on February 28, 2013
What I like:
-This headphone will make your music sweet no matter what genre you prefer. Its highs are crisp and bright but not shrill or sibilant, mids are clear, and bass is just right (a little more than the Logitech UE6000 in passive mode). Timbre is also amazing. With that said, it is not for those looking for the flat response of a classic audiophile headphone
-Doesn't require an amp to sound optimal, and I'm not just saying that because it has low 18 ohm resistance. After hours of hooking up my Fiio E17 DAC/amp to this with my Lenovo X230, Galaxy Nexus GSM, and ASUS motherboard as sources, the DAC/amp made little noticeable difference other than being able to customize the EQ via its treble and bass settings. The amp on neutral settings doesn't really add anything to sound quality (soundstage, depth, etc.) and portable players are enough to get the volume to high listening levels
-So light (190 g) it doesn't even matter that there's hardly any padding on the headband, you won't feel it
-Compact yet extremely well-crafted from premium materials (leather, metal band, stitching)
-Earpads won't slide up or down accidentally unless you adjust them
-Plush genuine leather earpads envelop your ears in comfort, headphone doesn't move around unless you shake your head very hard
-The headband will loosen its already-weak clamping force on your head over time. You can also reverse bend the headband to make it even looser
-I actually owned the brown version for a little while before trading in for these. With the brown earpads, the skin/hair oils "aged" the brown leather making it black. Thus far I haven't had an issue with this set because they are black to begin with. I also didn't like the retro look of the brown one, but I love the black and red pattern of this pair. It appears modern and sophisticated (the red stitching is dark unlike in some stock photos) which reminds me of BMW's interiors
What I don't like:
-From forums, the earpads don't fit those with large ears
-If you wear glasses you will feel some pain after 2 hours as the earpads compress your ear against the legs of your frames. However, the Momentum is not the only headhpone to do this. The only headphones I have tested that don't have this problem are the Sennheiser HD380 and HD558 because their large earpads better distribue pressure and swivel to learn against the back of your head
-Leather headband may initially make creaking noises when it's bent. After several months of breaking-in (and with increasing summer humidity), the creaking has gone away
-Iphone cord works with Android only if you install headset control app
-Can isolate sound reasonably well around the household, but not bus/train/airplane. For those purposes get a pair of in-ear monitors with foam tips
-Earpads don't rotate to fold flat for storage
-Included case requires you to slide earcups all the way up if you want to store them
Sound and comfort when compared to competitors Sennheiser HD380, Klipsch Image One, Harman Kardon CL, B&W P5, Logitech UE6000, Bose QC15:
-Sennheiser HD380 has a much flatter response, good for monitoring but music will not feel as "alive" or "sweet" as the Momentums. There is also less separation among instruments in the HD380's. Noise isolation is best I've experienced in a passive headphone. Comfort is better for longer periods because the earcups are huge and will swivel to conform to the shape of your head. Keep in mind the cord, though coiled to make it shorter, is heavy and will weigh down your head
-Klipsch Image One is too bass-heavy. Comfort is merely OK because the cushions are so small they straddle the line between circum-aural and on-ear
-Harman Kardon CL has more bass, with clear mids and highs. Unique headband mechanism is comfortable for half an hour but becomes uncomfortable if worn for longer periods as its on-ear design pins your ear against the head
-B&W P5: Although this was by far the best-looking out of all the headphones, I found it to have a somewhat hollow/muddy sound. A very tight (and unadjustable) clamping force made listening very uncomfortable even for brief periods. That, plus the questionable durability (just go into any apple store and see how beat up the earpads get over time), made me feel this was overpriced at $300
-Logitech UE6000 will have more prominent bass with active noise cancellation function turned on, which I feel drowns out the mids and highs in songs. With passive mode it is comparable to the Momentums although the Sennheiser has better definition in the mids and especially highs. It is fairly comfortable (not as much as QC15 or Momentum) but is heavy and will move around on the head. Users may notice an audible "hiss" due to the noise cancellation
-Bose QC15 has the best active noise-cancelling effect (and does not generate any hiss/white noise). In terms of sound quality, however, it is the worst of the bunch as bass is one-tone and highs are so shrill they hurt my ears. Its plush ear cushions make it the most comfortable around-ear headphones I have ever used
For sound quality I would rank Sennheiser Momentum>Logitech UE6000=Harman Kardon CL>B&W P5>Sennheiser HD380>Klipsch One=Bose QC15
For comfort Bose QC15>Sennheiser HD380>Sennheiser Momentum>Logitech UE6000>>Harman Kardon CL=Klipsch One=B&W P5
For noise isolation Bose QC15>>Logitech UE6000 (active mode)>Sennheiser HD380>Harman Kardon CL>Sennheiser Momentum>B&W P5=Klipsch One
After testing all of the above headphones I finally settled on the Momentum, but keep in mind my preferences. I like pop, hip hop, alternative and the occasional piano piece. If I were to summarize the Momentum I would say it has sweet crisp highs, decent mids, and solid (yet not overwhelming) bass. Go try it out in an Apple Store or Magnolia at Best Buy if you're still not sure about the sound or fit.
