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75 of 83 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic addition to the Momentum Range
As a lucky owner of the full fat Momentums I was massively interested in trying out the new styled up and shrunk down version of the cans.

I have been a big fan of the Momentums and they have quickly become my go-to set of cans when looking for a relaxed listening experience.

So, what are the differences between the new Momentums and the old ones...
Published 9 months ago by Brian Hamilton

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice design but...
Love Sennheiser normally but they're going back I'm afraid. The bleed is just unacceptable, a person in the next room to me could hear every note even on just a moderate volume. The Iphone jack slips around and loses sound contact - my cheaper in-ear Boses have a better connection and it won't connect at all with a Sonos Play5. Shame, as they're beautiful and the sound IS...
Published 18 days ago by Steve Swift


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75 of 83 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic addition to the Momentum Range, 22 July 2013
By 
Brian Hamilton "brianhamilton14" (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a lucky owner of the full fat Momentums I was massively interested in trying out the new styled up and shrunk down version of the cans.

I have been a big fan of the Momentums and they have quickly become my go-to set of cans when looking for a relaxed listening experience.

So, what are the differences between the new Momentums and the old ones? Well, the first difference is the size, the cups are a good bit smaller on the new ones. Secondly, the headband has slightly less padding, thirdly the earcup padding is made from a synthetic suede that is very hard wearing (as opposed to the plush leather cups of the old Momentums) and fourth is the included case, whereas the old Momentums had a semi-rigid, form-fitting case, the new cans have a generically shaped case which is less rigid (but nonetheless very nice).

One other important difference I noted was the size of the headphone jack, the new cans seem to have shrunk the jack to miniscule proportions, the old cans had a very nice metal jack that could be adjusted from straight on to 90 degrees.

The pictures show the main differences.

Anyway, these cans ooze sex appeal, they are firmly aimed at the street market and will (hopefully) take some of the market share away from the god-awful Beats cans that the kids seem to think are the nuts.

Sennheiser is a well respected brand that has been in the game for a long time and their upper end cans such as the HD 800's and HD 650's have been praised by high-end audiophilles the world over. It is only right that the technology filters down to the lower range items. The original Momentums were highly praised for their styling and highly impressive sound quality. I think the new Momentums (lets call them Momentum Lites) sound equally as impressive.

Okay, the styling is obviously a big factor in this market sector and Sennheiser have thrown out a good range of colours, the green looks really nice, the Alacantra suede on the cups extends to the headband. The cups themselves are the same glass injected plastic as the old Momentums and the nearly but not quite lime green contrasts well with the almost khaki green of the Alacantra. The cabling is black and the package hangs together well, it looks classy without being overstated. As for the ivory/brown, this looks very classy indeed, the semi-gloss of the ivory sits well against the muted brown of the padding. A well chosen and elegant colour combination.

In use the cup size is immediately noticeable, they are a good bit smaller than the old Momentums but as they are so light and don't grip your head too tightly they feel supremely comfortable. In fact, the suede material breathes better than the leather so your ears don't get sweaty during extended listening sessions.

Anyway, enough about looks, how about the sound. Well, I used my standard lineage to trial these phones. It was

Ipod Classic (Rockboxed) > FLAC files > Fiio dock out cable > Fiio E7 Headphone amp
Sansa Clip Zip (Rockboxed) > FLAC files

I burnt the cans in overnight (plugged into ipod left on repeat and played at slightly louder than normal volume).

First up was Winter Fields by Bat For Lashes, this is a good test for cans as the wind solo at the start will reveal the small intakes of breath and the Momentums easily revealed this. The rest of the song was well rendered with equal emphasis across all of the spectrum. These are certainly not bass heavy headphones. Natasha Khans voice was very clear, and a small echo that I had not noticed before was apparent.

I then checked out Stepping Filter from the Analord Series by Aphex Twin. A lot of this material has less than clinical mastering so a revealing set up will show any fuzzy edges to the sounds. Again a good overall performance, some fuzz was apparent which to me is a good thing, you are getting close to the source and picking up detail that less able cans would overlook.

Next up, Get Lucky by Daft Punk. Given the richness of the original recording the Momentums delivered this with ease, the bass was actually quite forward and ever so slightly muddy, not a big surprise as the drivers on these cans are not huge. However, vocals and guitar were masterfully delivered with an effortless ease that made for an excellent listening experience.

