- Gorgeous looks and build quality
- Good battery life
- Effective noise cancellation
- Excellent, entertaining sound
- Newer rivals have a lot more features
- Review Price: £269
- Battery life: 22 hours
- aptX Bluetooth
- Micro-USB charging cable included
- 1.4m/3.5mm audio cable included
- Carrying case
What is the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless?
The world of audio tech moves slowly. At least, more slowly than smartphones, which tend to be replaced every year or two. That’s because good sound stays good and can’t be made outdated or obsolete by the passage of time. It’s with that in mind that we review the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless.
Launched in 2015, these headphones were among the first to bring both Bluetooth wireless and noise cancellation into a premium, fashion-conscious package – and did it well. What’s more, after being on shelf for three years, they can be found for a lot less than their original price. It didn’t take me long to find a major high-street retailer selling the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless for £269 – down from their original £380.
That’s just as well, since the market is now far more crowded. Rivals from Sony, Bose and B&W offer more in the way of features, but come with bigger price tags. If you just want to look good while being entertained, the Sennheisers remain an excellent option.
Note that this review is for the ‘full size’, over-ear version of the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless – also known as the Sennheiser Momentum M2 AEBT, or simply Sennheiser Momentum Wireless. There’s also a smaller, on-ear version of the same name.
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Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless – Design
I’ve tested thousands of pairs of headphones, and it’s with total confidence that I say the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless headphones have the best overall design. It’s a little of everything: the look, materials, attention to detail and ergonomics combine to make this a top-tier design.
I’ll start with the materials, which instantly set these headphones apart from the hundreds you pass on the street every day. The headband is primarily brushed metal and genuine leather. Every time I pick up these headphones, I take a moment to admire the contrasted stitching at the top. It isn’t only about looks, either – the build quality is solid.
Although that headband appears to be one solid unit, there are actually hinges, subtly positioned where the metal comes out of the leather. The ear cups fold inwards for maximum portability.
Speaking of which, the cups are made of good-quality plastic on the outside and leather on the inside. The memory foam cushions are thicker at the back to compensate for the curvature of your skull, which makes for a better fit. These are super-comfortable headphones – the audio equivalent of sitting in a fine armchair.
Compared to the competition, the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless are easily a more gorgeous design than the Bose QuietComfort 35 II and its plastic chassis. The Sony WH-1000XM2 fares a little better with their metal and faux-leather, but they’re still not as luxurious as the Sennheisers.
Only the B&W PX come close, with their combination of anodised aluminium and ballistic nylon, but they lose points for their swivel-flat ear cups, which don’t fold up like the Sennheisers. The B&O Beoplay H9i also go heavy with the leather and metal, but they cost far more than £269.
The Sennheiser headphones come with a nice soft-shell carrying case, a 1.4m/3.5mm audio cable, a charging cable, and an inflight adapter.
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Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless – Features
As the name suggests, the wirelessness is a big deal. There’s Bluetooth – aptX for higher quality transfers and NFC (near field communication) for speedy pairing.
There’s also NoiseGard, Sennheiser’s take on noise cancellation. You’ll want that turned on whenever you’re on a plane or train.
With both Bluetooth and NoiseGard turned on, the Momentum Wireless have a quoted battery life of 22 hours, which is on par with the B&W PX and slightly more than the Bose QuietComfort 35 II (20 hours).
That’s impressive given the Sennheisers are older. The trade-off is a lack of automatic power-saving. Remember to turn these off when you’re not using them. Charging is via the ubiquitous micro-USB, not the newer USB-C standard.
There are basic controls on the right ear cup. The power button doubles up for Bluetooth pairing duties. There’s also a multi-function button that slides for volume and depresses for pause, play, skipping and calls.
That’s your lot. When these headphones first came out in 2015, that features list would have been considered pretty fancy – these days, it’s the bare minimum. This is where rival headphones pull ahead, if you’re willing to pay a bit more.
The Bose has a dedicated button for integrated Google Assistant. The B&W PX have proximity sensors and automatically pause/play when you take them off or put them on.
The Sony WH-1000XM2 provide the most features for the money. There are touch-sensitive controls and a Quick Listen mode that’s useful for hearing things without taking the headphones off. They also use the motion sensors in your phone to determine what you’re doing (sitting, travelling) and adjust noise-cancelling levels accordingly.
Related: Best true wireless earbuds
Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless – Performance
When these headphones first hit the market, they were easily the best available. These days the competition is fierce, but Sennheiser holds its own. The Momentum Wireless are still top-tier headphones.
I’ll start with NoiseGard, or the noise cancellation. It’s very effective at drowning out office hums and chatter. It’s also effective at tackling the noise of public transport – noisy trains and planes are still audible, but not nearly enough to interrupt your music.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are more effective at cancelling noise, as are the Sony WH-1000XM2, but I wouldn’t consider the Sennheisers to be lacking. They’re easily more effective than the B&W PX or Beats Studio 3 Wireless, which struggle with rush hour on the Jubilee Line.
As for music performance? There’s a reason Sennheiser is one of the longest enduring names in audio: they know their stuff. The Momentum Wireless are a hugely capable and entertaining listen.
What you get is Sennheiser’s signature sound, weighty and rich. There’s a warmth to the sound, but not so much that it becomes heavy or unwieldy.
The sound is firm, timing is tight and dynamics are far-reaching. What you get is power and a surprising agility, which makes for an authoritative performance you can’t easily ignore. I’ve tried putting these headphones on just to block out office chatter, and ended up being sucked into the music instead of actually getting work done.
The mid-range is a particular highlight. Vocals are forward and direct, with plenty of emotion and detail. Actually, detail levels are impressive in general. There’s no lack of texture, and you’re left in no doubt as to what various instruments are doing at all times.
Then there’s the sense of space. Considering these are closed-back headphones – as all noise-cancelling units are – the soundstage is pleasingly wide. Wearing headphones can be a claustrophobic experience but Sennheiser does its best to keep you comfortable.
Compared to the competition, the Sennheisers are more energetic, interesting than the Bose QC35 II, which favour a smoother, more laid-back approach. The Sennheisers’ energy levels are more in line with the Sony WH-1000XM2, but I’d say the Sony is a more nuanced performer. The B&W PX are more ‘hi-fi’ – more detail but also a more neutral balance that will be more popular with audiophiles.
Why buy theSennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless?
If you’re looking for a great-looking, great-sounding pair of wireless, noise-cancelling headphones, the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless should be on your shortlist.
They’re not the newest or the most fancy headphones out there, but they’re still very hard to beat. They perform almost as well as the very best, and now they cost a little less.
At the time of writing, the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless could be found for £269. The Sony WH-1000XM2 are down to £299, while the Bose QuietComfort 35 II and B&W PX maintain their £330 price tags.
Rival headphones do have more features, but if you simply want a good audio experience then the Sennheisers won’t disappoint.
Not the latest wireless and noise-cancelling headphones – but still fantastic.
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