I ditched my AirPods for these Sennheiser earbuds and I’m not going back

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4 (Image: Sennheiser)

AirPods may still rule the roost when it comes to wireless earbuds but I’ve been testing a pair of the latest buds from Sennheiser and I think it’s time to relegate my Apple earphones to the drawer for a while.

The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4 may have a clunky name but after a few weeks of testing they are the earbuds I want connected to my phone and laptop throughout the day thanks to unbelievably good sound quality, comfortable fit, excellent noise cancellation and strong battery life.

Sennheiser is well-known for its audio prowess but it doesn’t have the same household name status as AirPods or audio company Bose. Here in London you can look around the street (or airport) and you’ll likely see small white buds or big black over ear headphones made by Apple or Bose, with a few Beats and Sonys thrown in too. But having tested earbuds from all these companies, I think Sennheiser has them beat with the Momentum True Wireless 4.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4

The fit is comfortable and customisable (Image: Sennheiser)

They have the best sound quality of any earbud I’ve ever tested, beating the Sony WF-1000XM5 and Bose QuietComfort Ultra by a hair’s breadth. On a personal level, the Sennheiser also feel more comfortable and fit my ears better – this is subjective, but the main reason I don’t use the well-reviewed Sony buds is that they simply fall out of my ears too often. I’ve used AirPods Pro for several years because they fit like a glove and never fall out, plus when using an iPhone they are incredibly convenient in their quick pairing and have great smart features.

But as a tech writer I like to switch over to Android regularly, and I’ve found Sennheiser come into their own when paired with my Android phone (and laptop thanks to multipoint tech). They have compatibility with Qualcomm’s high quality aptX codec – that means they can stream better quality audio if the phone and streaming service you’re using are also compatible.

Paired with my Asus Zenfone 10 and using the Qobuz music streaming service, the Sennheiser can play CD quality music, and they sound absolutely incredible, with a wide, expressive soundstage, excellent spacing of instruments, and details you simply can’t hear on other buds.

They have the best sound quality of any earbud I’ve ever tested

But not everyone can be bothered to sort out a Hi-Res streaming set up. Luckily the Momentum still sound amazing when paired with good old Spotify. If you want, you can dive into Sennheiser’s companion app and create a personalised sound profile, which I found improves the sonics even further, allowing granular tweaking to your audio tastes.

You can also toggle the noise cancellation on or off, or even force a very good ‘Anti Wind’ mode, though I wish this was automatic as it genuinely cuts out all wind noise even in a familiar British gale. The cancellation is adaptive though, so it’ll boost it or bring it down depending on whether you’re in a quiet room or walking past a construction site. The cancellation isn’t as good as the Bose QuietComfort Ultra, but it’s not far off.

A recent firmware update has also greatly improved the transparency mode that lets ambient sound in to keep you aware of your surroundings. It has barely any hiss and is as good as Apple’s on the AirPods Pro, a rare feat among AirPods competitors. Add to that IP54 dust and water resistance and these buds are also good for sweaty exercise or to wear in light rain.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4

The buds come in three colours including this copper version (Image: Sennheiser)

But the Momentum are all about the audio quality. The new Vampire Weekend album ‘Only God Was Above Us’ is brought to life with excellent detail in the bass and drums, while classics such as Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’ shine thanks to well-rounded reproduction. I found all genres sound good here, from ‘90s hip hop through to classical – if you’re fussy you can tweak the EQ in-app but I trusted the buds to do their thing and was usually happy with the default.

The sound is just so full and enjoyable that it made me listen to more music – surely the biggest compliment for wireless earbuds. I wore them on flights to and from New Zealand and enjoyed the seven hours of battery life on a single charge, which becomes 28 hours with a fully charged case, which itself charges via USB-C cable or wireless charger.

The touch controls on both earbuds can be customised but I kept the left toggling noise cancellation and transparency modes and the left to pause and play. The controls only need a feather touch, but this meant I accidentally pressed them when simply adjusting the fit. Luckily the fit is pretty good, with several silicone ear tips and fins – one of each on each bud – to help you get them comfortable, which they are despite the blocky design.

When I want to truly enjoy my favourite music, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4 will be firmly lodged in my ears

That design might not be for everyone as these aren’t as petite and sleek as AirPods Pro or other alternatives, but the Momentum True Wireless 4 win out for me (despite the nice-feeling but large fabric charging case that bulges in a jean pocket). Sennheiser says they are also future-proofed with upcoming tech such as Auracast that allows you to broadcast audio to others, and LE Audio that aims to improve Bluetooth. The buds can also work over the newest Bluetooth version 5.4.

This full feature set means these buds don’t come cheap. At £259.90 they are amongst the pricier options on the market. Overall, I’ll keep my AirPods Pro to hand for when I’m using an iPhone or need to join a work video call on my Mac, but for when I want to truly enjoy my favourite music, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4 will be firmly lodged in my ears.

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