on September 18, 2014
I was very impressed by Sennheiser's newest headphones. The sound is perfectly balanced. Not too bright, not to bassy, and well suited to a wide variety of music. Better, dare I say, than even my Sennheiser HD598's. Sound isolation is great as well, with the leather pads doing a good job of keeping the sounds of the outside world at bay.It's hard to find a pair of truly excellent headphones that are made for portable music players, but the Momentum's low impedance means that almost any phone/ iPod can drive these well. Moreover, where as some headphones are very unforgiving with low quality (bit-rate) music, the Momentum's handle them with aplomb. The genuine leather on these is just fantastic too. The ear-pads are incredibly supple and glove-soft. The Momentum's just exude class and luxury.
That being said, what I wrote above will mean absolutely nothing if your ears are larger than the average 10 year old. I don't know why, but for some incredibly stupid reason, Sennheiser decided to put form over function and fit small ear-pads on headphones that are labeled as an "around ear" design. The pads are simply too large to fit on your ear yet too small to comfortably fit around them. After 15 minutes of listening, discomfort was evident, and after 30 minutes my ears were in pain. This wouldn't be so frustrating if the Momentum's weren't otherwise a truly excellent pair of headphones.
I've owned many Sennheiser products, and would recommend the brand without a second thought. But I have to urge the reader to exercise caution when buying these. As fantastic as they sound and feel, chances are you will not be happy if long term comfort is a priority.
on August 28, 2013
I've put these through the paces through 4 listening devices: 1) Focusrite Scarlett 18i6; 2)Creative X-fi USB; 3) Zoom H4n; and, 4) Smartphone.
I also have and compared to Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro ($229), Sony MDR7506 (~$100) Soundmagic E30 earbuds ($40) Beats earbuds ($90) and Sennheiser CX480 earbuds ($40) and AKG K44 headphones.
The Momentums clearly sound way better than all of them. As other reviews say, they're sound is precise, accurate, tight, not airy like Sony's and Beyerdynamic. As other reviews pointed out, they don't have a ton of sub-bass. But it is there. When I adjust the lower bass frequency bands, it brings out the bass out and my whole head thumps nicely. In fact, these headphones are so flat, they respond beautifully to EQ on lesser powered devices, like MP3 players. They're my only headphones that sound better when using Creative's THX "surround sound" (set at 60%, it is sounds awesome). You will save about $100 not needing a headphone amp as these get really loud on smartphones and MP3 players. I can't even listen to my Beyerdynamics on them as there's not enough juice to make them loud enough for my tastes. And they don't distort at loud volumes. They beg to be played loud.
I didn't realize how mobile-friendly these were until I got them. They can be worn in public, on exercise machines, anywhere, and not look unwieldy. You will save another $100 not having to buy good earbuds anymore, coz the Momentums should be able to take their place in all situations. They are snug around the ears and provide more than adequate sound isolation. I also didn't expect to be able to mix my music for my You Tube videos with these, but they actually are perfect for that purpose, so there's another $100 bucks saved not needing a studio monitor pair of headphones like my AKG K44's, which I use only for mixing.
So there you go, these headphones just payed for themselves not needing earbuds, studio mixing headphones or a headphone amp. The only negative is that they do need a little EQ'ing to get the best out of them, and not every device has EQ capabilities, thus 4 stars, not 5.
on December 19, 2014
I've only recently become appreciative of sound quality (I would hate to arrogantly describe myself as an audiophile), and these headphones make every single sound sound better. No matter the benchmark, parameter, or any other measurable factor I use, these headphones outperform everything else I've ever had.
Every single low, mid, high in any song sounds better with these headphones. I've owned Beats (I know..Forgive me...), Audio Technicas, M-Audios, and I've tested Master and Dynamics MH-40 extensively and these Momentums are simply put - better.
