Sennheiser Momentum 3 vs Shure Aonic 50: Which is Better?


Sennheiser Momentum 3 and Shure Aonic 50 are both flagship products of their respective manufacturers. The companies have seen a surge in sales after releasing the headphones, with users claiming that they’re better than playmakers like Sony and Bose. But which is better? The Sennheiser Momentum 3 or Shure Aonic 50? 

The verdict: The Sennheiser Momentum 3 is a better set of headphones than the Shure Aonic 50. The Sennheiser Momentum 3’s sound has better instrument separation and bass. The Sennheiser Momentum 3 also makes your voice sound better than the Shure Aonic 50. Plus, Sennheiser’s active noise cancellation reduces ambient noise more effectively than Shure’s. 

SpecificationsSennheiser Momentum 3Shure Aonic 50
TypeOver-EarOver-Ear
EnclosureClosed-BackClosed-Back
Driver TypeDynamicDynamic
Driver Size1.65″ / 42 mm1.97″ / 50 mm
Active Noise CancellationYesYes
Bluetooth Version5.04.0
Battery Life17.8 hours17.3 hours
Weight0.7 lbs0.74 lbs
FoldabilityFolds flat onlyFolds inward
Case TypeSoftHard
Voice AssistanceYesYes
PriceCheck latest price on AmazonCheck latest price on Amazon

Design: Winner = Sennheiser Momentum 3

Sennheiser Momentum 3
Sennheiser Momentum 3

The Sennheiser Momentum 3 has a sleek design. It does not look too bulky, but not too small to not be noticed. Its dark colors properly accentuate its metal frame, which makes the headphones look posh and elegant. 

Though this set of headphones has large oval cups, they do not look overpowering. The headband is also quite simple, which goes well for those trying to achieve a minimalist look. 

On the other hand, the Shure Aonic 50 has a premium look. It looks bulky, which makes it stand out from the crowd. A dark color dominates its whole look. The Shure Aonic 50 has large ear cups as well. However, their size is somehow overpowering, which some users might find unattractive. 

The Sennheiser Momentum 3 is better than the Shure Aonic 50 in terms of design. The winner is more aesthetically pleasing because it has a sleeker style. Plus, it doesn’t look too bulky nor overpowering, as opposed to the Shure Aonic 50. The Sennheiser Momentum 3 is proof that simplicity equates to elegance. Overall, it looks posh without trying too much. 

Comfort: Winner =  Shure Aonic 50

Shure Aonic 50
Shure Aonic 50

The Shure Aonic 50’s ear cups come with removable padding made of faux leather. Due to this, the headphones are breathable and don’t trap a lot of sweat. 

Its headband is wide, cushioned well, and evenly distributes the headphones’ weight. Its clamping force is just right― not too strong to be painful, but strong enough to be stable. Thus, the Shure Aonic 50 should not be too uncomfortable to wear even after many hours of use. 

On the other hand, the Sennheiser Momentum 3 has ear cups that come with genuine leather. Though well-cushioned, the leather makes the ear cups not too breathable. It also traps sweat easily, which is not ideal for long gym sessions. On the plus side, the ear cup padding is soft and cushy. 

The Sennheiser Momentum 3’s headband is wide enough to distribute the weight of the earcups well. Its clamping force is just a little weaker than that of the Shure Aonic 50, but it is stable enough to hold onto your ears after many hours of use. 

The Shure Aonic 50 won this round because of the breathability its ear cups offer. In contrast to the Sennheiser Momentum 3, it doesn’t trap much sweat, making it ideal for long exercise sessions. 

Durability: Winner = Sennheiser Momentum 3

The Sennheiser Momentum’s ear padding is made of genuine leather, which is highly resistant to wear and tear. Its frame is made of solid metal, which gives it not only a premium, but sturdy feel as well. The hinges are also strong, given that the headphones are flexible enough to be able to fold inwards. 

Due to these sturdy materials, the Sennheiser Momentum 3 must be able to withstand many accidental drops and the test of time. 

On the other hand, the Shure Aonic 50’s ear padding is made of faux leather, which is prone to wear and tear. Its frame is mostly made out of dense plastic. Though arguably sturdy, solid metal is still stronger than plastic. However, the Shure Aonic 50 should be able to withstand a few drops. 

The Shure Aonic 50’s hinges feel sturdy. However, the headphones can only be folded flat and not inwards, so the hinges’ durability is questionable. 

The Sennheiser Momentum 3 is more durable than the Shure Aonic 50. It’s because it has a stronger frame (solid metal vs. plastic), better ear cup padding (genuine leather vs. faux leather), and more flexible hinges. 

