Review: Sennheiser Momentum Over-Ear Headphones

Sennheiser has long been a fixture in the professional audio and high-end audiophile market. I’ve used my Sennheiser HD 595 and HD 600 Open Dynamic headphones for many applications - in the studio for reference monitoring, for sound quality consulting, and for audio forensics. When Sennheiser announced the Momentum series, I was instantly curious about these affordable, fashionable, and (somewhat) portable headphones. Would they live up to the brand’s reputation?

 

The Momentum over-ears are the first in the series; we’ll be taking a look at the on-ear versions shortly. Unlike the ultra high-end HD series, these are part of the Style series from Sennheiser. I have to admit - although they are less industrial, they are still a far cry from the flashy, plastic headphones that are oh-so popular these days. Dare I say, this is a grown-up’s headphone - elegant and classy.

 

The Momentum uses natural products like soft, subtle Pittards leather ear cups (yeah, Pittards as in plush racing gloves and jackets) and stainless steel bands. This model is available in a classy brown or black with red stitching; black and red do seem to be the “in” color combination these days. There is minimal padding on the leather-encased headband, but it is quite comfortable, mainly because the headphones are lightweight at 190 grams. The closed-back earcups slide up and down on the stainless band and they swivel for a comfortable fit, but they do not collapse or fold up in any way. They come with a sturdy hard-sided carrying case, but it’s somewhat bulky for travel purposes. However, I would accept having to deal with the size of these in order to have their excellent comfort and build quality.

 

The Momentum comes with two Kevlar cables and a ¼” audio adapter. Kudos to Sennheiser for including a spare cable since that’s the most vulnerable breakage point on most headphones. One of the cables is a standard 3.5-mm mini cable that’s simple to use with bulky phone or tablet cases and covers, but the other cable is more interesting. First, it has an adjustable angle at the connecting point to your player. This is very convenient, and in testing, did not introduce any noise when adjusting the angle while playing music. The cable also contains a small inline module with a microphone and three-button iOS remote. The remote lets you take calls, activate voice commands, adjust volume and play, pause, and skip tracks. Sadly, the remote isn’t compatible with Android systems. When I plugged it into my Sony Xperia, a message popped up saying, “The accessory’s microphone and buttons are not available.” So sad.

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