Sennheiser just officially teased its Momentum 4 Wireless noise-cancelling over-ear headphones ahead of their now-confirmed August global arrival.
The German brand has pretty concisely revealed the first few official images and details of its hotly-anticipated wireless cans, which will succeed the 2019-issue Momentum 3 Wireless – but we do have some key facts. And one in particular is seriously impressive.
Three years is a fairly long stretch between headphone iterations in the constantly evolving world of wireless audio and Bluetooth technology, but 2020 was not a great year for anyone. And given the information now available to us, Sennheiser has clearly used the time to go back to the drawing board and start afresh, rather than tweak and fine-tune an older model for its latest release.
The Momentum 4 Wireless promises "best-in-class sound, advanced Adaptive Noise Cancellation and an all-new design offering exceptional comfort", and that gray fabric covering the headband (which looks very similar to that adorning the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 and older Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2's charging case) is certainly a new direction for Sennheiser's flagship over-ears.
Opinion: with this spec alone, Sennheiser could rule them all
The headline-grabber here is the claimed battery life, at (a frankly incredible) 60 hours. Whether or not that figure is with ANC deployed remains to be seen, but given that Apple's top-tier AirPods Max boast just a third of that, at 20 hours when listening with ANC and Spatial Audio turned on, it's a bold claim indeed.
Need another reference? The Sony WH-1000XM5 can stretch to 30 hours with noise cancelling activated or 40 hours with noise cancelling switched off – which is a two hour improvement over the still-excellent WH-1000XM4.
How Sennheiser has managed to stretch to a 60-hour battery when Sony could only eke an extra two hours of juice from its flagship wireless over-ears, even following a drastic update, we cannot say just yet.
But we do know to expect an "audiophile-inspired 42mm transducer system" with slightly angled speakers to "ensure sound is channelled slightly from the front towards the user’s ears", which should promote a "more natural soundstage".
Elsewhere, we can anticipate advanced voice pick-up for optimised calls and voice assistant access, plus "multiple customisations to enable users to adapt the sound to their unique preferences".
Will we see Bluetooth 5.3 and support for Bluetooth's new audio-sharing Auracast protocol, set to arrive in the next few months? We don't know yet – but given Sennheiser's track record it seems likely.
Also still at large is pricing. But remember, Sennheiser's newest earbuds actually undercut the launch price of their predecessors, so an asking fee below $399.95 (around £280 / AU$500) is hardly out of the question… And wouldn't that be nice?
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Becky is a senior staff writer at TechRadar (which she has been assured refers to expertise rather than age) focusing on all things audio. Before joining the team, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.