Sony MDR-1R / Sennheiser Momentum review
Jan 22, 2013 at 11:58 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15

Ra97oR

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Source: iPod Touch 3G ALAC filled
Amp: iBasso D12
 

 
 
Overall sound impression:
As somewhat a treble head and one that crave for mid-range, I have always found getting suitable portable headphones rather difficult. Most are either flat out studio headphones unsuitable for portable use or simply more that I am willing to pay for a pair of portable. Aside from the ES series from Audio Technica and Ed8 from Ultrasone, the portable line up for audiophile has always been rather thin and sparse. Sennheisser bought me hope when they announced the Amperior but the price difference from HD25 left me wanting for more.
 
I got to try out the Momentum a few days after launch and was convinced that I was what I had waited for years, something with sound quality and (socially acceptable) style, I think DT150 is stylish after all.
 
It was until the MDR-1R show up, it really did strike me in a way that the Momentum never did, in both the stunning looks and the comfort.  If I say the sound quality is as good as great home headphones, I will be just lying. It isn’t, and neither is the Momentum. However the sweet mids did strike me, as not many portable headphones tend to have this quality. 1R has this electrostatic like smoothness all across the frequency range that some thought it is not detailed due to that.
 
Momentum on the other hand impressed me with its deep and rich bass, it wasn’t over the top. In fact, the bass emphasis makes it the ideal choice for usage out in the streets. It has good isolation and comes with a very flexible (very thin) cable. I believe this headphone will be the ideal one for more audience than the 1R, with its well textured bass and non-offensive sound signature.
 
 
Build and comfort:
MDR-1R is one of the most comfortable headphones I have ever wore, including various giants like SR-009, TH900. Just that factor alone have made me love the headphones even more. MDR-1R is mostly a plastic build with the centre section made from metal. If only it used natural sheep skin leather, it will be full marks on comfort for sure.
 
Momentum is equally well built with even better material. It does subtract from the comfort by using a more “stylish” steel headband with thinly padded leather, lack of clicker extender and small earcups. The sheepskin leather is one of the best done leather pad however, very supple indeed.
 
Both headphones fits well enough to not move around on the move, even with long hair.
 
However both headphones have concerns somewhat related to the cables
 
MDR-1R users, including me have reported loose cable connective at the headphone end, it is only secured by the 3.5mm jack’s friction and grip. Cable can rattle against the outer casing on the headband or spin. Causes noise when moving.
 
Crude fix: http://www.head-fi.org/t/640127/
 
Momentum have extremely thin cable that doesn’t feel well built at all, there is some springiness when stretched, which is never a good sign.
 

 
Using both standard, non phone cable as comparison. The Momentum's cable is noticeable thinner and lack of good strain relieve.
 
 
 
In very short...
 
MDR-1R: Great vocal performance, especially female vocal. Relaxed, smooth presentation with good speed.  More open sounding of the two.
 
Momentum: Typical slightly U shaped sound, deep and well textured bass. Somewhat narrow and focused sound stage.
 
 
Who should give MDR-1R a try:
Female vocal lovers, who is into slower more mellow music, listening in quiet locations
 
Who should give Momentum a try:
Who wanted good bass performance, wanting a more exciting experience, listening out in the streets
 
 
I can’t recommend both headphones more myself, just that my personal choice favour the MDR-1R, the Momentum is great as well if you prefer that type of sound.
 
Well priced, good sound, good looks, it is what I have been looking for in portable for years, good job Sony and Senny.
 
Jan 23, 2013 at 12:55 AM Post #2 of 15

Katun

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Hey nice comparison. Just barely got rid of those two myself.
tongue.gif

 
Really loved the MDR-1R after EQ. Momentum sounded better stock though.
 
Although, I do find the MDR-1R more exciting, while the Momentum is significantly more lazy sounding.
 
Jan 23, 2013 at 1:15 AM Post #3 of 15

Ra97oR

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The Momentum is rather slow in comparison to the 1R, and the thick bass doesn't help to make it sound faster. However I still find the 1R having a much more relaxing and smoother, even if it can be rather fast.
 
Jan 23, 2013 at 12:01 PM Post #4 of 15

MrViolin

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 :3 well done 
 
Jan 24, 2013 at 11:04 PM Post #7 of 15

MrViolin

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those are some huge AKG's you got there...
 
Jan 25, 2013 at 2:03 AM Post #9 of 15

redrich2000

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I feel like I have to post in all these threads because my impressions of these two is different to the others posting here. I auditioned them both straight out of an ipod. Based on the descriptions I read on here I was expecting to prefer the 1R and drove across Sydney to find a Sony outlet that had them available to audition. But I was surprised to find the Momentum technically superior to to the 1R. I thought it was faster, with better detail and separation across the spectrum. I thought the 1R sounded flat, congested and muddy in comparison.
 
