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The Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 in black, focused on the headband stitching.

Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless review

The Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless marries style and substance.
By
April 13, 2022
7.1
Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless
The bottom line
The Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless builds upon the MOMENTUM line while retaining the same grade-A build quality and style. Connection quality is excellent in part due to the Bluetooth 5.0 firmware and an array of high-quality Bluetooth codecs. If you want a snazzy pair of headphones and aren’t bothered by the high cost, the MOMENTUM Wireless 3 could be your next travel buddy.

Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless

The Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless builds upon the MOMENTUM line while retaining the same grade-A build quality and style. Connection quality is excellent in part due to the Bluetooth 5.0 firmware and an array of high-quality Bluetooth codecs. If you want a snazzy pair of headphones and aren’t bothered by the high cost, the MOMENTUM Wireless 3 could be your next travel buddy.
Release date

September 6, 2019

Price

Original: $399 USD

April 2022: $240 USD

Dimensions

231 x 193 x 104 mm

Weight

303g

Model Number

M3AEBTXL

Waterproof

No

What we like
Bluetooth 5.0; SBC, aptX LL, aptX, and AAC
Effective noise cancellation
Sound quality
Excellent build quality
Multiconnect, fast autoconnect
What we don't like
Cloth, rather than hardshell, carrying case
Cost
Noise cancelling isn't great
No in-line mic/remote on 3.5mm cable
7.1
SoundGuys Rating
7.8
User Rating
Rating Metric
Our Rating
User Rating
Sound Quality
8.8
7.9
8.0
Isolation / Attenuation
4.2
7.2
7.0
Durability / Build Quality
6.9
8.1
8.0
Value
7.0
7.8
8.0
Design
7.3
8.6
9.0
Connectivity
8.0
8.0
8.0
Microphone
4.5
6.8
7.0
Portability
7.1
8.1
8.0
Battery Life
7.5
7.6
8.0
Feature
8.0
7.3
7.0
Comfort
8.5
8.4
8.0

The Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless is a luxurious noise cancelling headset, which is made painfully obvious by the exorbitant original price. Sennheiser relies on its mature design and audio engineering expertise to make the new MOMENTUM Wireless stand out from the sea of capable active noise cancelling (ANC) headphones.

We spent two weeks with the MOMENTUM 3 Wireless to learn all that it has to offer. Time to find out if these expensive headphones are worth the money, or if you’re better off with something more pedestrian.

Editor’s note: this Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless review was updated on April 13, 2022, to address an FAQ about the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 and to add in-line FAQs.

  • Commuters and frequent flyers should consider this headset for its ANC, sound quality, and comfortable, premium build.
  • People who value style as much as performance should get these over-ear headphones.
  • Anyone whose phone is without a headphone jack should think about Sennheiser’s flagship wireless headset, or any Bluetooth headphone alternatives.

What is the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless like?

A photo of the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 headphones folded in the grey carrying case.
The carrying pouch doesn’t feel as premium as that included with the second-gen MOMENTUM Wireless.

Sennheiser sourced genuine leather for the headband and plush covering for the memory foam ear cups. Matte steel arms extend from the headband and feature a sliding mechanism for adjusting the fit. The ear cups minimally rotate, allowing them to rest comfortably against your collarbone. Despite the deluxe ear pads, a hotspot always forms at the crown of my head by the 90-minute mark.

These cans hardly deviate from previous iterations: the design is nearly identical save for the button layout on the right ear cup’s edge. It forgoes plastic buttons and sliders, opting instead for a rubberized, matte material. In order to access your virtual assistant, press the Bluetooth pairing button once. This third-generation model also does away with the power button. Instead, folding the ear cups toward the headband initiates powering down, something we’ve seen from Jabra and Beats. Beware of the folding hinges that easily pinch fingers.

An angled photo of the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 on a grey pillow.
You can connect multiple devices to the MOMENTUM 3 Wireless.0.

One of my favorite features of the headset is its auto-pause/play functionality. This occurs when the headphones are removed and worn, respectively. Another great feature is multipoint, which lets you connect up to two devices to the MOMENTUM 3 Wireless simultaneously. I use multipoint while working to connect my computer and phone. That way, I can stream music from the former but hear incoming notification dings from the latter.

The Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless successful marries style and performance.

Rather than the last model’s drawstring bag and stitched case, Sennheiser provides a stout, cylindrical carrying case. The top and bottom panels are stiff but pliable. It’s not as nice as the previous carrying case but has an internal elastic pocket for storing the included 3.5mm cable and USB-C charging cable.

How do you use the Sennheiser Smart Control app and Tile tracking?

