Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 – Practical, popular evolution that misses a little magic

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 Sound recordings
MTW3 v CX400BT

In a nutshell, this latest evolution of Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wireless Bluetooth earphones offers an adaptive codec that should handle dropouts over distance better, improved ANC and call quality in noisy environments and more secure fit with a popular tuning that emphasises female vocals over the previous generation.

Love: sound quality is among the top tier with, by default, more forward female vocals than its predecessors which, while not to my taste, has a fresher, livelier sound that many may prefer.

Like: comfort, security of fit, the unobtrusive design that sits more flush in the ear, responsiveness of touch controls, lightness, microphone quality, water resistant IPX4 rating, long battery life, Qi charging, removing from the ear automatically pauses a track and replacing it resumes, activating transparency mode automatically pauses a track and deactivating resumes, transparency mode works well, ANC is good for an earphone (tho headphone ANC is much more effective) and does not affect EQ when switched on, the App offers good configuration of touch operation and EQ with my ideal touch configuration for volume (hold), pause (tap) and skip (double tap) by default, and there is no noticeable latency when watching videos.

Dislike: looks which are less distinctive and premium than the previous model, difficulty connecting to a 5y old Windows laptop, the charging port being at the front, the default tuning slightly emphasising upper mids with less bass rumble, single bud use only working with the right bud, there being no multipoint pairing allowing connection to and automatic switching between 2 devices at the same time like your phone and laptop, without unpairing and repairing, Sennheiser make you register to use the Sound Check custom EQ and Sound Zones location based EQ, there is some hiss at the higher levels of transparency mode, and finally value for pure sound quality, which is always my number one priority, is only fair.

I’ve characterised the review this way since a love can outweigh a dislike and vice versa, making simply totting up points in categories like sound quality, comfort, control scheme, security of fit, battery life, connectivity, etc. rather academic. In the final analysis, arguably the best buds are the ones you end up using the most.

The MTW3 maintains the solid foundation of the previous model but with a popular Harman style tuning that brings female vocals more forward in the mix. Such a tuning can emphasise female vocals at the expense of male however the MTW3 remains a good performer with both male (Peter Gabriel’s Heroes) and female (Nitin Sawhney’s Nadia) vocals being involving. They have a tight and deep but marginally less rumbly bass than their predecessor though the sub bass at 3:27 of Hans Zimmer’s “Why so serious?” still comes across as satisfying, if slightly less so than on my reference TWS earphones (that also conveys the plunging into water sounds at the beginning of Dario G’s “Voices” better). Soundstage is also slightly less wide on “Fly Me To The Moon” bringing the higher registers of Sinatra’s vocals more to the foreground.

So sound wise these are a sidestep from the previous generation, with a tuning that I find less natural but that many may prefer.

As someone who rarely uses earphone ANC, for me the new and improved features do not make up for the significant additional cost over alternatives, though admittedly these are much cheaper than the launch price of Sennheiser’s previous equivalent flagship model.

If you’re happy to forego some features like the ANC and top tier transparency, lower profile, more secure fit and auto track pause there are cheaper alternatives from the same manufacturer like the CX400BT and CX series that offer the same level of sound quality in a comfortable form factor.

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