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Sony MDR-1R compared to Sennheiser Momentum

A Review On: Sony MDR-1R

Sony MDR-1R

Rated # 140 in Over-Ear
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Price paid: $269.00
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Pros: Great vocal performance, especially female vocal. Relaxed, smooth presentation with good speed. Open sounding

Cons: Isolation, Not sheep skin leather, Cable jack problem

Source: iPod Touch 3G ALAC filled

Amp: iBasso D12




Overall sound impression:

As somewhat a treble head and one that crave for mid-range, I have always found getting suitable portable headphones rather difficult. Most are either flat out studio headphones unsuitable for portable use or simply more that I am willing to pay for a pair of portable. Aside from the ES series from Audio Technica and Ed8 from Ultrasone, the portable line up for audiophile has always been rather thin and sparse. Sennheisser bought me hope when they announced the Amperior but the price difference from HD25 left me wanting for more.


I got to try out the Momentum a few days after launch and was convinced that I was what I had waited for years, something with sound quality and (socially acceptable) style, I think DT150 is stylish after all.


It was until the MDR-1R show up, it really did strike me in a way that the Momentum never did, in both the stunning looks and the comfort.  If I say the sound quality is as good as great home headphones, I will be just lying. It isn’t, and neither is the Momentum. However the sweet mids did strike me, as not many portable headphones tend to have this quality. 1R has this electrostatic like smoothness all across the frequency range that some thought it is not detailed due to that.


Momentum on the other hand impressed me with its deep and rich bass, it wasn’t over the top. In fact, the bass emphasis makes it the ideal choice for usage out in the streets. It has good isolation and comes with a very flexible (very thin) cable. I believe this headphone will be the ideal one for more audience than the 1R, with its well textured bass and non-offensive sound signature.



Build and comfort:

MDR-1R is one of the most comfortable headphones I have ever wore, including various giants like SR-009, TH900. Just that factor alone have made me love the headphones even more. MDR-1R is mostly a plastic build with the centre section made from metal. If only it used natural sheep skin leather, it will be full marks on comfort for sure.


Momentum is equally well built with even better material. It does subtract from the comfort by using a more “stylish” steel headband with thinly padded leather, lack of clicker extender and small earcups. The sheepskin leather is one of the best done leather pad however, very supple indeed.


Both headphones fits well enough to not move around on the move, even with long hair.


However both headphones have concerns somewhat related to the cables


MDR-1R users, including me have reported loose cable connective at the headphone end, it is only secured by the 3.5mm jack’s friction and grip. Cable can rattle against the outer casing on the headband or spin. Causes noise when moving.


Crude fix: http://www.head-fi.org/t/640127/


Momentum have extremely thin cable that doesn’t feel well built at all, there is some springiness when stretched, which is never a good sign.



Using both standard, non phone cable as comparison. The Momentum's cable is noticeable thinner and lack of good strain relieve.




In very short...


MDR-1R: Great vocal performance, especially female vocal. Relaxed, smooth presentation with good speed.  More open sounding of the two.


Momentum: Typical slightly U shaped sound, deep and well textured bass. Somewhat narrow and focused sound stage.



Who should give MDR-1R a try:

Female vocal lovers, who is into slower more mellow music, listening in quiet locations


Who should give Momentum a try:

Who wanted good bass performance, wanting a more exciting experience, listening out in the streets



I can’t recommend both headphones more myself, just that my personal choice favour the MDR-1R, the Momentum is great as well if you prefer that type of sound.


Well priced, good sound, good looks, it is what I have been looking for in portable for years, good job Sony and Senny.


Can you please measure the inside size of the earpads and take some comparison pictures? The Momentums were a little too small for me, but I'm considering getting some MDR1Rs if they're big enough. They look pretty close though.
Funny (or not) is fact that my Momentums fit well my left ear, but my right ear suffers...

Are you sure their sound is more U-shaped? Because I'd rather say it's \-shaped. Also the bass doesn't seem to go much below 100Hz.
I'm thinking of getting these but I am a little unsure about the laid-back sound. I listened to them at the airport and was otherwise very impressed. I was especially impressed with the smoothness you describe. The detail was far superior to my current Skullcandy Aviators.
I have decided after a few months of using my Aviators that the emphatic soundstage means I'm losing a lot of imagery. They are very smooth, which I like. As I said, the detail could be much better.
I listen to mostly hip-hop but am not a bass-head. I liked how the Skullcandy mostly ignored the bass but like the amount of bass on the MDR-1Rs. 
I don't like Sennheiser's because I feel their dynamics are too flat and boring sounding. 
Would these be the headphones for me? 
Thank you for your help. :)
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