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Sennheiser MOMENTUM Review - Page 224

post #3346 of 3359

In case anyone feels the original momentum cable is too soft, springy, thin and flimsy, you can use the HD598 replacement cable instead 
http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Replacement-Audio-upgrade-Cable-For-Sennheiser-HD598-HD558-HD518-Headphone-/261255113290?

The twist to lock mechanism doesnt work, and you might need to sandpaper the plastic tip a little to make it fit more easily but in general it fits even more snug than the original cables, and its fit is really tight and as a result it won't come out easily.


Edited by streetdragon - 10/26/14 at 7:33am
post #3347 of 3359

I finally got to listen to both the on-ear and over-ear version. I didn't realize I had a local "Magnolia" Best Buy and these Senns were on display (albeit with the crappiest audition amplifier and music I've ever heard, way too bright. Luckily you could bypass their system and just use your iPhone with some real tracks).

So I went back and forth for an hour. If you're looking for a punchy, bassy can, the On-ear (smaller version) has more bass and, consequently, a fatter midrange. HOWEVER, that comes at an expense. The On-Ear are far less detailed and lose soundstaging, presence and depth. I was listening to some well-recorded Broadway (Royal Shakespeare Company's full orchestral version of the Wizard of Oz) and the smaller cans just don't cut it. At first I almost thought I preferred them for the big bass and warmer sound, but there's no Sennheiser "magic" to the smaller phones. They sound great for portables, but they're definitely not a showcase for what the best Senns do. I guess they're about twice as expensive as the old PX100s were. They're certainly built much nicer and they have a slightly more sophisticated sound, but the old PX100s were REALLY portable cans -- like they just came out of the blister packaging of a twenty-dollar Sony Discman. But the Px100 where the king of cheapie phones back in the 90s. The first really nicely balanced cheap portable phone. So, in a way, I guess these new Momentum on-ears are striving for an upscale portable line and in that way they're a success. And maybe these days a hundred and twenty bucks is the price of an entry level can with a little style (I still think it's pricey). I guess it's less than a set of Beats. So as a low end can, they're nice. Really warm and punchy, but to me, they're just lacking as Senns. And I like warm and punchy.

I've owned the HD600 and HD650 (and they remain a favorite, but I'm looking for portable cans right now) and with the on-ears you don't get a sense of that Sennheiser magic, the abilityy to project realism and depth. I liked the on-ears sound at first, but the more I listened and compared, the more I realized the larger over-ear cans are the winners between the two Momentum types. You could definitely groove with the on-ears, but it's not an audiophile sound, it's just a decent headphone sound, sorta the way I feel about the much loved HD25-II which I had and quickly sold, and didn't love. The HD25s started off as a professional phone for use in stagecraft and field work and was adopted by DJs for their cool "professional" look, but they aren't an audiophile can. They're just well-made headphones, but their sound is just "ehh." Boxy and claustrophobic as you'd expect a tiny closed can to be. The 600s and 650s have a huge soundstage and they can really reproduce all the nuance of a performance, to me that's the difference. There's an open and airy sound to them (while still being "meaty" and powerful, unlike some other airy cans)

Now the good news is the large "over-ear" Momentums are quite good! At first I almost didnt' like them because I wasn't getting as much bass from them as the on-ear version, which are really warm and punchy, as I said. But wait, bassheads don't jump ship yet! And I am a basshead, I admit it. Yes, I like bass. I think you need a bass lift with headphones. Maybe it's psychological, but as nice and airy as AKGs are (which I love), with a bassier phone feel like I'm listening to a "home system" instead of cans. The Senns and their bass gives me a little of that viseral slam that you get with home speakers. Like I said, maybe it's psychological. And you also get big bass in other "real life" situations. What concert or club have you been to that doesn't hit you with bass slam? So as far as I'm concerned, there ain't nothing wrong with liking bass.

Now the "over-ear" Momentums have a SLIGHT bass lift. Much less than the "on-ears" but because of that you get a TASTE of the Senn Magic! Fantastic. I would hear it with the Wizard of Oz stage production recording (the voices of the actors were well-defined onstage and there was the reverb off the walls of the hall -- one reason I like good Broadway recordings, they're so natural), then I switched over to the Rolling Stones live album "Get Yer Ya-Yas Out" and suddenly Mick's voice was there clear and on stage with definition and a sense of ambience. In comparison, the On-ear version really suffered here. Mick was just a shadow of a presence lost in the overly bloated and congested mix. This is where the fun, but lesser-sounding on-ears really lost out. There's no Sennheiser magic in the smaller Momentums like you get with the HD600s and 650s. None of the spacial information and soundstaging that makes the 600s and 650s come alive while also being a pleasantly warm and slightly bassy phone. But the over-ears? Ah, I could sense the ghost of the HD600 just around the corner. A little taste of their greatness in a portable package!

