Augment your sound experience with these sandy white Sennheiser MOMENTUM noise-canceling headphones. The Smart Control app offers sound customization, while steel arms and over-the-ear sheep leather ear pads ensure durability and comfort. These Bluetooth-enabled Sennheiser MOMENTUM noise-canceling headphones feature three levels of isolation, which are switchable to accommodate the listening environment.
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Rated 4 out of 5 stars
very good phones
Owned for 5 months when reviewed.
good neutral sound (++)
good price on sale (+)
retro look (+) or (-) based on your preference
battery life (+) 16+ hr
good noise canceling (+)
good construction (+)
OK carrying case (+/-)
Most of my Sennheiser product knowledge is predicated on my experiences with their professional broadcast audio equipment. Knowing they are a leader in that field, I was eager to try their commercial noise cancelling headphones. The MOMENTUM 3 lived up to my expectations...for the most part.
- These headphones have some nifty tech features including auto on/off by simply "folding" (or unfolding) the headphones together. They also have a "smart pause" feature that will auto pause/play based on a magical sensor somewhere that determines whether or not the headphones are over your ears.
- Sennheiser chose to stay with tactile buttons to control volume, skipping, ANC, etc. rather than the "touch sensors" that many other high end, designer headphone manufacturers are moving to. Personally, I prefer the touchpad concept over buttons. Nonetheless, the buttons are simple to locate/manipulate and the commands (volume, skip, hang up, etc.) are easy to remember.
- One of the cooler features, in my opinion, is the TILE integration so you can find these headphones if you misplaced them.
- Voice assistance is offered and worked just fine with Google Assistant, however, when I paired them with my laptop and streamed Google Music, Cortana was the default assistant and could not complete vocal commands like "play next."
Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
- The ANC in these is very good. Not many of us have the option to truly test all the high end brand ANC headphones but I have used 4 other ANC headphones (including one set of in-ear buds) and while everyone argues between Bose and Sony for the "best ANC" these headphones offer better than average noise cancellation.
- ANC options include an easy toggle switch for ANC OFF, ANC ON, and a toggle between "amplified ambient noise" and noise cancelling--essentially auto-pausing your music and letting you hear everything around you crystal clear and loudly without the need to actually take the headphones off.
- With some ANC headphones, toggling noise cancellation on/off will impact audio quality. Not an issue with Sennheiser. I noticed very little if any change in audio quality between ANC on and ANC off.
- On the day my headphones arrived there were Bobcats outside of my ground floor office working on a landscaping project that involved dumping/raking rocks outside my window for about 30 minutes. With ANC on and music at an average level, I hardly knew the landscapers were there. I also never heard the office phone ring :-)
- Discreet, easy to use/remember tactile button controls on the right muff. USB-C connectivity/charging plus a mini cord for wired connectivity. The headphones come with a USB-C to USB-A adapter for charging if you don't have a USB-C charger.
- The look of the headphones is "old school" with a durable metal bad mounted to the outside of each can. This "retro" look makes the headphones look a bit larger than normal on my bald head.
- The cans have a very deep, soft, leather cushion. The band over the head is well cushioned and comfortable as well.
- It is worth noting that the quality materials/construction adds some weight compared to "all plastic" headphones of the same size. They fit me very well and I have not had issues with the headphones slipping or my ears getting too warm.
Here's where it call comes together...
- The audio quality is very good with these headphones. My only complaint is that, compared to other comparable brands at this price point, the audio sounds "distant" rather than "front facing." As a result, I think Sennheiser inadvertently created a "muddy, behind you" sensation when listening to music. Audio is full and rich, but not super tight and crisp. Again, the auditory quality is very good and balanced (you get the bass, you get the midrange, you get the treble) but when comparing them side-by-side to other headphones, I found the sound sensation to feel like the sound was behind me rather than in front of me.
- When used for calls and video conferencing, my audience sounded great, however, they said that I was a bit hollow (as if I were in a public restroom).
- My test music included modern rock, modern alt, 90s hip hop, 80s rap, grunge and metal. With the default EQ, no one style sounded better than the other yet I found myself wanting to tweak the settings for each style. Fortunately there is an app for that...unfortunately that app is a bit lacking.