Case Durability: Winner = Shure Aonic 50

The Shure Aonic 50 comes with a zippered hard case that looks elegant. It gives the headphones great protection against scratches and bumps. Though not fully waterproof, the case also does a good job protecting the Shure Aonic 50 from water damage.

In addition, the hard case feels sturdy enough to add an extra layer of protection against accidental drops. Given that, the Shure Aonic 50 will surely last longer if it’s inside its case whenever it’s dropped. 

On the contrary, the Sennheiser Momentum 3 comes with a zippered soft case. It gives the headphones slight protection against bumps and scratches. It is not waterproof, which means that it can only protect the headphones from minor water exposure. 

Given that the Sennheiser Momentum 3 comes with a soft case, one cannot expect an additional layer of protection against accidental drops. Thus, the same amount of physical damage caused by falls can be expected with or without the case. 

The Shure Aonic 50 is the winner of this round. It’s because of its hard case, which is clearly stronger than the Sennheiser Momentum 3’s soft case. As long as the Shure Aonic 50 is in its case, the user doesn’t have to be afraid of great physical damage due to falls or water exposure. 

Portability: Winner = Sennheiser Momentum 3

The Sennheiser Momentum 3 has flexible hinges that allow it to be folded inward. This feature is an epitome of portability. Thus, many traveling gamers and music enthusiasts will surely like this set of headphones. 

Its soft case is also not that bulky, making the Sennheiser Momentum 3 easy to slide into one’s bag or car. The soft case can be easily pushed down to fit compact luggage as well. 

On the other hand, the Shure Aonic 50 doesn’t have fully flexible hinges. Due to this, the headphones can only be folded flat. Unlike the Sennheiser Momentum 3, the Shure Aonic 50 cannot be folded inward. This makes the Shure Aonic 50 slightly harder to carry around. 

Its hard case is also bulkier than most headphone cases, making it occupy a lot of space in one’s bag. Given this, the Shure Aonic 50 is not the best option for those traveling light. 

Thus, the winner in terms of portability is the Sennheiser Momentum 3. It weighs less, is flexible, and folds into a compact form that many travelers dream of. It is a great option for those who are always on the move and therefore have to carry their headset with them. 

Sound Quality: Winner = Sennheiser Momentum 3

The Sennheiser Momentum 3 offers listeners powerful bass depth. It sounds rich, which many audiophiles consider top-notch, if not the best. The bass is slightly affected when the ANC (active noise cancellation) mode is on. However, this is a usual side effect for headphones offering the said feature. 

This set of headphones has an excellent sound signature as well. There is a great balance between the lows and highs. Its high-frequency clarity is something to be applauded as well. On top of that, it has excellent instrument separation, which many ANC headphones find hard to achieve. 

On the other hand, the Shure Aonic 50 offers decent, but not adequately powerful bass. It sounds fine, but it is something that not many audiophiles fancy. Its volume and bass signature are also greatly affected by its ANC mode. When the ANC mode is on, the volume and bass go up. 

On the plus side, the Shure Aonic 50 has an excellent sound signature. It offers a good balance between the highs and lows. The clarity deserves to be recognized as well. 

The winner of this round is the Sennheiser Momentum 3. It’s because it has a better sound signature, more powerful bass, and better clarity than the Shure Aonic 50. Plus, the Sennheiser Momentum 3’s ANC mode slightly affects its sound profile, as opposed to the Shure Aonic 5’s ANC mode, which significantly affects its volume and bass. 

Microphone Performance: Winner = Sennheiser Momentum 3

The Sennheiser Momentum 3’s microphone performance is excellent. The recording sounds clearer and fuller than most Bluetooth headphones in the market. The mic also effectively eliminates background noise, making one’s voice sound crisp and clear. The sound from one’s breath is also eliminated, given that the speaker is at the right distance from the mic. 

The microphone’s signal is also great, which meant that no delays or annoying feedbacks will be encountered. Thus, the Sennheiser Momentum 3 is a great choice for people who often go on long calls. The other side will definitely hear the user’s voice clearly. 

On the contrary, the Shure Aonic 50’s mic performance is acceptable, but not as great as the Sennheiser Momentum 3’s. The recording sounds subpar. It sounds muffled, and with a few distortions. The mic only eliminates a little bit of background noise, which can be disappointing especially if a call is placed on a running vehicle. The user’s breath can also be noticed despite being at the right distance from the mic. 

The mics signal is also not the best, since the voice can lag at times. Due to this, calling for long hours might not be the best thing to do using this headset. 

