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Sennheiser MOMENTUM In-Ear

  1. oschon
    Great IE adddition to Momentum Line
    Written by oschon
    Published Oct 4, 2014
    Pros - Great slightly bassy sound, nice design, comfortable wear
    Cons - Enhanced bass will not suit everyone. Noninterchangeable cable, size is on the larger side
    I have published a review in my native language at http://tech.ihned.cz/c3-62890750-040000_d-62890750-test-sennheiser-momentum-in-ear but to make it more inclusive here are my findings in english (or "czenglish")
    I got my pair of Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear at the end of Keynote at IFA show after talking with the Sennheiser brothers which was a nice surprise as it is actualy unpacking
    I have published a review in my native language at http://tech.ihned.cz/c3-62890750-040000_d-62890750-test-sennheiser-momentum-in-ear but to make it more inclusive here are my findings in english (or "czenglish"

    I got my pair of Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear at the end of Keynote at IFA show after talking with the Sennheiser brothers which was a nice surprise as it is actually unpacking the headphones themselves. The presentation is great and the headphones look awesome with a hint of luxury. I like the dark red color mixed with black and the remote looks and works flawlessly (I got the android version, with iOS play/pause, skip forward work fine as well) .
    The case contains only 4 pair of tips. I have tried them all and did not find the perfect match. I would love to see some foam or triple layered tips included. The case itself looks great, but i hate removing the coil as it resists on the way out and on the way back in as well. It will get easier with time but not for me, i like the non-tangliness  and carry them in a separate small pocket in my backpack.
    The sound
    I had  a brief glimpse of the sound at IFA during a Showstoppers event and they described the headphones as high tones from original Momentum, bass more present, deeper and better presented than with On-Ears. Owning Momentum On-Ear for a year and loving the original Momentum which I have reviewed previously I was hooked and couldn't wait to get to review them (and then came the surprise at the keynote).
    So about the sound… Momentum In-Ear confirms what I believe strongly in: in-ears offer better sound than other headphone types at the same price. Sennheiser managed to produce sound covering the whole spectrum from sub-bass to high tones barely audible to humans with only one driver and did it surprisingly well.
    My first impression was that the bass is just a bit too much. It was strong, the very low end of the spectrum is there, and i felt like there is some bass leak. But after playing with different tips and letting them burn-in the bass got controlled and it actually enhances even jazz and classical recordings. The only effect I felt was that insturments like hoboe or even upright bass just got better separation and presence more akin to what i know from live jazz shows from my student years.
    The high tones like flutes (i love the sound of flute) or even cymbals is bright and clear with no sign of distortion or infidelity and there is so much detail in the recordings.  The same goes for vocals. It is pure joy to listen to FLAC versions of songs like Tom's Diner by Suzanne Vega or Grandmother by Rebecca Pidgeon.
    Given the fact that Momentum in-ear offers some enhanced bass modern music like hip-hop or trance sounds the best. This is where Sennheiser shows all the wannabes how the music should really sound. Even with strong bass the vocals can be heard clearly. I enjoyed this characteristic with songs like Mercy by Kanye West, Church in the Wild by Jay Z or the “boomy” Royals by Lorde with great contrast of the deep beats and lovely vocals.
    On the other hand I mostly listen to quite different type of music. Jethro Tull with the great Flute of Ian Anderson), Diana Krall and these headphones made me listen to lots of classical music as well. It may sound strange given the slight V shaped sound but I like it even the bass which I find controlled and adding to the music. I really love the sound of Momentum IN-.Ear in Ravel’s works, especially with Bolero and Daphnis at Chloé (yup, I am conformist) Sennheiser shows the full dynamic range and the ability to separate instruments and offer great soundstage. I have two versions of Bolero in FLAC one by  Berlin Filharmoniker Orchestra directed by Von Karajan and by Czech philharmonic orchestra directed by Pesek and both are joy to listen to. The sound is alive, full of detail and just fun to listen to.
    On the other hand I found some music the headphones doesn't excel at too. Metal doesn't sound particularly great. It may be because of the lower quality files I have with Hail to England by Manowar ripped from a CD long years ago and even songs from Spotify... it simply is not the greatest I have heard.
    Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear generally don't sound that good with lower quality recordings. FLAC or ALAC is the way to go with this class of headphones but that is something head-fiers know by heart. Sound source is important as well. Top of the line phones are ok, low end phones are bad but the good news is you don't need to use headphone amp to enjoy Momentum In-Ear
    Of course you get some further sound refinement when playing them on a pocket amp (like on my slightly exotic Dared HPA-55Lú or with table amp like my Xonar Essence One but the boost isnt as great as using FLAC instead of 256kbps MP3 files.