I then listened to Foreground by Grizzly Bear, the fragile as glass piano notes were beautifully expressed and the whispered vocals sounded lovely. I am beginning to think the Momentums are strongest with mid range sounds. The muted drum sounds very clear, bassy but not overwhelming

Lastly, I checked out The Eve of the War, from Disc 1 of The War of the Worlds - The opening speech by Richard Burton is a good way to check out the dark space that cans give and the Momentums did not disappoint, again the slight echo was apparent and the noise floor is pretty much spot on. The opening bars of the movement are well presented, the brass is especially impressive, highly defined with no stridency. The strings are also excellent.

So, impressions so far

BASS - Not bass heavy cans but certain bass frequencies seem to come across as slightly muddy. However, other bass frequencies seem well rendered, very definite without being too heavy or forward.

MIDS - Like their bigger cousins the mids just sparkle, vocals are excellently defined and echo can be discerned where lesser cans would fail to pick that up, piano and guitar just sing, you can feel the strings vibrate, excellent

UPPERS - no issues here at all, well rendered, not sibilant or fatiguing

SOUNDSTAGE - These are small cans and the soundstage is not massive, slightly smaller than the full size cousins but you are not going to get a broad stage with cans of this form factor.

SOUND ISOLATION - The suede material leaks more sound in and out than the full size Momentums so sound isolation is not as good. However, the plus side is that the ears don't sweat and can breathe a lot better than with the full size cans.

OVERALL - A very impressive set of cans that are shockingly good given the market they are aimed at. They are well refined with the weight of the marque behind them. They have the feeling that they would be pretty scalable too and would grow with your system. The slight muddiness in part of the bass frequency is an issue but could be ironed out with judicious equalizing making these a very capable and competent set of cans.

I would easily recommend these over the likes of Beats headphones, they are hugely impressive, incredibly well made, refined, understated and the sound belies the massive heritage and expertise behind them. This is yet another slam dunk for Sennheiser, what is impressive here is that they are aiming at the Beats market and have quickly developed a new lines of headphones that is not simply an old can with a snazzy paint job, they have made a set of very capable cans that sounds really nice.

Highly recommended.
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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No added colourants!, 23 Nov 2012
By 
Paul Madge (Uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Like another reviewer experienced, Amazon were out of stock of these headphones so I had to revert to John Lewis who had them available. As far as I can see the price at all retailers is very close - there are no significant discounts at the time of writing! I bought these Sennheiser Momentums for static rather than mobile use and they are used in conjunction with a Marantz hifi system.

A critical requirement was to minimise sound leakage outside the headphones to avoid annoying others, so, a closed back design was essential. These phones are pretty effective at sealing in the sound (so I'm told).

The first and most obvious thing about these headphones is the high quality of construction - they exude quality. The headband is leather covered as are the ear pads which use a particular type of Somerset Leather to provide optimum comfort. The headband can be adjusted and remain in position despite there not being a click stop mechanism - the pressure of the "cans" against your head can be adjusted to perfection. Rather than having the usual two wires the single entry (detachable) cable makes the headset easier to take on and off. The detachable lead means a worn lead can be replaced, and, if your usage is similar to mine you can replace the iPhone remote/microphone lead with the (supplied) ordinary (but equally high quality) cable. I find these factors combine to make the headphones very comfortable to wear for long periods, in fact, I enjoy them so much I almost don't want to take them off!

I have read what other reviewers have said about the sound. To me, the sound is very good and detailed but neutral - you get out what you put in without colouration. I don't find when used with my equipment there is any emphasis on the bass as some reviewers suggest. The sound is very distinct and spacious across the audio spectrum, and, because of the detailed output, I've heard aspects of my CDs/MP3s that I simply wasn't aware of before. The sound quality is such that listening is a pure pleasure, and, I don't suffer from any physical or aural fatigue with these Momentums.

The presentation of these premium headphones is consistent with what you'd expect - they come in a luxurious and stylish hard case. My only negative observation being that the case could be a bit bulky if you are using the headphones on the move, although, that is irrelevant in my mode of usage.

In summary, the Sennheiser Momentums represent high quality in terms of their presentation, construction, ergonomics and, above all, sound output. In my opinion, hard to fault, but easy to recommend.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Headphones - a joy - worth the money, 29 April 2013
I do not write reviews - ever. I did go to school for audio engineering and I love high quality gear.

