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Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 vs Sony WF-1000XM5

Two of the best flagship earbuds for the same price go head to head.
By

Published onApril 10, 2024

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4
MSRP: $299.95
8.5
Check price
Positives
IP54
Auracast and LE Audio support
Sound quality
ANC performance
aptX Lossless
Wireless charging
Negatives
Mic performance is sub-par
Price
The Bottom Line.
Sennheiser is known for its high-end audio options and the MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 slots nicely among them. Though they're not the best at any one thing, the earbuds are a solid contender in the world of ANC earbuds.Read full review...
Sony WF-1000XM5
MSRP: $299.99
8.3
Check price
Positives
Excellent ANC and Isolation
Comfortable
SBC, AAC, and LDAC support
Great app support
Great battery life
Negatives
Price
Default sound too bassy
The Bottom Line.
The Sony WF-1000XM5 takes notes from the success of its predecessor and runs with it. Featuring a more comfortable design, outstanding ANC performance, and fantastic battery life, they have secured their place as one of the best noise canceling earbuds on the market.Read full review...

Sennheiser and Sony are two of the biggest names in premium audio, so it’s no surprise their latest flagship true wireless earbuds – the MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 and WF-1000XM5, respectively – are among the best on the market. But which one should you buy?

Editor’s note: this article was published on April 10, 2024, and is the first version of the article. Updates will follow as the market changes.

What’s it like to use the MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 compared to the WF-1000XM5?

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4 beside the Sony WF-1000XM5

Both earbuds have a premium build quality. Sony features a plastic enclosure with a glossy finish on the sides and a matte finish for the touch control areas. Sennheiser’s have metallic accents and a shape resembling earrings more than earbuds.

The MOMENTUM 4 sticks out of your ears a bit more due to its larger housing, but they aren’t that heavy. The WF-1000XM5 are smaller, a tad lighter, and come with four sets of ear tips, including an extra small option, compared to the MOMENTUM 4’s small, medium, and large offerings. However, the MOMENTUM 4 includes fin tips that allow for a secure and customizable fit.

The Sony WF-1000XM5 is not waterproof but has an IPX4 water resistance rating. The earbuds can withstand a light drizzle outdoors or a heavy workout at the gym. The Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 are slightly more durable with an ingress protection rating of IP54 — not enough to handle swimming, but perfectly adequate for workouts or the rain.

How do you control the MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 and WF-1000XM5?

The MOMENTUM 4 uses touch-capacitive panels on each earbud for controls like play/pause, track skipping, volume, transparency mode, and noise cancelation. The WF-1000XM5 has similar touch controls plus the ability to trigger your voice assistant.

Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 controls

InputLeft earbudRight earbud
Input
Single tap
Left earbud
Transparency mode
Right earbud
Play / Pause
Input
Double tap
Left earbud
Track backward
Right earbud
Track forward
Input
Triple tap
Left earbud
ANC
Right earbud
Voice assistant
Input
Long press
Left earbud
Volume down
Right earbud
Volume up

Sony WF-1000XM5 controls

INPUTACTION (left bud)ACTION (right bud)
INPUT
ONE TAP
ACTION (left bud)
ANC/Ambient sound
ACTION (right bud)
Play/Pause
INPUT
TWO TAPS
ACTION (left bud)
Quick Access
ACTION (right bud)
Next
INPUT
THREE TAPS
ACTION (left bud)
Quick Access
ACTION (right bud)
Previous
INPUT
FOUR TAPS
ACTION (left bud)
Volume Down
ACTION (right bud)
Volume Up
INPUT
TAP AND HOLD
ACTION (left bud)
Quick Attention
ACTION (right bud)
Voice Assistant

Should you use the apps of either MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 or WF-1000XM5?

Yes, both earbuds have excellent companion apps that unlock advanced features. With Sennheiser’s Smart Control app, you can have the earbuds self-tune to your ears (with the creation of a Sennheiser account), use the 5-band equalizer to adjust your sound, set coordinates to geofence certain behaviors like how strong the ANC is, and update the firmware. There’s also a fit test, which is useful since it takes the guesswork out of getting a good seal.

Sony’s Headphones Connect app lets you create custom EQ profiles, adjust Ambient Sound, and customize touch sensor functions. The app is also necessary to enable Sony 360 Reality Audio, Speak-to-Chat, and DSEE Extreme, which is Sony’s proprietary algorithm for upscaling lower-quality, lossy audio files.

How do the MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 and WF-1000XM5 connect?

The Sony WF-1000XM5 supports Bluetooth 5.3, while the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 connects to the source devices using Bluetooth 5.4. In terms of codecs, the MOMENTUM 4 supports SBC, AAC, aptX Adaptive, aptX Lossless, and LE Audio codecs. The WF-1000XM5 has SBC, AAC, LDAC, and LE Audio. The MOMENTUM 4 can also connect to Auracast transmitters. Both earbuds support Multipoint to connect up to two devices simultaneously.

Is battery life better on the MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 or WF-1000XM5?

A chart showing the battery life test results of the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 against its main competitors.
Christian Thomas / SoundGuys
The Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 does well against its competitors in terms of battery life.

The WF-1000XM5 edges out the MOMENTUM 4 slightly, with 9 and 32 minutes hours of battery life compared to the latter’s 7 hours and 45 minutes. Both earbuds charge inside their cases using a USB-C cable or by placing the case on a Qi wireless charging pad. Though wireless charging is wasteful, it does help preserve the longevity of your product if you keep the battery level 20 to 85% charged.

They each have fast charging as well, with the Sony WF-1000XM5 gaining 50 minutes of playtime from 3 minutes of charging and the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 achieving 1 hour of listening time from 8 minutes of charging.

Do the MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 or WF-1000XM5 block noise better?

