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Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear review

Kat Orphanides
26 Aug 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
170
inc VAT

These stylish on-ear headphones have the high grade audio quality we expect from Sennheiser's premium range

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We were blown away by the Sennheiser Momentum headphones, released earlier this year, but their size and price meant that they certainly weren't suitable for everyone. With the new Momentum On-Ear headphones, Sennheiser has retained the build quality of the larger over-ear headphones in a more compact form.

Senneheiser Momentum On-Ear

Sennheiser has successfully retained the larger headphones' audio quality in this smaller design, too. The bass is vibrant and prominent in the overall sound, but doesn't overwhelm treble and mid-range detail, although it was quite noticeable when compared to our flatter reference, particularly on busy tracks with a pulsing bassline. This was particularly audible on our metal and industrial test tracks, particularly at high volumes. However, we were pleased by the absolute clarity of heavily layered instruments and vocals in our most complex test tracks and loved their reproduction of jazz and world music.

Vocals in general sounded brilliant, with every subtle vocal detail of complex choral sections clearly audible on tracks from Coope, Boyes and Simpson's a cappella Jerusalem Revisited to the full orchestra, band and choir of Turisas's End of an Empire. Less bombastic recordings also fared well, with the emotive vocals and strings of Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World benefiting from the headphones' spacious sound and excellent stereo separation.

Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear

The headphones are available in four colours: white, blue, green and pink, with further shades to follow later in the year. They're beautifully designed, sturdy and remarkably light, which is always desirable in a pair of headphones you intend to use on the move. The padded cups sat comfortably on our ears without exerting any uncomfortable pressure. Despite their soft fabric finish, they didn't get too hot even on a warm summer's day, although we imagine they could become a little unpleasant if you get sweaty.

Senneheiser Momentum On-Ear

There's not much sound isolation, but with our music switched on, not too much background noise from our office was audible. Trains were a little more challenging, though, forcing us to raise the volume to overcome background sound. While at low volumes you're unlikely to disturb those around you, the on-ear design meant that some sound was able to escape and be heard by our neighbours, despite the headphones' closed-backed cups.

The Momentum headphones come with two detachable cables. One has an in-line microphone and volume control for use with a mobile phone and the other is a straight stereo cable for use with your computer. Both measure 1.4m. Also supplied is a bulky, semi-rigid carrying case and a thin cloth pouch. When travelling, we spent more time with the headphones on our ears or around our neck than in their case.

Senneheiser Momentum On-Ear

Although they don't have particularly good sound isolation, the Momentum On-Ears are a great buy if you want headphones that you can use comfortably in a variety settings, whether you're in a quiet room at home, in the office, or on public transport. Their light weight makes them far more comfortable and practical to wear on the move than most headphones capable of producing this kind of sound quality.

At £170, they're around £90 cheaper than the over-ear Momentums, but still sound fantastic and are comfortable to wear. These are the best on-ear headphones we've ever heard. However, for long-term listening sessions at home, we found the over-ear design and slightly flatter sound of the full-sized Momentums just that little bit more comfortable.

Details

Price£170
Detailswww.sennheiser.co.uk
Rating*****

Specifications

Typeon-ear headphones
Driverclosed
Active noise-cancellingno
Power sourcenone
Sensitivity44dB
Frequency response16-22,000Hz
Impedence18 ohms
Plug type3.5mm headset jack plug
Inline volumeYes
Cable length1.40m
Extrassoft carrying case, rigid carrying case, alternative cable with straight 3.5mm stereo jack plug

Buying Information

Price£170
Supplierhttp://www.johnlewis.com
Detailswww.sennheiser.co.uk

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