I compared several headphones; B&W P5's, Sennheiser Momentum, V-Moda Crossfade M-100, and others.

The sound quality is excellent. Not bass heavy - accurate - clean.

Buy them!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING, 7 Mar 2013
By 
Dr. P. Walberg "Phil Walberg" (Newcastle, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Worth every penny. I have not been disappointed with the build, looks, functionality or (more importantly) the sound quality that I expected from these. Great product.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Street style and excellent sound quality - a competitor to the B&W P5, 23 Mar 2013
By 
Vinman666 (Essex, U.K.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Note: Remember that headphones and loudspeaker drivers are mechanical - they physically move to generate sound, therefore nearly all need to be 'run in' from new to sound at their best.

Sennheiser are normally associated with good quality but utilitarian products, with packaging blurb rarely venturing beyond technical data, but with the Momentum model their marketing department have been unleashed. Try this for example: "...an acoustic, tactile, and visual masterpiece that is a sensory delight." It's with good measure though, as the Momentum is designed to appeal to the more fashion conscious end of the market as well as those interested in good sound. This review is of the black model.

Opening the box, complete with ribbon tag and hinge, reveals the case provided for storing the 'phones, which at first glance unfortunately resembles the lid of a toilet. In black fabric with red stitching otherwise it certainly looks the part. Open the case and the headphones look just as smart in black leather with red stitching and chrome slider for adjusting the earpieces. The earpieces feature soft leather padding while the band has firmer padding. If, like me, you have close cropped hair this can be a little less cushioned than you might wish and my normal Bowers & Wilkins P5 are more comfortable in that respect. No problem with the ear cushions though, which are very comfortable to wear for long periods. As they are circumaural your entire ear is intended to be enclosed although in retaining portability those with larger ears may find the cups are not quite large enough. I found the bottom of my earlobes protruded slightly but I could tuck them in without any discomfort. For portable headphones they are quite large and don't fold down so in the case do take up a fair amount of room in hand baggage. Two (red) leads are supplied, one of which has a remote control/mic for recent Apple devices, plus a mini to full size jack converter.

My normal headphones for serious listening or on the move the are B&W P5 and P3 respectively so I was interested as to how these would compare. After several hours of running in, testing was done initially directly into an iPod Classic and then to my PC via an Audioquest Dragonfly DAC.

The iPod Classic has a less powerful amplifier than an iPhone or iPad so can struggle to drive larger headphones to a reasonable level but the Momentums are a fairly easy load of 18ohms so do get loud enough albeit at 90% maximum volume, which will impact battery life. There is good isolation due to the complete coverage of your ear; loud external sounds are still audible until the music starts, but unless you really crank it up anyone nearby will be unable to hear what you're listening to. I did have a slight concern that Sennheiser might veer too close to the fashion crowd by over-emphasising the bass but was pleasantly surprised by their neutrality. There is plenty of bass but it's reasonably taut and bass notes sound like an instrument is producing them, not just a general deep noise. The midrange is impressive - I played 'Heaven On Their Minds' by Queensryche, which is difficult to reproduce as the vocals and guitars are in the same frequency range but was able to follow Geoff Tate's vocals very clearly. In fact vocals in general are very well reproduced, with the small mouth clicks and breathing sounds that add realism to voices. So far, so good. Last test on the iPod was 'Dancer' from the re-mastered Queen album Hot Space. This track features some cymbal splashes towards the end that can be painful on some 'phones. The Momentum's handled them well, without losing detail but also without inducing a wince.

Moving on, I plugged into the Dragonfly and queued up some higher quality FLAC files. First up came Rodrigo y Gabriela and 'Tamacun'. The acoustic guitars had lots of attack, the 'phones conveying the effect of fingers plucking strings and drumming on guitar bodies and the separation of the guitars was also impressive. Next onto the Beatles 24-bit re-masters and lots of detail was presented but it did show that there is just a little over-emphasis on the bass compared to the P5s. Although there was slightly better separation with the Momentums I felt that the bass was attracting more of my attention that it should, particularly on a song like 'Penny Lane' where there are lots of more subtle instruments in the mix.

