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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Sennheiser Momentum TWS 3 review: Taming the bass

Sennheiser Momentum 3 review: This is among the more affordable high-fidelity truly wireless earphones out there. Here's my review.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Rs. 21,990
Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi |
Updated: May 19, 2022 9:19:11 am
Sennheiser Momentum 3, Sennheiser Momentum 3 review, Sennheiser Momentum 3 launchHere's our full review of the Sennheiser Momentum 3 earbuds. (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Nandagopal Rajan)

I always remember the first Sennheiser Momentum headphones I reviewed as a mind-blowing experience, not just for the audio quality but because of the overall quality of the product. Many years on, Sennheiser Momentum for me holds the promise of an unparalleled sound signature along with an element of luxury limited to top-end audio devices. Now, the new Sennheiser Momentum Truly Wireless 3 has to live up to the same expectations.

The Momentum 3 is designed to showcase Sennheiser at every level. The fabric finish of the charging case, the squarish shape of the earbuds that aligns with the brand logo and the size of the earphones are all unique to the iconic German audio company.

The earbuds, despite their size, offer a good fit and stay in place if you are pacing around the office on an extra-long Zoom call or just pushing the treadmill as you listen to the latest episode of your favourite podcast. It helps that the Momentum 3 is IPX4 splash resistant, especially since you are going to sweat really badly in the heat wave conditions we have across the country.

Sennheiser Momentum 3, Sennheiser Momentum 3 review, Sennheiser Momentum 3 launch The earbuds, despite their size, offer a good fit and stay in place even if you are pacing around. (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Nandagopal Rajan)

The Momentum 3 earbuds have touch sensitivity offering you pause and play controls as well as the ability to switch songs. On the Sennheiser app you can customise these. The app also lets you tune the sound profile just the way you like with a good equaliser, which even has a unique preset for podcasts. There is also the ability to set up sound zones where a preset sound profile is activated as you walk in.

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One interesting aspect of the Momentum 3 is its adaptive noise cancellation which is on by default. You use the app to switch on the transparency mode, which even has a preset for when you are listening to music. This is a very different approach from what others have adopted, but the noise cancellation is still good, though not the best in the business.

Over the past week, I have spent many hours listening to music and podcasts on the Momentum 3. But frankly the hours spent on calls have been many times more. And the natural feel of the calls — no tinny tunnel like sounds — is what I really loved about the Momentum 3. Maybe audio companies are now realising how important it is now to sound good on calls and are making that a superior experience for users.

Over the years, I have come to appreciate Sennheiser’s very different sound signature which is rich, yet natural with a great balance of bass and clarity. The Momentum3 is true to that calling and offers the natural audio playback I have come to experience from Sennheiser.

Kendrik Lamar’s My People can be an overwhelming number on some earphones thanks to the thumbing bass in the background. But for the Momentum 3 is a base note at best bringing the vocals upfront as the hero.

The same thumping bass takes another colour when the song is more layered like with Pasoori on Coke Studio. Ali Sethi and Shae Gill’s viral song explodes as a sensory experience in your ears showcasing what these earphones are capable of. There is a roominess that the Momentum 3 brings, which is rare and a testament of how good the 7mm transducers are on this one. As the song unintentionally switched to Umran Lagiyan, it was almost like a lullaby from a forgotten era. I was wondering how I had missed this Ali Sethi song for so many years.

Just to push the envelope a bit I turned on Tigini by Ivorian artist Kikimoteleba. Again the bass was like a foundation that keeps the vocals aloft. If only more audio devices could handle bass like this, where they are meant to be and not as the overpowering villain it often ends up being.

Sennheiser Momentum 3, Sennheiser Momentum 3 review, Sennheiser Momentum 3 launch The battery life of the Sennheiser Momentum 3 did not last as long as was promised. (Image Source: The Indian Express/ Nandagopal Rajan)

And when this bass is absent, like with the very vocal heavy Until I found you by Stephen Sanchez, the Momentum 3 ensures there is no void. The sound signature is still robust and rich.

My only issue with the Momentum 3 was the battery life which seemed to drain faster than what was promised. I think a firmware upgrade would be needed to set this right. Momentum 3 comes with wireless charging which meant I could plonk it on the charging pad by the bed at night where it juiced up along with the iPhone and Apple Watch.

At Rs 21,990 the Momentum 3 is among the more affordable high-fidelity truly wireless earphones out there. For those who appreciate their music as well as top notch call quality for all their online engagements, the Momentum 3 is a great choice.

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