The refreshed version of MOMENTUM Wireless is where classy and modern external design meets the Sennheiser’s superior sonic quality, with the addition of new technology implementations.
Thank you, Melvin and team from Sennheiser Singapore, for sending me the MOMENTUM Wireless headphones despite facing the Circuit Breaker implementation in Singapore. It was provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review and opinion.
2020 is indeed an exciting year for Sennheiser. Celebrating their 75th anniversary, Sennheiser launches several products to refresh their current lineup. For those who are familiar with Sennheiser’s in-ear monitors (IEMs) or headphones, MOMENTUM series is definitely not a stranger to you.
The new MOMENTUM Wireless is the latest addition to Sennheiser's premium wireless headphone range. With this release, Sennheiser is aiming to offer superior sound with the implementation of cutting-edge technology. The modern design aesthetic of MOMENTUM wireless headphones is preserved too - with some slight improvement in this release.
It redefines your premium headphone experience by reproducing the balanced depth and precision of studio-quality audio. Let’s go through the detailed study on this new release together!
The packaging of MOMENTUM Wireless follows the characteristics of the current lineup - a box with a white background and blue liner, photo with the model name printed on the box. I would take this standardization as an approach to enhance the branding - crowds can immediately identify Sennheiser’s products from far away.
The unique selling points of MOMENTUM Wireless are printed on the back of the box, just like IE PRO Series. At the side of the box, the included accessories are listed. The supported Bluetooth codecs are printed too.
Removing the outer sleeve, the inner white hardbox with Sennheiser logo provides sufficient protection to the headphones and included accessories. When the box is opened, the MOMENTUM Wireless is stored nicely in the grey soft storage pouch, together with accessories.
Here are the accessories included in the box:
● 3.5mm terminated audio cable
● USB Type-C charging and data transfer cable
● USB Type-C to USB Type-A adapter
● Soft storage case
● Quick guide
● Safety guide
● Bluetooth version: Bluetooth 5.0 compliant
● Supported profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
● Audio input: Bluetooth, Analog (mini jack), USB Type-C
● Power supply: 5.0 V DC, 330mA
● Battery specification: Built-In Lithium rechargeable battery
● Battery life: Maximum 17 hours
● Frequency range: 6Hz - 22kHz
● NFC: yes
● Audio codec: SBC, aptX™, aptX™ Low Latency, AAC
● Charging: USB Type-C
● Battery life: 17 hours
● Noise cancellation: 3 Active Noise Cancelling Modes
The MOMENTUM Wireless headphones exhibit the characteristics of predecessors in terms of physical appearance - stainless steel bar at the side with a genuine leather padded headband. The premium appearance of MOMENTUM Wireless is definitely a unique selling point.
Compared to other popular models like Bose QuietComfort 35 and Sony WH-1000XM3, the MOMENTUM Wireless definitely will gain you a higher head-turning rate when you are walking on the street.
The ear cups are attached to the sides stainless steel bar. It can be tilted a little in different directions to provide highest quality comfort to the users. This is a thoughtful design especially for spectacle wearers like me because spectacles can be an obstacle for the ear cups to provide good isolation.
The ear pads are padded with memory foam. This enhances the overall wearing comfort. The memory foam will adapt to your head shape and offer you a “customized” wearing experience. I didn’t feel any discomfort within the period of reviewing and I put it to the test by wearing it for a long conference meeting.
The control buttons are placed on the right ear cups. A lot of current models are following the hype of using touch control, I am glad that MOMENTUM Wireless still maintains conventional physical control buttons. I will elaborate more regarding the controls in the upcoming section.
The provided storage case is soft and can be compressed when you are not using it. Personally I prefer the harder storage case from the previous generation which is able to provide a better protection from pressure. I always store my headphones in my bag so there is a chance I might accidentally damage the headphones when I exert pressure on my bag, such as when I lean against the wall.
The control for MOMENTUM Wireless is easy and I like the user-friendliness of it. Near the USB Type-C and 3.5mm audio port, the button is for activating the voice control - Siri or Google Assistant, depending on which phone is connected. If the MOMENTUM is connected to a device with no voice control capability, the music will pause for a short while and continue after it.
Moving upwards, users can find the typical three button for audio control - volume control with a play / pause button in the middle. For MOMENTUM Wireless, the play / pause button has multiple functions - you can skip the track with double press and go back to the previous track with triple press. This button will be used for picking up phone calls too. You can also reject the phone calls by pressing and holding this button.