For these very reasons, the Sennheiser Momentum 3 is better than the Shure Aonic 50. Its microphone effectively eliminates noise and has excellent signal― things that the Shure Aonic 50 must have. 

Noise Cancellation: Winner = Sennheiser Momentum 3

The Sennheiser Momentum 3 offers top of the line active noise cancellation. It does a great job of blocking strong noise such as that of car, train, or bus engines. The headphones also effectively get rid of ambient noise such as office chatter and air conditioning system noise. Given these, the Sennheiser Momentum 3 is an excellent option for daily commuters and light sleepers.

In addition, the Sennheiser Momentum 3’s sound profile is not significantly affected by its ANC mode. Thus, one can expect to enjoy great music and sound effects while blocking out noise. 

On the contrary, the Shure Aonic 50’s active noise cancellation is decent, but not top of the line. The headphones can effectively cancel ambient noise such as office chatter or chirping birds. However, it does not perform well when it comes to canceling loud noise such as engine sounds. Thus, one might be disappointed when listening to music on a running train. 

It’s also worth noting that since the Shure Aonic 50’s ANC mode significantly affects its sound profile, one cannot expect the best listening experience while blocking out noise. 

The Sennheiser Momentum 3 won this round because it effectively blocks out both ambient and powerful noises, unlike the Shure Aonic 5 that can only block out ambient noise.

Battery Life: Winner = Sennheiser Momentum 3 

The Sennheiser Momentum 3 has a long battery life. With more than 17 hours of continuous playback with the ANC mode on, the Sennheiser Momentum 3 is designed to last for a whole day. This set of headphones also come with a smart feature that puts it into standby as soon as you take the Sennheiser Momentum 3 off your head. It also automatically turns off whenever they’re folded. These effectively saves battery life, which many find amazing. Like other rechargeable headphones, the Sennheiser Momentum 3 can also be used while being charged. 

Like its counterpart here, the Shure Aonic 50 also has a long battery life. With a little over 17 hours of continuous playback with the ANC feature on, the Sennheiser Momentum 3 is designed to last long after a single charge. On the downside, the Shure Aonic 50 does not have a smart feature that automatically turns it off or put it into standby mode. Thus, its battery can be easily drained if not manually turned off when not in use. 

In terms of battery life, the Sennheiser Momentum 3 (17.8 hours of continuous playback with ANC mode on) is better than the Shure Aonic 50 (17.3 hours of continuous playback with ANC mode on). The Sennheiser Momentum 3’s smart, power-saving feature also makes it a better choice over the Shure Aonic 50, which doesn’t have one. 

Controls and Functions: Winner = Shure Aonic 50

The Shure AONIC 50 has an instinctive control system. All major functions can be enabled through physical and touch-sensitive buttons, which are convenient in various situations. It’s like the Shure Aonic 50 is designed to be used in extreme environments where touch-sensitive controls are unstable. 

The headphones’ volume and track controls are found on the right ear cup. Next to them is the sliding toggle that turns on talk-through or ANC mode. The placement of the controls is pretty handy, given that most users can easily locate controls if they are on the right earcup. 

On the other hand, the Sennheiser Momentum 3’s control scheme is not as intuitive as its counterpart. While one can easily play or pause music, and answer or end calls using its buttons, distinguishing which is hard, even for those who have been using the headphones for a long time. 

In addition, the Sennheiser Momentum 3 has a button that adjusts its ANC mode and talk-through. There’s also an extra button that controls the voice assistant. However, it puts the headphones in Bluetooth pairing mode when held.  

Thus, the Shure Aonic 50 is the winner in terms of controls and functions. It’s easier to use, doesn’t confuse the user, and is versatile enough to be used in different environments. 

Conclusion

Given that they are at the same price range, the Sennheiser Momentum 3 is a better option than the Shure Aonic 50. Out of the 10 categories featured in this article, the Shure Aonic 50 only bested the Sennheiser Momentum 3 in terms of comfort, case durability, and controls & functions. 

The rest of the categories― design, durability, portability, sound quality, microphone performance, noise cancellation, and battery life are dominated by the Sennheiser Momentum 3. 

We may have given our opinion about the two premium headphones, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you to choose which one to buy. After all, we prioritize headphone features differently. If you value comfort, controls, and case durability above all, you can go for the  Shure Aonic 50. If not, buy the Sennheiser Momentum 3. 

Rune Bearson

As you can see, I love my headphones! I use them every day when commuting, watching YouTube videos, playing guitar/piano and doing chores. I'm a podcast addict and I like all kinds of music from metal to chillout ambient.

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