Overall I was impressed with the Momentums and they're well worth comparing to the Bowers and Wilkins P5s (but make sure both are well run in, especially the P5s, which sound pretty dull straight out of the box). Both are excellent headphones but slightly different in their approach - the Momentums resolve more detail, have deeper bass and good stereo separation but are slightly clinical. The P5s are on-ear so leak sound a little more, but put the overall sound together in a more enjoyable, coherent, foot-tapping way. Neither are perfect but there will be a market for each.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic., 3 Jan 2014
By 
R. J. Price - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I waited a while before I reviewed them, it's been nearly 2 years.

And I'm thrilled to say that even after a prolonged period of heavy use they still look virtually brand new, are working perfectly and sound fantastic.

This was my first (fairly expensive) pair of headphones after years of Sony in-ear buds and I've never looked back.

And unsurprisingly the Momentum's blow my Brother's beats out of the water in both build and sound quality.

If you're in the market for a solid pair of excellent sounding headphones, then you can't go wrong with these. Trust me, they are superb.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear Stereo Headphone Review by Dale (update 9 Jan 2014), 20 Sep 2013
By 
Dale Thorn (Seal Beach CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Update 9.1.14: Summing up the below, the Momentum On-Ear is very comfortable, has an excellent build and appearance, and gives a lot of users the impression of too much bass due to the recessed treble (easily fixable as I describe below).

Sources: iPhone5 alone, iPhone5 with FiiO E07k using LOD, iPhone5 using v-moda Verza DAC/amp, various computers using HRT Microstreamer DAC/amp.

First impression of the Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear (MOE): A smooth treble rolloff, easily fixed with the iPod/iPhone/iTunes Treble Booster EQ. This EQ boost is perfectly matched to the MOE's treble shyness, so I will be using that EQ for this review, and every comment I make about the MOE's sound will assume that the treble boost is ON. Some users have commented about peaks or roughness after boosting the treble, and there may be a very minor peak or two that will show up as significant on a few tracks (less than one percent of my tracks), but in those rare cases I just adjust the volume. Most headphones that I've used have treble peaks to one degree or another anyway when played flat (no EQ), so the mere mention of that is more a disclaimer than a criticism.

The MOE's bass is fantastic and amazing - I've also heard a complaint or two about the bass from certain users, but those users were not boosting the treble, hence the bass sounded 'off' to them because it wasn't properly balanced by the treble. The mids are Sennheiser good - warm and lush, like the best kind of live performance. Realizing in advance that many reviewers will ding the MOE for various technical shortcomings, I'll make a bold statement here: The MOE is one of the best sounding headphones I've heard below a thousand dollars (USD), its build quality and appearance is a ten out of ten, and the comfort is superb - the earpads for example have the cloth-type covering that doesn't get nearly as warm as plastic and pleather earpads. The treble is perfectly balanced from top to bottom (noting EQ as above), it has good harmonic detail, and the bass has great impact and control with a decent amount of detail. The overall experience is marvelous - highly recommended.

Soundstage seems at least average or better for a good closed headphone, and it improves noticeably with a good headphone amp. Note that Sennheiser specifies the MOE's impedance as 18 ohms, so headphone amps that have a high output impedance may act unpredictably with the MOE. Isolation seems good - average or better for a closed headphone, but leakage is such that if you're in a very quiet office in a cubicle right next to other cubicles, the adjacent co-workers will likely hear some of the sound when played at audiophile volume levels. That should be less of a problem on public transport, since the ambient noise will mask the leakage unless the user is playing the MOE at dangerously high volume levels. The MOE's earcups don't rotate, but they're small and they pull down far enough for ideal portable use, so I can wear the headphone around my neck all day long when not listening. A semi-stiff cloth case is also provided.

The MOE has a stainless steel headband with an under-pad that's stiff, but the headphone is so light and the earcups easily support its weight that I don't think it would be a problem for anyone. If so, just pull the earcups down some and let them support more of the weight. The headband clamping force is enough to keep the MOE in position when moving around, as long as your head doesn't make extreme movements such as tilting far forward or backward, in which case the earcups may slide off of your ears. The earcups are just like the Momentum's - high quality metal, but available in much better colors than the original Momentum. The cables, one with Apple connectors and one with standard connectors, are single-sided and detachable, with 2.5 mm plugs going into the earcup (left earcup only). The 2.5 mm plug has a locking connector on its sleeve, but since the cable snaps in securely a generic cable could possibly be used, but note that both cables' earcup end has an extra ring compared to generic 2.5 mm plugs.

