Comfortable, gorgeous, and blessed with superlative noise-cancellation and superb sound quality – but at £380 you'd expect nothing less
- Superb sound quality
- Gorgeous design
- Noise-cancellation is always on
It’s probably safe to say that the Momentum Wireless was not one of the “best wireless headphones of 2015”. The original model launched last year had some Bluetooth problems that sometimes caused the headphones to pick up interference from other devices nearby. That resulted in a recall of many units and a bit of head-scratching before Sennheiser eventually released an updated “Rev 2” version that now provides the quality and reliability that you’d expect from such an expensive set of headphones. (And, just to be precise, the model number on the bottom of the box should be “M2 AEBT” while the barcode number should end with “REVO2”.)
Design and features
And, admittedly, the Momentum Wireless headphones are expensive, even when compared with high-end rivals such as our beloved Bose QC35. They’re a classy piece of kit, though, and work hard to justify the £380 price tag. The stainless-steel headband gleams as you remove the headphones from the padded carrying case, and the leather-clad earpieces – available in either black or ivory – are thickly padded and very comfortable as they wrap themselves right around your entire ear. There’s more padding on the headband for extra comfort, and the earpieces fold inwards when you’re not using them so that you can stow them in a backpack or briefcase with no trouble at all.
Thankfully, the Bluetooth problems do seem to be a thing of the past, and the Momentum Wireless provided a stable, uninterrupted connection as I wandered from room to room at home. We did, however, discover one technical quirk in their design. Like many high-end Bluetooth headphones, the Momentum Wireless includes noise-cancellation technology – yet, oddly, the noise-cancellation isn’t simply an option that you can turn on or off. If Bluetooth is on, then the noise cancellation is on too, so you can’t turn it off if you want to have a quick chat with someone nearby, or simply save a bit of battery power on a long journey. Fortunately, the maximum 22-hour battery life is still quite respectable, and Sennheiser also includes a standard audio cable so that you can use the headphones in wired mode if you need to. There’s also an adapter included for use with airline music systems.
And, above all else, the traditional Sennheiser sound quality is present and correct in both wired and wireless modes, along with AptX support for mobile devices that can use it. The mid and high frequencies sound clear and detailed, even with Queen piling on the harmonies in “Somebody To Love”, but there’s also a warm texture to the sound that feels as good on your ears as the plush leather earpieces. The bass is perhaps more neutral – firm and full, but not with the extra emphasis of some headphone brands. Party animals might prefer something with more pronounced bass, but the clarity of the Momentum Wireless on the mid and high frequencies means that they work a treat with rock and pop, as well as gentler acoustic and classical music.
For most people, the biggest stumbling block for the Sennheisers is the price. These are seriously expensive headphones, even by high-end wireless standards. Still, if you can’t quite stretch to the £380 price tag, there’s a second model called the Momentum On-Ear Wireless that, as the name suggests, offers similar sound quality and features but with a more compact on-ear design, for around £280. If anything less than the best simply won’t do, however, then these ‘phones offer a seriously luxurious sound for a suitably luxurious price.