Sennheiser Momentum III review: pure sound to the rhythm of your needs
The Sennheiser Momentum III drop four and a half years after the launch of the previous generation. The brand has given time to Momentum II owners to enjoy the most convincing over-ear headphones but the time has come to change. In four years many things have changed, and the new Momentum III are the manifestation of this evolution.
- Sound quality
- Adjustable ANC
- Tile tracker
- Cable lock
- Good but not very good insulation
Momentum Wireless III release date and price
Momentum III is available in black at a price of £349/$400. In November, Sennheiser should also release them on the market in Sandy White soon.
The Momentum III come in a soft textile case, which makes it easier to fit into a bag even though it offers a lower level of protection than a hard case. The case is still bulky so you'll need a large bag to carry them around. Inside you will find a user manual, a USB-C cable for charging, a USB adapter from A to C, and a 3.5 mm cable for wired listening.
Top design and quality materials
There's only one thing you can do to choose a new pair of headphones: pick them up and have a listen. Despite the size, the Momentum III are light on the head and really comfortable thanks to the soft oval sheepskin cushions that completely wrap the ears (circumaural) without applying excessive pressure. The Momentum III are solid in the hand and immediately give the impression of being a premium pair of headphones. The quality of the construction is immediately evident.
The lower part of the rigid arch, made of stainless steel, can be adjusted to better fit the head and can be bent to make the headphones more compact for transport. The adjustable arc means there are a few small side cables that do not disturb the user experience and do not interfere with the overall look of the headphones. The leather band is soft, does not press on the head and does not pull your hair (an important detail especially for the hair).
The new Momentum are elegant, well made and comfortable to wear even after hours
Visually, Sennheiser has maintained the DNA of previous generations, making them even more elegant in my opinion: the white stitching of the Momentum II disappears, for a total black look. The Momentum III are beautiful at first glance and for those who wear over-ear headphones, style counts!
The physical keys you interact with are all located in the right earcup: they react quickly and are easy to reach. The largest keys are the ones you interact with the most: volume down, volume up and management of music playback (you have to press once to play or pause the music, twice to move to the next song, three times to return to the previous song). Press and hold this button for two seconds to find out the battery level.
The upper key allows you to activate the noise cancellation (ANC) and the Transparent Hearing function while the lower key allows you to interact with the voice assistant (Assistant, Alexa or Siri, depending on the paired device). This last feature is a novelty that shows how the brand is embracing the technological developments introduced in recent years allowing interaction through voice commands for those with busy hands.
The Momentum III incorporate a proximity sensor that starts the music as soon as you wear your headphones and pauses it when you remove them. There is no power-off key. The headphones automatically turn off when folded, and turns on when opened to be worn. A convenient solution in many ways but not really allowing you to walk around with the headphones around your neck completely off, as they remain in standby mode.
With the Momentum III Sennheiser confirms its attention to detail
Onboard the Momentum III there is also a notification LED, which lights up during pairing and charging, a USB-C port of and a 3.5mm headphone jack that allows listening via a cable. Here, too, you can see the attention Sennheiser has paid to the user experience: the supplied cable, once inserted into the mini jack, can be rotated to be locked and prevent it from disconnecting.
ANC and equalizer in the app
The Sennheiser Smart Control app, available in German, English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Russian, is easy to use and offers some useful options:
- ANC: there are three levels, Max cancellation for total isolation, Anti Wind to isolate outdoor sounds, and Anti Pressure to maintain the cancellation of the sound by reducing the pressure on the ears.
- Transparent Hearing: this function allows you to listen to music while continuing to perceive the sounds of the surrounding environment without having to remove the headphones to hear announcements at the station or colleagues nearby and keeps active only the ambient noises blocking the listening of the music.
- Equalizer: the app allows you to adjust the sound to your tastes.
There is also another app that you are advised to use with Momentum III, called Tile. In order not to lose sight of the headphones, Sennheiser has introduced support for the Tile tracker. By downloading the dedicated app, available for free from the Google Play Store, you can locate the headphones when you can't find them. The only thing to do is to install the app and pair it with your headphones by activating Bluetooth and granting location permission.
Clean, addictive sound
The sound quality of the Sennheiser Momentum III is really excellent and you can appreciate it by listening to different genres of music; with classical music or with instrumental pieces in which different instruments are used in unison you can appreciate the details and you discover unexpected nuances of sound. The sound is clear, always, the bass is well balanced and the higher frequencies are intense but not scratching (supported frequencies 6Hz-22kHz). From the Smart Control app, you can then manage the sound frequencies in a simple and visually original way!
The Momentum III can also do a good job in terms of sound isolation even if it does not offer total isolation, in this area the Bose 700 headphones do better. I used them mainly in the office and on my travels in Berlin by tram and subway. I was able to listen without interruption to my favorite songs, including podcasts, I have not yet tried them on a plane but they should isolate the engine noise and the conversations of other passengers.
If you use the supplied cable to listen to music with the Momentums, you will only notice an improvement in the overall experience, but the sound will be a little cleaner.
One feature I liked is Transparent Hearing, which allows you to amplify the surrounding noise by pausing the music or playing the songs while emphasizing the ambient noise and speech of the people around you. I found it useful while crossing the street or in the office and can be activated via the app or the dedicated physical button.
A great audio experience with and without wires
Using the Momentum III I noticed that in some cases the headphones take one or two seconds to automatically play the music when you wear them. I happened to wear my headphones in the office and heard the music playing from the speaker of my smartphone rather than the headphones; it usually happens when the movement is too fast.
The Sennheiser Momentum III also does a good job with calls that are clear on both sides thanks to the integrated microphone. Audio/video synchronization when watching video on your smartphone is also good. The Momentum III, in addition to NFC and Bluetooth 5, support SBC, aptX™, aptX™ Low Latency, AAC codexes. Pairing your headphones to your smartphone is fast and the Bluetooth connection is stable.
Momentum Wireless III battery
The Momentum III features a 330 mA battery. The brand promises 17 hours of battery life, I have reached about 15 hours with ANC always active. During my test I charged my headphones once a week and, for the use I make of the headphones, I consider it a good autonomy.
In this case, however, you have to consider that the previous generations of Momentum offered 22 hours of battery life and that the competition can do better (the Bose 700, for example, offer 20 hours of juice). Please note that the headphones, even if out of battery, can be used via a cable but without the intelligent functions.
Beautiful design, comfortable to wear even for long periods of time and able to deliver a clean and detailed sound. The different levels of ANC make them versatile when travelling in the city or in other contexts where it is necessary to maintain a certain contact with the surrounding environment while the small details on which Sennheiser has focused, such as support for voice assistants, the Tile tracker or the block for cable connection, make them simply complete and suitable for different needs.
The Sennheiser Momentum III is an excellent pair of headphones that sound purists, in particular, will appreciate. The price of 400 bucks is high but to have quality headphones it is worth spending a big more. But if you're looking for headphones that allow you to immerse yourself in total silence, take a look at the Bose 700.