Now the Over-Ears are NOT of the same quality as the HD600 or HD650, but you can't expect them to be. They are half the size, portable and cheaper (You can find them for around 200 bucks now)). I also wasn't that impressed with the build quality, I don't know why people would rave about it. They are about as well built as any Koss headphone from the 70s that used cost forty bucks. Not half as impressive in real life as they are in photos. Nice, but they certainly don't feel or really look "rich."

Another problem as MANY have noted it, who the hell measured people's ears and came up with the leather cup size. Many people say they don't fit, that they're too small. I agree. My problem was ONE side fit great, it slid comfortably over my left ear like a glove, but my right ear must be a few millimeters bigger and it didn't fit. Too small! Crazy, I tried stretching the cup, but didn't have any luck. Maybe with some leather softenerI c an get the right side to give a bit like a shoe and fit, but what the hell, Sennheiser, you should have been more forgiving with the size!

BUT back to sound -- despite these failings the "over-ear" momentums sound very nice FOR A PORTABLE PHONE. I much preferred them to the AKGs, Pioneers and Sonys they had to audition (Sonys are just TOO warm and bass bloated). As I said, these Over-ear Senns DO give you as "taste" of the Senn magic, they do have a slight bass lift (about half of the on-ear version, and enough to make the AKGs just sound cold and lifeless) but they are still neutral enough that they work as pseudo-audiophile cans and give you that realism that the "real" Senns deliver. So much so, that I am getting a pair for my portable phones!

I hope this helps others.

post #3348 of 3359
Nice write-up. Agree with your impressions. I felt that the on-ears bass was too overpowering and bled into the mid-range.
post #3349 of 3359
Yeah after many months of use the earcups are still way too small, they feel very confining. So i said screw it and bent the crap out of the steel headband to adjust clamping force and positioning, now the fit is much better. At first i thought the clamp force was too much so i experimented with reducing it, but the bass became boomy and details seemed to be masked over, so i ended up increasing clamp force instead and experimented with different positionings until i found the right fit, i can wear these for a couple hours now whereas before 20-30 mins and theyd just pinch my ears, dig in below my earlobes, felt stuffy, etc.

I disagree about the build quality being cheap, with my experimenting of bending and stressing the headband i did some not very nice things to it and even dropped it a couple times from 4 feet up, and it kept on trucking with no signs of wear, aside from the slightly odd shaped headband now, it still looks brand new ish. Even the pads, being leather, have very little signs of usage. They are light so that may alter the perception of being a rugged robust headphone, but i think they can handle abuse rather well.

As for the sound, i mean theyre good and dont really do anything wrong, i dont get the impression that anything is missing with the music, theyre just a little unremarkable in any particular area and dont do anything incredibly awesome, and i suspect you can get similar SQ at a lower price, but a headphone not doing anything wrong is harder to find than one would imagine and add the good looks and portability and cant really complain even for the $300 i spent on these.

I have the black ones but always liked the way the brown ones looked, i might buy a backup pair now that they are cheaper
post #3350 of 3359
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benfica1 View Post

Nice write-up. Agree with your impressions. I felt that the on-ears bass was too overpowering and bled into the mid-range.

I have the on ears as well, and think its a much better value than the over ears considering theyre more comfortable for me and have the similar look plus the addition of more sparkly treble as well. But i find that they EQ really well and a little reduction of the mid bass (-6 db) is all it really needs to become a full fledged bargain with some of the best treble ive ever heard. That kind of bass extension and instrument separation is hard to find in any on ear headphone regardless of cost
post #3351 of 3359
Quote:
Originally Posted by potterpastor View Post

 It is not quite as high fidelity as the 600 or 650, but it gets you at least 80% of the way there, and you don't need to buy an expensive stereo system and headphone amplifier to make it sound great. Just an iPod touch will do fine, plus maybe a portable amp.