The only comparison in which the Momentum's aren't superior is when they are compared to Sennheir's HD 598 - Over Ear headphones. The HD 598 are open and allow for a better soundstage (they sound terrific with Beatles btw) than the Momentums, but since I was in the market for a portable and closed-headphone to listen to music on the go the HD 598 were out of the picture.
Here's some background, I was on the market for headphones under $300 and portability was my #1 priority. I wanted to listen to great music on the go, on the metro, walking to class, during my work hours, and I wanted to listen to music at home with my setup so I needed headphones that sounded great with constant movement and ones that also sounded great when I was staying put. The Momentums, I believe, were by and far the best choice.
Here are some Pros and Cons
-Portability!: They're light, take up almost no power from my mobile device, and are easily manageable to carry around anywhere. I sometimes forgot I even had them over my neck! They do NOT bleed any sound at around 75% volume so I'm listening to high quality sound without disturbing anyone, anywhere -- a BIG plus.
- Style: Style was a consideration for me because I didn't want to look like I was carrying boomboxes to classes and work and look like a fool. This Momentums look very nice and I've gotten compliments on how they look so it's safe to say they're pretty stylish.
- Comfort: Yes, they're extremely comfortable save for one minor thing (more on that later). They go over my ears nicely and don't strain them unnecessarily.
-Sound: Amazing, crystal-clear, such-a-good-sound-they-make-me-trip-out, deep and rich, unbelievable soundstage for a closed-back, literally insert any adjective here to describe "good sound" and it would probably fit for these headphones.
-Computers & Devices: These headphones have very low impedance (18ohms) meaning they do not suck that much power, and it takes very little to power them . My iPhone 6 Plus has no problems reproducing high- quality sounds and it has very little drain on my battery. With my computer and my external DAC these headphones simply gleam through my lossless files like a sailboat sailing swiftly during calm weather.
-Classical: Classical instruments sound unreal. Violins, cellos, basses, and pianos all sound phenomenal and unmatched to anything I've ever had before.
Strain: After about five hours or so of use, the headphones begin to strain my right ear. It's nothing major, and some minor adjustments fix the problem, but it's still there.
Not good for laying down: If you listen to music on your bed you wont be able to sit on any angle other than laying straight. Lean a little to the right or to the left and the headphones will hit the bed cause of the circle bulky thing in the middle of the outside ear pads and will cause discomfort.
Warm: They're made of leather so they do heat up my ears a bit during while using them in warm weather (nothing of apocalyptic proportions). Using them during the winter would be great cause they may double for ear-muffs.
Final word: They're worth every penny of 350 dollars. (35,000 pennies exact worth ftw!). My friends and I have done extensive research, and because we trust people who we consider to be considerably smarter than us, I can definitely say that anything less than $350 is an absolute bargain. Our research also yielded evidence for these to be considered the best closed-back-portable headphones ever.
If you need portability and do not want to sacrifice sound or style then BUY THESE HEADPHONES. At the time of this review they were selling for less than $200 and I guarantee you you will not find a better buy anywhere for amazing quality and sound.
They're worth every penny, and they're the best portable headphones out there.
on August 30, 2013
I won't lie. I second guessed myself when I bought these. The price was so high, and I was worried by some other reviews about the comfort. I actually tried to cancel the order, but it was already out to be shipped, so I would've had to have shipped it back. I couldn't do that after I had it.
They have the highest audio of any device, speakers or headphones, that I have ever owned. It's kind of interesting, because I can also hear the difference in the quality of audio files that I play now. It had never mattered in the past.
They are also the most comfortable, being incredibly light and soft on my head, my previous headphones being the bose AEi2 headphones. They feel about the same for comfort at first, but with the bose my ears would begin to get hot after a while. I wore these for 3 hours last night and was as comfortable when I took them off as when I put them on. They have not fallen off or come loose while walking or biking, despite the low clamp force.
I am a little less sure about the sliding component. On one hand, it's a simple design, it keeps everything in place and is easy to change. On the other hand, I feel constantly unsure that they are even on both side. A detriment to my minor OCD issues. That said, it IS my only complaint about these headphones.