    I use the headphones for movie watching and gaming as well and they do a good job with all the explosions being thrilling and dialogues clear and vivid.
    Overall, I am in love and given the sensible price of 99 USD/eur I think Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear is a great item to put on your letter to Santa.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Hoplite
      NIce review! Can you wear it over the ear?
      Hoplite, Oct 6, 2014
    3. bway17
      Hey great review, I just got a pair myself and agree about the tips.Have you had any luck finding replacement tips? I talked with sennheiser about it and as far as they know there isn't, at least not by 'comply' yet. I'd love some triple flanges, but for now I'm making do with the small tips.
      bway17, Oct 16, 2015
    4. oschon
      thanks for the nice words. Unfortunately no, comply still doesnt have compatible tips, or didnt have last I checked. I started using tips from LG in-ears from my LG G3, they fit better, but it still just simple tip, nothing fancy. I would love to have comply tups like I do with Beyerdynamic DX 160
      oschon, Oct 17, 2015
  2. twister6
    A worthy addition to Momentum family!!!
    Written by twister6
    Published Sep 25, 2014
    Pros - bold design, great build, excellent bass, clear and detailed tuning
    Cons - light on accessories (needs more eartips), flat cable has some memory effect
    This is a review of Sennheiser Momentum in-ear headphones with Android controls. http://en-us.sennheiser.com/momentum-headphones-in-ear
    I knew Senns was cooking something new to announce during or after IFA 2014, but I had no idea what to expect. The moment I read about Momentum In-Ear announcement and saw a promo video - I already started speculating in my mind how these going to be tuned. With such a bold design look they were obviously trying to appeal to a younger crowd who values bass and want smartphone controls, but calling it "Momentum" tied it up to a family of audiophile quality full size headphones that appeal to a more mature crowd with priorities of sound quality above the looks. I was in for a big surprise when I received my review sample and came to a conclusion that Senns cooked a perfect formula to make everybody happy and managed to deliver that under $100. Here is what I found.
    One thing you can always count on with Senns is to deliver a great unboxing experience. Even prior to opening a compact packaging box it arrived in, I had a pretty good idea what to expect by taking a "tour" around the box to find out about its design details, features, controls and accessories. In the past I have reviewed Momentum over-ear headphones, so was surprised how cleverly they scaled down the packaging details for in-ears. You have a similar form fitting foam cutout where they placed a premium quality black case with a zipper and a red stitching details. There was an additional cutout with a small bag containing two pairs of eartips, and also a manual booklet. Unzipping a case revealed what appears to be a wire spool with headphones and in-line remote sitting in the middle and the rest of the flat wire wrapped around. On a back of the spool there was a space for another pair of eartips and headphone plug.
    As much as I enjoyed this presentation, I have to admit this spool will not be used again because I found 45deg angles formed during the wire wrapping to cause a memory effect in the wire which I'm still trying to straighten out. Its great for presentation, but not practical for every day use. Luckily, spool comes out without a problem, and you have a high quality headphone case with a space enough to store even a small mp3 player like Clip+. Headphones itself had yet another pair of eartips already on, with all 4 pairs (XS, S, M, L) being silicone and having a signature line across the bore opening (works great as a stopper so you don't push a nozzle all the way through). I would have liked to see some Comply foam tips as well, though actually found included eartips to provide an excellent fitment and decent sound isolation.
    When it comes to a design of headphones itself, I found these to have a very unique look to stand out from the crowd. Though I can only see an angled nozzle made out of stainless steel material and metal loop on the back for a strain relief - from a design diagram on the back of the packaging box it looks like inner body is made out of metal as well with a red plastic shell on top of it. Earpieces were very light weight, and I also found a slit port opening at the top which I'm sure contributed to a wide airy soundstage. Right were the wire comes out from the shell, you have R marking on the right side, and 3 bumps on the left side to id L/R even in the dark.
    As I mentioned above, strain relief was provided in a form of a small metal loop extended from the back of the shell where you have a stamped and laser etched surface with a signature "S" which looks like a reversed "Z". Wire shielding is flat and narrow and has a slightly oval shape. From earpiece down to y-splitter the shielding is actually bi-colored with a black on outside and a red on inside (a very classy design touch), and all black from y-splitter down to 90deg L-shaped gold plated headphone plug with a very nice strain relief. Y-splitter itself is minimalistic, and right next to it you will find a chin-slider with a small "S" signature sticker. It's very rare to see a chin slider in a setup with in-line remote control since you can't slide it beyond that, but it's still effective to bring L/R cables closer with in-line remote/mic. I only sensed a slight hint of microphonics while sitting down and moving my head, but not when I was walking around.
