my hat to Sennheiser here. The Momentum 3 is one of the healthiest consumer headphones I have ever heard in my life. Seriously, I could listen to someone rustling a bag of Doritos through these “phones”, and I would always be impressed. They are so good.

Now, as these are mainstream headphones, the sound will not be “flat” (that is, the bass, mid and treble ranges are not all at the same volume level). It’s a feature you’d expect with a pair of monitor headphones. (You can read more about in-ear headphones and what the headphones do here). Therefore, one or more of these tracks will occupy the soundstage relative to the others.

In the case of Momentum 3, the bass is king. This is obviously perfect for heavy music. Going to my confidence test reading list, I found that hip hop and electro worked very well. Bass sounds have this very important “whoomph”. I find myself shooting crumpled pig faces in public every time a monstrous bass line comes into play. Observers may think I am in pain. I’m not; I’m in ecstasy.

As a result, the midrange and treble are not as strong, but that doesn’t mean they were drowned out by the low frequencies. The metal sounds good, with voices running through the rest of the pretty racket, and the high end drum sounds are crisp and well defined. Less abrasive music (in this case, Beck’s folky Morning) has a little trouble. It’s not a problem, however, because I can just lower the bass using the app’s equalizer, which advances the midrange and peaks.

The quality of the calls is also excellent. The other party can hear me clearly without any mute. Similarly, my interlocutor rings well and I can hear them clearly like a bell. Even having a conversation with someone in the same room as me is fine. I just have to push the slider “its transparent” to be able to hear my fiancée asking me what we should have for tea (a very long daily event in the Knight house, for both parties).

Im going to connect

momentum 3 cables for headphonesSte Knight

On the connection side, there are several options with the Momentum 3. Obviously, you have the wireless option. However, you can pair headphones with your smartphone via near field communication (NFC) or Bluetooth 5.0. These really have no difference between the other two than the distance from the source to which they can be coupled. Bluetooth has a much longer range, so I use it to connect headphones. However, both work well for pairing your smartphone. Note that reading does not work on NFC, it is only to pair the Momentum 3 with another device.

With Bluetooth on, I have no problem leaving the sound source (in this case, my smartphone) in my office and walking around the rest of the house. There are no dropouts, so the range is excellent with these boxes. Thanks to aptX and aptX-LL codecs compatible with Android, high definition sound comes out of Momentum 3. iPhone users can take advantage of the AAC codec for superior sound quality. A straight-line outdoor test reached approximately 40 feet before stalling.

There is also the possibility of connecting to two source devices. I managed to use this function without any problems, listening to music from my laptop, while allowing my phone to send notifications to me. I don’t really need to use this feature, but I can see why it would be useful for some people who just need to be alerted of every notification their smartphone can send them.

The best sound quality, however, as always, is best via a wired connection. Unfortunately, my stupid phone doesn’t have a headphone jack, so I connected to my laptop and turned on Tidal. The sound quality is even more sublime via a wired connection and the Tidal “Masters” recordings are incredibly good.

The battery takes about 17 hours to go out from a full charge, which sounds true to Sennheiser’s claims. I managed to extract 15 hours from the headphones, the ANC being switched on and operating continuously as medium volume. Granted, it’s not the longest battery life I’ve seen, but you can undo it with the wired connection (if your phone isn’t stupid, like mine). Otherwise, it is a difficult chance. You will just need to recharge them.

Should I take a pair?

Momentum 3 helmet and caseSte Knight

Do you have $ 400 to spend? If so, Momentum 3 headphones are a class choice. They just look fantastic and they look like the party too. ANC is a treat and connecting to headphones is easy. The inclusion of Tile app compatibility will be a big selling point if you are constantly losing your assets as well.

Overall, this is an exceptional pair of headphones, and I think you will find them quite difficult to beat. If you want cheaper options, take a look great wireless headsets for $ 100 or less.

Evaluation: 9/10

Price: $ 399.95

Here’s what we like

Beautiful design
Outstanding sound quality
Luxurious comfort
ANC is excellent
Wired option

And what we don’t do

Relatively short battery life
The case should be a hardshell
Would have preferred a standard EQ in the app

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