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Sennheiser Momentum - Sound Quality and Verdict

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Sennheiser Momentum

Summary

Our Score:

9

Sennheiser Momentum - Sound Quality

Like Sennheiser’s over-ear HD-series headphones, the Sennheiser Momentum strike a wonderfully satisfying balance between fun and fidelity. For a headphone of its class, performance is great across the board.

Bass is tight and deep, without the mid-bass bloat you get with many urban-style headphones, and there’s a commendable amount of top-end detail to match it. There does seem to be slightly less top-end presence than the similarly-priced Sennheiser Amperior, though. This helps give the Sennheiser Momentum a slightly more relaxed sound, without sacrificing much in the way of detail. Sennheiser Momentum 13

What characterises the Sennheiser Momentum among its street-friendly peers is coherence. Deep bass is there when it’s needed, but very rarely intrudes upon the rest of the frequency range, there’s no intrusive mid-range thickness and the treble does not tend towards harshness or sharpness.

There’s little not to like here, although as ever with a pair like this, they work best within their intended environment. The Sennheiser Momentum are closed headphones – the earcup rears aren’t perforated. The benefit of this is that they offer noise isolation, stopping most of the sound of your music from bleeding out and blocking outside noise too.

Sennheiser Momentum 6

Although not truly remarkable in their noise blasting potential, these headphones are happy to be used in relatively noisy places – although you will have to crank the volume a tad if you’re somewhere as roaringly loud as the London Tube. An airier, more detailed sound can be found from open-back headphones, so if you’re simply out for a set to use at home, the many open alternatives available at the price are worth considering.

Better separation can be heard in open headphones at the price, giving the impression of a higher-fidelity listen. A big part of that high-end sound is being able to hear the space between instruments, and this is where a slightly less warm and less fun-sounding open pair will be able to beat the Sennheiser Momentum.

However, that’s not to say these headphones do not sound big and expansive. Closed-back pairs tend to offer a fairly limited soundstage, but here it’s wide and unconstrained – seriously impressive for a compact, closed headphone. Sennheiser Momentum 11

Sennheiser Momentum – Value

No area of the Sennheiser Momentum sound stands out in particular. That may sound like a criticism, but it’s much closer to praise, in a portable-driven market where headphones can too often be characterised by an unfortunate bass-heavy of thick-sounding signature.

In maintaining balance while increasing style and comfort to the level of its fiercest peers, Sennheiser has truly come up with something special in the Momentum headphones. They outclass their various rapper-branded rivals sonically, earning a position among our very favourite portable headphones. It’s a pity they can’t quite match the pricing of the capable Philips Fidelio L1, but then these are the cans we’d opt for if given the choice, with clearer, more dynamic sound.

Verdict

The Sennheiser Momentum are some of the best headphones money can buy if you need a set to take out on the streets. They’re comfortable, look a good deal swisher than Sennheiser’s other sets and offer sound comparable to that of its best portable cans. The outlay is significant and for pure at-home use we’d pick an open-back alternative, but these headphones don’t put a foot wrong.

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • Design & Features 9
  • Sound Quality 9
  • Value 8

devperson

January 16, 2013, 11:19 pm

Considering they don't cost any more than a pair of Beats Studio headphones, they're an absolute steal!

Stephen

January 17, 2013, 5:32 pm

Hi Andrew, Can you give a brief comparison to the Soundmagic HP100 please as these are the two on my list for consideration

ScarySquirrel

February 8, 2013, 9:19 am

I started reading this review but gave up after the first paragraph due to the incredibly annoying powwownow advert at the top and sides of the screens. I'm on a work laptop which isn't particularly quick, but it's certainly no slouch either, and scrolling down the page was chuggy and really irritating. First world problem, I know, but I've given up and will read a review elsewhere instead.

Gavin Martin

February 27, 2013, 4:22 pm

I've never got the Beats Audio thing. Heard the audio quality isn't all that great, but I see them everywhere. A case of style (questionable style, they look tacky to me) over substance? These Momentums look much classier. Didn't seem to have much volume listening in the Apple store on my iphone though (coming from Shure SE535s which are obviously a different type of phone altogether) so I wonder how they sound with a cheap portable amp like a Fiio.

ErlandJ

March 7, 2013, 8:50 am

To correct the review a bit; all leather on the Momentum is genuine english leather. NOT synthetic or leather-effect as stated in the review.
Check out the Sennheiser product page: http://en-de.sennheiser.com/on...

Kevin Southam

June 5, 2013, 1:50 pm

and the build quaility is poor too. Direct comparison between Momentum and Beats Studio indicates that the Sennhesiers are superior in every area, even bass. It is well known in the industry that Beats reinforces the bass on the demo units to make the headphones sound more bassy.

sayno2wmma

June 6, 2013, 10:19 pm

Great review if you just plan on sitting there looking at them but what do they sound like?

Mazza

August 30, 2013, 12:48 pm

I listened to these in a shop using my own lossless files on an iPhone 4s not the greatest source admittedly but the best I could take along with me. I like bass but it has to be deep, well controlled and exciting all at the same time. I listened to tracks including Easy Money by Rikkie Lee Jones, No Need To Argue by the Cranberries and threw in Could you Be Loved by Bob Marley amongst others. All this talk of bass is lost on me with the Momentums. The are beautifly clear but lack the excitement I was looking for. The B&W P5's I tested at the same time were in all honesty more exciting as a whole, they had a more pronounced bass without engulfing the rest of the frequencies. I was somewhat disappointed. The iPhone couldn't drive the Momentums as well as the P5's maybe this had something to do with it.

Ewan

October 11, 2013, 6:06 pm

you managed to scroll down to make a comment???? why then, didn't you read the page as you were scrolling?

ScarySquirrel

October 28, 2013, 8:05 pm

I pressed 'End', and it took me straight to the bottom.

dsdsdsd

November 6, 2013, 8:15 pm

the 'End' is not going straight to the bottom...

dips

February 8, 2014, 2:53 pm

is it good for dj use

stephan

April 30, 2014, 7:06 am

look the ipod touch 5 sounds better than the 5s phone does . it made for sound there are better sounding audiophile grade mp4 players around as well .

Sander

June 18, 2014, 2:02 pm

ad-block plugin

James Siggers

July 22, 2014, 11:19 am

Also worth checking out is the Final Audio Design Pandora IV and B&W P7.

Admittedly both are a lot more money and not as portable, but well worth it in my opinion. I've been demo'ing both of these truly excellent headphones the last couple of weeks and the Pandora's have really taken my breath away. Incredible instrument separation, tightly controlled bass and a totally immersive sound. The Momentum sounds quite mediocre compared to the Pandora.

Andy Cantillon

August 18, 2015, 10:30 am

Mine are brilliant, except when used in conjuncture with me Mac. The left ear piece works perfectly, but the right one is so much quieter. I've played with the levels and the sound settings, but still no improvement.

Suggestions?
Comments?
Does anyone else find this?

Ivo

September 24, 2015, 11:24 pm

Maybe try page 2?

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