Sennheiser MOMENTUM On-Ear Headphone

  1. Klonatans
    Poor effort by Sennheiser. A step towards Beats territory.
    Written by Klonatans
    Published Aug 16, 2014
    Pros - Nice design, sturdy build, replacable cables
    Cons - Overblown and intrusive bass, veiled mids, too much clamping force
    These Senns are not proper Hi-Fi headphones. I can recommend them only if you're a basshead and don't care about SQ.
      So Far likes this.
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    2. YingTK
      Agreed with this review and the above comments. Bought one after reading the reviews, but these on ears are a big disappointment. Booming bass, harsh treble, and incredibly high clamping while not isolating noise that well. It does perform better than beats at similar price range, but I think some over ears from beats with $200~$300 price tag are actually more bearably than these, unfortunately (I know comparing over ears to on ears are like comparing apples to oranges, but this is from the "beats" to "momentum on ears" point of view). If you like similar sound character, I think you can do better with Martin Logan Mikros 90 at lower street price.
      I'm not an experienced headphone audiophile, and I've never tried HPs with over $450 msrp, but I've been a 2 channel audio addictive for a few years, and I've been using my system as reference when I try out headphones.
      YingTK, Dec 25, 2014
    3. Jeff Y
      I'm love my NAD Viso HP50s atm!
      Jeff Y, Dec 25, 2014
    4. Dexter22
      This is a V shaped signature, which some 'flat' loving people like me would hate. Once in a month or 2, (I am in Germany) these comes on some offfer in amazon for around 90 Euros which makes them a bargain, if you are basshead. When I tried this with my FiiO X3, and Xduoo X3 they sounded really harsh, but with an iPhone 5 which this is meant to be really paired with, they sound not bad. iPhone has an emphasis on mids and rolled of high's compared to my players. Also low end is not tight as the players. Apart from this, I have noticed, iPhone has a recessed midbass region. Now when these 'Senn's are paired with an iPhone I think it make sense. Also built quality is very good, but not portable as they dont fold. 
      Now, the main reason this can be avoided is the clamping force. If you wear a glass, this is medivial torture! I own the Martin Logan Mikros 90, which sounds better, (infact they sound really good, detailed and balanced) but both these cans are examples of extreme clamping force. which makes them 'passable'
      Dexter22, Jan 28, 2016
  2. Tom22
    Small, fabulous comfort, Lots of fun colours, engaging sound!
    Written by Tom22
    Published Jul 14, 2014
    Pros - flashy design, lots of fun colours, class leading comfort, fun sound (very deep bass, clear mids amazing treble, very wide soundstage), stable on head
    Cons - lacks isolation(good for situational awareness, but doesn't block out noise), a bit too much bass (a bit loose), mids more recessed than i like.
    For a condensed video review see the link below:
    After the much acclaimed success of the Momentum (over ear) headphones, sennheiser wanted to recapture that magic and scale it down into a smaller, more portable, more affordable package. Here the Sennheiser Momentum On- Ear or MOE for short is born. 
    Accessories/ Features
    The MOE comes with both a soft carrying case and a fabric bag (with a drawstring) to protect these headphones. In terms of size they are about the same size as their older sibling (the momentum over ear) which is about half the size of my 13inch macbook pro. Inside you will found a pouch to hold your cables. I also liked that I didn’t have to take out the cable when putting into the carrying case. Also, I’d like to note I didn’t have to retract the earcups when storing them away each time (something I had to do with their older brother).
    The headphone come with 2 detachable cables both are 1.4 m in length, both utilizing a twist and lock mechanism in the left earcup. The side entering the earcup is 2.5mm while the side entering the music player is 3.5mm.  One cable is a stock audio cable that ends with a straight jack. The other cable is a 3 button IOS remote and mic, (for play/pause/rewind/fastforward and Siri) made of a combination of metal and plastic) and ends in a L shape jack.
    Overall: 8/10 (I wish it came with a hard shell carrying case, to better protect the headphones from impact)
    Design and build quality
    In sort they look exactly like a baby version of the Momentum over ear. I find they are more eye catching and flashier than their older brothers which are more sleek and classy looking.They come in a wide variety of different colours (see picture below), so you will definitely find 1 (or 2 ) that will suit your tastes.
    One notable differences in terms of materials is the use of Alcantara, which is a synthetic suede like material on the headband and the earpads (compared to the leather used on the older siblings). I will note in the comfort section below my findings on this change.
    The headband made of a stainless steel band, that is split in the middle allowing for better ventilation and to prevent any hotspots while aiding in stability while on the head.
    The earcups are much smaller than the over ears, and are swivels on a ball joint to fit different head shapes. Also the earcups are instead made of a glossy plastic (on the black and ivory versions at least), compare to the more matte like finish on the black momentums.
    The headphones adjust based on friction and slide up and down depending on your head size. Again they don’t slide out of place unless force is applied.
    The cables are well-made and replacable with good strain reliefs and thickness.
    P1020136.jpg   P1020152.jpg
    P1020138.jpg   P1020153.jpg
    Overall: 8.5/10 (the glossy black does pick up fingerprints and again as stated on the my review on the over ear momentums, I’m not the biggest fan of the friction adjusting mechanism)
