Sennheiser Momentum In Ear Wireless Review
Can Sennheiser continue the ‘momentum’ they’ve been building lately with the latest release of the Momentum in ear wireless ear buds? Let’s take a look & find out!
Unlike the wired versions of the momentum in ear which had a separate model depending on whether you ran an iPhone or Android phone, thankfully there is just one version of the momentum in ear wireless which is compatible with all flavours of phone / audio player so long as it has bluetooth connectivity. Good news if you are a frequent phone hopper like we are!
There are 3 different design camps for wireless in ear buds, completely wire free (like the Apple Airpods), wire between the buds (like the Jaybird X3), and this third type – with a neckband and shorter wires up to the earbuds (like on the Bose QuietControl 30).
It’s a bit of an unusual look at first glance and a bit of a design gamble from Sennheiser, but after a few hours we are getting to appreciate it – and the benefits that we will get into later definitely make up for the initial awkwardness as as you start using the momentum in ear’s more & more.
UPDATE – it’s been a while now since we first saw neckband headphones, and to be honest it has developed into probably the best format for wireless in ear headphones. You get the best combination of wireless-ness along with long battery life & a super convenient way of keeping hold of the in-ears whilst not in use.
Out of the box, the momentum in ear wireless comes with a nice canvassy hard case to protect them whilst stashed in a bag, and the obligatory micro USB cable for charging the internal battery. There are no less than 4 sets of super soft silicone ear tips so you can tailor the fit perfectly for most ears, and we found the medium to be perfect for us, giving a nice snug fit that proved comfortable for longer listening periods.
The construction is high quality, with the neckband being of quite a light plastic that has a high quality feel. The neckband is mostly covered with a contrast stitched sheepskin leather wrap – a nice touch that reminds you that the momentum in ear buds are priced just that touch above the plastic competition.
The earbuds themselves are constructed internally from stainless steel, with a nicely engraved metal plate on the outside edge featuring an engraved holographic sennheiser logo. The outer body is covered with a tasteful black plastic shroud (as opposed to the more shouty red colour on the wired Sennheiser models). The interconnecting soft rubber wires between the ear buds & the neckband are perfectly sized to allow full motion of the head without any tugging or stretching.
The majority of the electronics, and the much larger than average battery (rated for 10 hours playback), are housed inside the slim neckband, which makes the ear buds themselves extremely light despite the solid construction. We liked that the neckband keeps hold of the earbuds when you pop them out of year ears, without feeling like anything is going to slip away or get lost like on other designs.
The neckband also provides a home for the play/pause & volume controls on the left side, with the play/pause button having a dimple to make buttons presses easily navigable by feel alone.
The specs are nice, bluetooth 4.1 with the quality boosting aptX protocol, NFC (just tap the headphones to your phone to prompt connection), 10 hour battery life (takes 90 minutes to recharge from empty), extended frequency range of 15Hz – 22KHz.
So – the momentum in ear wireless have a great spec & build quality, fantastic battery life, feel great – but how do they sound?
Sennheiser Momentum In Ear Wireless Review – Sound Quality & Performance
So – on to the main event for the Sennheiser momentum in ear review – how do they sound?
The Sennheiser momentum range is well known for it’s sparkling sonic performance with a hint of bass boost – and we’re happy to confirm that this trait is continued with the momentum in ear wireless. They sound absolutely stellar!
It’s a great sonic performance that’s highlighted by the solid well defined bass that hits right down to almost sub bass levels, which never seems to overpower the taut midrange performance & sparkling crystal clear high end response. Bass lines smack with authority & vocals come through with beautiful clarity & separation.
It’s a wide & spacious sound with just a touch of bass boost – sennheiser has tweaked the sound profile in just the right direction in our opinion & we think the momentum in ear wireless deliver a superb well rounded sound that will appeal to many.
UPDATE – There aren’t many wireless in ears that can deliver this mix of solidity & detail in the bass, and carry through with delicate mids & super clean high frequency notes – the sound delivery on the Sennheiser in ears is really special when compared to it’s peers. No apology is needed for the fact that these are ‘wireless’ – they can fight ‘toe – to toe’ in direct comparison to the wired models – really an outstanding job by Sennheiser.
We didn’t see a lot of difference between listening on our test Android phone (a Samsung galaxy S7) with the aptX protocol, or with the iPhone 7 which just has standard bluetooth – both sounded pretty even & were a solid step up from the standard earbuds provided (plus losing the wires is great!).
The Sennheiser in ear wireless ear buds rely on passive isolation to cut away the ambient background noise (rather than active noise cancellation as on the Bose QuietControl 30 ear buds that we will be looking at soon), and we found that the well fitting silicone ear tips gave a good seal in this regard, performing as good a job at isolation from the outside world as we have seen on all but fully custom ear buds.
We need to spend more time with the Bose QC 30 to see whether the ANC makes as big a difference on in ear headphones as it does with the full sized over ear models – our gut feeling is that the tighter fit & better isolation of a well fitted ear bud may negate a lot of the advantages of ANC. UPDATE – we have now had a good play with QC 30’s, and while we are super impressed with the noise cancellation, we feel that the better sound quality & overall build of the Sennheisers win the day.
If you are an iPhone 7 user & have been hunting around for something better than airpods, these would be a decent choice.
- Feature Set 85%
- Build Quality 92%
- Sound Quality 92%
- Value for Money 85%
- Overall Rating 89%
Sennheiser Momentum In Ear Wireless – Final Thoughts
The daring neckband design turns out to be a stroke of genius from the Sennheiser team – the reduced earbud weight and feeling of security against loss, enhanced by the stellar battery life, and then topped off with a top quality sonic performance makes the momentum in ear wireless as good a pair of wireless ear buds as we have seen so far in 2017.
Class leading build, battery life, sonic performance – if you can cope with the asking price then these are a top buy. Recommended!
Price at time of review: UK £169 / US $199
Sennheiser Momentum Wireless In Ears – Spec Breakdown
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
Connection Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, AAC, apt-X
Battery Rechargeable Lithium Ion Polymer (170mAh)
Recharge Time approx 1.5hrs
Battery Runtime 10hrs
Frequency Response 15Hz – 22,000Hz
Sound Pressure Level 112dB
Total Harmonic Distortion <0.5%
Active Noise Cancellation N/A