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Experts discover that these earbuds won’t last beyond two years.
These $300 earbuds faced criticism for their design, featuring irreplaceable batteries that shorten their lifespan. This contradicts the durability and serviceability standards expected of premium audio products.
Momentum TWS’s Battery Is Prone to Fail after ~2 Years of Usage
The primary issue with the Momentum 4 True Wireless earbuds is their inherent design flaw concerning the battery. Each earbud contains three separate batteries, which are prone to fail after approximately two years of regular use.
Adding to the issue, Sennheiser neither offers replacement batteries nor repair services for these earbuds.
This critique highlights the product’s short lifespan, raising concerns for consumers and the environment.
He urged the company to take a more responsible approach. He said that this can be done in three ways:
- By selling batteries
- Releasing repair instructions
- Reworking their design to facilitate easier battery replacements.
“Shame on you, Sennheiser,” Wiens remarked. “Headphones should not be disposable.”
User Testimonials Back the Award’s Claims
While Wiens hasn’t actually tested the new Momentum TWS 4, his claims are supported by years of user testimonies on earlier models.
His criticism of the earbuds’ disposable nature due to their similar design to the older models and Sennheiser’s lack of repair services or battery replacement options resonates with the experiences shared by these users.
For instance, a user named Luki5980 shared their experience with the Momentum TW2.
They also highlighted Sennheiser’s response to their query about replacing the batteries.
This was supported by multiple responses in their Reddit posts of users who have experienced the same thing after around two years of using the earbuds.
Meanwhile, user Dcchillin46 seemed to have accepted the fate of using these Momentum earbuds. They shared that their Momentum True Wireless 2 only lasted for around 2.5 years. So when they got the newer model, Momentum True Wireless 3, they expected to only be able to use them within the same time frame.
About the ‘Worst in Show’ Awards
Now in their third year, the “Worst in Show” choose the worst devices presented in the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). During this, experts scrutinize the latest products for their potential negative impacts on society.
These awards critically examine new technologies, assessing if they promote a better future or lead to a “dark, twisted path”.
In selecting the winners, the judges focus on five key questions:
- How bad is this product? – This question addresses the fundamental flaws or dangers inherent in the product.
- Are the problems with this gadget innovatively bad? – Here, the uniqueness or novelty of the product’s negative aspects is evaluated.
- What is the global impact if the technology is widely adopted? – This question considers the broader implications of the product’s widespread use.
- How much worse is this than previous iterations of similar technology? – The comparison with previous versions or similar products in the market to gauge the extent of regression or negative progression.
- How much do the negatives outweigh the positives? – A holistic view of the product’s disadvantages versus its benefits.
The “Worst in Show” awards spotlight products that are unsafe, promote excessive consumption, and violate privacy. These awards challenge the value and impact of such products. It aims to increase awareness to responsible and sustainable technological innovation.
Other “Worst in Show” Award Recipients at CES 2024
In addition to Sennheiser’s earbuds, the award highlighted several other products for their questionable impacts:
- Amazon’s Alexa and BMW: Earning the “Worst Device for Privacy Concerns” award, this highlights the partnership’s move to extend invasive tracking to cars, raising significant privacy and domestic abuse concerns. It transforms vehicles into privacy-compromising devices. The issue have already been seen in cases where cars are used for abusive tracking.
- Ecovacs X2 Combo Vacuum: Awarded the “Worst Device for Security Risks”, researchers found out how easy it is to hack the cameras, microphones, and other functions of this smart vacuum. They revealed unencrypted user data storage and easily bypassable security features.
- Macrowave from Revolution Cooking: Shanika Whitehurst criticizes the Macrowave for its excessive electronic features, giving it the “Worst Device for Environmental Impact” award. She says the impact of manufacturing and potential failures on the environment overshadows any benefit this can offer.
- BMW XREAL Air 2 Heads-Up Display: This is named as the “Worst Device for Enshittification” for promoting distracted driving and potential ad placements. Its heads-up display represents unnecessary and potentially harmful technological additions to vehicles. This may also lead to intrusive ads and microtransaction fees for additional features.
- Instacart AI-Powered Smart Carts: This cart displays ads based on historical shopping behavior, often promoting junk food. The “Worst Device for Who Asked for This?” award argues that grocery shopping is already overwhelming without added distractions. It questions the need to intensify this experience with targeted advertising in shopping carts.