I was also very disappointed with the look of the 1R, I was expecting it to look beautiful but it has too much plastic and pleather and looked quite cheap I thought. The Momentum kills it in this regard IMO, but is $100 more expensive.
 
I would really suggest people considering these two to check both out first. They are both pretty easy to find in stores in most places, which is rare. 
 
Jan 28, 2013 at 2:57 PM Post #10 of 15

MusicalChillies

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Very pleased to have a comparison between 2 over head`s that I am interested in. As I listen mostly at home I thought it was time to move away from IEM`s a little as portability really isn`t a must for me. closed back is though as I do not want to annoy the wife, I can manage quite well without phones.
 
My current set up is in my sig and haven`t really come across a W4 slayer but compared to many here, I have only had a few sets of iems. The only overhead phones I dabbled in a couple of years ago was the Shure dj750 which was not to my liking nor the SE535 (Which I refunded for the W4)
 
Anyway, am I thinking along the right lines with the 2 mentioned by the OP? My budget is £250 / $400.
 
Shortlist :- 
Senn Momentum
Sony MDR 1
Phillips L1
Phillips X1
 
Any other in this price bracket and "Westone like" which I class as a sound with great imaging and sound stage (depending on opamp), bassy but not overpowering and laid back with great separation.
I am aware whatever the choice, it is going to be a brain learning curve.
Stu
 
Jan 28, 2013 at 4:51 PM Post #11 of 15

byoung80

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I was going back and forth with the 1R's, or the Momentum's, and I decided on the 1R's. I find them to be a lot more comfortable over the Momentums, and to my ears I like the sound of the 1R's over the momentum's. I can listen to the 1R's for hours with no fatigue in sound, or comfort. 
 
Jan 28, 2013 at 5:33 PM Post #12 of 15

MrViolin

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Quote:
I was going back and forth with the 1R's, or the Momentum's, and I decided on the 1R's. I find them to be a lot more comfortable over the Momentums, and to my ears I like the sound of the 1R's over the momentum's. I can listen to the 1R's for hours with no fatigue in sound, or comfort. 

great you're happy w/ your purchase :)
 
Jan 31, 2013 at 7:03 PM Post #13 of 15

Ra97oR

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Quote:
I feel like I have to post in all these threads because my impressions of these two is different to the others posting here. I auditioned them both straight out of an ipod. Based on the descriptions I read on here I was expecting to prefer the 1R and drove across Sydney to find a Sony outlet that had them available to audition. But I was surprised to find the Momentum technically superior to to the 1R. I thought it was faster, with better detail and separation across the spectrum. I thought the 1R sounded flat, congested and muddy in comparison.
 
I was also very disappointed with the look of the 1R, I was expecting it to look beautiful but it has too much plastic and pleather and looked quite cheap I thought. The Momentum kills it in this regard IMO, but is $100 more expensive.
 
I would really suggest people considering these two to check both out first. They are both pretty easy to find in stores in most places, which is rare. 


That reinforce the point I am making. MDR-1R is a rather polarising headphones with the mid centric sound that is normally not found on most headphones and even rarer amongst the portable ones. My MDR-1R needed very considerable time of burn in to settle down, straight out of box both when I first heard it in a Sony centre and at home was rather disappointing.
 
Check out both before paying is surely the best way to go.
 
0ef24bb9_edc.jpeg

 
I also personally love how the MDR-1R looked, functional and clean.
 
Jan 31, 2013 at 7:21 PM Post #14 of 15

MrViolin

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Quote:
That reinforce the point I am making. MDR-1R is a rather polarising headphones with the mid centric sound that is normally not found on most headphones and even rarer amongst the portable ones. My MDR-1R needed very considerable time of burn in to settle down, straight out of box both when I first heard it in a Sony centre and at home was rather disappointing.
 
Check out both before paying is surely the best way to go.
 
I also personally love how the MDR-1R looked, functional and clean.

^words of wisdom right there. Although I guess it'd also take time to get used to the sig. Going from a $10 to the v6 at first sounded really weird... but after spending time and A/Bing I could clearly say the v6 is the winner 
:) deadly's almost had the edge... until I saw the fiio
 
Mar 12, 2013 at 3:39 AM Post #15 of 15

money4me247

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Quote:
The Momentum is rather slow in comparison to the 1R, and the thick bass doesn't help to make it sound faster. However I still find the 1R having a much more relaxing and smoother, even if it can be rather fast.

what does it mean to sound fast??
 

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