    In terms of comfort the MOE I think hit it out of the park! Portable on ear headphones are normally not the most comfortable based on the fact that they have to press against your ear to remain secure).  The clamping force is higher than the older brothers but I felt the combination of the  earpads being so soft (so much padding too) allows them to feel very comfortable while being one of the most secure headphones I’ve ever tried (seriously, you can run and jump around without worrying about them falling off).
    The alcantara used is really remarkable, the MOE while having very soft earpads and pressing against your ears are also very breathable. The surface of my ear barely accumulated any sweat even after 2-3 hour listening sessions. 
    Similar to the older brothers theres not much padding on the headband, but its not needed because at 160g, the MOE is as light as feather on my head.
    Overall:In terms on on ear standard= 10/10
    This is an area I feel the MOE suffered. For being advertised as a closed back headphone, they really don’t isolate all that much at all. Even walking around quiet neighbourhoods, I could hear basically everything around me. This is a good option for those that want  to hear whats going around them, say when walking around downtown or when cycling or if you need to listen for the telephone in the office. But I wouldn’t be able to recommend them for buses, trains, or air travel.
    Overall: 6/10- I suspect the alcantara material being so breathable, is the reason while it doesn’t isolate more (it’s a completely sealed design)
    Sound quality: I want say this first, the Sennheiser had taken a different approach when tuning for the MOE aiming for a more exciting V-shape sound for the youth to young adult market, and the types of music many of them listen to (I suspect, anyway) which is geared more towards rap, hip &hop, pop, and more electronic music.
    From now on I will just evaluate the momentums on their on merits. (I will write a separate review comparing both momentums.
    Bass: Normally portable (on ear) headphones suffer from bass, and its extension due to the size of the housing. The MOE doesn’t suffer from this problem, the bass reaches very low and is very prominent. I will note that the bass oddly has a very different characteristic from when outside (in my relatively quiet neighbourhood for example) compare to home.
    At home: The bass has boomy, slight looseness quality, I find the bass on some tracks to be a bit “droney” (tends to linger a bit) and distracting at times, losing out on some definition and a bit of texture.
    Outside: the looseness of the bass is less noticeable (contending with the ambient noise) and it still reaches very low. And seems to be less “droney” as well. The bass is also less emphasized when outside, making it more balance sounding, but still with plenty of punch and rumble. Though still not netural by any means.
    But for  those that want bass impact from an on ear headphone the MOE should easily top your list!
    Midrange: i find the midrange very clear actually with a hint of veiling. Despite the massive bass response it steers clear of it, a very common problem with bass heavy headphones. However, it is more recessed than my liking, it feels like the singer 2 rows back compare to the bass. Female vocals felt a bit more emphasized more so than male vocals on the MOE but that said female vocals never being unbearable or “too much”.  That said it’s a very small margin. A very competent midrange in a V shaped headphone.
    Treble: the treble is actually very nice. I felt it was emphasized very tastefully, imaging is good for an on ear headphone. It has a bit more sparkle and is quite detailed but is stays away from sounding harsh or overly aggressive.  It extends well for an on ear (very surprising) and easily my favorite part of the sound.  Theres no spikes or dips in the treble, very impressed!
    Soundstage: another part are portable on ears usually suffer. But the MOE is the exception. The MOE easily has one of the widest soundstages you can find for a portable on ear. Its quite expansive. Though this causes everything to be a bit more diffuse sounding, so the bass, mids and treble stay separate from one and another, but this makes the overall sound a bit less integrated as whole (affecting the sonic imaging).
    Overall:7/10 Portable headphones always suffer in more ways than one, and I felt the MOE fared pretty well. If sennheiser makes a revision doing some nip and tucks to the sound (bringing forth the mids a bit more, tightening up the bass), I’m sure it will amazing.
    Portability factor
    They fit easily around the neck when not in use, I don’t think anyone will have a problem with that, they can also easily slip into a messenger bag with little issues and are made to withstand everyday wear and tear.
    Overall 9/10- again this is because they don’t fold up or flat
    Overall I think the addition of the MOE to be a very good one to the momentum series. They can easily cater to different audiences and both sound very competent. Their small size and unique styling will easily make them stand out in the crowd (in an amazing way), along with a wide range of colours, you can find one that suits your personality! You’ll be hard pressed to find a more complete package if your in the market for a portable on ear headphone.
      Nek8888 likes this.
    1. MarcadoStalker7
      AKA The SennBeats :p
      MarcadoStalker7, Jul 14, 2014
    2. ruthieandjohn
      ...and it is only the MOE, not the Momentums, that Sennheiser chose to render in a yellow-and-green Samba edition for the FIFA World Cup!  Just ordered a pair, post-World Cup, at a very reasonable price!
      ruthieandjohn, Jul 24, 2014
    3. Bansaku
      Great review! In total agreement. 
      MarcadoStalker7: Not even close, even bass wise. Please don't insult the memory of Mr. Sennheiser. :p
      Bansaku, Aug 15, 2014
  3. Wyd4
    Not bad if you can pick it up cheap
    Written by Wyd4
    Published Jul 9, 2014
    Pros - Good bass extension, easy to listen to for most music
    Cons - Bass can get boomy, bleeds into the mids on bass heavy tracks, , lacks extension in the highs
    Review to come when i have some time.

