Pros: immaculant design, durable headband, soft earpads, lightweight, beautiful sweet sound, great isolation (enough for bus, and subway)
Cons: wanted a bit more treble sparkle and energy. more forward female vocals
This was Sennheiser’s first stab at the lifestyle consumer market, and to say the least I think they succeeded beyond my expectations! The Momentums are a probably the most well rounded headphone (in all aspects) I have ever seen/heard. I think because of how well the Momentums executed in the all the sections I listed below, this makes the Momentum an easy recommendation for basically everyone. Click on the youtube link for a condensed video review
The headphone come in a hard shelled carrying case rather large, about half the size of my 13-inch macbook pro (see the picture below). Inside you see the case is perfectly molded to the shape of the headphones. Something to note, you can keep the cable attached to the headphone even when storing them away (a huge plus in my book, so you don’t have to detach and reattach the cable too often). In the middle you see an oval shaped piece that is attached with Velcro, lifting it you can store your cables and other accessories here.
Something to note, you have to retract your headphones each time when inserting them back into the carrying case.
The headphones come with 2 detachable cables both 1.4 m in length (perfect for portable use), both have a special twist and lock mechanism once inserted into the left earcup of the headphone. Something to note, the side that connects to the earcup is 2.5mm while the other end is 3.5mm (for your audio device). One is a stock audio cable with a straight jack. The second cable has a IOS remote and mic (3 button remote, for play/pause/rewind/fast-forward and Siri), made of entirely metal. The remote cable also has a very unique feature on the jack(which is made of metal), which swivels and allows it to be both a straight, 45 degree, or l shape jack, so they can fit with whatever your preferences are. Very nice touch!
Design and Build quality
Upon unboxing the momentums (click the youtube video below)
You can see I absolutely gushed at the quality of the materials used to make these headphones. The design is a very minimalist, yet slightly retro. It’s a headphone that screams quality, that can easily appeal to a wide population (that comes in black, brown, and ivory). A design that’s truly exquisite and timeless.
The headband padding and the earpads are made of a sweat and water resistant leather. The headband itself is a 1 piece stainless steel band, very sturdy. The headband is split at the top, to allow for better ventilation (reducing hotspots) and allow for greater stability.
The earcups are made of a high quality matte plastic (doesn’t pick up fingerprints) and swivel to easily fit anyone’s head shape and size. That adjusts based on friction, sliding up and down. (once adjusted the headphone does not slide around unless intended).
Every part that touches your head when wearing it is made of leather, metal. Very premium indeed.
Both cables are of medium thickness and with adequate strain relief and easily replaceable on sennheiser’s website.
Overall: 9/10 (the size adjusting function (based on friction) is unique but I question its longevity, especially if your retracting and extending (when using the hardshell case)
Comfort seems to be a hit and miss, as noted here on head fi, and many other reviewers, the earpads are small for a full size/over ear headphone, some stating their ears don’t fit inside making these into on ear headphone.
My ears fit inside, the edge of my right ear touches the fabric on the inside, so those with bigger ears should definitely try these. The edge of my right ear touches the fabric on the inside, so those with bigger ears should definitely try these. However despite all this, I found the comfort superb, the combination of the soft, silky earpads and the light clamping force allows these to be comfortable while remaining secure. These like many over ear headphones do cause some sweating on a hot day, but for the most part the earpads are breathable and doesn’t lead to discomfort.
The weight of these headphones are about 190g. making them very very lightweight for full size headphones. And even though the headband doesn’t have a lot of padding, because of how lightweight the headphones are this isn’t an issue at all.
I felt the passive isolation was very impressive. These can be used in even the most demanding environments, from the library all the way to subway commuting. They won’t isolate as much as a pair of deep sealing earphones but for full size headphones, their very impressive.
Sound quality: I continued to be amazed once I put these headphones on and started listening. These headphones really are a fantastic all- arounder. Every song I listened to, the Momentums reproduced marvelously.
Bass: the bass on the momentums is slightly emphasized, and it reaches very low, and has adequate tightness, and is very nimble. It’s the kind of bass that played well with a wide variety of music both at home and on the subway (where its competing with the loud screeching wheels and people talking).
Midrange: I found that for acoustic or ballad tracks the momentums reproduced the tranquil atmosphere beautifully, and was dry, and very natural sounding. I found the momentums did favour male vocals over female vocals, so the male vocals does have a bit more body and character. The female vocals have the same amount of clarity but they sound a bit thinner, this was probably done to prevent fatigue from of those powerful female vocals, which can be a bit much when listening on other headphones.
Treble: The treble on the momentums is relaxing and does have a bit of roll off. Those that listen primarily to more electronic based music may find the treble a bit lacking in energy. However, the treble is very articulate and the trade off for that extra treble energy allows it to never be fatiguing (a plus for long term listening). I would like just a bit more sparkle on the treble for it to have a bit more air.
Soundstage: In terms of soundstage, its rather vast and 3D sounding. I’m surprised at how open it sounds for being a closed headphone. Instrument layering is impressive and while remaining open at the same time.
These can easily be worn around the neck when not in its carrying case. With no restriction in head movement. See review below. The Momentums however don’t fold up, but I think this helps keep the weight down without losing durability. They were intended to play off Smartphones, and it does not require any external amplifier.
Overall I felt that the momentums are an amazing set of headphones. It has easily become my first recommendation when some wants something that’s stylish, portable, durable, yet lightweight, while at the same time sounds amazing. Yes you can have your pie and eat it it.
Total Score: 52.5/60 = 87.5%