While its previous true wireless were a solid pair, Sennheiser gets it right at the second attempt. While ANC is rather light, paired with a good fit and volume control and they keep away a good deal of noise. The real star is the audio quality: expressive, lush and enjoyable, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 are one of the best pairs on the market
- Expressive, lush sound
- Good fit
- Robust feature set
- ANC and Transparency Mode tax battery life
- Review Price: £279
- Bluetooth 5.1
- 28 hours battery life (total)
- SBC, AAC, aptX
- Sennheiser Smart Control app
The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 are the distinguished audio brand’s second true wireless set.
Sennheiser’s first wireless earbuds – the Momentum True Wireless – were technically accomplished but its high price and lack of ANC meant they weren’t quite the complete package.
Sennheiser went back to the drawing board and returned with the Momentum True Wireless 2. The design is more ergonomic, battery life is longer, and ANC is available.
Can Sennheiser finally dethrone Sony with its latest true wireless? It’s a close fight on this evidence.
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Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 design — Compact and comfortable wireless earbuds
Just like an engineer for an F1 team, Sennheiser has looked to shave off every millimetre and fine-tune every aspect of the Momentum True Wireless 2’s design.
Despite looking almost identical, the earbud housing has been reduced by 2mm for better ergonomics and reduced ear fatigue. The fit is solid, just place them in the ear and twist them. The lightweight design (6g each) offers comfort for extended sessions, and the seal is good enough to ward off external noises.
The IPX4 makes them resistant to water splashes, and they also resisted falling out after some fairly vigorous head-shaking, though I’ve nudged them from time to time to keep the fit tight.
Aesthetically they’re not the most desirable, but the design is smart and the look classy and refined.
The metallic grey panels on the end with the Sennheiser logo continue as touch capacitive panels, and require several taps and holds for operation. The pressure required for the panel is fine, and the panels themselves are responsive. Repeated taps don’t produce the feeling of the buds being pushed in either.
The Momentum True Wireless 2 comes in a classic black finish, with a white colour variant arriving later in 2020. The charging case, like the earbuds, matches the original with its grey wrap-around fabric. On the back of the case is a USB-C connection and it’s also where the pairing button is located. The case isn’t big, but it has depth, which may make it an issue for tighter pockets.
Features — Fit, ANC and volume control combine for effective noise reduction
The headline feature is active noise cancellation. The original earbuds left the feature out which, like the B&O BeoPlay E8, made them a very pricey alternative. Unlike B&O though, Sennheiser has rectified that on the second go.
ANC is reasonably done, but conversely light in application. It’s good enough to dissipate low-frequency noises and reduce passing traffic to processed-sounding ‘whooshes’.
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The fit, combined with volume control, is already so isolating that ANC feels like a bonus to reducing external sounds. Activating ANC doesn’t affect sound quality, though it does appear to zap battery life.
If you want to be aware of what’s around you without removing the earbuds, the Momentum TW 2 features Transparent Hearing. It works very well again here like it did on the original. Turning them on and I can hear the clickety-clack of my keypad better as well as birds chirping outside.
Transparent Hearing can be activated onboard or via the app, and in the app is the choice to keep music playing or not when ambient sound is engaged, offering the ability to customise your experience.
Customisation lies at the heart of the Smart Control app (Android and iOS). You can tweak voice prompts, touch controls and move equaliser settings in the app, though there are times when the app loses connection, and some options disappear. The app itself is neatly laid out, but usability can be sluggish at times.
One feature that’s been tweaked is Smart pause. Previously with the original Momentum, the moment the earbuds were taken out, music playback would pause. Now there’s the choice of keeping music playing even when an earbud is removed.
The TW 2 operate in a Master/Slave relationship with the right earbud the former. Leave the left earbud in the charging case, and you can play music from the right bud, but not vice versa.
Battery life has been improved from 4 to 7 hours. The case gives you another three charges for 28 overall. That said, the quoted figure is with ANC and Transparency Mode off and music played at average volume levels off an iPhone. Battery life may differ between different mobile devices and features turned on. A 10-minute charge tops up the earbuds by 1.5 hours, while a full charge takes 90 minutes.
Touch controls remain the way to operate these earbuds, and that’s both good and bad. Good as it means not having to fish your portable device out of your pocket. Not so good as you’ll need to remember the many and various presses and holds to work them.
Audio support is SBC, AAC and aptX. Connectivity is up to date with Bluetooth 5.1 support.
Performance — An expressive and smoothly orchestrated performance
Audio quality has been Sennheiser’s pedigree for 75 years, and what it has achieved with the Momentum True Wireless 2 is fantastic, a sound that’s grown on me with further use.
That’s not to say they’re the best-sounding true wireless – everyone has their own tastes. But they ought to be considered in the best-sounding pairs at any price.
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The 7mm drivers in the Momentum True Wireless 2 deliver a rich, textured and lush performance that’s easy on the ears and never overcooked.
Compared to the Sony WF-1000XM3 they’re a bit more spacious, with warmer and deeper bass response extracted from a track such as Rigarmortis from Kendrick Lamar’s Section 80. Treble reproduction is expressed with detail and clarity, and stereo imaging is excellent. At their best, the Momentum True Wireless 2 paint an engrossing soundstage. Turn them up to full whack and the TW 2 can supply power without losing much in the way of composure.
The Sonys are sharper and clearer in the midrange, eeking out more clarity. Timing is not as sharp either and dynamically they could be more impactful. But the sound is so smooth – a 16bit/44kHz Qobuz stream of Janelle Monae’s Can’t Live Without Your Love is rewarding – that these feel like quibbles than anything particularly negative.
The warmth gives them energy and a full-bodied expressiveness, though they’re rather louche in their character too, which I like. They’re not an attacking pair, but like the best wireless earbuds pairs, you could listen to them for hours on end. The more you do listen to Momentum True Wireless 2, the more there is to find and enjoy.
Many of these attributes we noted in our original review of the Momentum True Wireless and are again evident with the TW 2. It shows that while Sennheiser hasn’t reinvented the wheel, it’s brought its excellence to bear in a more attractive true wireless package.
Should you buy the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2?
One argument against the Momentum True Wireless 2 is at £279 they’re pricey. The market has become flooded with quality choices, and when it comes to choosing a wireless pair, the Momentum’s excellence does not make this a foregone conclusion.
There’s the Sony WF-1000XM3, which the Sennheiser’s certainly push hard and in some ways exceed. They’re much cheaper though; sound more neutral, as well as being a bit sharper and detailed. ANC is excellent, though stereo imaging is not as expressive.
There’s the Shure Aonic 215 which, weird looks aside, contains Shure’s knowledge and expertise for superb audio performance, with longer battery life and a strong wireless connection. In the minus column is a lack of ANC.
If you’re forking out for a true wireless pair, then you’re spoiled for choice. The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 leaves little to chance and serves up an engrossing performance.