- The app is average at best. It has an EQ feature that is less than spectacular. I cannot manually set the EQ where I want it--where I set it for ALL my audio devices (home stereo, car, soundbars, etc.)--because they use a "curve slider" rather than just letting us adjust the low, mid, high manually. Again, while the overall audio quality of these is good, a better EQ could make these headphones sound GREAT.
- The app also let's you control ANC settings that include MAX, ANTI-WIND and ANTI-PRESSURE (eliminates that "pressure in the ear" or "underwater" feeling some get with ANC). The app will also let you turn on "transparent hearing" which essential means whether or not you want to hear street noise while listening to music.
This is the first pair of bluetooth headphones I have owned that "multi-paired" to devices. I use these in the office and paired them with my laptop to stream music. I also paired them with my mobile phone. Occasionally the headphones would cut out which I thought was a quality issue. It turns out, they were cutting out whenever I touched my phone. At first I thought this was cool--the headphones were smart enough to know which device to switch to automatically. However, it became a nuisance because of how frequently I touch my phone to read a text or acknowledge a message. Nonetheless, I am not sure if this is an intended "feature" or just "smart technology" but this knowledge may be useful for some.
Overall I would recommend these headphones because the design quality and tech features. The audio quality and ANC is very good. If you are a sound tweaker, however, you may find these headphones to be a bit limited as you struggle to dial them in to your preference.
Really great fit and build. With the BT 5.0, there's virtually no latency while watching movies or YouTube. Admittedly it doesn't have the most noise canceling when activating the ANC, but the fact it retains the sound signature really kind of negates the criticism since these headphones sound really great!
My only really con is that they're a bit pricey compared to the Bose and Sony.
I know I have vacillated with my opinions on this topic. For what is available currently, the Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless has:
1. the best build quality with the highest quality and most comfortable leather earpads,
2. the cleanest and best soundstage at all volume levels, can be pushed louder than almost all except the Sony's,
3. have sturdy buttons and features voice assistance,
4. are most comfortable when laying down, an app that does a great job (right behind Sony's) including equalizer,
5. three ANC levels, with more than adequate ANC right behind S0ny and Bose,
6. uses NFC connection and features USB-C, Bluetooth 5.0, reasonable quick charge (10 mintes = 1.5 hrs listening),
7. useful auto-pause when you pull the headset away from your head,
8. high-quality wireless streaming is afforded by AAC, aptX, and aptX LL support,
9. Tile-tracking integration
10. The worst features are saved for the end. Battery life is low but tolerable at 13-17 hours depending on how high your volume is set.
11. the mic clips at times rendering the listener knowing you are on a headset.
12. has, unfortunately, the clumsiest, softest case due to the cans not collapsing,
Overall, this is the pair I am sticking with and I have owned them all. I feel good in them, I hear the nuances in all of the music I listen to (makes Firebird Suite finale boom just the way it's supposed to), and feel sturdy for the long haul.
The headphones sound amazing, the vocals are super clear but out of the box the instruments shine more than the voices which is something that I personally love. Sadly these headphones came with a defect, if you had anc on the bass on the left ear sounds louder than the one on the right. BUT if you get a working pair these things are amazing
Ok, let's count what I purchased and reviewed..shall we?
1. Master and dynamics mh40s...check
2. Sony xm3 and xm4 ...check
3. Boss 700 and 35ii...check
4. Bowers and Wilkins px7...check
5. Sennheiser pxc550 and 550 ii..check
The momentum 3's is my favorite headphone. For starters...they deliver on exactly what they claim to deliver on. They don't lie about their battery life even though it's only 17 hours of it. They could have said 20 hours and only giving you 17 like many others do but they didn't. They absolutely crush the look and High quality metal and plastic balance. The clarity and soundstage are very well down and is amongst the very best. And once you add the soul of high impact bass thst is full and thumping without bloat you create a very usable and energetic headphone. Lastly they get it right with simultaneously connected devices FINALLY ..others claim to do but not well or other just don't bother trying. These deliver amazingly! Just hit play on any connected device without stopping the other and it just switches by itself. Love it!!!
