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Sennheiser MOMENTUM Review - Page 224

post #3346 of 3352
Originally Posted by jay-w View Post

Yes I guess this is where preferences matter more not quality of hearing (had mine tested twice in 12 months). 

I think I've been spoiled by open headphones and more neutral sounding IEMs. On the Momentums I recently played a Jazz album and it sounded like the Bass player was standing out on the balcony. Put on the Alessandro's and brought him back inside and tightened up his projection. 

The hunt continues for a closed, portable to my liking. 

I've grown quite fond of the momentums despite not liking them too much at first either but yeah they aren't the most resolving or articulate and can get a little boomy however I really like them, you should take a look at the Bang and Olufsen H6, I auditioned it at length and it has a very open and spacious sound with superb detail retrieval and a much lighter tonality. I found them to not have enough bass for me, which probably means they would be just right for you.
post #3347 of 3352
Originally Posted by mgh24 View Post

Could you give a run down on how you compare the bass between the HD600, 650, and the Momentums?  I had a pair of HD600 that I sent back.  I really loved the sound, but am looking for something with more bass impact.  BTW, to my ears, the HD600 were not missing bass, seemed to me like it was all there, just not as strong as what I wanted.

Many thanks.

The 600 and 650 are very similar sounding headphones, but sub and mid bass impact is weightier on the 650, there is more thud, I guess you can say. The sound of the 650 is richer and thicker than the 600. You might like the 650 more because of this. I find myself reaching for the 600 more because I love the punchier dynamic neutral presentation.But many times, I put on the 600 and the 650 back to back, and I am more amazed by how similar they sound than by how different, especially with my Schiit Vali and Sony minishelf receiver.

The Momentum sounds a bit more like the 650 in that it has a rich warm presentation. Its mid bass is a bit boosted, but it does not have the sub bass impact of the 650 or the HP 50. I love the Momentum. 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.
Edited by potterpastor - 9/28/14 at 3:47pm
post #3348 of 3352

In case anyone feels the original momentum cable is too soft, springy, thin and flimsy, you can use the HD598 replacement cable instead 

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 #3349 of 3352

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 #3350 of 3352
Nice write-up. Agree with your impressions. I felt that the on-ears bass was too overpowering and bled into the mid-range.
post #3351 of 3352
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 #3352 of 3352
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
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