There was a twist in the headphones section of the TechRadar Choice Awards 2022 sponsored by Sky Broadband. The 'Wireless Headphones of the Year' award, which is partly decided by readers' votes) went to the Sony WH-1000XM5, but the overall 'Headphones of the Year' award (which was an Editor's Choice award chosen only by our judges) went to the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless.
So why did we choose the Sennheiser headphones over the Sony? Well, they're so good that they immediately became our new yardstick for quality when testing and talking about headphones. They naturally settled in as our default option – when something new comes in, they're the end of the question "Yeah, these look good, but are they as good as…"
In our best headphones guide, we rate them as our top pick in their premium range, over some excellent options from the likes of Sony, Bose and Bowers & Wilkins. This is all because they're not just good in a couple of areas – they excel everywhere.
The 60-hour battery life is double what you get from the Sonys or most similar rivals. The active noise cancellation is excellent, partly because it's so controllable. You can adjust its strength all the way to a full Transparency mode, and you can create presets for different environments where you regularly use the earbuds. Not only that, but you can also pinch the right ear cup to increase and decrease the level of noise cancellation – what other headphones let you just crank the quietening up and down as needed without you touching your phone?
We love the customized sound too, which enables you to listen to your favorite music in the app to find your preferred audio setup. Which brings us to the sound itself – it's just wonderful. The Momentum 4 Wireless are so open, so natural, so sharp, and so engrossing. As we said in our full review, "The intro to FKA Twigs' Two Weeks has never sounded so deep and uninhibited through the low-end, and as her bell-like vocal starts, we notice inflections within it and throughout the engaging treble other headphones simply cannot unearth." You might even be able to save on buying them via the many Sennheiser promo codes currently available.
Nothing does everything so well as the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless. They became the new example of excellence in the TechRadar office, so how could be possibly give our Headphones of the Year award to anything else?
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Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Entertainment, meaning he's in charge of persuading our team of writers and reviewers to watch the latest TV shows and movies on gorgeous TVs and listen to fantastic speakers and headphones. It's a tough task, as you can imagine. Matt has over a decade of experience in tech publishing, and previously ran the TV & audio coverage for our colleagues at T3.com, and before that he edited T3 magazine. During his career, he's also contributed to places as varied as Creative Bloq, PC Gamer, PetsRadar, MacLife, and Edge. TV and movie nerdism is his speciality, and he goes to the cinema three times a week. He's always happy to explain the virtues of Dolby Vision over a drink, but he might need to use props, like he's explaining the offside rule.