    Bottom line is, if you can pick these up on sale, they are a good buy for what they are.
    They are fairly comfortable, have ample bass which sadly lacks a little control.
    Overall it is a pleasant enough listen for a portable pair of cans.
    With some EQ they can sound much better.
  4. heavyarms
    Stunning Looks and Amazing sound
    Written by heavyarms
    Published Jul 7, 2014
    Pros - punchy and deep bass, good mids and highs, outstanding looks, good carrying case, low impedance 18 ohm means can be easily driven by smartphones etc
    Cons - volume control works only on apple
    Got it at a bargain price for 129 AUD.  
  5. Kviabol-Iceland
    Amazing looks and Amazing sound.
    Written by Kviabol-Iceland
    Published May 7, 2014
    Pros - Powerful kicking bass which does NOT overwhealm or drain away any other sounds. Portable. Very clean sound.
    Cons - Can be uncomfortable after listening for some hours. Do not fold up. Exposed wires. Gets a incredibly tiny distortion when volume turned to MAX
    Remember this review comes completely from my experience of the Momentum on-ear headphones.
    Build Quality
    The Sennheiser Momentum on-ears really are built like a tank. The headband is all trusty aluminum/metal which is gonna take a long, hard time to break I'm not sure if the cups are aluminum or plastic (they feel a lil' plastic) but I haven't found 1 problem with the durabilty of them. The color of the headphones (black, blue, green, pink, red, brown and ivory) are not painted with those colors they're washed so they won't scratch off or anything like that which is a real plus. I've had the Momentum on-ear for 6 months right now and they look exactly the same as when I bought them so I think these will durate for quite a while. 
    To be honest the luxurious alcantara is not very comfortable after like 1.5-3 hours of listening but under that time I must say it's pretty damn comfortable. Even though I'd like leather more than alcantara for COMFORT I'd prefer having the alcantara cause it just looks so damn good! On the other hand the headband on the Momentums could be A LOT more comfortable if Sennheiser would try. It's not thick and the only plush it has is barely plush it's rather hard and stiff (lol) and doesn't deliver any comfort at all but because the headphones are so light (160g) the headband doesn't bother a lot. 
    Noise isolation isn’t great, so they’re not well-suited to noisy environments. If you raise the volume to a high volume it isolates pretty good but others could hear your music cause MOE don't have good noise cancelling.
    This is what everyone's been waiting for. The MOE sound amazing, these headphones are worth every single penny. This sound suits literally everyone it's good for rock, metal, everything instrumental, electronic music, house and thousands of other genres. MOEs have a punchy, rich bass which does not at all overwhealm or drain away any other sound that you need to hear but fits perfectly in the bass-head's collection. They sound incredibly clear but if you raise the volume to complete max you might hear a slight hissing disortion but otherwise these headphones have an amazing rich, kinda deep, aggressive sound which fits everyone.
      RoboKaren likes this.
  6. TripBitShooter
    great looker with nice fun sound
    Written by TripBitShooter
    Published Apr 17, 2014
    Pros - Greatly balanced mids and highs with rich detail, nice design, extremely enjoyable emphasised bass
    Cons - Might not fit everyone's ears, slightly boomy bass on occasion
    The Sennheiser Momentum On Ear is bursting with goodness. Nice looks, sound, and great value to go with it. Now, Let's go straight into it!
    These look so phenomenal, with all that alcantara leather and the premium stitching. The earcups are so nicely and subtly styled and to finish it all up, at the bottom of each side of the leather padded headband is a Momentum word laser engraved on a piece of metal to finish up that premium feel.
    The soumd is great, with detailed, smooth and balanced mids and highs. In the short listen I took, I did not hear any particular emphasis on any frequency range within the mids and highs. The bass is tight but deliciously slightly emphasised, with all the subtlety I need enough to betray the audiophile/purist inside of me. Once in a while, I always like a fun sounding listen. I do not hear any bass reverberation within the earcups, probably due to the solid metal earcups, but the bass can get slightly boomy, loose and flabby on occasion, esecially when taxed hard on heavy bass tracks.
    Alas, to ruin the package, the Earcups do not swivel back and forth, so people may find unecessary pressure on the back of their ears and too light a pressure on the front of the ears, causing an inconsistent seal and ruining the sound quality a little as outside noise leaks in. This is also not for use in a library, as sound leakage is strangely quite high too.
    This is a disappointing drawback, but overall, these are extremely nice sounding if you like balanced and detailed mids and highs and great, delicious punchy bass. even audiophiles out there, sometimes you should be a bit more adventurous with what headphoens you listen to, like what I did. You may find a wholly different but maybe an even more enjoyable sound. Advice to potential buyers though; You should try these out if possible at a store before purchasing them, so as to ensure that they can fit on your ears well without putting too much pressure on the backs of your ears, especially if you are wearing glasses.
    Great job Sennheiser, especially on balancing the precarious value between sound and design, but maybe a slight tweak to include earcups being able to tilt on the slider with the Sennheiser logo will be greatly appreciated.
      RoboKaren likes this.
  7. dweaver
    Rich and full sounding headphone
    Written by dweaver
    Published Apr 1, 2014
    Pros - solid sub-bass, enjoyable well rounded signature.
    Cons - on ear design can be slightly uncomfortable - mediocre isolation
    Sennheiser Momentum On Ear

