Sennheiser’s third-generation Momentum Wireless is simply called “Momentum Wireless”. It retains most of the design character of Momentum series headphones, but there are two ways to identify the latest release. One is the new headband design, and the other is from the model number in fine print – M3 AEBT XL. While the sides of the headband retain the signature style, the upper headband is now a conventional solid band wrapped in full genuine leather.
The new Momentum Wireless may not offer the best active noise cancelling technology compared to Bose and Sony, but the headphones are the most impressively sounding. Everything sound so clean and clear: the bass rumbles musically with distinct notation, the treble sizzles with comfortable clarity. The Momentum Wireless keeps to the Sennheiser sound signature of V-shaped tuning but carefully weeding out the bloom-prone frequencies. The resultant sound is sanitised but immersive and engaging, as it reveals a lot of instrumental character. If you prefer a different balance, the smartphone app lets you adjust the bass and treble easily in a quadrant. Wireless audio codec supported includes SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX low latency, with a respectable 17 hour battery life.
The positive impression does not stop at music quality. The Momentum Wireless powers up automatically when you unfold the headband. The smart pause function plays and stops playback when you remove the headphones from the ears (this feature can be disabled from the smartphone app). There are 3 ANC modes that you can only change from the smartphone app. The Max mode is the default, Anti-Wind mode eases on the midrange, the Anti-Pressure mode reduces the bass elimination. From the headphones, you can toggle between ANC mode and Transparent Hearing mode by sliding the ANC switch. The Transparent Hearing mode opens up the surrounding without unnaturally amplified, but it could do better with a little more loudness, as it felt like I am wearing an open-ear headphones instead of not wearing anything.
The other interesting feature that is not common on headphones is the support for USB audio. Plug the headphones to your desktop, laptop or Mac and it will be recognised as a digital audio source. Yes, the Momentum Wireless has a built-in digital-to-analogue converter to process digital files instead of the built-in audio card on your laptop (unless you have a better audio processor). Here are some cool facts: even in USB audio mode, the headphone is still actively connected to the smartphone, and with that, you can make adjustments to the ANC, EQ, while listening to USB audio. You can even toggle between the USB audio and Bluetooth audio any time.
If there is any criticism, that would be the ANC switch. It feels too stiff and soft, made of rubber instead of hard plastic. It is also rather odd to see a large round LED button on a refined product.
These are not the best ANC headphones, but who cares? They have the most engaging sound reviewed and it makes music easy to listen to. Strong boomy but compact bass and bright sparkly but contained treble keeps music coming to you but not shouting, the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless offers extraordinary headphone experience. Retail price in Singapore is S$599.