The best ANC headphones to buy?

the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless It’s the latest pair of premium noise-cancelling headphones to hit the market, but how do they compare to Sony’s WH-1000XM5? Active noise cancellation, or ANC, has become a sought-after feature when looking to buy a new pair of headphones. A feature that allows users to block out external noise, which can be useful when working or studying.

Many premium headphones, like the AirPods Max, Bose QC45, and Bose 700, tout noise cancellation as one of their top features. While ANC can be useful, it can also have its downsides, including making it difficult for the user to be aware of their surroundings. To mitigate this issue, headphones with ANC often have a transparency mode that lets in external noise when enabled. In this way, users are aware of moving traffic or announcements when they are in an airport or train station.


RELATED: Sony WH-1000XM5 vs. WH-1000XM4: Changes and Updates Explained

While both earbuds fold flat, the Momentum 4 Wireless Earbuds have a slightly thicker headband that’s covered in PU leather like the ear cushions. In contrast, the WH-1000XM5 uses vegan leather. None of the earphones come with sweat and water resistance, so it is not recommended to use them when exercising or in the rain. Both are available in two colors: black and silver for the Sony WH-1000XM5 and black and white for the Sennheiser Momentum 4.

The Momentum 4 has better battery life

Sennheiser’s 42mm dynamic drivers are much larger than the 30mm drivers included with the Sony WH-1000XM5. Both Sony and Sennheiser use touch controls to play/pause, adjust volume, and activate ANC directly from the headphones. Both also have wear detection and will automatically pause playback when removed. The Momentum 4 wireless headphones have two beamforming microphones per cup to help pick up voices during calls and sounds for noise cancellation. While that’s an improvement over the previous generation, Sony’s headset outperforms them with 8 mics, 4 per side (two of which are beamforming mics). Sony headphones also have a dedicated QN1 HD noise cancellation chip that works with the V1 integrated processor for one of the best noise cancellation experiences in its class.

Both headphones also feature a transparency mode for when users need to let ambient sound in, and Sony goes even further by adding a talk to chat feature that automatically pauses playback and activates transparency mode when the user starts speaking. When you’re done, the headphones will automatically resume playback. Both also support Bluetooth 5.2 and should connect to a wide range of Bluetooth-enabled devices. However, pairing on Android and Windows PCs should be easier with the Sony WH-1000XM5 as it supports Google Fast Pair for Android and Swift Pair for Windows 10 and 11 PCs. The WH-1000XM5 is also compatible. with Bluetooth Multipoint, which allows pairing with two devices simultaneously, and Android users can find their lost headphones using the Google Find My Device app. Also, while the Momentum 4 Wireless supports A2DP, AVRCP, and HFP Bluetooth profiles, the Sony WH-1000XM5 supports all of these, as well as HSP. In terms of supported audio codecs, the Momentum 4 Wireless supports SBC, AAC, and Qualcomm’s aptX and adaptive aptX. Sony headphones support SBC, AAC, and its proprietary LDAC audio codec, as well as Dolby Atmos and 360 Reality Audio (spatial audio).

Sennheiser’s headphones may lag behind Sony’s headphones in terms of features, but they completely decimate Sony’s when it comes to battery life. On a single charge, the Momentum 4 Wireless will last up to 60 hours with ANC on. In contrast, the Sony WH-1000XM5 can only manage 30 hours with noise cancellation off and 24 hours with noise cancellation on. Sony’s headphones also take longer to charge: 3.5 hours compared to 2 hours for the Momentum 4 Wireless. Finally, compared to the $399 Sony WH-1000XM5, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless they are cheaper at $349.

Source: Sennheiser, Sony

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