Summarizing, and as an owner of several Sennheiser headphones, the MOE is easily my favorite. Certain other Sennheiser headphones cost more, but along with whatever advantages they afford comes their own imperfections. I've seen where other reviews mention a "fun" sound for headphones they consider less than ideal in terms of their fidelity or hi-fi accuracy, but I can't subscribe to that notion because it leaves too many holes for unpleasant colorations to get through. The MOE isn't just a good sound after I got used to it, it impressed me favorably right out of the box, or more accurately, after letting the headphone warm up for a few hours while I finished the day's work. Outside of the Sennheiser product line and comparing to other brands, headphones that I find comparable without regard to price include: ATH ESW9a (soft treble); B&W P5 (soft bass and treble); Grado PS500 (slightly brighter with upper bass hump); Philips L1 (bassy); Senn Momentum (uneven highs); and v-moda M100 (bassy).

In previous reviews I've included the following music examples with comments about how the headphones sound with each track. My suggestion is instead of reading each one as an absolute unto itself, you could compare my notes here to those other reviews and see how the MOE compares with each individual track. Note that the comments below apply to the MOE's sound played with Treble Booster EQ as noted above.

Animotion - Obsession (1980's New Wave/Techno): The upper bass synth has very good detail and tone, and both male and female vocals sound natural, without favoring either. The MOE plays this perfectly.

Ben Heit Quartet - Suite-Magnet and Iron (Jazz with a Bebop flavor): The piano that leads off sounds realistic and the saxophone sounds appropriately soft. Overall, the MOE plays this music extremely well.

Cath Carroll - Moves Like You (1980's New Wave/Techno): This track's percussion and voice are crisp and well-balanced, and there's a good sense of space or soundstage around the voices and instruments. The MOE reproduces the space and detail convincingly.

Chromatics - I'm On Fire (Synth-Pop, female lead): This track has a good amount of space around the voice and instruments, making for a very pleasant stereo image. The voice is excellent, and the tambourine is clearly identifiable.

Crystal Castles - Wrath of God (Electro-Pop): The bass in this track has a strong impact but little detail, while the ambient electronic effects are clear and distinct. The MOE plays this track very well given the limited quality of the recording.

DJ Shadow - Building Steam With a Grain of Salt (Electronic/DJ): This track opens with what sounds like very high and very low piano notes, and the MOE renders those notes extremely well. The ambient voices are slightly indistinct though.

Franz Ferdinand - Ulysses (Pop-Rock): The moderate level of bass in this track is played with good detail by the MOE, and the percussion and voice are crisp and well-balanced. This track has a huge amount of high-frequency energy, but the MOE plays it very smoothly.

Halie Loren - Sway (Jazz vocal): Bass instruments here may sound boomy on some headphones, but the MOE is better than average in this regard. The trumpet sounds natural but soft, and the voice is done just right.

Hans Zimmer - Dark Knight-Aggressive Expansion (Soundtrack): The percussion in this track hits really hard, and the bass tones beginning around 0:45 have the ultra-deep "shuddery" kind of sound and feel that indicates an excellent deep-bass response. Overall, the MOE plays this music extremely well.

Kaskade - 4am (Electro-House): The bass that kicks in around 1:01 into the track is subtle, but the MOE plays it well. The percussion and female voice balance well with neither overwriting the other - the MOE gets this right.

Katy B - Perfect Stranger (R&B-House-Garage): The heavy bass that begins at 0:27 into this track is played very well by the MOE. The voice is slightly forward, but it doesn't overpower the instruments or get lost in the mix. The MOE balances the different elements in this music very well.

Machine Gun Kelly - All We Have (Rap/Hip-Hop): The heavy bass beats that begin at 0:23 into the track do sound like drum impacts, although they're not sharp impacts. The male and female voices have a good balance, and the MOE plays this very well given the limited quality of the recording.

Massive Attack - Angel (Trip-Hop): This track begins with a steady low-frequency sound and some slightly soft deep-bass impacts. The voices blend well with the music and have just the right presence, although the recorded quality of the instruments isn't great. The MOE plays this very well given the limited quality of the recording.

Morcheeba - Bullet Proof (Trip-Hop): Bright percussion and medium-strength bass impacts make up most of this, with some dance-club spoken intonations thrown in. The MOE plays the percussion pretty well, and the voices sound good too.

Peter Tosh - Get Up Stand Up (Reggae): The bass here has a fairly strong impact, and the lead and backup voices have good separation that's not too narrow or wide. The MOE renders the bass with good detail and the voices sound very natural.

