Sennheiser MOMENTUM

  1. Jensenchua
    Astonished and well sounding portable headphone
    Written by Jensenchua
    Published Apr 7, 2014
    Pros - Stylish, build quality, superb vocal, excellent mid, clean punchy balance bass
    Cons - Can't fold, poorly design headband adjustment , something missing in high
    I don't own it but in fact my elder brother get it yesterday and I am the one who first testing it. First impression on Momentum is that it is a very well build quality headphone with a very thick high quality case (some said very bulky due to it's unable to fold), but a poorly design headband adjustment. I listen to it about few hours with my iPod touch 7+ Fostex HP-P1, and with Violectric DAC 800 + Violectric V200. Kind of weird when fist listen to it especially the highs but you will get use to it after a while.
    Highs: Kind of weird when first listening on Momentum highs, kind of missing something but after listening for some times my ears slowly use to it, don't get me wrong the high is really good, well detail, no sibilancy, not overly bright. I guess because it is a close back headphone so there is not enough air into it and that's might explain that the highs kind of missing something for me.
    Mids: This is the strong point for this headphone, very lovely mids, very nature, fast and well detail especially on vocal. Dump in any song from classical, dance, pop, rock, jazz, electronic. R&B to metal this will sparkle and shine through your ears. Although the legendary HD650 mids is famous for it's mids but I found that the Momentum is more neutral than 650 that is sometime in a darker side but 650 definitely faster than the Momentum.
    Bass: Some said that there is not enough or not punchy for the bass but for me it is an opposite way, of course it's not punchy as the Pro900 but instead provide you a very balance bass, and does not flow into the mids or the highs, very clean and detail bass, especially your eyes will open it widely and say "wow" when listening to R&B or pop, but for me there is some slow reaction on the bass. Never for me that it is a shy bass headphone.
    Soundstage: It is surprise to me that Momentum have some significant of soundstage and wide image, especially when go with DAC and amp. it is very clean detail and instrumental separation
    Overall: Although I can't compare to other portable headphone which I don't really own and listen but with this good price (compare to those Bose, Beats and etc), very comfortable at least on my ears and excellent sounding portable headphone and provide an excellent iDevice remote control cable, I will highly recommend it.
  2. zach8278
    Great headphones!
    Written by zach8278
    Published Apr 7, 2014
    Pros - Warm and smooth high fidelity sound. Elegant design with premium materials used. Comfortable (for me). Lightweight.
    Cons - The laid-back high frequencies might dissuade some people from purchasing these.
    Hi. This is going to be a review of the Sennheiser Momentum as well as a brief comparison to the previously owned Bowers & Wilkins P5. These headphones are Sennheisers attempt at trying to capitalize on the lifestyle headphone market. In case you are not familiar with what a lifestyle headphone is, well, it is a headphone that is designed to be eye-catching to the public, and have a supposed emphasis on sound quality. 
    To start off, i am going to talk about the overall value of these headphones and what you get when you purchase these. In my opinion, the Sennheiser Momentums are worth every penny. The sleek design was all made possible by the wonderful engineers at Sennheiser when they combined a premium stainless steel headband, real leather, and high quality plastics to create one of the best looking headphones i have ever seen. The cables you get with the headphones are very high quality. One of them has a high quality metal remote attached to it for Apple Inc. products, and the other is just your standard audio cable with no remote. 
    The one thing i really like is that the headphones come with a sturdy hard case so they will be protected in most, if not all, situations. Once you open the case, you will notice the cable snakes through into the compartment of the case that houses the cables and the quarter inch adapter. 
    Comfort, for me, is really great! The light weight of the headphones combined with the materials used inside the earcups ensures the fit of the Momentums to be outstanding. The pressure of the headband is minimal, if not nonexistent. Isolation is very good, but it is not the best in its class. 
