Sennheiser Accentum vs. Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: Which headphones should you buy?

Sennheiser has some of the best noise-canceling headphones in the wireless audio category, but until recently there was a bit of a mid-range gap between its entry-level and flagship offerings. The arrival of the Sennheiser Accentum at a mid-range price in October 2023 addressed that, bridging the gap between the company's entry-level Sennheiser HD 450BT and flagship Momentum 4 Wireless, while furthering the company's noise-canceling headphone dominance. 

With a very similar look and feature set, you may be wondering how the Accentum and Momentum 4 Wireless headphones compare. Both offer strong ANC performance with Sennheiser's signature sound, and they boast special features that personalize the listening experience. Plus, they share lengthy battery life, versatile connectivity and follow a fold flat family design. 

So what exactly are the differences between the two strikingly similar models, and which headphones are the better value? My Sennheiser Accentum and Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless comparison breaks the differences down for you. Read on to find out everything you need to know.

Sennheiser Accentum vs. Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: Specs compared

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Header Cell - Column 0 Sennheiser AccentumSennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless
Price$179 / £159 / AU$299$379 / £309 / AU$579
Size6.4 x 1.8 x 7.6 inches7 x 7.67 x 1.82 inches
Weight7.8 ounces10.3 ounces
Battery life (rated)50 hours60 hours
Driver size/type37mm dynamic drivers (10Hz to 22kHz)42mm dynamic drivers (6Hz to 22kHz)
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.2 with SBC, AAC and aptX HD supportBluetooth 5.2 with SBC, AAC and aptX Adaptive support
Noise canceling typeHybrid ANCHybrid Adaptive ANC
ColorsBlack, white (available soon)Black, white, denim, copper
AccessoriesUSB-C charging cableCarry case, USB-C charging cable, 3.5mm aux cable, in-flight adapter
Special featuresBass Boost mode, customizable EQ, Google Fast Pair Smart Control, Sound ZonesTouch controls, on-ear detection, Bass Boost mode, customizable EQ, Google Fast Pair Smart Control, Sound Zones

Sennheiser Accentum vs. Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: Price & availability

Image showing Sennheiser Accentum and Momentum 4 Wireless packaging side-by-side

(Image credit: Future)

There’s a considerable price difference between these two Sennheiser models at their full MSRP. The Accentum headphones were released in October 2023 at $179 / £159 / AU$299, while the Sennheiser Momentum 4 are currently priced at $379 / £309 / AU$579. 

The Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless over-ear ANC headphones originally launched at $349 / £299 / AU$549 in August 2022. They're currently available in black, white, denim and copper color options, and can regularly be found discounted on the Sennheiser website as well as online retailers including Amazon and Crutchfield

The Accentum headphones are pitched to bridge the gap between the Sennheiser HD 450BT ($139 / £129 / AU$319) and Momentum 4 Wireless, and follow a fold flat family design with Sennheiser's Smart Control companion app and high levels of comfort.

Winner: Sennheiser Accentum

Sennheiser Accentum vs. Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: Design

Sennheiser Accentum and Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless placed side-by-side on an off-white background

Sennheiser's Accentum and Momentum 4 Wireless headphones have a $200 price difference, but look strikingly similar when placed side by side. (Image credit: Future)

For the Momentum 4 Wireless, Sennheiser decided to completely revamp its over-ear headphone design, replacing the eye-catching classic design of the Momentum 3 Wireless with a more mainstream look and feel. Gone are the leather and stainless steel headband that integrated as a slider for adjusting the earcups, and the vintage cool that made the over-ear Momentum 3 Wireless so instantly recognizable and appealing. Construction and comfort are good for long listening sessions, but the clamping force on the Momentum 4 Wireless feels high.

