Pros: flashy design, lots of fun colours, class leading comfort, fun sound (very deep bass, clear mids amazing treble, very wide soundstage), stable on head
Cons: lacks isolation(good for situational awareness, but doesn't block out noise), a bit too much bass (a bit loose), mids more recessed than i like.
For a condensed video review see the link below:
After the much acclaimed success of the Momentum (over ear) headphones, sennheiser wanted to recapture that magic and scale it down into a smaller, more portable, more affordable package. Here the Sennheiser Momentum On- Ear or MOE for short is born.
The MOE comes with both a soft carrying case and a fabric bag (with a drawstring) to protect these headphones. In terms of size they are about the same size as their older sibling (the momentum over ear) which is about half the size of my 13inch macbook pro. Inside you will found a pouch to hold your cables. I also liked that I didn’t have to take out the cable when putting into the carrying case. Also, I’d like to note I didn’t have to retract the earcups when storing them away each time (something I had to do with their older brother).
The headphone come with 2 detachable cables both are 1.4 m in length, both utilizing a twist and lock mechanism in the left earcup. The side entering the earcup is 2.5mm while the side entering the music player is 3.5mm. One cable is a stock audio cable that ends with a straight jack. The other cable is a 3 button IOS remote and mic, (for play/pause/rewind/fastforward and Siri) made of a combination of metal and plastic) and ends in a L shape jack.
Overall: 8/10 (I wish it came with a hard shell carrying case, to better protect the headphones from impact)
Design and build quality
In sort they look exactly like a baby version of the Momentum over ear. I find they are more eye catching and flashier than their older brothers which are more sleek and classy looking.They come in a wide variety of different colours (see picture below), so you will definitely find 1 (or 2 ) that will suit your tastes.
One notable differences in terms of materials is the use of Alcantara, which is a synthetic suede like material on the headband and the earpads (compared to the leather used on the older siblings). I will note in the comfort section below my findings on this change.
The headband made of a stainless steel band, that is split in the middle allowing for better ventilation and to prevent any hotspots while aiding in stability while on the head.
The earcups are much smaller than the over ears, and are swivels on a ball joint to fit different head shapes. Also the earcups are instead made of a glossy plastic (on the black and ivory versions at least), compare to the more matte like finish on the black momentums.
The headphones adjust based on friction and slide up and down depending on your head size. Again they don’t slide out of place unless force is applied.
The cables are well-made and replacable with good strain reliefs and thickness.
Overall: 8.5/10 (the glossy black does pick up fingerprints and again as stated on the my review on the over ear momentums, I’m not the biggest fan of the friction adjusting mechanism)
In terms of comfort the MOE I think hit it out of the park! Portable on ear headphones are normally not the most comfortable based on the fact that they have to press against your ear to remain secure). The clamping force is higher than the older brothers but I felt the combination of the earpads being so soft (so much padding too) allows them to feel very comfortable while being one of the most secure headphones I’ve ever tried (seriously, you can run and jump around without worrying about them falling off).
The alcantara used is really remarkable, the MOE while having very soft earpads and pressing against your ears are also very breathable. The surface of my ear barely accumulated any sweat even after 2-3 hour listening sessions.
Similar to the older brothers theres not much padding on the headband, but its not needed because at 160g, the MOE is as light as feather on my head.
Overall:In terms on on ear standard= 10/10
This is an area I feel the MOE suffered. For being advertised as a closed back headphone, they really don’t isolate all that much at all. Even walking around quiet neighbourhoods, I could hear basically everything around me. This is a good option for those that want to hear whats going around them, say when walking around downtown or when cycling or if you need to listen for the telephone in the office. But I wouldn’t be able to recommend them for buses, trains, or air travel.
Overall: 6/10- I suspect the alcantara material being so breathable, is the reason while it doesn’t isolate more (it’s a completely sealed design)
Sound quality: I want say this first, the Sennheiser had taken a different approach when tuning for the MOE aiming for a more exciting V-shape sound for the youth to young adult market, and the types of music many of them listen to (I suspect, anyway) which is geared more towards rap, hip &hop, pop, and more electronic music.
From now on I will just evaluate the momentums on their on merits. (I will write a separate review comparing both momentums.
Bass: Normally portable (on ear) headphones suffer from bass, and its extension due to the size of the housing. The MOE doesn’t suffer from this problem, the bass reaches very low and is very prominent. I will note that the bass oddly has a very different characteristic from when outside (in my relatively quiet neighbourhood for example) compare to home.
At home: The bass has boomy, slight looseness quality, I find the bass on some tracks to be a bit “droney” (tends to linger a bit) and distracting at times, losing out on some definition and a bit of texture.
Outside: the looseness of the bass is less noticeable (contending with the ambient noise) and it still reaches very low. And seems to be less “droney” as well. The bass is also less emphasized when outside, making it more balance sounding, but still with plenty of punch and rumble. Though still not netural by any means.
But for those that want bass impact from an on ear headphone the MOE should easily top your list!
Midrange: i find the midrange very clear actually with a hint of veiling. Despite the massive bass response it steers clear of it, a very common problem with bass heavy headphones. However, it is more recessed than my liking, it feels like the singer 2 rows back compare to the bass. Female vocals felt a bit more emphasized more so than male vocals on the MOE but that said female vocals never being unbearable or “too much”. That said it’s a very small margin. A very competent midrange in a V shaped headphone.
Treble: the treble is actually very nice. I felt it was emphasized very tastefully, imaging is good for an on ear headphone. It has a bit more sparkle and is quite detailed but is stays away from sounding harsh or overly aggressive. It extends well for an on ear (very surprising) and easily my favorite part of the sound. Theres no spikes or dips in the treble, very impressed!
Soundstage: another part are portable on ears usually suffer. But the MOE is the exception. The MOE easily has one of the widest soundstages you can find for a portable on ear. Its quite expansive. Though this causes everything to be a bit more diffuse sounding, so the bass, mids and treble stay separate from one and another, but this makes the overall sound a bit less integrated as whole (affecting the sonic imaging).
Overall:7/10 Portable headphones always suffer in more ways than one, and I felt the MOE fared pretty well. If sennheiser makes a revision doing some nip and tucks to the sound (bringing forth the mids a bit more, tightening up the bass), I’m sure it will amazing.
They fit easily around the neck when not in use, I don’t think anyone will have a problem with that, they can also easily slip into a messenger bag with little issues and are made to withstand everyday wear and tear.
Overall 9/10- again this is because they don’t fold up or flat
Overall I think the addition of the MOE to be a very good one to the momentum series. They can easily cater to different audiences and both sound very competent. Their small size and unique styling will easily make them stand out in the crowd (in an amazing way), along with a wide range of colours, you can find one that suits your personality! You’ll be hard pressed to find a more complete package if your in the market for a portable on ear headphone.