Sennheiser, a brand well recognized in both pro and consumer audio. Manufacturing everything from the microphones used by artists in concerts to the headphones on your head. They have a vast selection of audio gadgetry that is more than entertaining to sit down with and test out. This round, we have the Sennheiser Momentum on-ear headphones. These aren’t new to the market, but they also haven’t lost their way since they were launched mid last year (July 2013).
Available in 7 different colors, they are made mostly of metal and molded plastic with suede leather (top of the band) and foam encased in a soft felt breathable material (muffs). They come tucked away in a soft pouch placed inside a black zippered, semi-hard shell, case composed of soft foam with vinyl at the seams (Note: in the video, James mentioned that the case had a rubber-like coating, which is incorrect; it is a layer of soft foam).
Along with the headphones you receive two cables. One is a straight 3.5mm to mini and the other has in-line controls for iOS devices (it will not function for Android or Windows devices, which is slightly odd). Nothing else is included. The cables slide into the headphones and turn clockwise slightly to lock in place.
On to the quality of their performance! These headphones walk along the line that teeters between high-end consumer and audiophile quality. They aren’t going to sound like a pair of B&W P5’s, but they are going to come pretty close which is impressive. Sennheiser is a brand where usually a high price does indeed mean higher quality. These headphones are a firm example of this. Bass response is amazing for their size. There is such a low-end presence that is full in range and along with the mid-low range, has a lot of warmth to it. Highs are crisp and clear, and although lacking at some points, prove to fit in just right at this price point.
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These headphones would be good for both theatrical entertainment and easy/reference listening. Use them with your tablet or laptop to watch your favorite movie and you will feel drawn right in. Use them to listen to a nice jazz or acoustic piece, and you melt away. Again, not within the B&W audiophile category, but pretty close.
We threw these headphones against a selection of sources including 24bit FLAC music coming from an external USB DAC, DTS albums using Yamaha’s Aventage series receiver and Pure Direct mode, MP3s via both iPhone and Windows Phone device, Sirius Radio, and Pandora. All of which sounded great.
Comfort-wise, they fit nicely around the head. The band feels good across the top and the muffs rest well on the ears. Outside noise is present since they are on-ears vs over the ears, yet the muffs form well allowing it to be less distracting. Some may say they feel a bit tight on the ears, but the band is metal allowing you to flex it a small bit if needed to achieve whatever desired level of comfort you seek.
They come with a 2-year warranty which is nice, in case anything were to happen due to manufacturer defect.
You can also watch the unboxing video below.
UPDATE: We had the opportunity to benchmark the over-the-ear model of the Momentums. To quickly summarize our findings, the sound was very flat and not warm like the on-ears model in this review. Two completely different EQ patterns. So if you are looking for something like what we have reviewed here, stick with the on-ear model. If “flat” is what you are looking to achieve, then upgrade to the over-the-ear model (typically more for monitor engineers vs consumer listeners).
UPDATE: Sennheiser has renamed the Momentum headphones to HD1 due to some TM issues. Same great headphones. Just a new name. We’ve updated the links throughout the story.
These headphones will impress most users who give them a try and would also make for a great gift for your favorite audio lovers. They have great range, are comfortable and look very sophisticated. The higher frequencies are sometimes slightly lacking, although they are also not distracting. When it comes to speakers and headphones, nothing is “perfect”, but we decided to give these a 9 out of 10 because they try really hard.
(you can find the “over-the-ear” model here)
(Update: You can now find the Gen 2 version here on Sennheiser’s website directly)
- Impedance: 18 ?
- Frequency response: 16–22,000 Hz
- Sound pressure level (SPL): 112 dB (1 kHz/1 Vrms)
- THD, total harmonic distortion: < 0.5% (1 kHz, 100 dB SPL)
- Contact pressure: approx. 3.2 N
- Ear coupling: Supra-aural
- Jack plug Cable 1: 3.5 mm low profile angled plug
- Jack plug Cable 2: 3.5 mm straight plug
- Cable length Cable 1: 1.4 m iPod®/iPhone® cable with integrated smart remote and microphone
- Cable length Cable 2: 1.4 m cable for computers, phones, music players and any device with a headphone output
- Transducer principle: Dynamic, closed
- Weight: 160 g (including remote)
- Load rating: 200 mW
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.
The new Sennheiser MOMENTUM On-Ear takes passion for perfect sound to a new level. It is clear, richly detailed, and comes with a powerful bass. It is very comfortable.
absolutely the most effective i’ve seen today!