    The sound of the Momentum is really great for a portable headphone. The tonal balance will definitely please a wide majority of the world's population. The headphones are not neutral by any means. The bass is a bit more emphasized than the treble, and the treble is a bit laid-back. When you come to the midrange, i find that Sennheiser has nailed it when it comes to that aspect of the sound. Vocals are quite clear and you never hear them as if they are way back in another room, you hear everything as a fine and coherent unit. The clarity is very good. Instruments and vocals are incredibly detailed to the point where more than $300 would have to be paid in order to get better sound quality than these. The headphones have a slightly thick sound texture to them, but the headphones are quite detailed in terms of the bass. Extension is really good, and the bass is very fast. The midrange has a very rich, and natural presentation to it. As far as the treble is concerned, i said it is a bit laid back, but still good for a sealed headphone.
    In comparison to the B&W P5 headphones, which are a pretty big competitor with these, i find that these are way better! The P5 headphones, to me, had a congestion in the midrange that made vocals sound distant and not as up front as some of the other competing headphones. The treble and bass detail was good, but the mids were congested to the point where i hated them. With the momentums, i find that the mids are brought out more and have a better, more natural tone to them. It made me enjoy the music i was listening to more.
    Overall, these headphones have a nice and inviting sound that will make a few, if not all people, happy.
  3. liderbit
    At the beginning I was not very impressed, but now I love them so much!
    Written by liderbit
    Published Feb 7, 2014
    Pros - very comfortable, minimal sound leakage, good passive isolation, very good looking, premium materials, very clear and warm sound, good soundstage
    Cons - bass is not punchy and does not have personality
    I bought them one month ago... and at the beginning I was not impressed about their sound - they don't seemed very clear and the bass was just not right...
    BUT (even I don't believe too much in burn-in), after one month of use almost every day, they are now much much clearer and the bass was also improved (but still not very good in comparison with IE80 for example).
    I don't know if it was the burn in time or it was just a psychological effect, but now I just love them. The sound was SERIOUSLY improved.
    The sound is now awesome, I can hear all the details, is very warm and easy to listen, they are very comfortable and, as I use them mostly in the office, I have observed that they have a minimal sound leakage - even with very high volumes.
    Another positive aspect it is that they do not distort even with the volume turned above the maximum level... the sound is still very clear. 
    The only CON that I have for these headphones is the bass - not punchy and completely without personality (sorry but I can't find a better word for this). But this is in comparison with IE80 which I also own... and love.   
  4. Ordo Ab Chao
    Great price/performance ratio
    Written by Ordo Ab Chao
    Published Feb 2, 2014
    Pros - Great bass delivery , Durable and sturdy design , Great noise cancellation , Great color scheme , Includes carrying case
    Cons - Over-ear becomes On-ear for my ear size , locking design , iPhone remote cable , not gold plated connector
    I have owned both the Black and Brown versions since November 2013 and I am happy to say that they are among my favourite go-to headphones for outside/portable usage. I use a custom replacement cable that is silver-plated and has gold-plated connectors but has the same length as the original stock cable. Both the brown and the black have replacement custom cables but I feel that the locking design is not properly designed as it works better with the stock cables than the replacement cables. Comfort is a big issue with these headphones however. The photos and pictures show the size to be big but it is quite deceptive. Before buying these headphones I would recommend to try it out at any audio store or hi-fi store to see whether comfort/size will be an issue. Bass is great on these and I do not need to Equalize them for Bass. Mids are excellent as well but Treble fades off and is more subtle. While these are great headphones the ear-cup size is a big-con and drawback. It can cause discomfort after a period of time but not as much as expected. If they do cause discomfort it is recommended to take a break when using these headphones and then put them back on. 
    Another significant drawback is including a iPhone remote headphone cable in addition to the regular plain headphone cable. The Akg K545 includes both iPhone and Android headphone cables and this is something Sennheiser overlooked when designing this headphone. This is particularly a concern since Android users outnumber iPhone users particularly in market share.
