Sennheiser Momentum 4 vs AirPods Max: Owner Comparison (2024)

Odi Productions Mar 19, 2024
95 People Read
Sennheiser Momentum 4 vs AirPods Max on desk side by side

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. 

In this article, I'm going to compare my experience with the Sennheiser Momentum 4 vs Apple AirPods Max in detail, after personally owning both pairs of headphones for over 1 year each.

The Apple AirPods Max are currently going for $479.99 on Amazon.

The Sennheiser Momentum 4 is available for significantly less at $299.00 currently on Amazon:


The Sennheiser Momentum 4 is a whopping $180 cheaper than the Apple AirPods Max currently!


Sennheiser Momentum 4 vs Apple AirPods Max Headphones comparison summary

AirPods Max earcups side by side with Sennheiser Momentum 4 earcups

  • The Sennheiser Momentum 4 has superior overall sound quality, with more bass presence and detailed treble, resulting in a "fun" sound signature without being muddy

  • The Apple AirPods Max excels in the mid-range for vocals and instruments such as electric guitar

  • From an audiophile perspective, the Momentum 4 has the better technicalities and tonal balance

  • Both headphones are fairly comfortable, but I find the Momentum 4 more comfortable due to being almost 95g lighter than the AirPods Max

  • Both headphones have good active noise cancelling, but I found the Sennheisers to be more effective for airplane travel personally

  • At $180 cheaper than the Apple AirPods Max, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 is the better value


Momentum 4 vs AirPods Max Sound Quality

Sennheiser momentum 4 on keyboard

Before owning either of these headphones, I had fairly high expectations for the Apple AirPods Max at the eye-watering retail price of $549.

Being a fan of their regular Airpods for their all-day comfort and working seamlessly with Apple devices, I naturally thought the "MAX" would take things to a whole new level.

I still remember my initial listening, thinking "Hmm, they're quite decent, but nothing earth-shattering."

To summarize my impression of the AirPods Max, they excel in the mid-range for vocals and instruments like electric guitar, but they don't have quite as much sub-bass extension or mid-bass impact as I like. Also, the highs are a bit too veiled for my liking, but at least they are smooth and lack sibilance.

Ironically, the APM has a warm sound signature somewhat similar to Sennheiser's wired HD650 / HD6xx headphones.

Now, comparing this to the Sennheiser Momentum 4.

Sennheiser has long been a well-respected brand in the audiophile / pro audio game, known for legendary headphones such as the HD800, HD600, and HD650.

The Momentum 4 is the most "consumer-friendly" sound signature I've heard from a Sennheiser, especially when pitted against the aforementioned audiophile headphones above.

What this means is much more bass impact/presence, sub-bass extension, and forward treble, at the expense of recessed mids.

The bass is powerful, forceful, and simply more fun to listen to compared to the APM's bass response.

The scoop in the mids combined with the forward treble brings out a ton of detail, although gets slightly more harsh/sibilant than the APM because of this.

If you listen to a lot of modern music such as Pop, Hip Hop, EDM, Metal, then I prefer the Momentum 4.

If you mainly listen to Classical, Jazz, and Acoustic music, I'd probably lean towards the AirPods Max.

Apple AirPods Max Sound Quality: 7.9 out of 10

Sennheiser Momentum 4 Sound Quality: 8.3 out of 10

Winner for Sound Quality: Sennheiser Momentum 4


Comfort

Apple AirPods Max on scale weighing 387.8 grams

The AirPods Max are quite heavy weighing in just under 388 grams on my scale.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 weighing 293g on scale

In contrast, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 weighs in just under 293 grams.

Compared, the Momentum 4 is almost 95 grams lighter than the AirPods Max!

The Sennheisers have a little more top of head pressure because the headband is not as well-designed as the APM suspension-headband, which concentrates the weight onto a single point.

However I found the Momentum 4 clamping force to be more forgiving than the AirPods Max, along with having a more comfortable leather earpad material opposed to the APM's rougher fabric and lack of plushness.

Also I find my ears getting warmer with the APM sooner than the Momentum 4.

Overall, I find the Momentum 4 to be the more comfortable headphone that I can wear for hours, whereas I typically want to take the APM off after as little as 45 minutes.

Apple AirPods Max Comfort: 3.5 out of 5

Sennheiser Momentum 4 Comfort: 4.0 out of 5

Winner: Sennheiser Momentum 4


Features / Looks / Noise Cancelling

Apple AirPods Max smart case

Sennheiser Momentum 4 hardshell case

Looks

Most would probably agree that the Apple AirPods Max are the more stylish and striking design between the two, but I personally prefer the understated and less flashy look of the Sennheiser Momentum 4.

My main gripe with the AirPods Max is that I think the earcups are about 20% too large, and the square-ish design doesn't create as neat of a seal as the oval earcups on the Momentum 4.

Features

I find both headphones to be adequately feature-packed with Bluetooth wireless, active noise cancelling, transparency modes, long battery life, and being able to be controlled via smartphone.

For Apple ecosystem users, the AirPods Max boast a more seamless transitioning between multiple devices even without manually having to connect, re-connect, repeat.

Also one cool feature of the AirPods Max is the Spatial Audio. Some people rave about this, but I've tried it and it's not necessarily a must-have for me. Maybe I'm not using it correctly, or perhaps they've improved this technology since it was released.

The Momentum 4 on the other hand, has its own app where you can control the amount of Adaptive Noise Cancelling vs Transparency mode, apply EQ settings, and update the firmware wirelessly.

One drawback for the Momentum 4 is that it can only connect to 2 devices at a time, which is a bummer as I'm usually switching between my phone, computer, and tablet in the same day.

