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Customer Review

192 of 215 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic addition to the Momentum Range, 22 July 2013
This review is from: Sennheiser Momentum 1.0 On-Ear Headphones - Green (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
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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Showing 1-10 of 24 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Oct 2013 12:49:51 BDT
JC says:
I recently auditioned a pair of these which were on demonstration in John Lewis's. Whilst it was the classy styling that first attracted me I did think they sounded very good although I don't know how they compare with others at a similar price. However after I put them back on display I was approached by a Dr Beats rep who asked me for my opinion of one of their set of headphones. Although it wasn't perhaps a fair comparison as the music was different, I did think the sound of the Sennheiser Momentums was a bit better than the Beats. I don't know which model of Beats they were but when I asked him how they compared on price he said the Beats were £100 more expensive.

Posted on 2 Nov 2013 12:46:32 GMT
mezastel says:
Wait a second... you listened to FLAC on decent portable gear and you reviewed the On-Ear variety? Am I the only one who sees something fundamentally wrong with this? (I have both on-ear and over-ear, by the way.)

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Nov 2013 14:20:55 GMT
Whats the issue? I have the over ear Momentums amongst others too and im not going to feed any cans rubbish source material. If i was reviewing a cheap pair of earbuds I would be playing flac files through good source gear. I want to make the best of my kit, which means using good files and good gear.

Posted on 29 Nov 2013 19:36:12 GMT
Do you think the 'full fat' momentum's are worth the extra cash?

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Nov 2013 20:02:51 GMT
mezastel says:
The full-fat momentums are definitely worth the extra cash. For example, if we compare comfort, I'd give the on-ears 3/10 whereas over-ears would get 5/10 (and HDs would get 10/10). If we're talking isolation, over-ears win too by a wide margin.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Nov 2013 20:03:52 GMT
mezastel says:
The point is you shouldn't suggest audiophiles buy the on-ear variety. It's really only the over-ears that are fit for the audiophile market. The on-ears are something you plug into your mobile phone or whatever. They are entirely different headphones.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Nov 2013 20:05:58 GMT
I'm just a bit worried they won't fit over my ears. I've just got the B&W P5's in lightening deals and although they're good 90% of reviews say the Momentums are better.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Nov 2013 20:10:38 GMT
mezastel says:
Actually, they are *very* small. I have average ears and they barely fit. I've heard people complain that it doesn't fit their ears. I was actually lucky to find them on display in a department store, listened to them (and a couple dozen other ones), then bought them. If you're worried about size I'd check them out first or, if you're in a hurry and there's no store around, I'd go for B&W P7s, as these seem to be more 'on par' with the Momentums. That said, I'd give both a listen before spending the money. Both are excellent headphones BTW, both won the 2013 WhatHifi awards, and are highly rated on HeadFi.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Nov 2013 20:14:22 GMT
Ok. Thanks for your help. It's good that you are able to try on Amazon and return if you don't like. I have the HD600's and love them but they're harder to drive. I have a FILO E11 but want something I can just plug into iPhone and go.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Dec 2013 20:04:42 GMT
Got the Momentum's today. Both they and the P5's are excellent but I think the Momentum's are better. The fit in my ears is tight but manageable. I have to 'wiggle' the back of my left ear into the cup (right ear seems ok). Can I ask you about running them in? Some believe in this, others not. Personally I'm not too sure it improves but like to do it anyway.
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