So yes. I greatly enjoy these headphones and am glad that I did not cancel their order.
on March 29, 2013
I spend lots of time researching headphones before deciding on these. A great place to get advice is head-fi.org and there are very knowledgeable people there. But I need a pair of closed back headphones that were comfortable for long periods of time while studying. I had the Phiaton MS-400 previously but my ears hit the grills of the headphones and hurt after a few hours. Before buying them I went to a Best Buy and tried them on. The padding is very thick which is very comfortable. The only issue is that the openings are small for people with larger ears. I would highly recommend trying these on before buying them. Also with the real leather used on the ear pads, they breath well and feel great!
The cable is also really nice and detachable. It comes with two cables. One straight and one with an apple remote. The one with the apple remote has a nice swivel connector that is great when your phone is in your pocket. And the case is great and will protect the headphones. The only thing is I wish the folded to a smaller size but that is fine that they do not.
Sound quality is amazing. The audio is warm and has just enough base. Unlike the Beats line the base is not overwhelming and drowns out the mid's. They sound very similar to the Phiaton MS-400.
Ear cups smaller than others
P.S. The V-Moda M100 are very similar.
on September 30, 2015
I have been doing a very thorough research before buying these headphones because as you know, these are not the cheapest there is out there.
I saw the good and bad points. One of the main point that comes up is “the head cups are too small” and “you must have 10 year old ears”, etc. so to make it easy for you to compare, the size is equal to 3 penny and almost half. That is about 2 inch. Is it too small? I don’t think so. I had many people and friends trying them and not a single one of them complained about this point.
I was used to one of my friend’s “Dre Beats Studio”. That means “I love base and a lot of it” type of headphones. So I tried the momentum. I was a bit disappointed at first because all the reviews around the internet said “great”, “the best”, “exceptional”, etc. but then I went to bet and listened to random songs, from Skrillex to Tailor Swift to classic Vivaldi and let me tell you – this was an amazing experience. I started hearing minor details that I never heard, the voice of Tailor swift between a verse and another and her breathing (not kidding!). I could head the lady singing in “Ease My Mind” (Skrillex) and she would move out of the rest of the instruments and be clear. It was like having her to my right and the rest of the band to my left and feeling the drums INDIVIDUALY rather than a big mush of instruments and boom boom. Before I realized it, it was already super late and I was IN the music. Great.
These are very very very light. Trust me. You can hold them in one hand, they are small and when you see around other reviews saying “the head band has little padding but it’s not really needed” it’s true, very much so. The head band feels like it’s there… because!
Design is great, classic, retro but at the same time modern and appealing.
$300 was a bit much for the original price but hey, $150 now? Just take them. The case IS a bit too big but if you are willing to spend all that money for good quality headphones, you want them to be well protected and that is exactly what this is. I just got them yesterday night so I will try them more and give you some more feedback. Honestly, Sennheiser does something good and that is certainly headphones so why ask or wait? Over to you. Hope this helped.
**UPDATE 22 OCT 2015**
I have been using these for a couple of weeks now. I use them in my bed mainly before sleeping for 20-30 minutes. I started noticing some little white dots on the ear cups, on the leather. They are tiny but visible and there are more and more (about 20-30 now). I am a bit disappointed cause I did NO exercise, no sweating and no... nothing! So I put 3 stars as I am returning them and will get another pair - same model - and see how it goes. for the rest - I am still in love with these headphones and I believe it is just a defect of my very pair.
"Senns," as they are called in the audiophile world, are major players in the headphone market, and I trust their quality. I have an open pair, the HD-598, which are my favorite. I also own the less pricey 239 model, which are also circumaural and open-backed. The vented (open) design allows air to escape and the sound to be more natural (not noise canceling), allowing more nuanced, ambient sound in without ever getting distortion.
I don't have the language of these technical experts that are reviewing the same headphones here, so consider my review as basic, from a lay person's viewpoint (but I am a lover of sound!). On the other hand, I am baffled that some reviewers are comparing these to the HD-598 cans. Open-back is a whole different experience, which allows outside sound to leak in. I prefer them when intensely listening to music--whether rock, jazz, or blues. These Momentums are also circumaural (covering the whole ear), but closed-back.
In my humble opinion, the Momentums should be compared--for purposes of reviewing--to others in its type. Now, I believe that open-backed are generally superior, as they are designed for subtlety and naturalness, but my review reflects my expectations of closed-back cans.