Porcupine Tree - Trains (Pop-Rock): This track opens with some nicely-detailed string sounds and a forward-sounding male voice with a higher-than-average register. There are a series of "clip-clop" effects starting at 3:19 that may lack clarity and proper harmonic detail on some headphones, and although the MOE makes those effects audible, the 'clop' sounds light (for lack of a better term) - i.e. the effect should have a more-or-less hollow quality, but with the MOE the sound is higher pitched, lessening the hollow effect.

Rachmaninoff - Prelude in C-Sharp Minor Op3 No2 (Classical, Piano): Grand piano played mechanically from an original recording by the master himself. The bass is unusually light with most headphones, but the MOE renders the notes with enough weight to be convincing.

Scarlatti-Kipnis - Sonata in E Major K381 (Classical, Harpsichord): The harpsichord here is fairly bright and highly detailed, and the MOE renders the tones and transients superbly.

Trombone Shorty - Backatown (Jazz-Funk): The deep bass impacts here are unusually strong, and work very well with the horns and other instruments. The MOE delivers the impacts with proper weight and great detail, and the horns have the kind of bite that gives them a wonderfully realistic sound.

William Orbit - Optical Illusion (Billy Buttons Mix) (Electronic): This is about as close as I want to get to easy-listening music. The string tones beginning at 0:18 are fairly soft, and while the bass isn't very deep, it still adds a good underpinning to the music. The short poetic rap at 4:14, preceded by an etherial female voice, works very well with this track.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the last word in refinement but incredibly fun!, 29 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Well the internet is awash with folks wanting to be heard, to air their opinions on one audio product or another, so here is yet another. Having had the Sennheiser Momentums now for about a couple weeks here's my take on these new designer headphones from Sennheiser:

Build & Styling - excellent retro modern look, the red, black and silver colours contrast beautifully. From the red noise free rubber coated idevice cable all the way up to intricately stitched leather headband at the top the design is well thought through. The badge and logo are subtle which is great since I hate prancing about as walking billboard. The ear cup adjustment is a bit of a pain at first as it has a type of pressure sensitive sliding mechanism which when adjusted feels unnatural compared to all other overhead headphones I've used, it may or may not deteriorate over time if adjusted regularly (which must be done if using the supplied case), we'll see but I'm slowly starting to get the hang of them. It looks well built but certainly not something that will take well to being thrown about after use, ideally the supplied case should be used to keep it looking pristine.

Comfort and noise isolation - very comfortable mostly although on some days( not sure if my head expand with the weather perhaps?) my head becomes very pressure sensitive and I just can't wear them or any other cans for long. Its probably just me. The fit is snug for my average sized ears although some people with larger ears may find it difficult to fit so may need to tuck their ears inside the cups. Once on like most decent closed back designs the sound can leak a bit but you would have to be pumping it at ear damaging levels for anyone to take even the slightest interest in your style of music. On the other hand at lower listening levels in public or commuting using buses/tube you can hear your surroundings albeit muffled but at moderate to high listening levels most of it is drowned out and it isn't an issue at all. You can't expect an IEM standard of noise rejection although it is still very good. They drive fine using the iphones built-in amp for almost all but the most golden of ears and perhaps those suffering from hearing loss may need to add an external portable amp to up the volume to their desired level, particularly with better dynamic recordings.*

Sound quality

This is what it's about ultimately, it's why I am paying a premium for a set of headphones. Not for a fashion statement or a badge or a piece of audio jewellery, although if one is that way inclined these still have the look and design to attract the attention of inquiring minds without shouting to get noticed. So what was it I wanted from a set of portable headphones? Apart from comfort which i think is very important long term and some level of noise isolation I didn't want to be restricted to hifi sound sitting at home, i want to be able to take a piece of my hifi with me when out and about, commuting, on the plane or on holiday.

From plugging it into my iPhone it took about 30 seconds to realise these weren't just some run of the mill cans, no extended burn-in required or any of that nonsense to appreciate what i was hearing, the sound simply drew me in, I tried hard to look for flaws in that short time but couldn't find any. They just conveyed a sense of 'fun' unlike any other headphones I have heard, irrespective of design. Play something up tempo, crank it up a little and they put an instant grin to the face. They sound remarkably open and airy for a closed set unlike any of the other closed cans I've heard.

