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Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 vs Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

What are you looking for in active noise canceling earbuds?

Published onMarch 18, 2021

As more and more companies release active noise canceling wireless earbuds, it can be challenging to find the best pair for you. Hopefully, we can help out by comparing two of these big releases: the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 and the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds.

Editor’s note: this post was updated on March 18, 2022, to update information on active noise canceling with the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, add new isolation chart for Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, update frequency response charts and information, to add Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless and Jabra Elite Active 7 as alternatives, and to add FAQs.

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds has a modern design, while the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 is sophisticated

The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2.0 on a white table next to a glass of whiskey.
If there are luxury true wireless earphones, the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 definitely fits the bill.

The Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 has a pretty traditional wireless earbud look, but it’s a bit bulky. The earbuds stick out of most people’s ears, which is not only a bit funny looking, but also less stable. The case itself is pretty large and likely won’t fit into those ridiculously small pockets on women’s jeans. The earbuds do have an IPX4 rating, so if you’re able to get a good fit with them, they’ll be fine for your workouts.

Related: The best wireless earbuds

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds fits more securely thanks to their StayHear Max wing tips. They’re also very comfortable, which is reassuring considering their name has the word “comfort” in it. However, these earbuds are also really bulky, as is their charging case. Just like the Sennheiser earbuds, the Bose QC Earbuds have an IPX4 rating, but based on their fit, they’re probably better suited to your workouts.

What Bluetooth codecs do each pair of earbuds work with?

A woman wears the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds noise canceling true wireless earbuds.
Lily Katz / SoundGuys
The Bose QC Earbuds are quite a bit larger than the competition.

Opening the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 case forces the earbuds to look for a device to pair with. If you download the Sennheiser Smart Control headphone app, you can pair the earbuds directly through it, but it’s not necessary. These buds use Bluetooth 5.1 and support the SBC, AAC, and aptX Bluetooth codecs, so regardless of if you’re an iPhone or Android user, you can enjoy high-quality tunes.

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds doesn’t support Bluetooth multipoint, but you can quickly switch between devices through the Bose Music app. These buds also use Bluetooth 5.1 and support SBC and AAC, but unfortunately not aptX. The connection strength is good and lasts up to nine meters.

Do the Sennheiser or Bose buds have better software features?

The Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2's case, on a white table.
Cloth wrapping looks cool out of the box, but gets grody without cleaning.

Though the main feature of both the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 and the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds is active noise canceling (ANC), they also have their fair share of other party tricks. The MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 has touch controls, auto-pause, voice assistant support, ambient noise passthrough, and the ability to create a custom EQ in the Sennheiser Smart Control app. In the app, you can also remap the touch controls and update the earbuds’ firmware whenever a new iteration is released.

You might like: The best AirPods Pro alternatives

The Bose earbuds also have voice-assistant support, auto-pause functionality, and touch controls. If you download the Bose Music app you can remap the controls, adjust ANC and ambient noise passthrough levels, and switch between source devices.

At first, you couldn’t equalize the frequency response of the Bose buds but you now can on iOS 5.0.2 or Android 5.0.1 and firmware version 2.0.7. You can also use a feature called Bose Active EQ automatically boosts the highs and lows of your music so your playback is consistent regardless of the volume. This just means if you lower the volume of your music, the bass response will remain just as emphasized.

Both the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds and Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 have mono listening. However, they both lose some points for accessibility, because you can only use mono listening with the right earbud.

Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 vs Bose QuietComfort Earbuds: Battery life

A hand holds the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds noise canceling true wireless earbuds open charging case.
Lily Katz / SoundGuys
You can easily open the charging case with one hand.

We conduct our battery tests by playing a constant output of 75dB through the earbuds with ANC on. Under these conditions, the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 lasted about 4 hours on a single charge. This is a decent, albeit not great, battery life for wireless earbuds. Of course, you can always expect better battery performance if you turn off the ANC. Sennheiser claims the case holds an additional 21 hours of charge, but you’ll likely only reach this with ANC disabled. Luckily, the earbuds have quick-charge capabilities, so 10 minutes in the case provides 90 minutes of playback time.

Under the same testing conditions, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds can last up to 5 hours, 29 minutes on a single charge, which is pretty impressive considering the ANC was enabled. The QuietComfort Earbuds also has quick-charging capabilities—15 minutes of charge affords 120 minutes of playback. In addition, Bose claims that the case holds 12 hours of additional charge time. Both the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds and Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 charge via USB-C, but only Bose’s case supports wireless charging.

Which earbuds have more effective active noise canceling?

A photo of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2.0, with the left earbud in the case, and the right earbud sitting on a table.
The Sennheiser earbuds have very impressive ANC for true wireless earbuds.

Both the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 and Bose QuietComfort Earbuds feature noise canceling technology. Whether you commute by train, plane, or as a passenger in a car, either headset will faithfully reduce some background noise, though you’re unlikely to hear a huge difference when you toggle Sennheiser’s ANC on and off.

In contrast, the ANC of the QuietComfort Earbuds ranks as one of the best out there. If noise canceling is truly your priority, Bose does a better job of it than Sennheiser in this case.

As you can see in the chart the QuietComfort Earbuds perform admirably against low end noises. It reduces upwards of 45dB of noise, and rarely less than 10dB. Meanwhile, the MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 struggles to even reach 10dB in low end sound reduction.

ANC technology really shines with predictable, low-frequency sounds, but can’t quite combat incidental noises with the same ease. While both sets of earphones are solid contenders, high-pitched sounds like the clangs and bangs of dishware may still make it through either headset. In order to get the most out of either headset’s noise canceling, you need to take the time to find the best ear tips. This will create a good seal that passively blocks out higher-pitched background noise.

Which earbuds have better sound quality?

