My latest tech purchase of 2023 is here in the new year!!! (I purchased it December 30 and it came today) -- the Sennheiser Momentum 4 active noise-canceling headphones! This is a very dangerous purchase, as I've never tried the headphones before, and I know that the active noise-canceling market is filled with bass heavy and cabin pressure heavy products, like the Sony, Bose and AirPods out there. So after reading reviews that talk about these being with a more balanced sound, with a more friendly bass, and noise canceling levels equal to the other headphones, I decided to give them a try. Here are my thoughts.
First of all, it's comfort. Although these weigh almost 300 grams (and I was afraid of the implications), so far I've found them very comfortable. I've been wearing them for the past 3 hours to test them out, and my ears didn't sweat, and my head and neck are not tired. The sound was comparable to my Focal Shape 65 -- balanced, detailed and fun to listen to. The soundstage is wide for a pair of headphones, and they can image well.
The noise canceling has negligible feeling of pressure for me. I've used an entry level Sony WH-CH720N and enjoyed the experience of them. These are just like them, with very little pressure on the ears, and I could wear them in the noise canceling mode for a long time. The ambient mode is clear, and so far I've been testing talking with people in the mode, and it feels as if the headphones are an extention of my ears.
Some strange things I want to touch on next. The Internet says (according to Google) there's a new firmware a few days ago, but on the headphone app I still see the old firmware number, and it said that my firmware was up to date. Also, as of now I've been plugging the headphones into my laptop USB port for the past 2 hours with still "more than 80% of battery life." When will it charge to its full battery? Also, the touch surface is very sensitive, I need to be careful. I already turned off the auto pause and auto sensing feature, so the headphones won't turn off when I take them down.
A few surprises:
1. There's little difference between active wired mode (turning on the headphones with the 3.5 MM plug in) and passive wired mode (with the headphones turned off), and there's no latency.
2. It has a USB mode where you can turn the headphones on and it can be one of your computer's audio output (for playing audio) and input (for calls and things) devices. Unfortunately, this is not ASIO, and I believe it's using some sort of Realtek USB audio driver or whatever. Still, it's better than nothing, and I'm certainly glad to have this mode on board.
So much for my first impressions. In short, I think I don't have to send this pair of headphones back to Sweetwater!