Headphones are so damn good these days it’s getting harder and harder to find a point of differentiation between them all, but I think the more you look at the market the more you see different brands carving out their own niche, while also staying competitive – the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless over-ear headphones are a fascinating example of that.

Using these on a long haul flight, I got some of the now accepted features of a premium headphone like touch and swipe controls for volume and track movement that are placed on the right ear.

And of course, built into the whole purchase is the advanced Sennheiser app which is there to tweak the sound and to manipulate the active noise cancelling, something you most certainly want on a plane.

However, I found the lack of physical button control a bit of a disappointment.

There is a single physical button for Bluetooth control and power.

But at times I like to switch down the noise cancelling levels, something you can do with touch controls, but man, it’s a lot of touch controls and the touch-control surface is so sensitive that you can set it off accidentally more than I’ve experienced before.

I think the concept of pinch controls on that touch-surface is good, but it’s just a personal choice to prefer a physical button for some things.

It’s impossible not to compare these to the Sony WH-1000XM5 which carry the same $549 price tag, and lets be clear, that’s big coin.

On the Sony’s I have more physical on-device control, as well as their speak to pause or hold the right ear to hear through – all very good on a plane.

But, What I’m missing here is that these are for the audiophile.  Not that they are the best sounding headphones available, but I’m pretty sure that someone who appreciates the finer details of music and sound far better than me will agree that the Sennheiser Momentum 4 over-ear headphones offer a superior sound quality – full stop.

That full stop is critical, but you also need to appreciate the fine balance we’re dealing with here.  I switched from one headphone to another and back listening to all kinds of music over and over, and every time I did come back to the Sennheisers for the win, but man-o-man it was tight.

I do wish they came in a smaller case, these don’t fold in at all, so you’re carrying around a case the size of the headphones, where as the Bose or older Sony’s will fold in on themselves meaning less space taken up in your carry-on.

I think what might help win you over to the Sennheiser Momentum 4’s is the outstanding battery life – up to 60 hours they say, and I’ve got no reason to challenge that from my testing.

Plus, you can add six hours with a 10 minute charge.  Pretty remarkable given how annoying getting on a plane with dead headphones can be!

Bottom Line, these are an outstanding set of over-ear headphones.  Top class Audio and music quality, with advanced multi-touch controls

The Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless will be available for pre-order today, and go on sale from August 23, for $549.95