    If Sennheiser would make a larger ear-cup version of this I would give it a 4.5/5 or even a 5/5 but as I see it they chose to make a hybrid on-ear/over-ear design. Please note that my ears are the average size and for the over-ear to be true in this case the user would need smaller than average ears.
    I'll be updating this review as time passes by and see just how the design of the Momentum(s) hold-up over time.
    1. Jeff Y
      Bass seemed loose and not much in terms of quantity. Sound stage was weird and overall I would not buy these for the money although these are okay.
      Jeff Y, Feb 3, 2014
    2. Shini44
      IE80 + new cable does sound better for me, i had both, price/portable wise i think the IE80 is the winner if compared with the Momentom, its really sad that this model didn't shine compared with the other audiophile grade headphones from sennheiser.
      Shini44, Feb 3, 2014
    3. Ordo Ab Chao
      I got these headphones brand-new for less than the retail price for both the Black and the Brown version and I would say that at that price that I got them for they are worth the price/performance. However past that the earcup design really detracts from it and prevents it from getting a 4.5/5 or even higher along with other subtle design weaknesses. 
      The bass is loose but it is very engaging and reminds me somewhat of the Beyerdynamic Custom One pro bass on position 2/3. It is not muddy but the details are still present.
      Ordo Ab Chao, Feb 3, 2014
  5. mithrandir38
    The Sennheiser Momentum: A Great Piece of Design.
    Written by mithrandir38
    Published Dec 26, 2013
    Pros - Gorgeous mids, great extended bass, no sibilance.
    Cons - slighty lacking in treble "air", earcups won't comfortably fit larger ears, a little bit more definition in the bass would be nice.
         The Sennheiser Momentums are my favorite pair of headphones that I own (including UE700's and the Senn HD650's).  I started a quest last year after buying a pair of (at that time) Monster Beats Solos.  Yeah, I bought into the hype.  I'm not gonna start a Beats-hating review here; suffice to say I wasn't satisfied, sold them, and looked elsewhere.  After weeks of reading reviews, going back and forth and hand-wringing over which pair to buy, I settled on the Ultrasone Pro-900's.  While I loved the 900's ultra-high resolution bass and extended treble, the mids weren't doing it for me; voices and guitars sounded too distant for my taste.  I listen primarily to rock (including prog, metal, etc.), and the Ultrasones held me at a distance.  I decided to go back to my original first choice: the Momentums.
    Gear used
    1. Toshiba Satellite Laptop running Jriver Media Center
    2. Grant Fidelity Tubedac-11 w/headphone out
    3. Ipod classic (7th Gen)
    4. Fiio Mont Blanc (E12)
    Overall Impressions
         I love the look of these headphones: they're elegant without being flashy and plastic-y  Love the leather earcups as they're really comfortable on my fairly average size ears.  The non-resonant metal injected ear cups are lightweight, but very sturdy-no unwanted vibrations will occur there.  The sliders stay in place and don't move unless I adjust them; they haven't loosened in the last year of heavy use.  I've travelled extensively with them, and pack them in a backpack for work nearly every day.  Very durable headphones (survived an attack by a five month old German Shepherd).
         The treble response is almost perfect for me.  Absolutely no sibilance with a very nice tonality to cymbals as well as a decent representation of the room sound while recording or the reverb applied during mixing.  The last bit of "air" is missing from the Momentums, they're not going to emulate Beyer T1's or the Senn flagship 800's, but on their own merits sound great.  Slayer's "War Ensemble" sounded clear and powerful through the Momentums, but in the drum fills during the opening riff, the room sounds slightly smaller compared to the Ultrasone Pro 900's which have quite extended treble.  The Eagles "One of These Nights" sounded terrific and full, but again, the very top end of the spectrum seemed a bit muted, the reverb on Henley's lead vocal is slightly less prominent.  Mind you, these are minor gripes, and if a listener is not coming from a more treble accentuated pair of cans, they would probably be perfectly content. Overall, really great sounding, non-eardrum abusing treble.
         Simply Gorgeous.  These are simply the best mids I've heard on a dynamic headset, open or closed, imo.  Tone is the operating word: gorgeous tone.  Now, the HD650's are known for their "liquid" midrange.  I often listen to them myself through a Bottlehead Crack Amplifier, and I ultimately prefer the rendering on the Momentums.  Compared to the mids on the 650's, which to me seem a little forward compared to both the bass and the treble, the Momentums seem to me a little better balanced.  The new driver that was developed for these cans just sound so clean and "grain-less".  On Simple Red's Greatest Hits, Sade Lover's Live, or No Doubt's Push and Shove, the vocals all sound incredibly real and immediate.  Mick's voice on "Holding Back the Years" is warm and full; Sade's vocals on "Cherish the Day" and "No Ordinary Love" are superb: Gwen's voice on "One More Summer", "Easy" and "Gravity" sounds like you've got a direct connection to the mic.  Just great stuff.  I think the transducer Sennheiser developed for the momentum is better at producing realistic midrange than even the vaunted HD-6xx series drivers.  Compared to the Momentums, the 650's seem to have a little bit of "glare" in comparison.  Not a huge difference, mind you, I just prefer the slightly more natural rendering on the little bros.
         Much has been made by the purists of the bass boost on these cans.  It's very light.  Imo, the bass is only there when it is called for in the mix; if a mix is bass-light, the Momentums will sound accordingly.  If the mix is bass-heavy, there will be a nice, visceral impact that's fairly linear from 20-100 Hz.  This is not one of those uncalled-for mid-bass bumps where the low freqs drop of precipitously after impact.  Oh, yeah, the bass doesn't bleed into the lower mids, either.  That is one of my pet peeves with lesser cans: the coloration of the entire spectrum to dark.  These are definitely warm cans, but not overly so.  Rather, they are sculpted by the Senn engineers to be both hi-fi and entertaining.  Daft Punk's Tron: Legacy Soundtrack is a terrific example of low bass impact, and the Momentums deliver nicely.  On "Derezzed", the impact is huge, and the sub bass resonates through your head.  These are not so-called "basshead" cans, but any time I lend these to a coworker that listens to hip-hop or electronica, they're always impressed by the overall balance ( and I never seem to hear they're lacking in bass).  If you'd like to check out a couple guitar-oriented tracks with tremendous low bass presence, check out Joe Satriani's "Tumble" single or the title track to "Is There Love in Space?"
         A few quick words on Soundstage Imaging of these cans: to me, the difference between open and closed cans is relatively minimal when is comes to soundstage.  To my ears, the Momentums don't sound terribly congested compared to the legendary 650's, rather the 650's feel more open because there is less air compression against the ear and side of the head due to the open design.  The Momentums have greater sub-bass response due to their closed design.  Both designs have rolled off upper treble response which for me makes more of a difference than the open/closed back issue.  I know that closed back designs generally can have higher measured distortion in the bass, but in my experience it's not audible.  These cans are seriously clean sounding.
         These are easy to drive headphones with a nominal impedance of 32 ohms resistance.  That being said, they benefit from quality amplification.  Upon first listen they sound fine, but if even a modest amp like a Fiio E6 is added, there is a noticeable difference in quality and impact with the added headroom.  I'm currently running my Momentums off a ipod Classic 7th Gen with Fiio E12 amp hooked up to the ipod line out.  I have found instrument separation and bass impact to have benefitted greatly from the E12 compared to the standard ipod jack.
    Final thoughts
         The Sennheiser Momentum Over-ear Headphones are a superb piece of design and a great value for head-fi enthusiasts who want a quality product that will compare favorably with more expensive headphones and in some ways, surpass them.  I've been listening for a year now, and if anything were to happen to my Momentums, I wouldn't hesitate to go out and buy another pair.  My Momentums are comfort food for my ears.
      JeffSX, SonusAudio and hdela like this.
    1. hdela
      Nice review that I can completely agree with. These are by far te most pleasant headphones I've heard; they immerse you in the music, never get in the way, and deliver the sound as it was intented by the sound engineers. No little flaws to distract you, no wondering if you hear all of the bass or if the trebles are spread out enough... that makes them really relaxing to listen to.
      And they are so gorgeous. So well put together.
      hdela, Jan 2, 2014
    2. mithrandir38
      Yep, they are my go-to mobile headphones.  Sometimes I prefer them over my crack/650 setup at home just because the 650's are lacking in sub-bass.  The mids are more detailed on the 650's, but I love the balance of the Momentums.
      mithrandir38, Jan 2, 2014
  6. thesurvivor90
    excellent all rounder
    Written by thesurvivor90
    Published Dec 24, 2013
    Pros - dark sound without sacrificing details, enjoyable listening experience
    Cons - average isolation, may not be good for everyone
    Sennheiser momentum has great, unique and premium design and build quality and a audio jack which is very interesting. The audio jack can be freely moved around. The cables are detachable. The soft leather padding adds even more premium feeling and comfort to it, however, it may slip in sweat, since the clamping pressure is average.
    When you first listen to them, you notice the dark sound with high resolution, without any sibilance. You realize that you're listening to high quality and clear sound which is worth £200+. It isn't like beats, which sound very low in resolution and don't worth the money. The bass is very clear and reaches low. Another headphone, the mdr 1r, doesn't have that low end bass response that can be found on momentum. The soundstage is excellent for a closed back portable headphone. The mids are smooth, and the treble are sweet and well extended. I really like these kind of laid back headphones with high resolution.
    The isolation is average.
    These headphones are to be carried around, and for listening without any serious amplification, or no amplification. If you're looking for very high fidelity sound when on the go, momentums are for you.
    However, if you're planning for listening at home only, there are better headphones available, at similar price, such as the hd600.
    Remember, sennheiser momentum has a dark and laid back sound signature. If you're looking for something bright and revealing, it may not be for you, 
  7. commodent
    Compact, good-looking and good sound, but not worth the price
    Written by commodent
    Published Dec 8, 2013
    Pros - Build quality, design, sound quality
    Cons - Value
    I will first start by declaring that I'm no audiophile, and that this is just a review coming from an average consumer. I know a lot of you will facepalm by my review, but I will post it anyway.
    One year ago I bought the ATH-M50, coming from a Beat Solo HD headphone (yeah, I know). Although the Beats and ATH-M50s were at approximately the same price, I was simply stunned by the open sound, the tight bass and crisp sounds from the ATH-M50s. However, after a year I thought it was time for a new upgrade, and doubled the budget I had one year ago to £250. After I had bought the Momentums I excitedly went home expecting I would get the same WOW-feeling as I had gotten from the ATH-M50s, but when I plugged them in my computer and put them on my head I was just surprised. Not because they sounded good (they did), but because of how average and familiar they sounded. They sounded almost like the £100 cheaper ATH-M50s. I tried connecting the Momentums to the cell phone and the iPad (the box says they are "made for" iDevices). For three hours I listened to the Momentums, but after switching over to ATH-M50 right after I still heard no big difference. Disappointed I returned them to the store and once again I'm looking for a new pair of headphones.
    Some might say I wasn't satisfied with the sound because I was used to the ATH-M50s, but how is it a matter of taste when they sound basically the same?
    1. View previous replies...
    2. commodent
      @Zalithian I don't think it's smart to compare these with the power hungry headphones HD600 and HE-400 to explain the significance of amp, because, you know, they need more power.
      @willyvlyminck I'm not expecting it to be twice as good, only worth the £100 more it costs, made in China or not.
      If I knew amp/DAC was needed to hear the "magic" of the Momentums, which I still don't think they do, I would never have bought these. I am now going for the Philips Fidelio X1 together with a FiiO E17, and I'm truly hoping for better results.
      commodent, Dec 9, 2013
    3. Zalithian
      I'm just illustrating my point that a lot of sound cards are rather bad. I should have mentioned my amperiors sound terrible out of my laptop as well. Hope you enjoy the X1 more.
      Zalithian, Dec 9, 2013
    4. avilavi
      you should have at least give it a proper BURN-IN
      don't jump to conclusion too soon. 3 hours is nothing.
      avilavi, Jan 2, 2014
  8. julian67
    Uniformly excellent with different devices, amps, situations and use cases.
    Written by julian67
    Published Nov 27, 2013
    Pros - Just works. No adjustment required, no deficiency apparent. Compatible with your headphone amp and also your phone/tablet/player/tv/console.
    Cons - Eye watering price. Too small for some people.
    I bought my Momentums as a used item from a fellow UK based Head-Fi member via this board's "For Sale" section. They are as new and I paid £155 including delivery. This is about US $252 or €186. I have the circumaural type in brown as shown in the product image.

    Motivation for purchase:

    I live by a busy road with a lot of commuter traffic and delivery vehicles (railway station and post office depot are just around the corner) and while I prefer an open headphone this isn't practical except sometimes in the small hours of the morning. My decade old and rather dull Sennheiser HD500 semi-open 'phones died on me and I tried replacing them with Sony MDR ZX700, an AKG 450/451 on-ear, a Sennheiser HD 219 on-ear and a Sennheiser HD 215 DJ model. The budget Sennheisers and and AKG were taken back for refunds as none were really pleasing. The Sony sounded OK and was supremely comfortable but made with some very poor components and broke after little more than a year. As a stop gap I purchased some Superlux HD661, kind of OK with eq but I used it less and less and always end up either using IEMs (Shure SE215/SuperFi 5vi/Sennheiser CX95) or my Koss KSC75 and trying to ignore the rumble of traffic and the honking and revving of impatient drivers and sirens of emergency vehicles and all that grossness that comes with city living.

    Last week while killing time on my way home I tried out a few different headphones in-store. The on-ear Sennheiser Momentums were truly impressive but didn't quite isolate enough and nobody had the over ears in stock. I saw some for sale used (as new, boxed etc.) here on head-fi, priced to sell by someone building a reputation as a reliable trader so I took the bait.

    First Impressions:

    These arrived in a huge box :ph34r: Inside the huge box was a merely very large box. Within the very large box was a surprisingly big headphone hard case. Inside the big hard case was a very compact and lightweight pair of headphones and within another compartment were the cables and within an envelope compartment were the docs . Who says the Germans don't have a sense of humour? They saw the Russian matroska dolls and were inspired to use them as a basis for their packaging design. Bravo, screw the planet, mine's a double, cheers.

    Fit and Comfort:

    The actual earphones are very light and compact capsules that will fit up to moderately large ears. They are mounted on a very lightweight steel headband that allows fitting to moderately large heads but not the largest. When people shout "Fathead!" and/or "Buggerlugs!" at me they are not merely offering coarse and vulgar abuse but also an insightful and accurate description of certain of my anatomical features. My hat size is up in the L to XL area and my lugs at longest point are about 72mm long, hence my reputation as a deep thinker and great listener (alternatively a sinister, scheming eavesdropper). I also wear very minimalist titanium spectacles.

    I can wear these comfortably for many hours, all day in fact, but only if I pay real attention to fit and adjustment to begin with. I am absolutely sure that if I wore more conventional spectacles or if my ears were even a tiny bit bigger or my head a tiny bit wider then these Momentums would be impractical for me both in terms of comfort and in the possibility of setting the drivers in the right position. These are the smallest circumaural headphones I've experienced and the drivers are very, very close to the ear such that there really isn't any wiggle room or possibility of effectively shifting them back and forth or up and down. Basically you place them over your ear in the only practical position and then adjust the headband to accommodate this fixed point.

    The leather faced earpads are very comfortable, soft, and practical. They haven't made my ears heat up and sweat like the HD 215 which were like a mini ear sauna. On the other hand the cost of replacement pads is staggeringly high. I would be happier with high quality velour/pleather combo with sane replacement cost.

    I don't have a fruity i-Device so I use the plain cable. I like the rubbery outer as it retains its shape, doesn't tangle or get knotted and doesn't conduct any external noises. I'm not sure about the twist fit bayonet style attachment to the left capsule. It is worryingly secure and I would prefer a non-proprietary cable that pops out fairly easily as this is much better than pulling the headphones off by mistake or damaging the cable or mount point. My old Sennheiser HD500s had a plain detachable cable (2.5mm standard jack at headphone) and it never broke and was simple and effective and saved me from causing expensive damage many times.

    The Sound:

    Yummy. Mmmm. More please. Can't stop. I expected these to be excellent but am even more pleased and impressed than anticipated. I've been using them with a wide variety of sources with widely varying power and impedance:

    PC to USB DAC FiiO E7
    PC SPDIF pass through to Yamaha RX-V496RDS Receiver
    iRiver H140 (Rockbox, SSD mod)
    iRiver H340 (Rockbox)
    Sansa Fuze+ (Rockbox)
    Archos A43IT Android multimedia wifi tablet (+Rockbox as an Application)

    This is almost all flacs ripped from CD plus a few aac streams and mp3 podcasts and game audio.

    The balance is excellent, There is no gross emphasis of any frequency range and also nothing is missing or obviously rolled off. These are the first closed headphone I've used that require absolutely no EQ correction of any kind to sound superb and are purely enjoyable exactly as they are. Bass is powerful and goes deep, midrange is gorgeous with the most natural vocals I've heard, and the higher frequencies seem much more alive and present than you'd expect if you just looked at the graphs and measurements. There isn't the invisible(?) openness and airiness offered by an open headphone but surely that is too much to expect of any closed cup 'phone. I read Jude's review and the subsequent comments and wondered if I might be buying a bass heavy or turgid headphone. This is not the case. There is just the small bass emphasis that is required to prevent a headphone sounding thin compared to loudspeakers. Listening to a viol consort where there is challenging mix of 5 or 6 distinct instruments (and sometimes a range of voices from bass to soprano) all producing slightly different and richly textured tones there is none of the muddiness experienced with a bass heavy phone or typical budget or mid range IEM. What I do hear is really natural and well separated and what I like best is that there is a real sense of the timbre and texture of the natural sounds. It's the same with voices in that more than just the frequency is reproduced: the timbre is perceived so that the voices appear to have body or presence and real dimension.

    The highs are excellent as well. These just seem incredibly well balanced and natural. I find my Koss KSC75 have a bit more sparkle but at no point listening with the Momentums does that occur to me; it's something I note after deliberately looking for points of difference while seeking to make a comparison.

    While there isn't the airiness that enhances the illusion of width with an open headphone there is excellent stereo imaging: voices and instruments do seem solidly positioned and not just two dimensional.

    Substantially I expected an excellent sound as outlined above so while I am really pleased I would have been very disappointed if it wasn't the case. There are a couple of other factors, one that I was hoping for and one that I hadn't considered. The hoped for quality was that the Momentums would work well with a variety of portable and domestic kit and in this respect they exceed my expectations. I am extremely pleased that I can switch them from my tiny Sansa Fuze+ to my Yamaha amp or my Android tablet or iRiver players and the same positive attributes show themselves in each case. There are certainly some differences between the quality of the outputs of the different devices but the sound signature, the tonal quality, feels much the same regardless of power output and impedance. This is truly ideal. What has surprised me the most and has taken me a few days to realise is that the sound is so coherent that I prefer to listen without a crossfeed. Usually I find headphone/IEM listening tends towards the three pot (left ear, right ear, a bit in the middle of the head) so by habit I listen with Rockbox's Meier type crossfeed on my portable players, or with similar settings via bs2b on my PC. The momentums offer such a coherent and believable sound that I'm not tempted to use a crossfeed except with those recordings whose left and right channels are or almost are completely different. Additionally this evening I tried out the famous binaural demo virtualbarbershop and the Momentums render this better than any headphone I've tried before.

    Other Stuff:

    I don't have anything negative to say about the sound, compatibility, apparent build quality or choice of materials. Even the fit is actually fine, only requiring a little attention to begin with to achieve real comfort. I can't comment on durability but as mentioned earlier I had another pair of Sennheiser circumaural headphones which lasted me a decade. I also have some Sennheiser CX 95 IEMs that are now just over four years old and sound as good as new, if looking a bit worn. So I feel confident that these should last a long time and I hope they do because the price is very high and the price of replacement parts except the plain cable and jack adapter is actually outrageous. I have to say that there is no way I would pay the full retail new price for these and it's a pity that Sennheiser don't market a version without the astonishingly expensive Apple-specific control cable which is pointless and redundant for many or most people.


    If your circumstances demand an isolating headphone and you are really tired of sticking stuff into your ear canals then try these first. Closed headphones can be excellent after all.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. julian67
      Thank you. These were way beyond my normal budget too but I had some rare good fortune (a small tax rebate), was dissatisfied with various budget closed headphones, saw a pair of Momentums at a good price and couldn't resist. I don't expect to spend so much on headphones ever again. They are the best headphones I have heard and I love them, but I also enjoy my Koss KSC75 and they only cost £10. If an open, non-isolating headphone suited my circumstances I would be happy enough with the Koss, especially now that I know that price difference is in no way proportionate to sound quality difference. It's a shame that closed headphones seem so hard to get right but it's great to finally get something well made that is easy to enjoy.
      julian67, Jan 16, 2014
    3. lisagorbin
      I'm really curious of what you think about takstar hi2050 or takstar pro80. These are affordable headphones and even some veteran headfiers think it is very good for the price. Like I said, your reviews are fun to read so if you have a chance, let us know what you feel about them.
      lisagorbin, Mar 5, 2014
    4. julian67
      Sorry, no plans on buying the Takstars (or clones) and as they aren't available locally I can't try them in a store. After getting my Momentums I soon lost interest in cheap, closed headphones and don't expect to be buying another pair unless something unfortunate happens with the Sennheisers.
      julian67, Mar 5, 2014
  9. starlan
    Worth every penny!
    Written by starlan
    Published Nov 1, 2013
    Pros - Sound, build, comfort, isolation, looks, functions
    Cons - Large case, expensive replacement iPhone cable
    Have had these for just under a week with easily 40 hours use already. The sound is to my ears and tastes; nearly perfect. In fact I would call it perfect but I just don't know what that may be. Regardless, these things have an incredibly balanced profile. Think adequate but not overpowering bass, great warm and smooth mids and nicely controlled but detailed highs. There is some roll off at the top end and I think it is all for the better. The sound is never fatiguing . They just simply sound great all around with practically every genre to my taste.

    If i were asked to change anything I don't know what I would ask for. That to me says sometimes its best to not have any faults vs. do some things amazing but have to give in other areas. Although I am sure there are cans that do something in any one particular area better (.i.e. reference quality headphones run with an amp, etc.) I am not sure there is a portable set of closed circum-aural phones that can offer the complete package these do. It's not just the sound either; these are light, well built, very very comfortable, look amazing and just scream quality product and attention to detail in every way.

    Only downsides so far are the large case and non-folding design which frankly are trade-offs worth it for the precise sliding mechanism, sturdy construction and overall aesthetic. Also the iPhone replacement cable seems pricey at $130. Otherwise these are close to being the perfect portable circum-aural no nonsense, smooth, warm and well mannered headphones.

    UPDATE: After about a month I can confirm that my impressions of the Momentum's have actually only gotten better! After burning in for several hundred hours of use now the highs seem more detailed and sparkle ever so slightly more. The mids and bass still sound great as they did from day one.These are one amazing set of cans.
    1. zsolt
      My ears are 7cm long, the Momentum are hurts my ears after 20 minutes..
      zsolt, Nov 2, 2013
    2. Amphibica
      It is possible to pickup a used pair of Sennheiser HD-650s for $350. Are the 'Momentum' as good as the 650s?
      Amphibica, Nov 2, 2013
    3. starlan
      Yes I've read comments that the Momentum's don't work well with large ears. They're fine on me. I also got a pair of V-Moda M-100’s to try but returned those. They were less comfortable to me, much heavier on the head but mostly I did not love the sound quality. It wasn't that the sound is bad, I just found them a little over-hyped based on what I read on this site. The mids are we're just lacking too much and the bass overpowering. They felt quite genre specific but will excel with things like electronic music.

      Amphibian - have not used the HD650's but those are different beasts. I am sure they sound better and the Momentum’s are not as good given they are what I would call reference quality but they also cost twice as much new, are not really portable headphones and open-back design of course. They serve a completely different purpose. These are meant to be run straight from your portable device and for their purposes are one of the best headphones in its class.
      starlan, Nov 2, 2013
  10. GL1TCH3D
    Great portable headphones with good sound quality
    Written by GL1TCH3D
    Published Sep 24, 2013
    Pros - Comfortable, good sound quality
    Cons - Doesn't fold up, earcups are a bit small
    I paid $175 for a used pair and honestly, it was a great purchase.
    I already owned the ESW11LTD but I waslooking for something a bit punchier.
    The ESW11LTD I'd say kind of fit that criteria.

    Being a portable pair, I used this primarily with my iPhone 4 with EQ "Flat"

    Build quality:
    Very nice build quality to be completely honest.
    The metal and leather brought me back to when I had the P5.
    Unfortunately the sennheiser badges on either side of the earcups weren't put in properly and had gaps around them which was a bit disappointing.

    The earcups are very small. Due to my smallish ear I was able to use these as both an over ear and on-ear pair which is odd =/ Considering these were supposed to be meant as over ears, I would have made the cups a little bigger.
    Also, as a portable headphone, if you include the case, it gets bulky. In a small messenger bag, I'd have a very hard time fitting the case in.
    Would have liked to see maybe a fabric case.

    They isolate quite well, but of course, IEMs will do a better job.

    They sound a bit v-shaped to my ears, focusing more on the bass and treble while the mids are pushed back a little.

    Bass texture is decent. It's tight, defined and a bit punchy but it doesn't sound super natural.
    The extension could also be better. Maybe I'm just spoiled from always having $1000 headphones lying around.

    Being someone who listens to intimate vocals a lot, this section was a bit disappointing coming from the audio technica esw11ltd and stax sr007mk2.
    It felt like the mids were pushed back a bit. Not as a super-v-shaped sig, but noticeable enough. The mids aren't as liquid as other headphones I've used.

    Treble liquidity is decent. Refined/resolved but again, nothing comparable to totl headphones.
    Extension is good in this area.