    While some companies are trying to take an easy way out by providing either a universal remote with only a single multi-function button and mic or iPhone controls with addition of volume up/down buttons that work only with iOS, Sennheiser actually makes 2 different Momentun in-ear models, one for Android and another one for iPhone. My review sample had in-line remote for Android which Senns call "IEG" meaning In-Ear with "Galaxy" controls. But they are very clear on top of the packaging box specifying that it will work not only with Samsung Galaxy phones but also LG, HTC, Sony and other smartphones and tablets. Unfortunately, some android devices might not support it since I know for sure that Moto implements a different wiring which is not compatible with other common headphone controls. So if you don't have one of those common Android brand phones, please double check with Sennheiser website for a list of compatible devices.
    In my case, it worked perfectly fine with Note 2 and S5 where single click was used for Play/Pause/Call, double click to skip next, triple click to skip prev, and long press to start Google NOW. Volume control was flawlessly integrated with my phone, and mic had a great sensitivity where I heard no complains from people on the other side of the call. The location of the remote/mic was at a perfect level to pickup voice without a problem and also to reach controls without pulling on the wire. Plus, buttons on the remote were nicely shaped with id marks and were easy to locate just by touch.
    But as you know, without a sound to back it up, all these design details will be worthless. Even so I'm a strong believer in a burn in, especially with dynamic drivers, I still like to get an idea of a sound out of the box. Don't be shocked but right out of the box it had a mid-bass bloat spilling into the rest of the spectrum. For a split second I thought to myself, oh no, hopefully these are not "basshead" beats. Without further hesitation, I put these down for an initial 12hrs burn in, and the next morning woke up to a brand new sound! After an additional 8hrs on top of that, I felt the sound settled down and I was ready to evaluate it.
    I found the overall sound signature to be slightly v-shaped with a bright detailed tuning and an enhanced bass emphasis. Starting with low frequencies, these have a deep extended sub-bass texture with a nice rumble and a fast mid-bass punch. Bass is well controlled with just a slight spillage into lower mids. It definitely has an enhanced bass quantity, but it's not over the top and without any perception of mid-bass bloat (which settled down nicely after burn in). Mids are slightly recessed, thus creating v-shaped signature, but it's very tastefully tuned to give bass more power. Upper mids sound very clear and detailed creating a happy medium between brightness and warmth. Especially when it comes to vocals, either male or female, they sound relatively natural with a nice body. Treble is well extended, crispy, but not sibilant. Sound is bright but not too hot or at the level causing ear fatigue. Soundstage has a great width and depth, almost approaching 3D level in some of the songs. Any music genre, from EDM to classical or pop and rock sounded very dynamic and with a great layering and separation of instruments (either if its electronic or acoustic timbers). I really enjoyed retrieval of the details in these IEMs. Also, it was very easy to drive these from any source, either smartphone or DAP, though having a warmer source might be more beneficial to keep brightness under control. For example, I prefer to use these headphones with my "darker" X1 versus a "brighter" X5. I also found it to be quite forgiving even with lower quality encoded mp3s.
    Overall, I was extremely pleased with new Momentum In-Ear headphones! Their sound tuning is full of energy and details to appeal to anybody who enjoys music, doesn't matter what style or tempo you are listening to. It provides extra bass, but does it tastefully without being a basshead monster. It provides clarity and details, without pushing analytical envelope with harsh tuning. It has a fun signature and still keeps upper mids in check to deliver great vocals without being too recessed. Even so I think they are a jack of all trades, I also find them to be a moderate master of all of them at the same time. With a great durable build, a modern design, full integration of smartphone controls (either for android or iphone), and a very impressive sound tuning, for under $100 these definitely deserve a serious consideration!
    Here are the pictures (click on the image to enlarge).
      vlenbo, tonykaz, punchybass and 4 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. MyWH
      MyWH, Mar 6, 2015
    3. predatorsk
      Does this really sounds good with X1? I Want to buy it for my X3-II, which sounds similarly.
      predatorsk, Apr 2, 2016
    4. justgotlucky123
      Hi twister6. How are the momentums compared to alpha&delta ad01? they are similar sounding right? Which is better?
      justgotlucky123, Mar 26, 2017