Simply The Best Sounding Bluetooth Headphones EVER
After 3 full days using the Sennheiser Momentum 3 Bluetooth Headphones heavily, they are remarkably sublime. This is a long review and I apologize in advance. If you’re going to spend $400 for state-of-the-art Bluetooth headphones, I hope this helps you. This review covers; Design/Build Quality, Features/Comfort, Bluetooth/Codec, Smart Control App, Battery Life, Noise Cancellation and most importantly SOUND.
I’ve owned several high-end Bluetooth headphones. I much prefer over-the-ear design. I find them more comfortable, better sounding and way more immersive. For the last three years I’ve been using a pair of high-end Bluetooth headphones with noise cancellation. I thought they were really, good. That was until I got the Sennheiser Momentum 3 Headphones.
The headphones come nicely packaged and included in the box is a USB Cable with USB-C connectors and USB adapter for USB-C to USB-A if you don’t have USB-C capabilities. You get a proprietary analog audio cable with 3.5 mm jack which is about 1.5 meters long. Also included is a soft carry case and a quick start guide.
The first thing they suggest you do when you get them is to charge them fully. Then you download the Sennheiser Smart Control app for iOS or Android. The first time you open the headphones to turn them on they automatically go into pairing mode. If you have a device which supports NFC (Near Field Communication), the connection is automatic. If your device doesn’t support NFC, you simply go into Bluetooth settings on the device to pair them.
These headphones are retro-modern if there is such a word to describe them. The ear cups and headband are beautifully wrapped in supple and soft sheepskin leather (no fake PU leather on these puppies – no sir) attached to matte black metal. They are nicely padded and generously sized to fit just about any size ear. My ears don’t touch the inside of the ear cup, which is a first for any headphone I’ve ever owned. Adjusting the headphones to your head is accomplished by a simple, but elegant stainless-steel band you simply slide up and down. Many competitors to Sennheiser use a lot of plastics in their build. Many don’t offer leather either. The sum of all the parts of leather and steel in these Momentum’s looks and feels very high-quality, which should last for many years.
These headphones are super comfortable. Wearing them for hours is great. They don’t put pressure on your ears or your head. The sheepskin ear cups are simply sublime in my opinion. Unlike fake leather, which can feel hot very quickly, these never felt even warm.
There is no power button on the headphones. To turn them on, you unfold them, and they instantly turn on. To turn them off, you fold them, and they instantly turn off. And when they turn on, there are voice prompts to let you know their status, such as “Power On,” “Power Off” or “Device Connected.” When you take the headphones off, they pause instantly. When you put them back on, play resumes.
All the controls are buttons on the right ear cup. My previous Bluetooth headphones were touch control. I’m so grateful these are not. If you’ve ever had touch-controlled headphones, it may seem cool at first. But just touching the controller on them often brings unwanted actions, like moving to the next song when you didn’t want to or pausing the music. Having real physical controls makes so much more sense and the layout simple, intuitive and very easy to use. You get a button to control ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) which includes three levels – Max Mode, Anti-Wind Mode, which lets in enough of the outside world when you may need it, and Anti Pressure Mode, which reduces pressure on ear and was actually my favorite mode. You can turn ANC completely off if you prefer. The other buttons are volume up/down, multi-function for music and calls and voice assistance buttons. There are separate microphones for ANC and for phone calls. Phone calls I made with the headphones were uniformly excellent. Callers were completely unaware I was using headphones – Nice!
The Momentum 3 headphones are Bluetooth 5.0. Bluetooth 5.0 is the newest Bluetooth standard and is very Low Energy (LE), meaning it won’t run your connected device battery down if your device is 5.0. The newest generation devices are 5.0, but if you don’t have a 5.0 device, no worries, your headphones will work just fine, as these are backward compatible.
In terms of connectivity, these headphones can be paired with up to 8 devices. Remarkably, they will pair automatically with the last two devices they were paired with at the same time. WOW! You can move seamlessly from, say your iPhone to your iPad, without having to unpair and pair again. If you connect to a 9th device, the least used device will be unpaired. Still, having the ability to pair with eight devices, two of which are simultaneous is astounding!
The Momentum’s come with the following Codecs: aptX, aptX LL, AAC, SBC. What difference does this make? These are the most advanced compression's for lossless audio streaming. aptX is not available on iPhone but is available on other makes. Apple uses AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) and is the successor to MP3. Whether your device is aptX or AAC, it will simply sound better.