The Accentum headphones feel like a scaled down version of the Momentum 4 that retains most of their sibling’s minimalist appearance and sleek craftsmanship. Nonetheless, the Accentum have a clean and stylish look that blends well with other swanky models. At 7.8 ounces, they're lighter on the head than the Momentum 4, but the higher clamp force is tight and the earpads are less comfortable compared to the soft, pillowy cushions fitted to Momentum 4. 

Winner: Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless

Sennheiser Accentum vs. Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: Controls

Sennheiser Momentum 4 review

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

The Momentum 4 Wireless implements reliable touch controls. Functionality is confined to the right earcup where the interface handles Play/Pause and Next/Previous track playback controls, Volume Up/Down, Answer/End/Reject Call, and ANC. A single physical button on the side of the right earcup facilitates Power Off and Pairing. 

A pinch zoom action with your fingertips on the touch pad adjusts the level of transparency without needing to go into the Sennheiser Control app. This is very useful, and allows users to control the level of ambient noise without having to unlock a phone. 

The touch controls are intuitive to use after a very short amount of time. On-ear detection worked well, and connected automatically to my playback device. I did find the sensors were a little too sensitive at times, and the headphones would auto connect and resume playback even when I was simply picking up the headphones to transport them around the house.  

Sennheiser Accentum on a cream-colored bench

There are no touch controls on the Accentum, and the physical controls on the edge of the right earcup may be a little too small and fiddly for some wearers. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Accentum doesn't have touch controls. Instead you get physical buttons that enable several functions (such as playback, call management and volume). The buttons are too small, though, and the multifunctional action button’s assigned control scheme is confusing. Voice assistants spring into life on both models, and work without any issues.

Winner: Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless

Sennheiser Accentum vs. Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: Sound quality

Tom's Guide Awards 2023 winners

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Momentum 4 Wireless are a fine example of Sennheiser’s commitment to elite-sounding headphones. They have aptX Adaptive support, which has slightly better audio signal handling over Bluetooth than the aptX HD support found on the Accentum. 

The Momentum 4 are just as happy with big energetic tracks, as they are with more melodic tunes.

With 42mm dynamic drivers in each earcup to deliver Sennheiser's signature sound, they have powerful bass levels with balanced mids and highs. They're geared toward a balanced sound across the entire frequency range, but that doesn't mean that it can't deliver big bass beats when it needs to. The pounding bass line of Big Data's "Dangerous" or Dua Lipa's "New Rules" streamed via Tidal from a Sony Xperia 1 IV smartphone with aptX Adaptive codec enabled shows how the Momentum 4 are just as happy with big energetic tracks, as they are with more melodic and mellow-sounding tunes by the likes of Gregory Porter. 

If you want to adjust the sound to your liking, both models have multiple EQ presets to choose from in the Sennheiser Smart Control app, plus there's an option to create your own using a three-band equalizer. There's also the facility to create Sound Zones that automatically adjust the headphones to a preset sound output relative to a particular location using your phone's personal tracking features.

Sennheiser added a Bass Boost preset to increase the low end without muddying up the soundstage. There’s even a Podcast preset that emphasizes vocals when listening to dialogue-centric content. The Personalization mode guides you through alternative sound options to help you choose the sound output that's right for you.

Sennheiser Accentum headphones

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

As you might expect, the lower priced Accentum headphones have smaller dynamic drivers — 37mm compared to 42mm fitted to the Momentum 4. They still pump out warm and detailed sound, though. Bass is surprisingly rich and blends beautifully with crisp mids that give vocals just the right amount of expression.

Bass is surprisingly rich and blends beautifully with crisp mids that give vocals just the right amount of expression.

With aptX HD codec support streaming from my Sony smartphone, the difference in audio quality feels marginal, and the Accentum headphones put in a strong performance as I repeatedly played my headphone listening test playlist on Tidal. There's perhaps a little less refinement in high frequency details. The soundstage feels confined to inside my head than the open-sounding and more immersive soundscape that's around me when I listen to the Momentum 4.

