Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 and Wireless!
May 27, 2015 at 2:22 PM Post #1,906 of 3,652

408388

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Tried a pair of these today (wireless version, but plugged them in directly) and although they sounded good for the most part, also with good instrument placing, I really didn't like the bass at all. Kick had good energy but between the low drums and the mids it sounded kinda mushy to me, couldn't distinguish bass guitars at all. Anyone else or am I just listening to bad sources/ badly mixed music 
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May 27, 2015 at 3:32 PM Post #1,907 of 3,652

allquixotic

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Hi guys!
 
I think the problem with the bluetooth dropouts / clicks and pops is related to certain power-saving techniques that certain bluetooth stacks -- namely, Android's, and now OS X's with the latest update -- employ. They're trying to give you better battery life, but what they end up giving you is a jarring, unlistenable experience. It's like they (the device manufacturers, not Sennheiser) don't even test this stuff outside of a lab before shipping it.
 
Honestly, I would be astonished if Sennheiser did anything at all to change the behavior or logic of their Momentum Wireless cans. The problem is on the playback devices.
 
Consider my scenario from my testing:
 
Two environments:
E1. Work: Very high 2.4 GHz band congestion. Lots of WiFi networks in range (and close); several other coworkers using bluetooth, etc.
E2. Home: Low 2.4 GHz band congestion. My own WiFi networks are 100% in the 5 GHz range, and neighbors are far enough away that their WiFi signals are extremely weak.
 
Three sets of bluetooth headphones:
H1. Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 On-ear Wireless
H2. Meelectronics Air-Fi Matrix 2 (Bluetooth 4.0 + apt-X)
H3. Meelectronics Air-Fi Matrix (Bluetooth 3.0 without apt-X)
 
Four bluetooth playback devices:
D1. Windows 7 Dell laptop with a Bluetooth 3.0 transmitter built into the Intel WiFi combo card (@ work and home)
D2. Windows 8.1 custom high-end desktop with a Bluetooth 4.0 dongle attached via USB to the front panel of the computer (@ home)
D3. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone running (at first) Android 4.4.4, then upgraded to Android 5.0.1 recently-ish (@ work and home)
D4. An Avantree Saturn Pro transmitter (accepts 3.5mm TRS cable and plays the audio back over Bluetooth 4.0 + apt-X) (@ work and home)
 
 
Here are the combinations I've tested and the results.
 
Flawless - no issues, ever
 
E1/E2 + H1/H2/H3 + D1/D4
or
E2 + H1/H2/H3 + D2
 
Explanation: Basically, regardless of where I am, if I use the Dell laptop or the Avantree Saturn Pro, with any of the headphones, I get no audio quality or dropout issues at all.
 
Minor problems
 
E2 + H1/H2/H3 + D3
 
Explanation: Android 4.4.4 / 5.0.1 on the Note 4 tries to save battery by cutting down on transmit power or buffering or both (I'm not sure exactly since I can't observe the internals of Bluedroid). This causes the occasional hiccup, but it's rare -- at home, my wireless environment isn't all that congested, so I only get about one dropout per hour. I can kinda deal with it.
 
Unlistenable
 
E1 + H1/H2/H3 + D3
 
Explanation: At work, the wireless environment is very noisy (as evidenced by the Android wireless heat map app). The 2.4 GHz band is almost completely saturated. However, all my playback devices except for the Android phone seem to deliver enough transmit power that the headphones can still "hear" it over all the noise, no pun intended :wink:
 
Conjectures
 
1. Since the results are identical across three separate models of headphones, the problem ain't the headphones.
2. Since the results are better in a less-noisy wireless environment, the problem is related to signal strength or protocol negotiation/cooperation with errant bluetooth stacks (like Bluedroid on Android 4.4 and later).
3. Since I get flawless results when I use the Windows bluetooth stack or the built-in system on chip with the Avantree Pro, the problem is not that it is impossible to get a good, clean signal; it just requires more TX power than some devices are willing to use. (probably to save battery)
 
I would be very interested to see people who have severe problems with the "Over-ear" cans to try buying an Avantree Saturn Pro and connect it to your iPhone or Android phone and see if you get the same sound quality problems in an urban environment or other busy wireless environment.
 
If so, I would be left to conclude that the "Over-ear" cans have a specific problem that they do not share in common with the on-ear cans. That would be unfortunate if true.
 
