Sennheiser’s new Momentum True Wi-fi 3s are the corporate’s newest flagship earbuds. With a extra refined model, improved energetic noise cancellation, new options, and top-notch sound high quality, Sennheiser has delivered a worthy competitor to the Apple AirPods Professional, Sony’s WF-1000XM4, and Bose’s QuietComfort Earbuds.
Maybe probably the most welcome factor in regards to the newest Sennheiser buds is that they’re cheaper than the earlier mannequin: the Momentum True Wi-fi 2s launched at $299, however the firm is releasing these at $249.95. That’s nonetheless premium pricing, however Sennheiser is now on par with Apple’s AirPod Professionals and is available in cheaper than each Sony and Bose’s flagships. With tech merchandise more and more creeping up in worth yearly, it’s good to see one go in the wrong way for a change — and add new options, as well.
Wi-fi charging is probably the most vital improve. It was exhausting to simply accept the dearth of this function within the Momentum True Wi-fi 2s. For the value, wi-fi charging needs to be desk stakes. I’m unsure the way it took three tries for Sennheiser to appreciate that.
One other enchancment is what comes within the field: Sennheiser offers you 4 sizes of ear suggestions — the fourth is an additional small — however with the brand new mannequin, the corporate additionally consists of three non-compulsory wing fins that wrap round every earbud and tuck into your ears for added stability. The medium measurement comes preinstalled, however it’s simple to take away or substitute with a smaller or bigger wing if it is advisable hold the earbuds further regular and secured in place throughout a exercise or run. Even with out the stabilizer fins, the MTW3s took to my ears comfortably and didn’t simply come unfastened.
The earbuds are smaller than their predecessors, with a extra squared-off outer-facing design that is available in black, gray, or white. My black overview unit seems much more refined within the ear in comparison with the MTW2s, which have a shiny silver Sennheiser brand. However they nonetheless protrude additional than one thing like Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Professional, so these aren’t probably the most discreet buds round. The charging case additionally shrank a bit due to Sennheiser making higher use of house, and the USB-C charging port has been relocated to the entrance. This may appear odd at first, however it’s one thing different firms like Jabra have began doing as nicely, and also you may discover it extra handy relying on the place you’re charging the MTW3s.
Sennheiser has improved the power of its noise cancellation, although you don’t even have any direct management over how a lot ANC is utilized with the MTW3s. The corporate makes use of an adaptive ANC to routinely improve and decrease noise cancellation based mostly in your present setting. Different earbud makers have additionally tried this adaptive method, although most make it non-compulsory relatively than the full-time default. I didn’t discover myself lacking handbook adjustment whereas testing these earbuds, however you may want extra management. The ANC isn’t on the similar degree as Sony or Bose, however it does the trick to assist hush close by distractions. And also you all the time have the power to activate transparency mode with a faucet of the left earbud, although Sennheiser’s implementation nonetheless doesn’t match the identical pure sound that Sony, Bose, and Apple have all achieved.
When it introduced its newest earbuds, Sennheiser didn’t make any point out of main adjustments to their sound. They nonetheless use 7-millimeter drivers which might be much like what was contained in the MTW2s, and I’d put the general audio high quality in the identical ballpark as these and Sennheiser’s CX Plus — although these are barely higher and may crank louder in quantity. That’s a superb place to be, as these nonetheless sound great. Sennheiser helps AAC, SBC, AptX, and AptX Adaptive Bluetooth codecs, with the latter serving to to remove any perceptible audio delay when watching movies or taking part in cellular video games on Android. It will’ve been good to see Sony’s LDAC added to the equation, however that’s the sort of omission I can dwell with, contemplating the lower cost. And AptX Adaptive additionally has assist for higher-res audio than what AAC and SBC permit.
Tossing on an previous favourite like Buena Vista Social Membership, the Sennheisers ship a really spacious, clear, and detailed sound, with the piano, classical guitars, and vocals all properly layered and not using a trace of muddiness. The identical held true after I switched between The Nationwide, Molly Tuttle, or Bon Iver’s “Second Nature” monitor from Don’t Look Up. These earbuds carry out the small touches of a tune with very satisfying readability. Sennheiser’s Sensible Management app for iPhone and Android allows you to modify the EQ with bass enhance and podcast modes which might be separate from any adjustments you make to the bass, mid, and treble sliders. (The podcast choice enhances speech readability.) The usual consumer-friendly tuning curve is current right here, however I’d say the Sennheisers are extra balanced than the Sony 1000XM4s. Not everybody will want that: I ended up enabling bass enhance most of the time, whereas the Sonys ship highly effective, energetic sound out of the field.
The cellular app additionally not too long ago added the choice to arrange “sound zones” and routinely change the extent of noise cancellation and EQ customizations based mostly on the place you might be — whether or not it’s dwelling, the workplace, on the health club, or different spots that you simply frequent. This labored as anticipated in my assessments, however it does require you to grant the Sennheiser app location monitoring privileges in your telephone. Plus, utilizing Sound Zones (or the Sound Test function that personalizes your EQ) requires you to arrange a Sennheiser account. I’m not a fan of creating folks join an account simply to make use of earbud options.
Some homeowners of Sennheiser’s earlier Momentum True Wi-fi fashions reported an audible, persistent white noise impact whereas listening to the buds. Even in a very silent room, I’ve seen no such annoyance with the third-generation pair. Battery life stays unchanged at seven hours of steady listening, and the earbuds (together with their case) are IPX4 waterproof, which makes them appropriate for routine train.
Voice name efficiency appears to have a leg up over the MTW2s, and I didn’t get any main complaints about name high quality or being exhausting to grasp. These nonetheless come up brief in opposition to current standouts like Sony’s LinkBuds, nonetheless. Both earbud can be utilized by itself whereas the opposite fees within the case, and these even have auto-pause everytime you take away one or each buds.
The MTW3s weren’t utterly immune from minor bugs in my time reviewing them: I seen the occasional (although uncommon) sign dropout, and the standing / immediate voice typically rapidly stated each “disconnected” after which “linked” quickly after I eliminated them from the case and plopped them in my ears. At launch, the brand new Sennheiser flagship earbuds don’t assist multipoint Bluetooth, so that you’re solely in a position to hook up with one machine at a time. The corporate has claimed that it’s planning so as to add multipoint in a future firmware replace, however because the previous adage goes, it is best to solely purchase a product based mostly on what it may possibly do proper now and never for what may come later.
If the Sennheiser Momentum True Wi-fi 3s did have multipoint, I’d take into account them a house run and advocate an improve for followers of the corporate’s previous buds. However at the same time as they’re, Sennheiser has finished a superb job of upping their worth whereas decreasing the sticker worth. The noise cancellation is healthier, you now get wi-fi charging, and so they nonetheless sound splendid. Even when battery life is identical and name high quality is merely fantastic, the general package deal is extra compelling than Sennheiser’s previous premium efforts. They don’t fairly unseat the Sony 1000XM4s as my favourite earbuds; I’ll take the higher noise cancellation, foam ear suggestions, and hotter sound profile of Sony’s buds. However perhaps that’s simply what I’m used to now. Sennheiser’s proper up there with the perfect in audio high quality — and for $50 lower than final time.
Pictures by Chris Welch / The Verge