I consider my ears to be medium-sized for a woman, and these fit me perfectly. Even when I wear glasses, the fit is superb. Some of the reviewers complain that these are too small for their ears; in that case, I can understand the sound being inferior for them. If the Momentum fit is ON your ear (supra-aural), instead of the way they are intended (over the ear), then the design of the Momentums will not be as intended for your ears. I agree that these could have had a bigger circumference. Most men are not going to have small enough ears for these to fit circumaurally. They are definitely smaller around than my 598s. One thing I have learned by experience is that if the cans don't fit, the sound won't be "it."
I broke these in for 72 hours. I use these a lot for movies and for casually listening to music. The sound is warm rather than bright, but I get a lot of clarity when listening to dialogue. If I am in the mood for The Dark Side Of The Moon - Experience Version, or Emerson Lake & Palmer - Brain Salad Surgery (DVD Audio), I will switch to my 598 open cans, definitely. However, the Momentums are perfectly capable, with strong and resonant treble, if I am in the mood for Steely Dan's Pretzel Logic,Billie Holiday Love Songs, Louis Armstrong's Definitive Collection or any of my classical music collections. These provide ample sound separation and rich texture. Movie sound is pretty nice and tight, too. I experienced no fatigue and am able to wear these for many hours.
As for construction, these are works of art. The ear pads are made from luxurious leather from British manufacturer Pittards and are a sensual delight on the sensitive ears. The mix with metal is a sexy combo. The sturdy hard shell brown case will protect the cans, and is handsome and lightweight to carry. I would probably not carry these around much, though, because I have smaller Senns that I can tote for my ipad/ipod. I will keep these for home. 4.5 stars rounded up.
"If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it..."--Duke Orsino, Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, 1602
"We all go Do, Re, Mi, but you've gotta find all the other notes yourself."
― Louis Armstrong
on January 26, 2015
I have tested multiple headphones within this price range. Those ranging from Bose, Bang & Olufsen, Beats, Bowers & Wilkins, Martin Logan, Harmon Kardon, KEF, AKG, Beyerdynamic and V-Moda. The headphones that were closest in sound to the Momentums were the V-Moda Crossfade M-100. The Sennheiser Momentum is nothing short than amazing in sound and aesthetically beautiful. The treble is crisp and warm giving you that front stage studio sound, along with the midrange being detailed and vibrant. The low frequency bass has a nice smooth exertion that gives off a sense of depth, extension and tightness that has an organic sound. The headphones are very comfortable for extended listening and the supplied fabric hard case is really nice. There are two complaints I have with these headphones. The two audio cables provided are low quality silver plated connectors that also use a proprietary male connector that connects into the ear cup. Its uncertain why a pair of $300 headphones would not use a 24K gold plated audio cable. This frustrates me until I am able to find a better cable to use. I would also suggest being able to plug the male connector into either ear cups, as the V-Moda allows you to do this. Sennheiser, please fix this and provide better cables for your consumers spending this kind of money on headphones. My last complaint is partially the design. The leather headband has partially exposed wiring that leads into both ear cups. Both exposed wires can sometimes be snagged on materials or objects during travel or other reasons. Sennheiser should go back to the drawing board and design these in a way these wires can be hidden without exposure. I am aware Sennheiser does make many other models that do not expose the wires. The conclusion is these are phenomenal headphones that sound amazing no matter what genre of music you throw at them.
on January 2, 2014
I'll keep it simple for those of you looking for the 'best' or 'richest, warmest' sound for headphones in this price range look no further.
The Momentums sound better than any other I tried. Including but not limited to Beats Pro, Bose QC15, B&W P7's.
You can find much more extensive reviews on all of these headphones already written so I will not duplicate all of their work.
I'll simply give you this quick summary of all of them.
Sennheiser Momentums (Best Sounding)
Bose QC15 (Most comfortable, Best noise canceling, but sound quality is greatly lacking compared to others)
Beats (Very bass heavy (No surprise) not bad sound, but loses in every other category)
Bowers & Wilkins P7's (Excellent sound, comparable to the Momentums, but more expensive and just a hair less 'rich' than the Momentums IMO.
If you want great sound BUY THESE, look no further. I rehash this point one more time because all the other reviews made it hard for me to tell how much better these might sound than the Bose, and since they get rave reviews in other categories I thought I would try the Bose. NO COMPARISON. Sennheiser's are FAR superior sounding.
If you want noise canceling and sound is a secondary thought for you (for example my wife thinks all of them sound the same)
buy the Bose QC15, They are both comfortable but the Bose QC15 are the most comfortable headphones I've ever worn.
Hope this helps!