May 27, 2015 at 5:01 PM Post #1,908 of 3,652

WDitters

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Hi guys!
 
I think the problem with the bluetooth dropouts / clicks and pops is related to certain power-saving techniques that certain bluetooth stacks -- namely, Android's, and now OS X's with the latest update -- employ. They're trying to give you better battery life, but what they end up giving you is a jarring, unlistenable experience. It's like they (the device manufacturers, not Sennheiser) don't even test this stuff outside of a lab before shipping it.
 
Honestly, I would be astonished if Sennheiser did anything at all to change the behavior or logic of their Momentum Wireless cans. The problem is on the playback devices.
 
Consider my scenario from my testing:
 
Two environments:
E1. Work: Very high 2.4 GHz band congestion. Lots of WiFi networks in range (and close); several other coworkers using bluetooth, etc.
E2. Home: Low 2.4 GHz band congestion. My own WiFi networks are 100% in the 5 GHz range, and neighbors are far enough away that their WiFi signals are extremely weak.
 
Three sets of bluetooth headphones:
H1. Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 On-ear Wireless
H2. Meelectronics Air-Fi Matrix 2 (Bluetooth 4.0 + apt-X)
H3. Meelectronics Air-Fi Matrix (Bluetooth 3.0 without apt-X)
 
Four bluetooth playback devices:
D1. Windows 7 Dell laptop with a Bluetooth 3.0 transmitter built into the Intel WiFi combo card (@ work and home)
D2. Windows 8.1 custom high-end desktop with a Bluetooth 4.0 dongle attached via USB to the front panel of the computer (@ home)
D3. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone running (at first) Android 4.4.4, then upgraded to Android 5.0.1 recently-ish (@ work and home)
D4. An Avantree Saturn Pro transmitter (accepts 3.5mm TRS cable and plays the audio back over Bluetooth 4.0 + apt-X) (@ work and home)
 
 
Here are the combinations I've tested and the results.
 
Flawless - no issues, ever
 
E1/E2 + H1/H2/H3 + D1/D4
or
E2 + H1/H2/H3 + D2
 
Explanation: Basically, regardless of where I am, if I use the Dell laptop or the Avantree Saturn Pro, with any of the headphones, I get no audio quality or dropout issues at all.
 
Minor problems
 
E2 + H1/H2/H3 + D3
 
Explanation: Android 4.4.4 / 5.0.1 on the Note 4 tries to save battery by cutting down on transmit power or buffering or both (I'm not sure exactly since I can't observe the internals of Bluedroid). This causes the occasional hiccup, but it's rare -- at home, my wireless environment isn't all that congested, so I only get about one dropout per hour. I can kinda deal with it.
 
Unlistenable
 
E1 + H1/H2/H3 + D3
 
Explanation: At work, the wireless environment is very noisy (as evidenced by the Android wireless heat map app). The 2.4 GHz band is almost completely saturated. However, all my playback devices except for the Android phone seem to deliver enough transmit power that the headphones can still "hear" it over all the noise, no pun intended :wink:
 
Conjectures
 
1. Since the results are identical across three separate models of headphones, the problem ain't the headphones.
2. Since the results are better in a less-noisy wireless environment, the problem is related to signal strength or protocol negotiation/cooperation with errant bluetooth stacks (like Bluedroid on Android 4.4 and later).
3. Since I get flawless results when I use the Windows bluetooth stack or the built-in system on chip with the Avantree Pro, the problem is not that it is impossible to get a good, clean signal; it just requires more TX power than some devices are willing to use. (probably to save battery)
 
I would be very interested to see people who have severe problems with the "Over-ear" cans to try buying an Avantree Saturn Pro and connect it to your iPhone or Android phone and see if you get the same sound quality problems in an urban environment or other busy wireless environment.
 
If so, I would be left to conclude that the "Over-ear" cans have a specific problem that they do not share in common with the on-ear cans. That would be unfortunate if true.


I would be inclined to go along with a large part of that reasoning if it weren't for the fact that in a highly congested 2.4ghz area (known for Bluetooth interference) I get 100% flawless behaviour on a Philips M2BT, a Logitech UE 9000 and a Plantronics Backbeat Pro in a scenario with HTC with Aptx dongle in the front panel... Nothing that I do can deter these cans from maintaining a flawless connection. When I shield the cup with the bluetooth receiver with my hand, nothing happens. With the momentum however, shielding the cup with my hand immediately leads to dropouts. Following your reasoning all 3 other manufacturers should have had to optimize their bluetooth stacks which I somehow doubt...
 