Angled aerial photo of the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 headphones next to Google Pixel 3 with the Smart Control app EQ open next to a coffee grinder and beans.
You can track the headphones, customize the EQ, and adjust ANC intensity from the Smart Control app.

Sennheiser’s proprietary app is free on both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. While it isn’t required in order to use the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless, it has nifty tools that may be of interest. Like most accompanying headphone apps, this includes a way to customize the EQ and enable voice assistant access. You can also adjust the degree to which you hear external noise when Transparent Hearing is enabled, and how aggressive you want the noise cancelling to be. There are three ANC modes: anti-pressure, anti-wind, and maximum, listed in ascending order.

One of the major features separating the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless from the MOMENTUM Wireless 2 is Tile tracking integration. It allows you to see where your headphones are located, which is useful for the forgetful among us.

How do you connect the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless to your phone?

A picture of he Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 left ear pad begin crushed in the hand in front of a teal couch.
Memory foam ear pads make the headphones comfortable to wear with or without glasses.

You can connect the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless to your smartphone via NFC or the standard Bluetooth pairing process (Bluetooth 5.0). For the NFC route, enable NFC from your phone’s settings and hold the device next to the MOMENTUM’s right ear cup. A pop-up will appear on your phone confirming a successful pairing process.

Port/protocol
Bluetooth codecs
aptX Low Latency,
aptX HD,
aptX,
AAC,
SBC
Digital connection
No
Analog connection
3.5mm audio interface
Power connection
USB-C

Once connected, you benefit from three high-quality Bluetooth codecs: AAC, aptX, and aptX Low-Latency. As it stands, AAC’s performance remains dubious on Android devices. However, it streams consistently well on iPhones. Fortunately for us Android users, we can listen to our favorite tunes over either aptX codec. For anyone looking for the best possible audio quality, use the included 3.5mm cable as wired is still leagues ahead of Bluetooth audio quality. The cable unfortunately doesn’t have an integrated mic and remote module. However, third-party cables are available for around $12, providing an in-line mic and remote that’s compatible with iOS devices.

How long does the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless battery last?

Aerial photo of the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 folded down.
Metal accents complement the matte black finish.

With noise cancelling turned on, the battery lasts 13 hours, 17 minutes. This should get you a full week of commuting and nearly any international flight. If you listen to levels quieter than 75dB(SPL), which you likely will, then the battery should last closer to Sennheiser’s posited 17-hours. When the battery is drained, you can quick-charge the headset with the included USB-C cable. Just 10 minutes of charging yields 90 minutes of listening. Fast charging isn’t always supported by ANC headsets, so this is a big plus.

You can check the remaining battery life via the Smart Control app or by holding the multifunction button down for two seconds. If you need extended battery life from your ANC headset, look into either the Sony WH-1000XM4 or Bose QuietComfort 35 II.

How well does the Sennheiser MOMENTUM Wireless cancel noise?

The Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 attenuation chart with noise cancelling activated.
Low-end attenuation isn’t the best available, which is a shame given how expensive the headphones are.

Noise cancellation is good, and the technology filters out some midrange frequencies, while the dense ear pads and properly fitted ear cups nearly eradicate high-frequency sounds. However, the low-end attenuation isn’t great compared to top competitors. There are other benefits to effective noise cancellation, aside from quieting the world around you: good ANC can help prevent noise-induced hearing loss. See, when external noise is combated, we’re less likely to increase the volume to egregious, eardrum-smashing levels. If you’re looking for a way to justify an expensive purchase of noise cancellers, hearing loss prevention is a good reason.

You have three options for noise cancelling:

  • Max: This uses the internal and external mics to reduce noise, it’s the most effective and best for loud environments like a plane or train car.
  • Anti-wind: This uses the internal-facing mics to reduce noise and is best for when you’re moving.
  • Anti-pressure: This uses the external mics to reduce outside noise only, and is best for a fairly quiet environment. It’s a comfortable ANC setting that doesn’t create that “clogged up” ear feeling.

Transparent Hearing amplifies external noise through the headset to keep you aware of your surroundings. You can enable it whether music is playing or not.


What does the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless sound like?

The Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 frequency response chart.
Although bass frequencies are healthily exaggerated, they rarely impede midrange frequency reproduction.

In typical Sennheiser fashion, the headphones sound great. This headset is for general consumers, rather than professionals, and the sound signature reflects that. In our chart above, the bass bump (red) informs us that bass notes sound up to twice as loud as their midrange counterparts (green). This is great for pop and hip-hop as it lends a nice oomph to tunes. However, if you favor folk or classical music, you may find it useful to EQ the sound in the Smart Control app.