SMART CONTROL APP:
Go out to the App Store or Google Play Store and download The Smart Control App. It’s perhaps a too simple, but quite easy to use app. Once you’re in the app, you can control the equalizer (EQ) and Noise Cancellation. Adjusting EQ is too simplistic. You slide your finger around, which is easy, but doesn’t permit adjusting bass, mid and high frequencies separately. But since I personally found no adjustment was necessary at all, the app isn’t something I’ll use much, if at all. You can also turn on Transparent Hearing, which turns on the microphone if someone needs to get your attention.
These headphones also come with Tile App compatibility. Since I’m already using Tile, I can track the headphones if I misplace them. If you’re not a Tile user, you will need to download the Tile App and set up an account, which is free.
Momentum claims the battery lasts 17 hours. That is not industry leading, but it’s not bad either. Competition in the same class offer better battery life of anywhere from 20 to 30 hours. The pair of headphones I’m replacing offered only six hours, so 17 hours is a big step up for me. But if your battery dies, you can plug the Momentum in with the supplied 3.5 mm cable. It takes about three hours to fully charge the battery.
There are other headphones in this class which offer more noise cancellation. If your primary reason to buy headphones is to be completely isolated from the outside world, then these may not be the headphones for you. I buy headphones to listen to music. Noise cancellation for me is not the determining factor. To that end, the three options you get with Momentum 3 are more than enough for me and then some. Max offers the most isolation from outside sounds. Anti-Wind is best if you’re outside and need to be aware of your surroundings. And Anti Pressure for me was prefect.
This is what it’s all about. And that’s the magic of Sennheiser sound. Sennheiser is a German company, founded in 1945. They are ALL about sound and introduced the world’s first open headphones in 1968, forever changing the world of headphones. To me, sound trumps ALL when it comes to headphones. Design, build quality, features, etc., aside (which are all excellent), this is where the Momentum's shine brightest.
OMG - These puppies have bass. Deep bass. Full bass. Punchy bass. Well controlled bass. While these headphones are great for any musical genre, I’m mostly a classical music lover. When the organ In Camille Saint-Saens Organ Symphony is played, it is simply awe inducing. The same with the Canons in Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. It can rattle your head, but in a great way.
Vocals and instruments, such as guitar or piano are so natural sounding. Few headphones recreate the human voice naturally. I expected Sennheiser to get the human voice and instruments right and they did. To change it up, I listened to some songs from artists like Libera or Enya and everything was balanced and natural sounding. Another fun group, Caravan Palace, uses synthesizers and instruments and with the Momentum's, I heard things I’d never heard with other headphones.
Many headphones over emphasize treble. which can easily become harsh sounding and fatiguing. The best reference monitor speakers may sound flat in comparison initially but sound more natural and can be listened to for many more hours. This is the case with these Momentum’s which makes for being able to listen for hours without listener fatigue.
Is there anything I would change? Just a few things. It would have been more class leading if Sennheiser had put a bigger battery in for more than 17 hours of play. The included soft sided case won’t provide much protection, so I purchased a hard-shell case for more protection. The Smart Control App isn’t really all that smart. And finally, while you can see the battery percentage in the Smart Control app, I would have preferred to see battery percentage in the Battery Widget on my iPhone/iPad. The quick start guide isn’t very good, to be honest. Bu you can go out to Sennheiser.com and download the full user guide, which is much better. To be honest, if these are the only thing’s I can be critical of it’s pretty minor.
So, there you have it. For $399, these are the best headphones I’ve ever listened to. I like how they look. I like how they’re built. I like how they feel on my head. And I LOVE how they sound. It just doesn’t get better than this and I can't recommend them enough!
By far, the best sounding headphones I have ever heard for wireless bluetooth models of any kind! These things blow the Sony and Bose noise cancelling models out of the water in terms of sound quality. They just sound rich and full of bass. I listen to hip-hop, metal / punk / hardcore, and lots of electronic music. All sound great! Even right out of the box, without using their app on your phone (in my case Android - LG v30), they have a really nice amount of bass. The app lets you control it more, going way overboard on bass if you want, i mean way too much bass, but never quite getting too distorted, the drivers in the earcups can seem to handle it.