Momentum 4 vs AirPods Max Battery Life Compared

Apple claims up to 20 hours for battery life for the AirPods Max.

Sennheiser claims a class-leading 60 hours of battery life for the Momentum 4, which is 3 times as long as the AirPods Max!

Personally, I did find the AirPods Max needed to be charged much more frequently than the Momentum 4.

One big issue I have with the APM is that there is no simple "OFF" button, unlike the Momentum 4.

From what I understand, a user needs to put the APM inside of the (poorly-designed) case to turn off completely, which is my hypothesis for unnecessarily shortened battery life, even well below the 20 hours claimed.

Many times, I'd charge the APM and find them to be low battery just a day or two later, and I'm sure it's because it's still wasting battery even when not in use.

On the other hand, I only need to charge the Momentum 4 once maybe every 2-3 weeks at most.

Sennheiser Momentum 4 vs Apple AirPods Max Noise Cancelling Performance Compared

I've worn both the Momentum 4 and AirPods Max on numerous flights, and they are both decent options for drowning out outside noise so you can drown out jet engine noise and crying babies alike.

I'm a little surprised however, when I see rave reviews of the AirPods Max noise cancelling.

I've owned many noise cancelling pairs from the likes of the Bose QuietComfort Series and Sony, and I find those brands to be even more effective for airplane travel.

Between the two, I also prefer the Momentum 4's ANC, and I believe it is due to lack of proper seal on the square AirPods Max earcups, as opposed to the oval shape which perfectly surrounds the ear more tightly.

Also, the AirPods Max ear cushions are an "acoustically engineered memory foam and mesh textile" that I find are not as plush as the leather cushions on the Momentum 4, further breaking the seal.

Apple AirPods Max Features / Looks / Noise Cancelling: 4.0 out of 5

Sennheiser Momentum 4 Features / Looks / Noise Cancelling: 4.5 out of 5

Winner: Sennheiser Momentum 4


Value

At the current price of $180 cheaper than the AirPods Max, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 not only competes, but is superior in many categories.

I think the AirPods Max was overpriced when it was released, and it has still maintained one of the highest retail prices for Bluetooth headphones to this day.

Without a doubt, the Sennheisers are a better value dollar for dollar.

Apple AirPods Max Value: 3.0 out of 5

Sennheiser Momentum 4 Value: 4.5 out of 5

Winner: Sennheiser Momentum 4


Apple AirPods Max Headphones Overall Rating: 7.4 / 10

  • Sound Quality: 7.9 / 10

  • Comfort: 3.5 / 5

  • Features / Noise-Canceling: 4.0 / 5

  • Value: 3.0 / 5

  • Total: 18.4 / 25


Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless Headphones Overall Rating: 8.5 / 10

  • Sound Quality: 8.3 / 10

  • Comfort: 4.0 / 5

  • Features / Noise-Canceling: 4.5 / 5

  • Value: 4.5 / 5

  • Total: 21.3 / 25


Overall Winner: Sennheiser Momentum 4

Sennheiser Momentum 4 side profile

Reading up until this point, I can see how it may look like I have a strong bias towards Sennheiser, considering it swept every category.

I assure you, I've owned both of these headphones for over 1 year each, and the reality is that I would reach for the Momentum 4 over the AirPods Max every single time today.

The reality is, at $180 cheaper and almost 95 grams lighter, from a brand like Sennheiser that has a stalwart history in pro audio, it's logical that the Momentum 4 could be a strong contender.

What is most shocking to me is that the Momentum 4 not only competes with the much more expensive AirPods Max, but actually BEATS it in most categories, with better overall sound quality being my main priority.

Also, the Momentum 4 has 3 times the battery life of the AirPods Max (60 hours vs 20 hours). This makes a huge difference when using these everyday and how often you need to charge. I rarely have to charge the Momentum 4 and other reviews online can attest to this.

Having said all that, I can see why some would prefer the AirPods Max over the Momentum 4, primarily Apple ecosystem users who listen to softer / older genres like Classical and Jazz.

If you'd like to read the longer, more-detailed individual reviews of either of these headphones, scroll to the bottom of this page.

So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this in-depth comparison. If you'd like to support this website, you can use the Amazon affiliate links below to check the latest prices and even make a purchase if you are ready.

Check lowest prices and purchase the Sennheiser Momentum 4 or Apple AirPods Max below:

These are affiliate links which we earn commission if you make a purchase.


FAQ

Does the Momentum 4 have Spatial Audio?

No, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 does NOT have Spatial Audio, unlike the Apple AirPods Max which does.

Can I wear Sennheiser Momentum 4 in rain? Are they waterproof?

No, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 does not carry a waterproof rating and is not meant to be worn in the rain or submerged in water.

The Apple AirPods Max are also not waterproof or water-resistant and should not be worn in the rain

Does Momentum 4 and AirPods Max support Dolby Atmos?

Yes, both the Momentum 4 and AirPods Max support Dolby Atmos.

Does Momentum 4 and AirPods Max support aptX HD?

The Sennheiser Momentum 4 does support aptX HD codec, but the Apple AirPods Max does not support aptX HD.


How We Tested and Our Methodology

RecordingNOW.com is a 100% independent publisher with over 10 years of experience testing and reviewing consumer electronics and headphones.

We currently purchase the products we test with our own money, and are not paid by any company or manufacturer to influence our opinions or decisions.

After purchasing the product, we conduct up to hundreds of hours of detailed hands-on testing in a controlled, acoustically-treated environment.

ODi Productions is our resident expert and author of this article, with 10 years of experience as a professional music producer, tech journalist, and audiophile.


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Disclosure:  Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase.