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Sennheiser HD1 Over-Ear Review

  1. RockStar2005
    **UPDATE: I HAVE SWITCHED OVER TO THE BOWERS & WILKINS P7. See here for more details.**

    After reading various pro and customer reviews about how great these sound, I went ahead and bought myself the Sennheiser HD1 Over-Ear headphones (HPs) in the ivory color. The HD1 is the upgraded version of the Momentum 2.0 headphones by Sennheiser. They feature the exact same award-winning (2017) sound signature of the Momentum 2.0 headphones, but with added comfort. Sennheiser found out a year or so ago that the name "Momentum" was already trademarked, so they decided to rename this line to "HD1" in order to avoid a lawsuit.

    Price: I paid $250 for these on Amazon + $25 tax, so a total of $275.

    Looks/Design/Features: These are some really nice premium-looking HPs. Though the ear cups are plastic, the rest of the phone is all metal & genuine leather all the way! In between ear cups & the ear pads are gold metallic accents, which give the phone a more luxurious look. They are quite light, not bulky by any means, and so they are also quite portable. A big part of their portability also comes in the form of the "fold-in" feature (see pic below) which the original Momentum 1.0 did not have (though the 2.0 did).

    The cable for the phone is a regular (non-braided) cable which features an in-line remote and mic. Though the phone is "Made for iOS", the only thing lost on Android phones with this remote is the volume feature really. The pause/play button works just fine, and I believe the same button can let you take and/or disconnect phone calls as well. The length is 1.4 meters, which is about 4.5 feet. I am happy with anything around 4 feet, so this is just fine with me. The part that connects into the HD1 features a "twist & lock" option as well, and it goes into the right side of the HD1. It takes a BIT of effort to twist and pull it out, but not too much really. I will prob just leave it in most of the time unless traveling long distances.

    The HD1 also comes with a suede-like super-soft carrying case AS WELL AS a black hard case! Sennheiser held back nothing here! You usually don't get both, so this was a welcome surprise. The hard case has enough room in it so that you can even leave the cable connected into the HD1 w/o worrying about it (this is how they come actually too).

    Comfort: I found these to be one of the most comfortable HPs I've ever worn! They remind me a lot of my old Sony MDR-1A 'phones actually, which were the most comfortable ones I've ever worn, though these may be equal to those or an extremely close second? Due to the HD1 being so light, and because of their smaller size, you don't have much pressure on any part of your head at any given time either. The headband is genuine leather with some padding on it. Not a ton, but the truth is it really doesn't need it IMO. The ear pads feel like giant super soft marshmallows against your ears. They had been enlarged since the Momentum 1.0 due to customer complaints, and it's good to see that Sennheiser listened! Even with glasses on, these still felt super comfy to me! I have average-sized ears, and so I never felt my ears touching the speaker driver covering at all either.

    The oval shape of these ear pads also have other advantages. One of which has to do with volume and potential hearing loss. Rounded ear pads let more of the sound leak out, which in turn forces the listener to raise the volume up, which can put the listener at increased risk for (unnecessary) hearing damage. But oval-shaped ear pads isolate sound better, and therefore less sound is likely to leak out, and the urge to raise the volume up higher vanishes immediately!

    Sound: Many have said the HD1s sound great out of the box and don't need EQ'ing. For the MOST part I agree with this statement. They did sound great out of the box, but I felt they could sound even better, so I tried to come up with a custom EQ for the HD1s. But oddly enough it was the custom EQ I used for my now former Meze 99 Classics that made them sound their best! It opened up the sound to give it more "air" and also less congested (with respect to instrument separation) & less overly bassy on some songs as well. So these comments are based on the use of my Meze 99 Classics w/ the Brainwavz ear pads custom EQs (3 total), which can be found here. They were made for use in the Poweramp music app, so make sure to get that for best results!

    **UPDATE: I found that using the EQs from that link for the STOCK 99 C ear pads gives me a more open and "airy" sound, so I suggest using those instead. They are the FIRST group that's listed on that link. OR, just go ahead and see the newly renamed EQs down below that I just added to this post.**

    Sennheiser HD1 (Main EQ):

    Senn HD1.png

    Senn HD1 (Bass Xtra) EQ:

    Senn HD1 (Bass Xtra).png

    Senn HD1 (Bass Lite) EQ:

    Senn HD1 (Bass Lite).png

    Without any EQ, the HD1 still sounded great! Better than most out-of-the-box perhaps? But with my custom EQs, they sounded even better!

    Oh and the soundstage was pretty wide, especially when you consider that these are closed-back HPs! This of course lends to the extra airiness and improved instrument separation as well.

    Conclusion: Since these sounded so fantastic, and were even more comfortable than my 99 Classics (and slightly cheaper), I've decided I'm going to keep the HD1 after all! I HIGHLY recommend these headphones and suggest you try them out too if you are looking for something new.


    HD1 side-view.jpg

    HD1 folded-in.jpg

    HD1 bottom view.jpg
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
    Anjolie, voxie, Bansaku and 2 others like this.
  2. Notanaudiophile85
    Great post! I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’m glad you’re enjoying the HD1s. Thanks for the custom EQs btw. I can’t wait to give them a go.
    RockStar2005 likes this.
  3. RockStar2005
    Thanks 85!!! Your comments are MUCH appreciated!

    Sure thing, YW! I'm gonna try the EQ I had for the stock pads on the Meze 99 Classics as well to see if that's any better. Only real difference is the treble I believe. If you don't hear back from me about it by the end of the month, just assume the Brainwavz EQs are better. But yes, DEF let me know your thoughts on the Brainwavz/Meze EQs!

    BTW, in the other HD1 thread that we were talking in, I sent you a post a couple days ago. Let me know your response to that too as well (respond there though, not here).
  4. RockStar2005
    Hey 85,

    I compared the Brainwavz Meze 99 Classics EQ with the Meze 99 Classics Stock Pads EQ, and I decided I actually liked the Stock Pads version more. The extra bump in treble made them sound more open and "airy", so I suggest using those from my 99 Classics review (they are the FIRST set of EQs listed).

    Again, let me know what you think if you do try them out as well on the HD1.
  5. SlimShadyMJ
    So, they renamed the Momentum's huh. I've been out of the loop for a while so I didn't when that happened. Glad they appear to be of the exact same quality I remember them being years ago.

    I do wish they would try a Navy Blue headband and leather option or something with that Ivory model. It'd look legit nice
    RockStar2005 likes this.
  6. Scutey
    Excellent review, you've have me interested in a pair!.
    RockStar2005 likes this.
  7. anoxy
    edit: nvm
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
    RockStar2005 likes this.
  8. RockStar2005
    Hi Slim,

    Yeah.......I guess they were just trying play it safe. lol But the tagline for the HD1 is "The headphone with MOMENTUM!" lol

    Yeah I just found this out not too long ago. I didn't really have much interest in Momentum 1.0 cuz I'd read at different places that it wasn't that comfortable, but then the 2.0 came out and it was better I guess, and then now the HD1 is even MORE comfortable. So yeah, even better now than before!

    Yes I could see that being a good color option too! The Momentum 2.0 Apple-version featured a "chocolate brown on brown" option (see pics below) I really liked arguably even more than my Ivory one. But when they said the HD1 was a bit more comfortable than the 2.0, I decided to go with comfort over looks. Not sure I would've actually liked the brown 2.0 one more than my Ivory HD1 in person, but maybe.



  9. RockStar2005
    Thank you Scutey!

    Yes you should definitely consider buying one. On the Sennheiser site, they went back to their original $350 price a few days ago, but on Amazon the Ivory version is still only $250 and the Black version only $224!

    Ok UK Amazon only has the Black HD1 over-ear. If you want the Ivory one, you should see if any of the US Amazon sellers (link above) will ship to the UK. Or else not sure............neither UK or US eBay has the wired Ivory HD1 available. Apparently in the UK, Sennheiser is still ok with using the Momentum name for it's Momentum 2.0 headphones. Though the HD1 has a SLIGHT edge in comfort, you may just be better off get the the UK Momentum 2.0 headphones (see FOURTH link down.............choose iPhone version) since they look the same and have the SAME EXACT sound signature as the HD1. Plus you get THREE color options on that one.........including that lovely chocolate brown-colored one. Up to you Scutey!

    Note: The only difference b/t the Apple version and Android version is the remote. It's really not worth the extra $25 on the Android Black version vs. Apple Black JUST to have volume controls on the remote. Just adjust it from the phone. The Apple-remote on Android will STILL work for calls and play/pause.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
    Anjolie and Scutey like this.
  10. Scutey
    Wow thank you for the info RockStar, that is very helpful!, I will check out both US and UK Amazon sites, i'm relaxed about the colour as long as it's not pink! lol, so will usually go with the cheapest deal irrespective of colour, once again thank you for taking the effort to post the info, I will definitely look into these great looking cans, Regards!.
    RockStar2005 likes this.
  11. RockStar2005
    You're very welcome Scutey!!

    Ok then I guess just go for Black since it's easier to find and buy (Amazon UK site I guess). And the Black is cheaper on the US Amazon site than the Ivory color is too.

    Ok awesome! If you do buy it, please come back to this thread and share your experiences. Obviously ppl reading this thread would like to hear input from other people besides JUST me! lol
  12. Scutey
    Lol. I shall have a good look and if I purchase a pair I will definitely report back on how they sound.
    RockStar2005 likes this.
  13. Pedro Oliveira
    But do they sound exactly the same as the momentum 2.0 (m2)....?

    Because if they do i doubt the confort is that much improved in order to justify a new purchase from a 2.0 owner and even new buyers can get the 2.0s for as low as 135 euros on amazon (seen this deal a couple of times).....

    I dont see much besides a rebrand.... Basically it seems like sennheiser is trying to catch new buyers with the same headphone while they ditch the momentum name (they cant use it anymore because it was already registered by Someone).

    Basically sennheiser is pulling a Fidélio x2hr move..... :D
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
    RockStar2005 likes this.
  14. RockStar2005
    Hi Pedro,

    According to NUMEROUS reviews, Sennheiser simply took the M2 headphone and re-branded it the HD1. Sonically, yes they are THE SAME. Sennheiser made some minor changes physically though to make them even more comfortable, which is why I bought the HD1 and not the M2.

    That may be true, but I came from having the Meze 99 Classics, which for many were very comfortable, but for me they just clamped a bit too much (even after loosening them) & were a bit too bulky for me. Those 2 factors combined were a bit too much, and I didn't wanna take any chances, and that is why I got the HD1. Now if I actually owned the M2 maybe I wouldn't see the need to get the HD1 either, but unfortunately, the only way to know for sure would be to buy them and try them on.

    Well that may be the case in Europe, but here in the U.S., the black HD1 for example is only $224, where the black M2 is $250. And actually the Brown M2 (which is the color I wanted most based on online pics) is like $314 (there is no Brown HD1 unfortunately). So it varies by location I guess. I find it interesting that Sennheiser still sells the M2 in Europe under the Momentum name. I guess they were only worried about it in the U.S. as perhaps this other company that already had the Momentum name before Senn did is based in and only sells to the U.S.? I guess that's something the lawyers had to figure out. lol

    Here is more on the design changes:


    Displaying the same cool retro build, the HD 1 Wireless has got oval-shaped ear cups and exposed stainless steel extenders connected to a thin, but padded leather headband. A tiny stainless steel plate on the right side of the headband now reads “HD 1” rather than “Momentum.”

    A few other physical alterations that easily fly under the radar are minor adjustments to improve upon the build and durability. The headband is slightly wider than its predecessor. I think this was done to alleviate some of the pressure placed on the ears and head. I know of a few users who loved the M2s, but felt the headphones applied too much pressure on the sides of their head. The wire that runs from each ear cup and through the headband seems much thicker and flatter. Although, only an inch or so is exposed, the flatter and thicker rehash definitely deters premature wear and tear.

    So I dunno. I'm so tempted to buy the Brown M2 off the UK Amazon site just to try it out as it appears they sell to the U.S. AND it is cheaper too ($231/£164). But I feel like I'm prob going to regret it after reading that excerpt. lol I really do love that Brown color though. I would only know FOR SURE in person vs. the Ivory HD1 if I still favored it or not (aside from the comfort factor of course).
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018

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