They are built solid. I mean these things are built like a tank, and it is a good thing, as the mechanism to fold them also is the only way to easily power them down. Watch out for you fingers though, as the little hinge can cut you if they fold over your fingers. But they are built great!! And they are super comfortable. The ear cups are pretty deep and don’t touch my ears!! I have fairly average sized ears, so your mileage may vary, but this is always an issue with my ears with ear cups that go over my ears. Not with these deep ear cups!
These bad boys also will stay connected to 2 devices at once!! FINALLY!! Love this!! Case in point… I paired these with my Android LV v30 phone… installed app, upgraded the firmware thru the app, and later paired them with my Nvidia Shield media player. Basically you will get a little voice saying, “connected to phone 1” then, “connected to phone 2” (if you are nearby when you turn the headphones on)... I can then watch movies and shows via my Nvidia Shield TV streamer, including KODI stuff with surround tracks, and they sound phenomenal. But, I can also still get notifications on my phone. The only downside of this is, whatever is playing on my other connected device will be “auto-paused” while the notification from the other connected device pairs thru. You can stop this behavior from happening by just setting your phone to vibrate, at least on my Android devices. The sound quality is still pretty stellar for watching movies on my Nvidia Shield TV, and I did not detect any lag between movies/shows and what I was hearing on the headphones, including watching things that had DTS-X, and Dolby Atmos surround sound tracks. I mean these things sound great for watching movies early mornings and late nights! They seem to remember the equalizer settings setup in the app most recently too.
I also found that plugging them in via USB-C cable directly to my USB-C port on my phone would give me slightly better audio quality, but not go as loud, but did however seem to charge my headphones from my phone battery. Was not expecting that, though it is a plus if you need to charge that battery in a pinch. Your touch controls still work while connected via USB-C to your device.
Via wired connection these also sound great, especially if you have a high powered DAC. I happened to have these on my LG v30 phone, and when switching on my phone to that HiFi DAC on it, it sounded great on these headphones. You will not be able to make or receive phone calls, or control the audio via the headphone touch controls however. They unfortunately have a proprietary connector on the headphone side, more on that below in the cons section of this review.
On the couple of phone calls I have made so far, callers said I sounded pretty good, certainly better than included earbuds that I was previously using. I did like that I could change the ANC to transparent mode, so I could talk and still hear the outside world while speaking.
Cons - Now I know I am listing quite a few, but I also want to say, none of these things would detract me personally from not buying these, because the sound quality is so good!!
If you spend $400 on a set of headphones, one would have hoped they would have at least provided a hard case. These headphones come with a pretty flimsy cloth case with zipper. I already have ordered a hard case to hold these, because this fabric/cloth case won’t do anything to protect your headphones in a bag with other things. If they are just in a backpack on their own they might be just fine, but at $400 they should have given this to us.
The noise cancelling seems to only knock out background noise maybe 50-60 percent to my ears. I use these while using a really loud vacuum, and they just don’t cancel my vacuum out more than that. These just don’t knock out sound like the Sony WH-1000XM3, and the Bose QuietComfort 35. But, those don’t sound nearly as good as these Sennheiser, not even close if you like bass especially!
Battery life - I really wish these had better battery life. Both the app and the headphones themselves will tell you how much battery life is left, but apparently only in increments of 20%... either saying “you have over 80% battery life”, or showing it to you via the app. Not sure why they went this route, but I would have preferred an actual percentage like most devices. The other thing is, these are rated for 17 hours of wireless battery life, but I find I am getting around maybe 10-12 hours on a full charge or so with ANC turned on, and forcing my phone to use Apt-X bluetooth codec. Luckily, after your first initial charge, they do charge up to 100 percent quickly, but make sure you use the provided USB-C to USB-C cable (and their provided adapter to USB-A for your charger if needed). At first I used my own USB-C to USB-A cable, and it seemed to charge much slower than using their cable. All in all, it seems to take about 2-3 hours to fully charge from when it is around a 40 percent state. I don’t know for sure, but I get the impression that the reason the battery life is not as good as the Sonny or Bose, is because these pack so much bass on them. They must have their own DAC on board that uses more battery power to deliver that bass.