As superb as the Sennheiser Accentum headphones sound, it's perhaps not a much of a surprise that I prefer the Momentum 4 Wireless for their broader and more natural sonic presentation.

Winner: Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless

Sennheiser Accentum vs. Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: ANC

Sennheiser Momentum 4

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

These are two terrific noise-cancelers. The Accentum uses Hybrid ANC, and was very effective at reducing background sounds. I was barely able to hear the sound of my Sonos Era 100 blaring away in the next room while I worked away in my home office, and the external microphones targeted both low and higher frequencies. Transparency mode was effective, although there didn't appear to be a shortcut to easily activate it without going via the Sennheiser Smart Control app.  

In my tests, it felt as though the level of natural noise isolation from the over-ear design of the Momentum 4 was slightly better to begin with, thanks to the way the softer earcups enveloped my ears and passively shielded me from the noisy world. Simply wearing the headphone with nothing connected reduced the overall level of background noise quite significantly, even before ANC was activated, but some low frequency sounds manage to get through.

Sennheiser says that there's 1 outer mic on each earcup and 2 mics inside the earcups that analyze the level of background noise getting through. The Momentum 4 Wireless uses Hybrid Adaptive ANC technology to automatically adjust the level of noise cancelling to your surroundings. It didn't affect the overall sound quality or frequency balance, and I was totally unaware of the technology having any impact on my listening except to keep me utterly absorbed in whatever music I was listening to. 

Overall, the ANC performance on both models is very effective. It's a close run thing, which is surprising given the price difference, but overall the Momentum 4 Wireless is the slightly better noise canceler.

Winner: Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless

Sennheiser Accentum vs. Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: Connectivity

Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless headphones with case on window seat at reviewer's home

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Both pairs of Sennheiser headphones support Bluetooth 5.2 with multipoint technology for seamless connectivity with two devices at the same time. Managing device pairing from the Sennheiser Smart Control companion app is straightforward and the highest codec support is automatically selected, and displayed in the settings tab on the control app.

Winner: Tie 

Sennheiser Accentum vs. Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: Battery life

The headline feature of the Momentum 4 Wireless is the 60-hour battery life, which Sennheiser claims is achievable even with ANC fully enabled. This is exceptionally high for a headphone of its type, and by comparison outperforms the Sony WH-1000XM5 by some 30 hours. In fact, the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless gives one of the longest battery durations of any pair of noise-canceling headphones we've tested.  

Playtimes for the Accentum are still impressive but are 10 hours less at 50 hours of listening time with ANC on. In real-world conditions, though, our testing showed the headphones tapped out around the 42-hour mark.

Charge time for the Momentum 4 Wireless takes around 2 hours, while a 5-minute quick charge results in a 4 hours playtime. The Accentum takes approximately 3 hours to fully charge, and a 10-minute charge is said to give up to 5 hours music playtime.

Winner: Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless

Sennheiser Accentum vs. Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless: Verdict

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Header Cell - Column 0 Sennheiser Accentum Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless
Price and value (5)54
Design (15)1213
Controls (10)79
Sound quality (25)2224
ANC performance (20)1718
Call quality (10)88
Connectivity (5)44
Battery life (10)910
Total score (100)8490

It's probably not much of a surprise to learn that Sennheiser's Momentum 4 Wireless headphones give stronger performance overall. They're packed with features and deliver signature sound at a price that undercuts the competition by a considerable margin — they are a great alternative to the likes of the Sony WH-1000XM5 and Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones that rank top in our best noise canceling headphones guide, for example.    

Considering the price difference though, the great sound with impressive battery life and powerful noise neutralization make the Accentum an enticing option at an affordable price. You have to live without niceties like on-ear detection, no carry case and slightly inferior comfort levels, but dollar for dollar, they perform exceptionally well and are outstanding value if your budget won't stretch to the Momentum 4.

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Lee Dunkley
Audio Editor

As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.