May 28, 2015 at 3:27 AM Post #1,909 of 3,652

n00b2

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@allquixotic Good testing and there is definitely a fair bit of truth to what you are suggesting. It would be good if you could do the same testing at other popular locations for dropouts such as walking through a busy city centre intersection though it might be hard to test a windows laptop or Avantree adapter there. From all the different sort of complaints we have seen though the problem is a combination of the headphones as well as the signal strength/transmitting power. As WDitters said not all headphones have this problem and the Momentum seems to be far worse than any other models. It is getting problems in environments where other models work flawlessly. There is a strong chance that the Momentum is having more problems due to it being a higher quality model in the sense that maybe it isn't getting the bandwith needed to work properly but other cheaper models that don't need as much bandwith are. Your testing doesn't really support that though some discussions earlier in the thread did. Going by what you've said both Meelectronics and Sennheiser need to recheck their implementation of bluetooth in their headphones. Perhaps you could test out one of the models WDitters said has no problems and see how it performs
 
May 28, 2015 at 7:58 AM Post #1,910 of 3,652

HotShotMedic

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I used to take short walks around the block of my suburban neighbourhood with the wireless momentum on my head and my iPhone 6 on my right front pocket. Very little, un-congested 2.4ghz traffic, houses aren't too close together where wifi signals would be completely bombarding these headphones.
An action as simple as turning my head quickly to check for traffic would bring about the skips and stuttering, around 7/10 times. I mean come on, the iPhone is less than 3 feet from the headphones.
Inside my home where the BT signal can be bouncing around off walls, the headphones maintained a stronger, nearly flawless signal.
My bet goes on a poor quality BT radio inside the headphones or combo of ANC and BT causing signal strength to be weaker than it should be.

Sennheiser will make it right, they didn't get where they were without serious engineers designing and tweaking every aspect of a headphones development.
I'm confident they know what's wrong and know how to fix it.
 
May 28, 2015 at 10:29 AM Post #1,911 of 3,652

thefitz

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  I asked from Sennheiser support when and where could I buy Sennheiser Momentum Wireless, but the reply I got had no information about any issues with the headphones whatsoever. 
confused.gif

The guy from Sennheiser explicitly said some were fine, and some weren't. I think this issue was rectified a long time ago, and it's just a matter of getting headsets back to people. That is - I don't think any of the new sets from this point on will have this issue. Now, we all know that this won't prevent hypochondriacs from complaining....
 
My guess is anybody with an issue will receive a totally new set. I sent a pair of B&W P7s in for repair (the right channel had blown), and they simply sent me a refurbished pair. With the relative newness of these cans (mixed with the fact they sent me brand new M2s as loaners), I doubt there will be refurb wireless M2s kicking around, and I don't think it's cost effective for them to physically repair the defective units and send them back to their owners. Send them new ones, fix the busted ones, and sell the fixed ones as refurbs - that seems to make the most sense to me.
 
Bear in mind I'm in Canada, so maybe this loaner thing is atypical of how Sennheiser deals with things overall.
 
May 28, 2015 at 10:36 AM Post #1,912 of 3,652

Bananas Ananas

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  The guy from Sennheiser explicitly said some were fine, and some weren't. I think this issue was rectified a long time ago, and it's just a matter of getting headsets back to people.
 
My guess is anybody with an issue will receive a totally new set. I sent a pair of B&W P7s in for repair (the right channel had blown), and they simply sent me a refurbished pair. With the relative newness of these cans (mixed with the fact they sent me brand new M2s as loaners), I doubt there will be refurb wireless M2s kicking around, and I don't think it's cost effective for them to physically repair the defective units and send them back to their owners. Send them new ones, fix the busted ones, and sell the fixed ones as refurbs - that seems to make the most sense to me.
 
Bear in mind I'm in Canada, so maybe this loaner thing is atypical of how Sennheiser deals with things overall.


This theory makes sense. I've had similar experience with B&W C5 S2 warranty service, but instead they just sent me a brand new pair.
 