These are both top-of-the-line earbuds when it comes to ANC performance and isolation. The foam ear tips on the Sony WF-1000XM5 are flexible and reduce noise by up to 15dB in the low end and up to 50dB for sounds above 1kHz. The Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 also did pretty well in our lab, posting 83% average noise attenuation.

According to our testing, the ANC of the WF-1000XM5 attenuates over 30dB of low-frequency outside noise (below 1kHz). This makes the WF-1000XM5 a great companion for daily commuters, frequent flyers, or anyone working in a busy office or cafe.

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The Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4’s low-end ANC performance also does very well and physically blocks almost 50dB in some higher ranges. They can struggle a bit with incidental noise sometimes, but on the whole, the ANC is quite good. If you’re a frequent flyer, these earphones will be an excellent companion to you.

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For times when you need to hear your surroundings, both earbuds have a transparency mode to allow some environmental sound through, and you can adjust the passthrough level in the accompanying apps.

Do the MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 sound better than the WF-1000XM5?

Both earbuds scored highly in our audio quality testing, but there are some notable differences in their sound signatures based on the frequency response measurements.

Multi-Dimensional Audio Quality Scores (MDAQS)

Both the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 and the Sony WF-1000XM5 score equally high in Timbre. However, the Sony’s score is slightly higher in Immersiveness, and the Sennheiser’s have less distortion, indicated by the higher Distortion score.

  • Timbre (MOS-T) represents how faithfully the earbuds reproduce the frequency spectrum and temporal resolution (timing information).
  • Distortion (MOS-D) represents non-linearities and added noise: higher scores mean cleaner reproduction.
  • Immersiveness (MOS-I) represents perceived source width and positioning: how well virtual sound sources are defined in three-dimensional space.

See here for an explanation of MDAQS, how it works, and how it was developed.

Objective measurements:

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Both products exhibit excellent frequency responses that closely follow our preference curve.  Both have a slight bass emphasis below 300Hz, which provides a touch of warmth without overwhelming mids and vocals. This bump in bass and mid-bass frequencies explains why cellos, synth pads, and other bassy tones can be more prominent than the ideal.

The most obvious difference between the two, based on frequency response alone, is the slightly recessed upper midrange of the Sennheiser response, with a wide, shallow notch centered around 6kHz which doesn’t have a big impact on the sound despit the deviation from our preference.

Do the MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 or WF-1000XM5 have a better microphone?

Neither set of earbuds excels at microphone performance, but the MOMENTUM 4 suffers from inconsistent quality impacting speech intelligibility and wind and noise suppression that are a long way from class-leading. Take a listen for yourself with the samples below, and let us know what you think.

Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 microphone demo (Ideal conditions):

Sony WF-1000XM5 microphone demo (Ideal conditions):

Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 microphone demo (Wind conditions):

Sony WF-1000XM5 microphone demo (Wind conditions):

How does the microphone sound to you?

9 votes

MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 vs WF-1000XM5: Price and availability

The Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 ($299.95 at Amazon) and Sony WF-1000XM5 ($298 at Amazon) are both flagship earbuds available for the same retail price. You should be able to find them wherever audio electronics are sold or directly from the manufacturer.

Should you get the MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 or WF-1000XM5?

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4 earbuds beside the Sony WF-1000XM5 earbuds outside of case

The Sony WF-1000XM5 is the better all-around choice for most people, offering top-notch active noise cancelation, great sound quality that can be customized, outstanding battery life, and robust wireless connectivity. The secure and comfortable fit also makes them ideal for workouts. Though they’re not as chic as the Sennheiser’s, the Sony earphones are high performers for the same price and have better battery and microphone performance.

The main reason you'd pick Sennheiser over Sony is for it's future-proof features.

However, the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 has equally exceptional noise cancelation and sound quality, especially if you have a modern Android phone to take advantage of features like aptX Lossless. But the main reason you’d pick Sennheiser over Sony is whether the benefits of Auracast would meaningfully impact your life, which may become more apparent in the coming years.

Ultimately, both the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 and Sony WF-1000XM5 are exceptional true wireless earbuds that deliver premium audio performance. Because the Sony WF-1000XM5 is nearing to be a year old, they may see more frequent discounts, especially as Sony prepares to launch the successor next year. But besides price, the choice really comes down to comfort preferences, how much you value microphone quality, and and how much future-proofing means to you.

See price at Amazon
Sony WF-1000XM5
1%off
Sony WF-1000XM5
Great ANC
Improved sound quality
Comfortable fit with four ear tip options
See price at Amazon
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4
IP54
Auracast and LE Audio support
Sound quality

Frequently asked questions

  • The Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 are not waterproof but have an IP54 rating, making them resistant to dust and splashing water. This means they can handle sweat and light rain but aren’t suitable for swimming.
  • The Sony WF-1000XM5 are not waterproof either but come with an IPX4 rating, indicating protection against splashes from any direction. This makes them suitable for workouts and use in light rain.

Yes, both the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 and Sony WF-1000XM5 feature built-in microphones for calls and voice commands.

Absolutely, both the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 4 and Sony WF-1000XM5 are fully compatible with both iPhone and Android devices. They connect via Bluetooth, ensuring a broad compatibility range with virtually any modern smartphone or tablet.

  • The Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 4, with their IP54 rating, are durable enough for workouts and can handle sweat and rain. Their inclusion of fin tips allows for a secure fit, making them a good choice for physical activities.
  • The Sony WF-1000XM5, sporting an IPX4 rating, are also suitable for exercise, capable of withstanding sweat and splashes. Their secure fit ensures they stay in place during most workout activities.

Yes, both earbuds support Multipoint connectivity, allowing them to be connected to up to two devices simultaneously. This feature is convenient for users who frequently switch between two sources, such as a phone and a computer.

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