    I bought the Momentum On Ear (MOE) on a bit of a whim and mistaken thought I could return them if not satisfied. So not really an auspicious start to a headphone aside from getting them at a good price compared to retail. I honestly thought I was just going to end up returning them.
    Buy upon initial listen I have to admit I have been surprised by them. Bit before I get into their sound let's talk about the headphones physical attributes first.
    Build quality of the MOE is absolutely top notch. The headphones exudes quality construction and design and every color looks good in my opinion. Being traditionalist I bought the black/red model for myself but was tempted by the red and white models I'm the store as well. The cables are a but thin but non micro phonic and the button are easily distinguished and feel good on the microphone cable. I also love the fact the microphone cable works with my android phone minus the volume controls. I also love the case and bag that come with the kit buy have to admit o will likely use the cloth bag alone more often than not.

    I find the headphone very comfortable worn around the neck when not being used as I walk around. When being used the comfort is good but not perfect as I do find my ears getting sore after an hour or so. But these are one of the more comfortable on ear headphones I have tried or owned as I can wear them for several hours with only a minimal level of discomfort. The added comfort does come at the cost of isolation though. Walking around the mall, I found these woefully inadequate at keeping the noise at bay. So if isolation is important you will want a different headphone. In comparison the Keff M500 these feel more secure on head and slightly more isolating. In comparison to the Mikros 90 they are less clamping but due to the M90 fit similar in comfort overall but they have significantly less isolation.