Folding design -
While I do like how they fold, I don’t particularly like that there is no dedicated on-off button. While it has not happened to me when folding, I can potentially see a time where they either unfold in their case, draining out your battery. They should have just thrown in an extra power button that will override this behavior.
Yeah.. you can use them with a cord, but they unfortunately are of a proprietary design on the right ear cup, and it is difficult to get in (you twist until it pops in). But once it is in, the sound can get even better than any of the bluetooth codecs can get. Just make sure if you are using them with a music app that it has a good equalizer to really make them shine to your liking. I really wish they used a standard plug on both ends. Plugging the cord in also sends the headphones into airplane mode, and bluetooth gets shut off. Now the real difficult thing is getting their proprietary cable out. It requires a lot of pressure to yank out, and everytime I feel like i am going to destroy the cable, or destroy the jack on the ear cup itself. I don’t know why they went this way with this.
Con - Equalizer in the app. At first I thought it was ok, but for a company with such a great history making headphones with stellar audio quality, I wish they had made a true equalizer, and not what they went with which doesn’t seem to provide as much granular control. At very least I wish they had allowed you to save equalizer profiles that you can switch in the app. That would have been made it easier to swallow at least. It is just hard to remember that sweet spot if you jump between genres of music with these. It is a bit finicky setting just right.
Another ding on the app on Android, and at least on my LG v30 with android version 9.0, you cannot tell what bluetooth audio codec is actually being used inside the app. I had to go into a android developer mode on my phone to see that it was not using one of the higher end codecs when connected. After physically clicking aptX, I could hear the sound quality get even better. I just wish they would let you do this in their app. Not sure why they can’t do the same with their android app.
You can charge these headphones, and still keep using them, but I noticed they introduce a low hum while listening to them via bluetooth, and charging at once. The same happens when charging the headphones and using the wired connection to your device, there is still that humming.
Overall, these are fantastic sounding, and very comfortable headphones. I know I listed a lot of cons, and my advice would be that if you value sound quality over the amount of noise cancelling, these are worth the extra money over the Sony and Bose options. I also find the build quality of these Sennheiser’s to be much better than the Sony and Bose. I personally like the way they look but they are definitely more noticeable than the Sony or Bose for sure. A more traditional headphone look.
Recommended if you value sound quality and comfort over noise cancelling! Your ears will not regret it!
A:AnswerYes. This is version 3. The easy way to tell the difference is with the head band. The version 2 has a split in the head band kinda making it look like two side by side bands. The three has a crevasse, but still looks like one solid piece. There are many differences between them, but this is an easy way to tell them apart with a quick glance.
A:AnswerI haven’t had any complaints about background noise from others when I’m talking with the headphones on and I have not had any problems hearing perfectly these headphones are the best headphones I have ever owned. I have on the Sony 1000xm3 and I have the bose q35
A:AnswerNot particularly. My biggest complaint would have to be they can get hot after a few hours. Otherwise theyre quite pleasant to wear. If you want lighter high quality headphones I'd actually recommend the Sony XM4s. The Momentum 3 has the best sound imo but you know...sound is subjective.
A:AnswerYes there’s a switch that allows you to go between full noise cancelling, partial, or off. I believe they call it the transparent hearing option. They also automatically pause your audio if you take them off.
A:AnswerI have found these to be excellent for listening to music, and immersive/theatrical experiences. Especially, these create a great soundstage. They are comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time.
With that being said, the Bose QC 35 are my go-to for situations that I want noise canceling and a longer use. They have better noise canceling than the Sennheiser, although the Sennheiser is certainly passable for any situation. The QC 35s are also lighter and more comfortable. The qc35s don't produce the same level of sound quality or fullness as the Sennheiser, but do produce a very good sound nonetheless. Both headsets are well worth the price that you pay for them.
To put in another way, the Bose are my go-to for everyday use. The sennheiser's are my go-to for premium sound quality when I really want to 'experience' something.
A:AnswerThe “sandy white” version doesn’t release until November 2019.
The momentum wireless 2 (previous version) was carried in the Magnolia section, not Best Buy proper. Their stocked products very widely. Most likely you will have to order them. However Best Buy offers free shipping.