After further use: still more of the same. The sound isn't of studio level accuracy, it isn't analytical, it isn't dry, it certainly isnt ruler flat or anything like that but it does a fantastic job with just about any type of music and I just cant shake that sense of fun, rhythm and excitement. I don't have measurements but my ears tell me there's some emphasis on lower end response, the bass is very deep, tight, textured and brilliantly executed with near perfect timing. However it should be noted without reservation that it does this in a very balanced non-fatiguing manner, without bloat or much exaggeration and most importantly without adversely affecting the other frequencies. So you still get full flavour mid range and treble. If I'm being critical the upper mid to treble range isn't ultra smooth as some but it is only a minor niggle in the grand scheme of things and is only telling on certain types of music. There is some roll off at the very upper end of the spectrum so it isn't exactly sweet sounding as some others I've heard that take a more aggressive approach to roll off but at the same time it isn't shrill or overly pronounced that it dominates everything else. Although the sound isn't flat Sennheiser has somehow managed to make them sound wonderfully balanced.

As a consequence high bitrate MP3s and non-audiophile recordings (most popular stuff) are presented nicely absent that coarse edginess that some may be familiar with whilst of course gently letting you know not to push it and to back-off from playing really poor content as it will manifest itself for the crap that it is. It will however reward you with a refreshingly masterful and exciting presentation when presented with good quality recordings and lossless files, the music will often quite literally move you. This sensation is very difficult to resist, listening to them whilst doing some mundane chores around the house I found myself doing some Usher moves whilst listening to that club favourite 'yeah'. This sense of enjoyment applies outdoors which makes any mundane commute to work just a pleasurable experience with the occasional feet tapping or unintentional head bobbing. When I'm in the mood for something more atmospheric and mellow like Dire Straits Brothers in Arms it presents it skilfully with all the subtle nuances you might hear when listening through a high end home stereo system. Again, I just cant get over how open, airy and spacious these sound for what are supposed to be closed back headphones I find them compelling. So whilst that superb low end response favours dance and other up tempo music with plenty of bass they still manage to convey all the little intricacies of more sophisticated audiophile type music. You might say they sort of remind me of all the fun and excitement i got from my car audio days but at the same time they are mature and can mimic the sound you might hear from a finely tuned home stereo system - perhaps just short of some of their open reference headphone designs.

When buying audio equipment I often get the impression manufacturers tend to hold back, to save the best for their top end models and even then they can end being lacklustre in performance, but it seems with the Momentums Sennheiser have come all out. As if they walked in to the party and said to all the others step aside boys, let us show you how it should be done. Their years of experience in the area of headphones really shows and most of all they have delivered a final product that represents their collective knowledge and skill in designing an outstanding set of portable cans that has merged fun and refinement. The name Momentum is rather befitting here to describe what these cans do, they make you move. This is the ace of spades in the portable headphone market.

*EDIT

Ok I thought given the high praise I have lavished on these cans I should do a short follow up after succumbing to my instincts with the addition of a Fiio E12 portable amp. I should summarise what follows with this disclaimer: I appreciate that the definition of good sound quality can mean different things to different people, it is by in large a question of personal taste and therefore very subjective in nature. However I tend to agree with what Dr Floyd E Tool (a master in the field of audio reproduction and psychoacoustics) states in that it has been found after much pain staking research, the majority of people with some exposure and experience in audio tend to have very similar tastes in their perception of audio quality. In fact people have far more in common in terms of what constitutes great quality than we see written about in the hifi press or what a dealer or manufacturer might state to justify why one product does not perform particularly well against another, I'm sure we've all heard it before: 'it's all up to personal taste and your hearing ability'. If you're reading this review and looking at this product perhaps even considering a follow up purchase then it is reasonable to assume that you have fairly decent exposure to audio in general.