    So how do they sound? In a sentence, they are rich and full sounding with a small dip in the midrange. I find I can listen to them for hours with pretty much any genre I listen to.

    Bass - This is the strongest part of the sound signature but not in an obnoxious or over bearing fashion. They have excellent sub bass and only a very modest mid-bass hump. The bass is not loose bit also is not to punchy. It has a smidge of boominess to it that can be overwhelming with some songs. In my testing I have only a couple of tracks that have bothered me though.

    Midrange - The midrange is a bit recessed in comparison to the bass and the lower treble but not enough that I felt cheated. It is clear and mostly unaffected by the mid-bass with a slightly warm tilt to it.

    Treble - is strongest in the lower treble and gently rolled off in the upper treble. This has a tendency to make these occasionally sound hot/ harsh for some cymbal crash heavy music but generally speaking very easy to listen to for your extended sessions.

    The overall detail of this headphone is not as resolving or transparent as some other head phones like the Mikros 90 or Kefff M500 but it is more detailed than most of the Monster brand headphones I have heard in the same price range. I find the detail is good enough that I only miss it when doing direct A/B comparisons to a detailed headphone.

    The sound stage is of a decent size and better than average compared to other on ear headphones. Due to the slightly recessed midrange the sound stage is middle row of a small venue in regards to placement.

    Overall I find these to be an excellent consumer oriented headphone that will please most people. The bass may be over powering for head-fi members who have grown accustomed to more controlled bass though, if you prefer tight bass or a neutral sound and more detail then you should look into something like the Mikros 90
      Sennheiser likes this.
    1. Sennheiser
      Thanks for this review, dweaver! 
      Sennheiser, Apr 1, 2014
  8. AJ-Boffin
    Great sound quality, aesthetically pleasing, but on-ear design may become uncomfortable.
    Written by AJ-Boffin
    Published Feb 21, 2014
    Pros - Great sound quality, rich yet controlled bass, balanced mids, well tuned treble, aesthetics, lots of accessories, high standard of build quality
    Cons - On-ear design may grow uncomfortable after an hour or so
    These have become my favourite headphones. In summary they are just like beats however better in every aspect of quality. The sound quality is, in the eyes of someone who is new to decent equipment, off this world.

    • The bass is very rich, however controlled. I find Beats Solos have an uncontrolled bass, which makes them sound echoey. The Senheisers however produce a much better sound.
    • The mids are great too - vocals that fit into this category come up really well.
    • The treble is open and gives a great sound as well.

    The design is very 70s, which in a way looks 'cool'. Perhaps retro is in fashion now? The headphones are very adjustable, and the detachable cable may be useful someday :D. I will say though that after an hour or so of listening with these on, because they sit on your ear (hence 'on-ear'), your ears may start to hurt. Easily fixed, just take the headphones off for a few seconds and let your ears rest. The build is of the highest standard, as you'd expect from Senheiser.

    When you open the box, it immediately whispers 'premium'. This is because of the packaging quality and what you get with the headphones. There are two cables, one with a 90° jack and a remote, the other with neither; two cases, one stronger giving more bump protection, one soft and silky for dust and scratches; 7 manuals for all the languages you don't speak; and of course the headphones.

    May I point out that these offer very little noise isolation, so if traveling on typically noisy public transport, these may not be your best bet.

