The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 (MTW3) was launched in Singapore on June 2022, and in November, they collaborated with KrisShop to launch a limited edition batik print casing. The partnership pays homage to the rich heritage of the sophisticated Singapore Airlines batik motif and offers an elegant case design for MTW3 owners. This casing will be bundled with the black MTW3 earbuds and sold exclusively on KrisShop at S$359.
The MTW3 is the smallest true wireless earbuds from Sennheiser so far, 16% smaller than MTW2, and lasts longer at 7 hours battery life and 28 hours with charging case. The charging case is a little taller while less wide than MTW2, retaining the textile-wrapped finishing just like MTW2. With the Batik Collection cover, the case looks prettier, as the batik motif brings out the elegance of the product, but adds more bulk overall. It supports wireless charging and the USB-C charging port is located in front, an unusual approach.
I certainly like the new curvier faceplate design of the MTW3 earbuds, with swappable ear fins integrated for the wearer to achieve a more secure fit. Methinks the fins are not essential but allows owners to wear them for activities. The MTW3 is safe from casual moisture with IPX4 rating.
With a 2-year gap, the MTW3 definitely attains several technical improvements over the MTW2. Firstly, the earbuds now work independently without a master. Secondly, you can adjust the Transparency Mode levels (but still not possible for ANC levels). It also supports multipoint pairing after the recent firmware update. The battery life is also much better than the MTW2 (with just 4 hours). I was disappointed that the MTW3 removed Sidetone, which was supported on the MTW2 as well as the CX Plus. On the MTW3, I can customise all the controls, so if you do not like the defaut settings, just go ahead and change them.
Other features driven through the smartphone app remains available. The most important feature to me is the ability to customise the touch controls. So, if you do not like the default settings, just go ahead and make the change. Similarly, you can tune the sound signature using the 3-band equalizer, which simplifies the adjustment for most users but will be inadequate for the pros. The one-switch “Bass Boost” is also convenient to just give the sound a little more meat at the low range but not too much to rock the house.
ANC and Transparency Mode
The MTW3 adaptive noise cancellation is a definite improvement over the MTW2 as well as the CX Plus. The lower frequency rumbles and midrange noises are suppressed effectively, though the upper frequency removal is not as effective. This causes the higher pitch sounds to stand out. Comparatively, the MTW2 and CX Plus might not be as aggressive in cancelling the lower frequencies, but the upper frequencies are not as prominent.
The transparency mode on the MTW3 is also more natural and open (plus the intensity is adjustable from the app), with a little more upper midrange so it sounded clearer than the MTW2 and CX Plus. Having said that, the MTW3 suffers from wind noise even when walking, let alone when wind is actually blowing against the ears. The wind noise is also affecting the ANC mode, and can only be eliminated when anti-wind mode is enabled, which reduces the ANC effectiveness.
I also found that whenever I remove one of the earbuds, the transparency mode would be turned off. The more logical approach should be to turn on transparency mode so that the other ear can hear through to achieve listening balance.
It is a given that the MTW3 has an improved sound quality over the MTW2. It impresses me much with a more accurate sound staging presentation, apparent when listening to binaural recordings. The bass carries a less distracting boom, the treble is crisp but blended in the mix, the midrange sounds clean without bloat. The instruments do not sound cluttered, and even at loud volumes, I do not experience the typical sound pressure, instead, the sound staging seems to retain breathing space enveloping my aural sense, The MTW3 is able to disperse the intensity of the sound waves, just like what they did on the recent IE series wired earphones.
Comparatively, the CX Plus has a more sparkling treble but sounds too harsh when volume is turned up and the instrumental details are all mashed up. On the Technics AZ60, the sound staging is wider where instruments are panned to both channels, and with less height. Because of the way the MTW3 presents the instruments, it sounds less pushy. To me, it lays out the sounds for my ears to reach out to listen instead of the sounds driving into my ears to be heard.
Sennheiser did not put much innovation on this area compared to say Technics, which continues to wow me with its “JustMyVoice” noise reduction technology. The MTW3 behaves like most other true wireless, where it has background noise cancellation working but would also cancels out your voice if you do not speak out loud enough. You definitely cannot speak at a soft volume at noisy places expecting the other party to hear you, but if you speak loud enough, the other party will be able to hear you with the background noise reduced.
It is unfortunate that Sidetone is not supported on the MTW3, so I feel uncomfortable using it with both earbuds as I struggle to hear myself. Hopefully, this function will be enabled in future firmware, just like how Sennheiser enabled multipoint pairing.
The Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 is an attractive upgrade thanks to a more competitive retail price of S$359 and now comes with a limited edition gorgeous-looking snap-on case from KrisShop, at no extra cost. I thoroughly enjoy listening to the MTW3 thanks to its outstanding stereo imaging where I can enjoy music at loud volumes without sounding annoyingly harsh. Its ANC and Transparency Mode is further improved from the predecessors and will let you interact in the urban life without removing your earbuds.