So here goes: I'll put my hand up and admit I have understated the importance of amplification perhaps in some vain attempt to concentrate my review on the speakers (headphones) themselves. I feel compelled however now to add that for me great sound quality is about system synergy where all the constituent parts like timbre, separation, timing, detail, transparency, warmth, soundstage, imaging etc etc come together, complimenting each other well enough to ultimately present a pleasurable (not necessarily accurate) long term listening experience. After living with and using these headphones on a regular basis I have some reservations about the sound quality when plugged in to the iPhone. It's difficult to explain but basically I felt the internal volume control of the iPhone did something funky to the sound, this became apparent after I added a Fiio E5 that I had lying around, using the line out rather than headphone out I noticed not only what the E5 added in terms of extra volume but what it didn't add, namely that sheen and slight edginess in the mid band to upper frequencies which I mentioned above in so many words and thought naively were the characteristics of the headphones. It is very similar in sonic improvement to what one might gain if using for example a Windows based programme like Foobar or J-River and bypassing the internal windows volume mixer by way of adding ASIO or WASAPI output. The acid test for me in what makes a great audio system is how loud and long I can play it before it introduces pain or fatigue given a high quality source (within reason of course because no matter how good a system at some point the ears will physically give in to the high SPL).

So what did the Fiio E12 add on top of my impressions of these headphones? Well in short it redefined the listening experience. If I said they were excellent before, the amp has propelled them to another level of excellence. The immediate impressions were that the sound has now stretched out wide and opened a window to a more intimate and refined listening experience. It has delivered a superior soundstage and with it the separation of instruments and individual notes are more apparent, the presentation and tonal characteristics are vastly improved, it's a darker sound with better dynamics and more transparency which effortlessly bring out finer detail and subtleties, the musical flow is brilliantly composed and just very easy to follow. Dare I say the headphones are clear and more accurate with no noticeable distortion or signs of stress. Of course because of the improved accuracy the low end response seem very slightly more forward than before which depending on your persuasion can be either a good or bad byproduct. The fun, rhythm and excitement are still the defining characteristics of these headphone but the amp has also added more warmth, refinement and transparency. Having said all that I would still quite happily use these with the straight headphone out of the iPhone in certain situations but having heard what these headphones are capable of with the addition of decent amplification I am inclined to put up with the added weight and inconvenience of lugging around an extra device all in the pursuit of better aural satisfaction from a 'portable' audio system. The lesson for me is that if you are even slightly critical of audio on the go, do yourself a favour and bypass the headphone out and internal volume of your portable device if at all feasible. Otherwise don't worry about it and just enjoy your music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly worthy experience, 7 Feb 2014
After deliberating quite a lot on buying these headphones, I finally took the plunge and bought them.

The exterior reveals a state-of-art, premium product. The materials were carefully chosen, with main components being leather, stainless steel, and fiberglass for the earcups. You'll also want to take a look at them now and then, because they simply look gorgeous; certainly these appeal to customers that want headphones that look good.

However, unlike many headphones that appeal to a more "hip" user base, they sound very balanced and clear. The bass doesn't appear to be too punchy, and the highs simply shine! When listening you can easily distinguish the different voices and timbres and, because they provide a transparent and accurate sound, it's easy to listen to more subtle echos and notes.

It's quite delightful to listen to classical pieces. When listening Bach's Toccatta in C Minor by Gleen Gould it's just a joy to listen to all the echo in the beginning, and the humming is perfectly noticeable. The sound is rich and crisp, as expected. However, it plays a lot more brilliantly in different pieces as Villa-Lobos' Etude #11. Because of all the notes and different timbres it's quite difficult to follow the melody, but after listening with these headphones I surely got a new insight on the music; notes that sounded distant in prior listenings are now much clearer to hear, and certainly are closer from what the interpreter intended them to be.
When listening to pop music, such as David Bowie's Heroes, all the different instruments come together, and you really listen to it as a whole. The vocals are clear and crisp. For heavier music as Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory, the bass doesn't disappoint and performs a good role. It's not overwhelming, but neither is it underpowered.

The detachable cable is quite an important feature, as it tends to be one of the first components suffering damage, therefore you can simply get a new cable (or use the spare) in case something goes wrong.

To sum up, you'll get some gorgeous headphones, with a very balanced and honest sound. Concerning comfort, the pads are smooth, vertically adjustable, and they even fold to your head according to your position. However, I (unexpectedly) don't feel them extremely comfortable yet. You'll also want to take good care of these because, despite feeling solid, the materials are somewhat fragile, and you won't want to damage something as good as this.

I don't regret the purchase, though, and I can only recommend these. A great choice!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you will never go wrong with this, 5 Jan 2014
If you want a headphone that won't disappoint you no matter what type Of music you listen to the get these babies. If you want a fashion accessories that will break in a few months then get dre beats. Don't get me wrong dre beats aren't too bad but will never compare to these in terms crispness of your music.
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Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear Headphones - Brown
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