    As I said these are the best set of headphones I have ever owned. I listen to them through an old iPod Nano, so I'm waiting for the next generation of hi def DAPs to come from Fiio and iBasso in order to get the most out of these great phones.
    1. Jeff Y
      well I would say do not compare these to beats but I listened to these from my iBasso which sounded awful. Really turned me down ; I love 650s but the bass on these were loose, lacks in quantity, etc. Soundstage was weird too.
      Jeff Y, Feb 21, 2014
  9. FancyDan
    Punchy and fun, yet classy and refined, all in a premium portable package.
    Written by FancyDan
    Published Jan 3, 2014
    Pros - Bass is articulate and solid, tons of punch, very detailed highs and mids (even if the mids are a bit recessed), great build quality, beautiful
    Cons - Too bassy for audiophiles, ear pads could be softer (hurts ears after too much use), limited soundstage
    This is a really fun headphone, especially for on the go use from day to day. The bass is really nice and punchy, but it isn't that annoying "Beats Solo HD" rumbling bass that gets in the way and muddies the sound. It almost has a slightly held back, but warm round-ness to it. It makes rocky music and a lot of tight indie music (see Grizzly Bear, Arcade Fire, Morning Benders) and some hip hop sound great (see Earl Sweatshirt, Nujabes, DJ Cam, Blackstar), but they don't have the thumping sub bass of something like a Beats, Sol, or even ATH-M50 can that allow you to hear the raw bass energy of music like Trap or Dubstep, both genres literally designed around that sound. You probably won't want to listen to classical music or jazz on these either to be honest. The level of bass that IS present is still to much for very highly detailed music that would be better listened to on a home audiophile setup. 
    These are headphones that can also go straight into a cell phone and be properly powered as well, making them a very odd device. They're for portable use, and sport a solid bass emphasis, but don't feel right for dubstep, trap, or even more bass heavy and/or aggressive house music. Who are these headphones for? I'll tell you who, me. They have a perfect sound signature for listening to indie music, or more experimental electronica (Aphex Twin, Burial, etc.) on the go or at a school, which happens to be EXACTLY what I bought them for. I'm a huge indie music head, and being able to listen to the chill but uplifting jams of The Shins, or the crashy rocking energy of Tame Impala on the go is just a treat, and the fact that you get that premium look and feel that Sennheiser have done so well is an incredible bonus. I guarantee that people will compliment you on them everywhere you go. 
    In short, they're a classy, but not quite audiophile Hi-Fi level headphone that is perfectly suited to rock, indie, and some hip hop and electronic music on the go. 
  10. bala
    The Basshead's Choice
    Written by bala
    Published Oct 27, 2013
    Pros - Great design, solid build quality!
    Cons - Bassy sound.
      If you have already seen the Momentum over-ear model, you know what to expect. A very tastefully done design, goes great with casual and formal wardrobe [​IMG] . The sliding earpieces are nice but I always have the nagging feeling that they tend to move from their optimal position during the regular handling of the headphone. General disclaimer : I have never had a good experience with On-ear headphones!
    The Momentum on-ear comes with a plush earpads made of Alcantara – a soft breathable material. The stainless steel headband running across the drivers provide the frame with good grip and a nice look as well. The cable is detachable (a comfort for portable headphones) and  remote for the microphone seems to be made of metal as well. There is an additional regular headphone cable with no microphone provided as well. The amount of detail that has gone into the design is once again reflected in the audio jacks as well, though they are not the wonderful self adjusting Momentum circumaural type, these look like works of art. The colorful hologram on the jack is an eyecandy in itself [​IMG] – this is the best designed headphone in my opinion – “drool-worthy”.
     This isn’t anything like it’s elder brother, the full size Momentum.The Momentum on-ear is a departure from Sennheiser’s house sound and is definitely aimed at audience who would otherwise be gravitating towards say, the Vmoda M100, Beyer Custom one Pro, Bose, Beats, AKG Tiesto and so on. All competitors of the On-ear Momentum pay special attention to the needs of the “bass minded” and genres such as Hip-hop, electronic, pop & EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and good looks ofcourse. I believe this introduction is necessary to put in perspective the tonality of the On-ear Momentums.I have to start with the BASS! of the On-ear Momentum, which is the most prominent aspect of it’s presentation. The lower frequencies are very strong (and overwhelming!) for such a small driver unit. The bass is actually quite good in tracks where it is reigned in, everywhere else there is bass”plosion” – highly unlike Sennheiser! The closed architecture tends to add to the bass tuned driver to push out more than required low end punch with some loss in musicality and fidelity in other parts of the presentation. As a HD650 fan, I can immediately realize the speed of the bass, its fast!  makes this good accompaniment to pacey, fast and bassy music.The mids are the least prominent part of the presentation, recessed and without much say in the overall musicality of the headphone.The highs are well extended and don’t appear too shiny, though pushed forward in the soundstage. The details that the treble presents is really overwhelmed by the pulsing strong low end, so there is nothing to complain about the higher frequencies here. Overall the Momentum On-ear carries good resolution in its presentation, the details are nice and clear, only distraction is the bass.
    My full review is available on my blog.