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Sennheiser’s Momentum 4 Wireless headphones teaser looks a lot like Sony’s WH-1000XM5

In an unusual move for Sennheiser, the company has released an early sneak peek at its next flagship wireless headphones, the Momentum 4 Wireless. Only one photo of the product was included in the press release — a close-up of the headband’s intersection with the earcups — but that’s enough to tell us that Sennheiser is following in Sony’s footsteps.

Teaser photo of the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless Headphones.

When Sony introduced its top-of-the-line WH-1000XM5 wireless headphones earlier this year, the biggest change from 2020’s WH-1000XM4 was the design. Sony ditched the traditional earcup fork-based pivot in favor of a unified twisting and pivoting stem that enters the earcup from the top instead of the sides.

And from what we can see in this single photo, Sennheiser has done something similar. Its Momentum 3 uses a fixed metal headband on which the earcups can move up and down, and exposed wires to create the connection between the earcups. By contrast, the Momentum 4 uses a simplified single point of contact, with what looks like an adjustable, generously padded headband and completely concealed wiring. In short, it looks like a completely different product.

The one drawback to the new design, as we discovered with the WH-1000XM5, is that it no longer folds up for easier storage. It’s too early to say for sure that the Momentum 4 suffers from this too, but there’s no visible hinge in this teaser photo.

Sennheiser says this new design will be more comfortable than its predecessor, and that’s welcome news. One of the the downsides we noted in our review of the Momentum 3 was a lack of decent padding on the headband. Another gripe that appears to have been addressed is battery life. At just 17 hours, the Momentum 3 weren’t even considered well-powered when they debuted in 2019, but with a claimed 60 hours on the Momentum 4, Sennheiser has gone from underdog to world champion.

The new cans will include active noise cancellation (ANC) and transparency as its predecessors did, and hopefully Sennheiser has managed to improve both — they were good, but not great on the Momentum 3. What needs to remain, and what Sennheiser is promising, is great sound courtesy of “an audiophile-inspired 42mm transducer system” that the company says will deliver brilliant dynamics, clarity, and musicality for exceptional high-fidelity sound.

We don’t yet know how much the Momentum 4 Wireless will cost, but Sennheiser’s flagship cans have typically been priced about $50 more than Sony’s, which means they could be anywhere from $350 to $450, depending on Sennheiser’s strategy.

But we do know when we’ll find out: Sennheiser says the Momentum 4 will be available globally starting in August 2022.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like spatial…
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