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds noise canceling true wireless earbuds rest outside of the open charging case.
Lily Katz / SoundGuys
Mono listening is limited to the right earbud, which isn’t useful for some folks.

Sennheiser is famous for prioritizing sound quality, and the MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 is no exception. The sound is a combination of accurate and consumer-friendly, meaning it follows our chart broadly with some under-emphasis at 2kHz to 6kHz. This makes it easy for you to hear loud bass notes without drowning out vocalists. The dip in the high frequencies is intended to intentional as it avoids amplification of naturally occurring resonances in your ear canal, but they can also create a very slight reduction in the presence of guitar riff details like pick-on-string sounds.

A chart compares the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 (cyan) to the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds (yellow dash) against the SoundGuys Consumer Curve V2 (pink), illustrating how the Sennheiser earbuds hew closer to our curve.
The MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 (cyan) midrange response hews closer to our curve (pink) than the Bose QC Earbuds (yellow dash).

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds’ frequency response is less likely to please audiophiles, but the sound will still please most people. The bass frequencies are suitable in volume. The upper-midrange boost helps retain the detail of high frequencies. While you can’t manually equalize the QuietComfort Earbuds in the Bose Music app, Bose Active EQ works quite well to keep the frequency reproduction consistent regardless of your listening volume.

Related: The best Bose headphones and alternatives

Is the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 or Bose QuietComfort Earbuds better for phone calls?

A photo of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2.0 sitting on a white table inside their case.
The controls for the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2.0 rest in the metal back of the earbuds themselves.

The microphone on the Sennheiser earbuds is okay, but it amplifies sibilant sounds (sh, s, f) way too much. Sibilance can be really annoying and sometimes downright painful to listen to, so be mindful when you’re using the MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 for phone calls.

Related: The best Bluetooth headphones for conference calls

The Bose earbuds have a pretty good mic that rejects background noises well. The mic will occasionally cause audio to clip or distort, but it’s not so often or intense that it’s a serious problem. Check out these microphone demos to decide for yourself which one sounds better.

Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 microphone demo:

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds microphone demo (Ideal):

Which microphone sounds better to you?

1122 votes

Hold up! Something’s different:

We’ve made a big improvement to how we demonstrate the microphone performance of products we review. We now use a standardized test setup that plays back pre-recorded phrases from a calibrated artificial mouth in our test chamber, either with or without simulated background noises, simulated reverberant spaces, or artificial wind. This means that samples from every product can be directly compared, which makes it far easier to make meaningful comparisons between products in terms of the raw speech quality or the product’s ability to reject noise.

It will take a while to update our backlog of old test results, but we will update this review (and many others!) once we’re able with improved microphone demos. These will be made obvious in each new sample which begins with the phrase, “This is a SoundGuys standardized microphone demonstration …”

Thank you for bearing with us, and we hope to see you again once we’ve sorted everything out.

Should you buy the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 or Bose QuietComfort Earbuds?

If you’re looking for earbuds with a customizable frequency response, and overall pristine sound, you should look further into the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2. However, if you’re looking for better battery life, and you’re just fine with the consumer-friendly bass boost, the Bose QC Earbuds may be for you.

On the other hand, if your primary concern is best noise canceling, drop everything and choose the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds. It blows the MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 away with much better ANC.

The Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 noise canceling earphones outside of the gray charging case, against a white background.
Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2
All prices listed in USD unless otherwise specified. Prices may change over time, and vary by region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon prices on the site, as they vary greatly by currency.

Both earbuds have a fine microphone array, but neither will win awards anytime soon. Both earbuds also have an IPX4 rating so they should withstand daily wear-and-tear just fine. The Bose earbuds, however, have a more reliable fit, so they’re probably better for bringing to the gym.

The Bose QuietComfort true wireless noise canceling earbuds in black against a white background.
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds
All prices listed in USD unless otherwise specified. Prices may change over time, and vary by region. Unfortunately, we cannot list Amazon prices on the site, as they vary greatly by currency.

What should you get instead?

The Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) is an affordable pair of smart true wireless earbuds. You get hands-free access to Amazon Alexa, a custom EQ module, and ear tip fit test all through the OS-agnostic Alexa app. Oh, and lest we forget: the active noise cancellation is very good (for the price), and even outperforms the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2.

Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 true wireless earbuds in the open case, which is held on display in a woman's hand.
Maybe you don’t need ANC, but want all the other features, including a charging case.

Maybe you live and work in quiet environments, or you like to hear your surroundings when exercising, and you don’t really need ANC. Is ANC incredibly useful? Absolutely, but it’s not necessary for everyone, and it’s expensive. For around $79 the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 packs an IPX5 rating and aptX and AAC codecs into a comfortable package. If you’re fine with losing ANC, you get just over 7 hours.

Sennheiser has also since released the CX Plus True Wireless, which performs similarly in sound quality to the MOMENTUM 2 True Wireless, however, it has much better ANC. It has aptX codec for Android users to nab that higher quality audio.

For the folks looking to add noise canceling earbuds to their workout, try the Jabra Elite Active 7. Unfortunately it does not have the aptX codec for Android, but it otherwise boasts a IP57 rating, in app EQ, and decent noise canceling.

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TheV-Moda Crossfade 2 Codex headphones being contorted in the hands.
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Frequently asked questions about Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 vs Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

Because both sets are IPX4 rated you don’t have to worry too much about water damage while cleaning. Generally speaking a swab and gentle soap are your best friends here. We have a complete guide.

Considering we went decades without active noise canceling in our headphones and earbuds, that’s a fair question. The main reasons are because reducing your environmental noise means you will be less tempted to turn up your volume, which helps preserve your hearing. The other reason is that noise canceling can help people focus on tasks better without external distractions.