Moving to the top button, this is the control for noise cancellation. Simply slide the button upward, the active noise cancellation will be deactivated. Sliding the button downward, transparent hearing will be activated. To end the transparent hearing, simply slide the button downwards again. The three active noise cancellation modes can be adjusted on Sennheiser Smart Control applications on users’ smartphones.
Active Noise Cancellation
Active noise cancellation (ANC) is an essential feature for most of the people nowadays especially for those who often need to squeeze into packed buses or trains, just like me. The noise from the transports and the chit chats from inconsiderate commuters are torturing. With ANC turned on, one can submerge him or herself in the sea of music, escaping from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Due to the implementation of the Circuit Breaker, I am working remotely from home. So, I didn’t have a chance to test the capability of MOMENTUM Wireless’s ANC in a noisier environment. However, my working desk is near a busy main road. With MOMENTUM Wireless on, the noise from vehicles can be eliminated, which allows me to focus on my work.
MOMENTUM Wireless comes with three ANC modes - max, anti-wind and anti-pressure. I am always using it with “max” mode on. I don’t feel the “vacuum” feel of the ANC. However, if you are more sensitive with the “vacuum feel” created by ANC, you can try anti-wind and anti-pressure mode which I believe can be considered as “partial noise cancellation”.
This is a cool feature that I like the most. As a user of the previous model, I always need to unfold the headphones and turn on the headphones manually. For the new MOMENTUM Wireless, the headphone will be turned on automatically when the pair of headphones are unfolded.
However, there is a disadvantage in this design. I cannot hang my MOMENTUM wireless on a headphone stand when I am at home now because this will keep it constantly turned on.
When you take off MOMENTUM Wireless, the music playback will be paused. This is a design to preserve battery life and it also allows you to pick up where you left off when you’re ready to use them again.
Based on my music listening experience in the office, I think this implementation is very useful. Imagine you are working in the office and enjoying your music and your colleagues, supervisor or boss tap on your shoulder. You only need to remove your headphones to start the conversation immediately without losing your spot in your song.
TILE and Smart Control Applications
These two applications mentioned above are a must for MOMENTUM Wireless users to download on their smartphones. TILE is an application to assist you in finding your headphones when and if you misplace them. In the app, you can trigger the headphones to ring and vibrate.
For Smart Control Application, this is a control tower for your MOMENTUM Wireless. With this application, you can update the firmware of your headphones and adjust the equalizer and ANC modes. Besides that, the smart pause feature can be turned off in the application too. I hope in the future, the smart on / off feature can also be controlled in the application so I can hang the headphones on the headphone stand.
I have a big head and based on my experience, a lot of on-ear headphones cannot fit me well. As an over-ear headphone set, MOMENTUM Wireless fits me really well. The ear cups are deep enough for my big ears. For those models with shallower ear cups, my ears tend to be pressed and uncomfortable which annoys me.
As mentioned in the “Build” section, the tilt design and memory foam padded ear cups further enhance the comfort of MOMENTUM Wireless. Despite having metal parts on the headphones, it doesn’t create pressure due to a heavy weight on my head. The padded headband distributes the pressure equally across the head, leaving no pressure hotspot.
MOMENTUM Wireless offers users three connection methods - Wireless (Bluetooth), USB Type-C and 3.5mm audio jack. Powered by the Bluetooth version 5.0, the connectivity between MOMENTUM Wireless and source device is very stable. Within the reviewing period, I didn’t face any signal distortions due to interference.
MOMENTUM Wireless supports SBC, aptX™, aptX™ Low Latency and AAC audio codecs. For those who are after Hi-Res audio, aptX™ will be a good codec for you. I am an Apple device user. So, I use AAC codec most often and MOMENTUM Wireless connects to my MacBook Air and iPhone XR flawlessly.
For those who are after wired connections, MOMENTUM Wireless got your back. You can connect the headphones to your device through 3.5mm audio cable or USB Type-C. Personally, I use USB Type-C connection more often because this is a good way to preserve the original sound signature.
Note: When MOMENTUM Wireless is connected to the device through USB Type-C, the digital audio files will be decoded and amplified fully. You are going to get a sound signature close to wireless input. When MOMENTUM Wireless is connected to the device through 3.5mm audio cable, the decoding and amplifying will be done by the source. In this scenario, the source is affecting the sound signature.
To analyse the sonic quality of MOMENTUM Wireless accurately, I would use either Bluetooth or USB Type-C connection. This is to minimize the effect of decoding and amplification from the source. All decoding and amplification are done by MOMENTUM Wireless under these two connections.
