Fair enough Lach. UE's V-shape is indeed very unique whatever the model. I have not tried the UE 900 myself but I suspect they perform in a similar way to that of the TF 10s. I really enjoyed that V-shaped signature coming out of my TF 10's. I only had to sell them due to the fact I don't tend to listen to music outdoors that often any more. Under this prism I'm after an on-ear pair that will be mostly destined for indoor use but won't forbid use outside, on the plane, bus etc.
So, got down to the stores again this morning to re-try the on ear momentums. Yes, I'm seriously tempted to take the plunge after all. I have to say my initial impression has not changed. Still brilliant to my ears. This time I've tried them being driven by my Cowon D3 instead of the Nexus 4 that I only had with me the other day.
There were many other headsets around but I wanted to restrict my attention to the comparison between the on ear momentums, the full sized momentums, the B&W P3s, the B&W P5s and the Monster DNAs. I also tested Bose 0E2i but very briefly.They seemed to me good in clarity but very ''flat'' sounding and cheap/generic constructed so I didn't bother any more with them...
Having said those above, I came to the following conclusions:
1) Both Momentum versions have similar sound signature to my ears. I know some of you might disagree (like you Lach) but I didn't see much of a difference except for the isolation thing which is about 30% better in the bigger sized momentums. I know you won't agree Lach but I could barely hear much of a difference except maybe from a slightly tighter bass on the bigger ones but, I repeat, just slightly tighter.
2) Both Momentum versions require more juice out from the music source compared to the other headphones I've tried. This was something easily noticeable when played same album/song at the same volume while changing headsets on the fly. The momentums -whatever the version- were performing really ''loud'' after the 45 out of 50 volume bar of my Cowon while both B&W were driven as powerful with about 5 bars remaining until my player's full volume capacity. The Monster DNAs were the least demanding in terms of power as they were nearly as loud as all the other headphones at the 35-38 out of 50 level! That's was a real surprise to me!
3)Both P3 & P5 are rather dark-ish and -excuse the phrase- very ''hollow'' sets for my liking. They sounded extremely pale, dull and depressing, especially when worn straight after the momentums. They are certainly not for me and my musical preferences. The highs are rolled off, distant and not adequately bright and defined IMO. It has to be said though that P5 perform overall significantly better than their little brother. Can't see really why some people have rated the P3s higher than P5s but that belongs to another topic and headphone discussion...
4)Apart from the fact that the on ear momentums require more power in order to be driven in a noisy environment like the one this morning, the biggest drawback is sound isolation. They severely lack that feature and I would only rate them as acceptable or even below the bar in this field. In a shop with 6-7 people chatting in a distance of 3-4 meters from me and a shop assistant who was demonstrating the B&W Zeppelin just behind me, I could barely concentrate to my music even at 45/50 of the volume! Of course, today there was really A LOT of noise around and I suspect it's not / this doesn't have to be the normal situation. At any case, it would be interesting to see opinions from users that have used the on ears (or even the full sized) momentums inside the tube, on the plane, the city bus or just walking down the street.
5) Sound isolation in all the headsets I've tried today can be best described in a descending order like this one below: (I have omitted the Bose OE2i because, as said above, I gave them a very quick run and can't have a safe opinion. They do seem to isolate better than the on ear Momentums though). Full Sized Momentums > B&W P5s > Monster DNAs > B&W P3 = On Ear Momentums.
Obviously isolation is an issue and I'm very interested to see detailed reviews on this matter. Another major thing is ''loudness'' capability of these new on ear cans. I'm sure that one sitting back on their couch and listening to the on ear momentums, will be able to drive and enjoy them at low volumes and with no issues of external noises intruding. But what happens while being at noisy environments or simply on the go?