Originally Posted by starfly
Sennheiser Momentum vs KEF M500 comparison
Equipment used: Laptop > Fiio E07K DAC/AMP > headphone. All music is FLAC, CD quality (16-bit 44.1 KHz). EQ is flat.
Disclaimer: I’m not under the illusion that I have perfect hearing and can discern every little detail. When I was a bit younger I visited plenty of parties/concerts and there were several times I’d come home with ringing ears, i.e. I probably damaged my hearing a bit over the years :) Also, my point of reference in terms of sound is my Shure SE530 IEM with my iPod classic (Rockboxed). So my ears are used to a warm sound with forward mids. The purpose of this comparison test is for me to decide which one sounds better to my ears, in terms of overall sound signature, but also in terms of detail and physically speaking in terms of comfort and sound isolation (although I can live with a bit less isolation if the sound itself is really good).
Comfort: M500 is more comfortable on ears. Barely notice it’s there. However, when shaking my head, I feel like they could fall off. Momentum a bit less comfortable, they don’t fully engulf my ears, making them more on-ear than over-ear. It takes a bit of fidgeting each time I put them on before they sit well. However, they do stay put and I could almost headbang without having to fear them falling off.
Sound difference: they have a distinctly different sound. KEF M500 is more open sounding, a bit brighter. Momentum sounds a bit darker. M500 seems to have a wider soundstage, the Momentum a bit more intimate. Not sure which sound I like more and will have to do more detailed listening to decide that. It could just be my imagination, but the M500 seems to retrieve ever so much more detail on certain tracks I’m listening to (such as Sigur Rós – Ny Batteri, the live version from Inni).
Also the treble is a bit more pronounced on the M500 vs. the Momentum. So compared to the Momentum the sound is a bit bright I guess. For me that really takes some getting used to, since I’m coming from the Shure SE530 IEM, which is anything but a bright IEM.
In terms of vocals, so far I like the way the vocals sound on the Momentums a bit more than on the M500. On the M500 it sounds a bit thin compared to the Momentum (this is very relative of course and again keep in mind that I’m used to the Shure house sound).
As far as bass is concerned (I’m not really a basshead, but I do like it to be there when the music calls for it), I need to do some more A/Bing on that. They both seem to have plenty of it though :)
Isolation: The Momentum appears to isolate you from outside noise a bit better than the M500. Will have to do further testing on this though.
Anyway, these are just my initial impressions. Will update it some more over the coming days. Will probably decide by Monday which one I’ll keep :)