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The Momentum 4 Wireless have better battery life, but the Sony WH-1000XM5 are better in all other aspects.
On one side, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 showcase their rich audio heritage and commitment to blending form with function. On the other, the Sony WH-1000XM5 promise unparalleled noise cancellation and comfort. But while both headphones would’ve been great choices on their own, several factors tilted the scales when I directly compared them.
Read on as I discuss the five key factors that give Sony the competitive edge.
1. Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) Performance
Sony’s ANC technology clearly outperforms Sennheiser’s, especially in nuanced environments.
The Sennheiser Momentum 4 fall short on handling human voices and high-frequency sounds compared to the Sony WH-1000XM5. Instead, Momentum 4 make the voices in the background sound oddly muted and offset– which is a pretty weird sensation. The latter also don’t just cancel more noise but do so while preserving a natural sound profile, even with ANC on.
Sony’s edge in ANC isn’t just technical; it’s also about the sensory experience.
2. Sound Quality
Sound Quality is paramount in my book, and right off the bat, the Sony WH-1000XM5 impressed me more than the Sennheiser Momentum 4.
The Sony headphones deliver a warm sound that balances bass and clarity better than the Sennheiser Momentum 4, whose bass sometimes dominates. I’m also able to customize the sound better with Sony’s superior EQ, unlike Sennheiser’s limited 3-band EQ. Moreover, the WH-1000XM5 impress with their expansive soundstage and imaging, providing a spatial experience unmatched by the Momentum 4.
This clear distinction in sound quality, supported by flexible EQ customization, confirms for me why Sony lead in this category.
3. Mic and Call Quality
While Momentum 4’s mic quality isn’t bad, I’ve found the Sony WH-1000XM5’s call quality to be in a league of its own.
During my tests, the WH-1000XM5’s call quality was consistently clear, even in noisy environments. Conversations felt more natural, and my voice came through crisply to the other end. In contrast, though the Momentum 4 didn’t perform poorly, some ambient noise seepage was noticeable, especially on busy streets, which slightly detracted from the overall call experience.
The WH-1000XM5 not only elevated my call experience but also ensured that I was heard as intended, a fundamental requirement that the Momentum 4 couldn’t meet under the same conditions.
Sony evidently focused more on long-wearing comfort without compromise.
Sony’s lighter frame and softer earpads significantly reduce head pressure and ear fatigue. In contrast, the Momentum 4’s stronger clamp, while secure, tends to squeeze a bit tighter, which can become uncomfortable over time. The heat management in Sony’s design also stands out, keeping my ears cooler than the Sennheiser’s.
Ultimately, the WH-1000XM5’s thoughtful design ensures they stay comfortable for hours, making them my go-to for extended wear.
5. Additional Features
While the Momentum 4 offer a solid feature set through their app, they don’t match Sony’s breadth of audio enhancements and smart connectivity options.
Compared to Momentum 4, the WH-1000XM5 have a more versatile EQ, DSEE-HX for upscaling compressed audio, and 360 Reality Audio support. They also offer LDAC for high-resolution streaming, which the Momentum 4 lack. Plus, they feature better, more intuitive, and more customizable touch controls.
For me, this difference is not just about having extra features; it’s about the value they add to every song, podcast, or movie I dive into.