I wish to see some Momentum Wireless refurbs with a slight discount soon. 
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May 28, 2015 at 3:41 PM Post #1,915 of 3,652

thefitz

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The newest revision? Are you asking if Sennheiser's going to send him one of the defective sets in a few months?
 
May 28, 2015 at 3:44 PM Post #1,916 of 3,652

coolio1234

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  The newest revision? Are you asking if Sennheiser's going to send him one of the defective sets in a few months?

Let me rephrase that, I'm just hearing about people in this thread getting new pairs and such. Are these the revised versions of the M2 Wireless? Only reason I ask is because I wouldn't want to report an issue now, have a pair shipped out that is part of the old batch and have to go through the hassle of reporting an issue again. 
 
May 28, 2015 at 3:46 PM Post #1,917 of 3,652

thefitz

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I see - my post earlier indicated that Sennheiser said that this issue only affects certain units - I took that to mean that it's fixed, and that any future unit would not have that problem. It's just that these new batches are on back-order.
 
May 28, 2015 at 4:44 PM Post #1,918 of 3,652

Soundofmusic

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Until I see both of the following:
* Someone posting here that they had the problem and got a replacement unit where it was fixed
* Sennheiser officially start selling the headphones again
 
, I will choose to believe they have not yet fixed the error on any replacement item, but simply shipped a new unit and hoped there was a QC issue with the previous one. For all we know, their statement about "only some units being affected" could be their interpretation of not everyone reporting BT issues. From this forum there seems to be a strong suggestion that these issues are triggered mainly by the location, rather than the unit itself, considering people returing multiple units with the same issue.
I'd be willing to put money on most/everyone with these cans would experience the issues if they took a stroll in a busy Manhattan intersection, with the phone in their left pocket and the headphones correctly positioned on the head with the right cup on the right ear.
 
If this is not the case, Sennheiser would do themselves a favour in posting some actual info on what's wrong, what they are doing to fix it and why they believe only some units are affected by this fault.
 
May 29, 2015 at 1:28 AM Post #1,919 of 3,652

samandhi

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  Tonight I have had the most problems I have ever had with these headphones. I have reported quite a few pages back that I hadn't had any problems with regards to equipment, or location. I then reported on here that I had upgraded my phone from Note 3 to a Note 4, and that I was having SOME issues (but not terribly so). Tonight I have having stutters badly. I am reporting this because what I noticed might help find the issue better. I have continued to listen to them even with the nasty skipping because I have noticed that sometimes when it is skipping, it is (to my ear) going in and out of AptX. I can't prove this, but the sound is definately much different.
 
  So to summarize, it skips, the sound changes, then it skips again, and the sound goes back to normal. This usually happens pretty quickly, but there was a couple of times that it stayed in the (bad) other sound for a minute or so. BTW, I should also mention I am listening to them while sitting on my couch, with the phone laying on the coffee table (about 1 1/2 feet away), and that while I DO have a wireless router in the house, it has never been an issue before (since Feb when I bought my M2s). I have no other BT devices turned on, and I am not touching the cups or have anything close to them.
 
  While I might agree that the power saving features of the newer phones (and Android) might have a part in this, I have a pair of Bose AE2W (with AptX), and have NEVER had one issue with stuttering on those headphones (with any device or in any location, including huge cities, and/or crowded hotels). I look forward to hearing what Sennheiser comes up with for a fix on these, but will wait patiently for the fix. I will just have to listen to these excellent headphones through my X5, or my X3 II.......
 
  I think I am also helping them fund the engineering department to fix these as I just recently bought a pair of HD700 (VERY nice headphones btw). :)
 
May 29, 2015 at 5:50 AM Post #1,920 of 3,652

n00b2

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I am also under the impression that Sennheiser are still trying to figure out exactly what is causing the problems. Given how high profile this issue has been (the size of this thread and the number of complaints on Amazon for example) I would imagine Sennheiser will announce it very clearly to everyone once the problem has been fixed. There is far too much publicity about the issue for them to just silently start sending out fixed units. To me the comment "only some units are affected" just sounds like a way to avoid doing a mass recall. Like Soundofmusic said since certain people are having the exact same issue with 3 or 4 different units it seems like its a general issue with the Momentum Wireless and the people who aren't experiencing issues are just not using them in areas that cause problems. Production generally doesn't get halted if an issue is only affecting a very small number of units.
 

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