Lows, mids, and highs

In Mallrat’s song Charlie, Grace Shaw’s voice is relayed front and center during the first verse. The accompanying piano doesn’t overpower her vocals. While the frequency response depicts a strong low-end, instruments still come through clearly unless it’s during a particularly bass-heavy chorus. It isn’t until the last third of the song (2:29) when the bass kicks in that Shaw’s voice and finger-snapping become hard to hear compared to the low-end; this doesn’t happen when I listen to the same song through my reference Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX. To completely avoid this, you can lessen the bass response in the app.

Hold up! Something’s different:

This article’s frequency response and isolation charts were measured with our old testing system. We have since purchased a Bruel & Kjaer 5128 test fixture (and the appropriate support equipment) to update our testing and data collection. 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 sound quality measurements, isolation performance plots, and standardized microphone demos. These will be made obvious with our new chart aesthetic (black background instead of white). Each new mic sample 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.

How is the microphone on the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless?

The microphone amplifies voices which can cause clipping and the presence of fricatives and plosives. While the mic isn’t bad by any stretch, the person on the other line will know that you’re speaking from a headset microphone. If you have a low-pitched voice, others may comment that you sound distant or hollow. This is a consequence of the marked low-end attenuation.

Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless microphone demo:

How does the microphone sound to you?

3261 votes

As of October 19, 2021, 1,330 readers have rated the above mic sample as somewhere between “bad” and “okay.” This is a below-average result for wireless headphones, at the lower end of what you should expect to get out of any products of this type.

Should you buy the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless?

The MOMENTUM 3 Wireless is a beautiful pair of noise cancelling headphones that put build quality and design first, without ignoring the importance of sound quality.

A photo of the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 headphones lying flat on a backpack.
Tile integration is brilliantly executed, making the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 nearly impossible to lose.

Practically speaking, there are significantly better values out there. For those who need the best all-around headphones, check out our list here. However, those headphones don’t have the same kind of durability offered by the Sennheiser MOMENTUM Wireless and are definitely not as stylish.

A product image of the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 3 Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones.
Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless
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.

For those loyal to the Sennheiser brand or those who want their headphones to appear timeless, the price is probably justifiable. It was difficult for me to part with this review unit because of the ease of use and instantaneous autoconnect. Anyone who picks up the Sennheiser MOMENTUM Wireless will immediately fall in love with the extraordinary build quality. There’s a reason this headset is one of our favorite AirPods Max alternatives.

Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless vs Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

A picture of the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 on black surface.
Bose redesigned its flagship headset from the ground up in order to make it more appealing to the modern listener.

Both Bose and Sennheiser’s flagship consumer headphones have an attractive design, but Sennheiser takes a classic approach that contrasts Bose’s modern build. The Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless lacks touch controls, but Bose has nearly perfected its touch-capacitive panels.

Audio enthusiasts may prefer the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 sound signature: it’s more neutral-leaning and reproduces audio with greater accuracy than the bass-heavy MOMENTUM Wireless series. Both mobile apps, however, let you customize the sound to your liking, which is great for tinkerers.

Noise cancelling performance is better with the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700: low frequencies are rendered up to half as loud with ANC enabled. This is much more effective than what the MOMENTUM 3 Wireless.0 are capable of, though both headsets are better than non-noise cancelling headphones.

(Click the chart to expand.)


Battery life is much better with the Bose headset, too, which is something that matters for listeners who frequently take intercontinental flights. As far as price is concerned, both headsets are expensive but you’re more likely to see the Bose Headphones 700 on promotion than you are to see a discounted pair of Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless headphones.

Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless vs Bose QuietComfort 45

A man uses the control cluster on the back of the Bose QuietComfort 45.
Using physical buttons means pressing into the earcup and potentially dislodging it.

The Bose QuietComfort 45 has much better noise cancelling than the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless, and is clearly the better travel companion because of it. While both headsets are comfortable, the QC 45 is a lighter option than Sennheiser’s headset, and is a better pick for hours-long listening sessions.

Sennheiser has its advantages over the Bose QuietComfort 45 though; the sound quality is better and you get an in-app EQ to customize how it sounds. As of October 2021, Bose doesn’t include a custom EQ for its QC 45 headset, and instead, you’re left with Bose’s Active EQ technology that you can’t disable.

Currently, the Bose QC 45 retails for $329 USD, which is quite a bit more than the Sennheiser’s sub-$300 promotional price. If you don’t care much for active noise cancelling and want a sturdy headset that looks and sounds fantastic, save some money and spring for Sennheiser.