Agreed. All this about the Momentum not needing amplification or really being improved by an amplifier is just wrong. I've been listening to these all day with a variety of sources like nanos, iphones and line out on my iMac. I was ready to throw these over ear momentums back into their box and return them. They lacked refinement and sound anemic. So I said the hell with it, and broke out my old portable rig: My ipod video 5.5gen and a little bass boost CMOY. Well, now these Momentum sound terrific. Finally, real sound out of them! So if you think you're going to hear these phones do anything good without a good source and an amp, you're wrong. As potterpastor says, at the least you need a portable amp. He may being a little generous saying it will get you 80 percent of the way to a 650. Maybe more like 70 percent. But still Grab a $50 Altoids off ebay and tell me these phones don't really upscale much with an amp or don't need some power. They may satisfy the uninformed straight out of an iphone, but the headphone-experienced are going to be seriously underwhelmed unless they amp them. It's kind of a disappointment, as I bought them to use without an amp...but there you are. Thats the whole reason Tyll Hertsens created the first Airhead amp so long ago. You need an amp to make cans sing!

 

 

BTW. The whole earcup thing must be an individual headphone issue in addition to Sennheiser cutting it too close. I was complaining that on the pair I auditioned in the store my left ear fit nicely but the right side was too small. On this pair I just got today, both ears fit fine, with the LEFT ear being just a tad snug. So it's definitely a QC thing.


Edited by chadbang - 11/2/14 at 1:58am
post #3352 of 3359

IMO it's kind of skipping the whole point of being a portable headphone if it needs a headphone amp to sound good. That said I didn't have as negative an impression of the sound without an amp so I guess that's just a difference of opinion!

 

Interesting point about the ear cups size, I wouldn't have thought it would be that much of a difference between different headphones. I've tried a few momentums and my ears fit in them the same amount each time (my main ear fit and then earlobe was compressed by the pads - still very comfortable for me though). Could it be due to the earpads being compressed in different ways? That would definitely affect the size a bit because I wouldn't think sennheisers QC was bad enough to have such a difference in earcup size for different headphones.

post #3353 of 3359

Honestly, Momentums are very easy to drive and it doesn't really need any amp. From using Note 2 to AK240 the improvement isn't night and day.

It's very consumer friendly and sounds good out of almost anything, so don't expect an audiophile grade high transparency type of headphones from this.

post #3354 of 3359

You're all missing the point - all headphones sound better with separate portable amps and dacs, and cables made of woven unicorn hair.

post #3355 of 3359

I won some SAMBA Momentums today from Sennheiser at PAX!

 

I was told these colours are hard to find.. Only about 100 in Australia.

 

Hooray! 

 

post #3356 of 3359
They look very nice, hope they put a smile on your face.
post #3357 of 3359
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadbang View Post
 

Agreed. All this about the Momentum not needing amplification or really being improved by an amplifier is just wrong. I've been listening to these all day with a variety of sources like nanos, iphones and line out on my iMac. I was ready to throw these over ear momentums back into their box and return them. They lacked refinement and sound anemic. So I said the hell with it, and broke out my old portable rig: My ipod video 5.5gen and a little bass boost CMOY. Well, now these Momentum sound terrific. Finally, real sound out of them! So if you think you're going to hear these phones do anything good without a good source and an amp, you're wrong. As potterpastor says, at the least you need a portable amp. He may being a little generous saying it will get you 80 percent of the way to a 650. Maybe more like 70 percent. But still Grab a $50 Altoids off ebay and tell me these phones don't really upscale much with an amp or don't need some power. They may satisfy the uninformed straight out of an iphone, but the headphone-experienced are going to be seriously underwhelmed unless they amp them. It's kind of a disappointment, as I bought them to use without an amp...but there you are. Thats the whole reason Tyll Hertsens created the first Airhead amp so long ago. You need an amp to make cans sing!

 

 

BTW. The whole earcup thing must be an individual headphone issue in addition to Sennheiser cutting it too close. I was complaining that on the pair I auditioned in the store my left ear fit nicely but the right side was too small. On this pair I just got today, both ears fit fine, with the LEFT ear being just a tad snug. So it's definitely a QC thing.

Agreed they seem to actually be very sensitive to the source quality especially for a portable headphone.

post #3358 of 3359
Quote:
Originally Posted by streetdragon View Post
 

Agreed they seem to actually be very sensitive to the source quality especially for a portable headphone.

 

 

Absolutely, but that's a good thing. It means they're accurate! :)

post #3359 of 3359

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