Germany's Sennheiser has upgraded the Accentum headset with touch functionality and faster fast charging, and Petter has had them on his mind for the last few days...
If there's something I'm really good at. Very, very good at... It's nagging. I'm a nagger, in a beard. I nag often and gladly and repeat myself more than an old broken vinyl player stuck in the same place, on the same disc and just repeating the same thing for an absolute eternity. That's kind of how I feel about Sennheiser's Momentum 4 wireless ANC headphones. I gave it high marks in my review, drowning the headphones in superlatives and showering Sennheiser with glowing praise. I then wrote a number of blogs about my long-term test (I've been using them daily for over a year now) and I intend to keep telling those of you who don't own a pair of Momentum 4's that you really need to buy a pair of Momentum 4's. You need them in your life, because they are the best in their class. By far the best.
While the Momentum 4 at release cost almost £300, Sennheiser took the opportunity last year to roll out a little brother that borrowed parts of the technology but skipped things like touch functions and the same size of the elements, in order to be able to land on a clearly lower price. Accentum has cost £149.99 since its launch and now it's time for the sequel, Accentum Plus, which has become a bit more expensive than the original models (around £30).
For that extra cash you get the touch functions from Momentum 4, adaptive noise reduction from Momentum 4 and new fast charging that gives you a full five hours of battery life via ten minutes of charging. The total time at 100% battery capacity is a full 50 listening hours (just like the previous model) and here Sennheiser is the market leader. The ANC is also adaptive now, as I said - just like in the Momentum 4. In this way, Sennheiser has built a headphone that falls in between Accentum and Momentum 4. A perfect middle ground... But what do they sound like?
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I don't hear a huge difference in the sound of the Accentum versus the Accentum Plus, which is a bit of a disappointment for me. The sound is less warm and less engaging than that of the Momentum 4 but there is more detail in the higher frequencies here instead which I guess rhymes a bit better with the traditional sound character of the Germans. It feels a bit transparent in the standard EQ for my part and I clearly prefer the character of Momentum 4 much more, as they are more playful, engaging, offer better dynamics, punch and a larger and more expansive soundstage where each band and each song feels "bigger". The Accentum Plus sounds pretty good, but considering that they now require another £30 and upgraded the sound chip, I would have liked to have more - here.
Another aspect that I don't really like is the design, again. Accentum Plus just like Accentum looks a bit too cheap and plasticky to cost the amount it does. Momentum 4 shares the same unassuming, all-black plastic covers but at least they're bigger and the headband is covered in a fabric material that feels lavish compared to all the plastic, here. They hug my cranium a bit too much too, which Momentum 4 does not. If you have a smaller head than this old uncle, it is of course no problem but I think the Momentum 4 is incredibly comfortable even during longer periods, which the Accentum Plus is not really.
The new touch functions are good. They work well and the Sennheiser app is good. The sound here is alright but it doesn't engage and for the price I would have expected more. Considering that you can currently find the Momentum 4 for £270, there is no doubt where I place my recommendation. Skip the Accentum and Accentum Plus, buy the Sennheiser Momentum 4. They are superior to these headphones, in every conceivable way.
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6 / 10
Smooth touch functions, good separation, good ANC, great battery life, supports AptX Adaptive,
Plastic and ugly design, small hoods, the fit hugs my cranium, the sound image does not engage like Momentum 4, too expensive