I paired MOMENTUM Wireless with my MacBook and iPhone XR with AAC codec. To test the stability of aptX™ audio codec, I also paired it with my iBasso DX220.
MOMENTUM Wireless has a L-shaped sound signature, with more emphasis on the low frequency compared to mids and highs. The overall signature is slightly warmer, which creates a comfortable listening experience. Comfortable sound signature and wearing really makes me hesitate taking it off.
The soundstage of MOMENTUM Wireless is above average. It‘s wide and deep. The ANC mode alters the soundstage a little - with “anti-pressure” mode on, the soundstage is slightly wider, with air injected. With “max” mode on, the airy feel is minimized and the presentation is richer. Nevertheless, regardless of which mode is toggled, there are no congestions experienced.
The lows of MOMENTUM Wireless are rich. It has more emphasis compared to other frequency spectrums. The amount of bass can definitely fulfill the needs of bass-heads. The sub-bass is extends deeply, creating good depth in the presentation. The feeling is like there is a subwoofer implemented - creating rumbles when the sub-bass hits.
I particularly like the “subwoofer” kind of sub-bass when I am listening to movie soundtracks like Arabian Nights of Disney Aladdin. The hits can recreate the scenes in the movie.
Moving to the mid-bass, it has similar emphasis as the sub-bass. The control of the mid-bass is good. I do not feel the bass is bloated or bleeded towards the mids. Despites having more emphasis, it still remains clean and neat, thanks to the good attack and decay speed of the bass response.
Warm and smooth could be good adjectives for the mids of MOMENTUM Wireless. The mids are slightly recessed compared to the lows. Don’t get me wrong, recessed mids doesn’t necessarily mean low quality mids. The formula does not work that way. The positioning of the mids is further from the audiences - creating a theatre like feel.
With the bass punching deeply and vocals presented smoothly, it’s definitely an enjoyable listening session. It reminds me of my Dynaudio Music 7.
The vocals have the warmth from the bass, resulting in a lively and emotional performance. You are not going to get any dry or analytical sound from the MOMENTUM Wireless. I like the positioning of the mids because this could reduce the shoutiness in the vocals and hence lengthen the listening period with it.
I particularly fall in love with the female vocals. The upper mids has the typical sound signature of Sennheiser - silky smooth and spacious. The female vocals are delivered smoothly and sweetly. It is just like a breeze of wind on your face, no irritation and full of enjoyment.
As mentioned in the previous section, the highs actually have similar characteristics of the upper-mids - spacious and well-extended. Compared to under series from Sennheiser, I believe the MOMENTUM series should have the most polite highs - more well controlled and less sparkle. This could be a savior for those who have lower tolerance towards bright treble.
The treble in MOMENTUM is not particularly bright. It’s tamed to be more gentle and soft, to suit the slightly warmer sound signature. This further reduces the fatigueness in listening. I think this is a good approach because I would not want to get fatigued because of the sound from the headphones while I am trying to avoid external noises - it defeats the purpose. I think MOMENTUM Wireless got it right!
The Sennheiser MOMENTUM Wireless headphones successfully refreshed the MOMENTUM series and created a new benchmark for other brands. While preserving the excellent sound quality, Sennheiser improved the headphones aesthetically as well as in the technology aspects, making MOMENTUM Wireless more relevant.
The comfort and sonic presentation makes MOMENTUM Wireless a great companion for my daily commute, office work or even a long flight. I want it to be with me most of the time.
Sennheiser MOMENTUM Wireless is retailing at SGD$599 (USD$399). You can purchase it from Sennheiser Official Website for individual countries. For those who are in Singapore, you can opt for an installment plan by Hoolah.
With the launch of MOMENTUM Wireless headphones, Sennheiser once again proved to the world that you can have a pair of headphones that looks and sounds great without compromising comfort. All the aspects are well-considered!
- Deep ear cups
- No pressure hotspot from the headband
- Deep extending sub-bass
- Well-controlled mid-bass
- Outstanding noise cancellation
- Well-designed application for easier control
- Smooth and well extended highs
- USB Type-C audio input
- Eye-catching physical appearance
- The case is soft and providing insufficient protection to the headphones
- Unable to hang the headphones on the headphone stand because of smart on / off features
About Teo Yong Shun
Yong Shun is a chemical engineer by training and an audiophile with years of experience in the audio industry as an audio consultant in one of the major Hi-Fi shops in Singapore. Appreciating good music is my daily task and I love to share the greatness with the community. Love what you listen to, with what you have, where you are. Founder of The Audiolocheese.