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Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Headphone Review


What are the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0?

The Sennheiser Momentum
2.0 are a second attempt at full-size, style-driven headphones from
Sennheiser. The basics haven’t changed too much – sound quality, the look and most of the basic features are pretty much the same. If you already own and love the first Sennheiser Momentum pair, there’s no reason to upgrade.

However,
the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 do address the most common criticism of the
originals, as well as making them more portable.

SEE ALSO: Best Headphones Round-up

Sennheiser Momentum 5

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 – Design and Comfort

If
the original Sennheiser Momentum were so popular and well-regarded,
what was wrong with them? Some people found that the pads were just that
bit too small for comfort, resulting in sore ears, especially the top
bits of ’em. The pinna, if you want to get technical.

The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 fix this by using significantly larger cups and pads. Even if you have fairly large ears, the pads should surround them without resting on them like a giant doberman who just won’t get off your lap.

It’s
a great move for all-round comfort, but it also changes the aesthetics a
bit. The basic style hasn’t changed at all, but by being that bit
bigger, they have more of a brash vibe. It’s a shame when the original
Sennheiser Momentum were some of the most classy-looking style-driven
headphones around.

Let your own eyes judge, though.

Sennheiser Momentum 15

Comfort-wise
they’re simply excellent. The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 pads are memory
foam and topped with leather. The headband gets the same treatment.
Memory foam and leather all over again.

For the detail freaks out there, each part (headband/ear pads) actually has two kinds of leather going on. The outer padding has
a clear grain and is pretty shiny while the inner part of the pads and
headband has a much subtler grain. A cost-saving measure? Probably, but
the innermost part of the ear pads is also lower-friction, which should
help avoid them glomming onto your ears if it all gets a bit, err, hot
and sweaty in there.

The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 work pretty
well for exercise too. Despite making feather-light contact with your
head that’s almost Bose-like in its subtlety, they also stick on there
reasonably well. Thanks to the sheer depth of the pads, the incredibly
even pressure distribution and the light weight of the headphones
themselves, they work just fine for the gym and running.

Sennheiser Momentum 3

As
isolation is reasonably good, they’re just as at home during the
commute too. To top it off, the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 headband folds
in on itself, a feature we didn’t get with the first-generation model.

There
are, no surprise, new colours for this year too. We tried the
Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 in cream with a gold accent around the cups.
Gold’s never easy to pull off, but it’s just about low-key enough here.
There’s also an all-black version, and we expect Sennheiser to come up
with some other shades before too long. It did last time around.

So
far, so familiar. As before, the cable is removable too, and uses a twist -to-lock mechanism that avoids it being yanked out of the cup too
easily. And as usual, there’s a 3-button remote designed for iPhones,
although we found the play/pause button should work on most Androids
anyway.

Sennheiser Momentum 11

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 – Sound Quality

The
basic sound signature of the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 hasn’t changed all
that much since the first generation. You get the excitement and
powerful bass that headphones like Apple’s Beats claim to be about,
without the muddying or dominating bass that often comes with that
style.

One of the most impressive elements of the Sennheiser
Momentum 2.0 is quite how deep the bass goes without sounding forced.
There’s a bit of bass boost going on in the normal bassy registers, which is
the past Sennheiser has explained as being a necessary part of a pair of
headphones that will have to contend with the noise of the city and
public transport.

Sennheiser Momentum

However,
it’s the sub-bass that really impresses us. This is the really deep
stuff, which with an actual speaker setup you’d normally need a
dedicated subwoofer to really feel.

When it kicks in its often a
surprise. Not because it’s incongruous but because the ‘normal’ bass
isn’t emphasised that much. It’s like a surprise six-pack, and one you
don’t need to be a fan of Brad Pitt-a-likes to appreciate. This earns them a good stash of fun points, without unbalancing the sound.

The
Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 treble is well defined with just a touch of
bite. If you’re coming from a relatively warm and soft-sounding
headphone, it may seem a tiny bit sharp at first listen, but with a few hours of
listening your ears will bed in. These are not harsh headphones at all.

Sennheiser Momentum 7

If
we’re to split sound into treble-mids-bass, it’s the mid-range that
gets the least attention: no surprise there. The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0
mids are smooth and don’t seem too recessed when going up against the
treble and the meaty thank the Momentums can make of a solid kick drum.

However,
having been spoilt recently by the fantastic Oppo PM-3 (slightly more
expensive at £349), the mids are nevertheless revealed as a weak point.
They just don’t have the texture and detail to really render vocals like
the very best headphones. Ear-pleasing smoothness is valued over real mid-range texture.

The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 aren’t
meant to be real audiophile cans, though. Sennheiser has other models
for that, namely the high-ish-end models in the HD range. For the
purpose of just listening to music to enjoy it while on-the-go, though,
the Momentums are, as ever, perfect. And thanks to pretty wide stereo
imaging, the excitement of bass and treble skills is partnered with
quite an expansive sound.

Will you want to use them for mastering your home demos or to get the most accurate representation of orchestra works, listening in a quiet room? Probably not. But they are great fun, without the obvious quality trade-offs of other style headphones.

Sennheiser Momentum 5

Should I buy the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0?

The
Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 are not a huge upgrade over the original
models, neither are they meant to be. They simply tweak a few bits that
have put some people off the originals since they were released in 2012.

They’re a bit more comfortable for some, and gain a few
portability points. I think they look slightly worse than the first
model, but I use that personal pronoun deliberately. One of the charms
of the original Sennheiser Momentum was that they were (and are) smaller
than most full-size style headphones. These aren’t.

However, they
are comfortable, still-good-looking and they sound great. If you want
real high fidelity sound and don’t mind trading away excitement (and can
pay £80 more), the Oppo PM-3 are altogether more serious headphones
that still offer near-perfect portability and comfort.

SEE ALSO: Best USB Headphone Amps

Verdict

Sennheiser
hits another home run with the new Momentum heapdhones, although if you
own the first set, there’s no real reason to upgrade.

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