Sennheiser Momentum Wireless
Design and materials: Closed circumaural design, with very good comfort. Like Sennheiser's acclaimed wired Momentum headphone, this new wireless model has a leather headband with stitched denim styling, and adjustable ear cups on metal sliders. Available with black or ivory earcups. It's the only foldable model in this roundup.
Supplied accessories: Leather carrying case, cloth carrying bag, signal cable, micro USB charging cable, two-plug airline adapter.
Specified battery life: 22 hours with Bluetooth and ANC engaged.
Noise cancellation: Claimed 25dB of noise attenuation. Moderately effective in our tests. The quiet portions of the Labeque Sisters playing "Prelude à la Nuit" for two pianos got buried in ambient noise. (But the piano tone was gorgeous.)
Control features: Sliding control on the right earcup lets you adjust volume, toggle play and pause, and skip tracks. There's also a switch for on-off and Bluteooth pairing.
Sound: Very good - by a slight margin my favourite of this crop. Of these four headphones, the Sennheiser did the best job of resolving complex orchestral music. Even on loud portions with the orchestra going full-tilt, the sound did not become congested or strident on the big opening to Nielsen's Fourth Symphony. On jazz, percussion had wonderful snap, acoustic instruments (piano, guitars, winds) sounded very natural. Male and female voices sounded lifelike, as did the instrumental accompaniment. Bass was deep and impactful.
Alone of these headphones, the Momentum Wireless maintains its excellent sonic performance even in passive mode, so you don't have to compromise on sound quality if your battery gives up (of course, you lose noise cancelling and Bluetooth connectivity).
Our verdict: Despite the youthful presentation, this is a headphone any mobile music lover will enjoy. However, its noise cancellation is less effective than the Parrot's and Beoplay's. On the other hand, the foldable design makes the Momentum Wireless the most travel-friendly of these four headphones.
Canadian retail price: $500
Canadian distributor: Sennheiser (Canada) Inc.