What should you get instead of the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless?

The Sennheiser PXC 550-II worn by a woman reading on a porch.
You can connect the Sennheiser PXC 550-II to two devices at once, and it remembers eight connections for quick re-connecting.

Seeing how the MOMENTUM 3 Wireless can often be found for less than $250 USD, it sits at a much more competitive price bracket than upon its debut. With a budget of $250 USD, you could go for the Sennheiser PXC 550-II, which compares rather well against the Bose QC 45. For less than the MOMENTUM headset, you get the same Bluetooth specs, a more neutral sound, and good noise cancelling. The PXC is a bit more portable too as each headphone can lay flat.

If you don’t mind going the refurbished route, or waiting until a big holiday sale, the Sony WH-1000XM4 is a great option too. With this, you get some of the best noise cancelling in the business, a lighter build, and excellent software support. You can listen via wired connection or with over the SBC, AAC, and LDAC Bluetooth codecs. Battery life is quite good, but again, the main drawback here is price.

The Shure AONIC 40 lays on an Apple MacBook Pro.
The matte exterior of the Shure AONIC 40 doesn’t collect dust or smudges, but it’s easy to scratch.

Last but not least, if you want to listen in luxury, might we recommend the Shure AONIC 50 to you. Shure’s noise cancelling over-ear headset has an excellent frequency response that you can equalize in its mobile app, a comfortable build, and replaceable ear pads. If you like the Shure AONIC 40 but don’t want to drop $299 USD on a headset, the AONIC 40 is a little cheaper, lighter, and more flexible.

Frequently asked questions about the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless

It depends what you’re going for: the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 is a handsome headset with significant bass emphasis. The PX7 noise cancelling is very good, and outperforms the Momentum 3 Wireless by a long shot. Still, the PX7 is an expensive headset around $400 USD and you can get a similar sound and sophisticated design from Sennheiser’s headset for at least $100 USD less.

(Click the image to expand.)


No. PlayStation consoles don’t support Bluetooth audio.

No, the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless supports Bluetooth multipoint, which means one pair of headphones can be simultaneously connected to two source devices. The feature you’re describing is what Samsung calls Dual Audio, and Sennheiser headsets do not support it.

Yes, you can connect the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless to your laptop manually. In order to do so, you must hold the voice assistant button for five seconds; this initiates pairing mode. Then, enter the Bluetooth menu on your computer and select the appropriate headset. Once the devices establish a connection, you can listen to media.

For most shoppers, budget is the biggest deciding factor, and the Apple AirPods Max is a very cost-prohibitive headset that retails for $549 USD. If you’re already surrounded by Apple products, it may be a bit easier to justify the price, but most people will be perfectly happy with the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless.

Sennheiser’s headset still costs quite a bit, but it seems modest relative to the AirPods Max. Of course, when you buy the AirPods Max, you’re paying for convenience: each ear cup houses an H1 chip, which facilitates the streamlined user experience—again, exclusive to Apple devices. The AirPods Max uses a hybrid noise cancelling system to reduce external noises, much like the Sony WH-1000XM4 and Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700.

Great question! The Sennheiser PXC 550-II is a great deal and is more affordable than the Sennheiser MOMENTUM Wireless 3 (at least when you compare the two headset’s original prices).

The difference between the Sennheiser PXC 550-II and Sennheiser MOMENTUM Wireless 3 comes down to a form versus function debate. The PXC 550-II has more effective low-frequency noise cancelling; in other words, frequent flyers may benefit more from the more affordable headset. However, if you care more about design quality and durability, the premium construction of the MOMENTUM series is hard to beat.

The Sennheiser MOMENTUM Wireless 3 and Shure AONIC 50 are both stylish noise cancelling headsets, but the latter mops the floor with the MOMENTUM Wireless 3 when it comes to noise cancellation. Anyone who travels a lot for work or pleasure will be better off getting the Shure AONIC 50 for how well it attenuates low and midrange frequencies. This means low rumbles just melt away when ANC is set to high. For a more accurate representation of sound right out of the box, get the Shure AONIC 50, but for anyone who likes to experiment with custom EQ settings, get the Sennheiser cans or turn your attention toward Sony. The AONIC 50 also supports more codecs than the MOMENTUM Wireless.

The Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless has a completely different design than the Bose Headphones 700, even though both are noise cancelling headphones. Listeners who want a more accurate representation of their music should get the Bose 700 ANC headphones. Anyone who wants more low-end amplification will gravitate toward the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 3 Wireless for their default bass-heavy sound. Bose’s headphones have more effective passive and active noise cancelling than Sennheiser’s headphones.