Sennheiser Momentum Wireless

Now that the 3.5mm headphone jack is firmly on the endangered species list, manufacturers have been working flat out to ensure that not only do their products function without one, but they also offer all the bells and whistles that come with a state of the art Bluetooth connection. Sennheiser has had a wireless member of its Momentum family for some years, but the latest addition adds some useful extra functionality.

The Momentum Wireless has Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX and AAC codec support and is built around a pair of 42mm drivers offering a claimed frequency response of 6Hz to 22kHz. It will additionally support wired connection via a USB-C port and 3.5mm jack socket. The Momentum also benefits from Sennheiser’s active noise-cancelling system with three modes including a voice passthrough mode to ensure you don’t miss out on what’s going on around you. There is a microphone for making and receiving calls and for using your phone’s voice assistant.

Music pauses when the headphone is removed from the head and restarts when reapplied. Information on its status is relayed by a clear voice and Sennheiser has duplicated the controls located on the right-hand housing on its smart control app. This provides access to an equaliser that is useful for making small sound adjustments. The only slight annoyance is that the app isn’t compatible with one of my Android phones, although it works with others and iOS, but check before you buy.

Available in black only, build quality is extremely high and it’s foldable so that it can easily be transported. More importantly, it’s comfortable to wear, and has a wide range of adjustments to ensure a perfect fit.

Sound quality
Connected via Bluetooth, it is silent at idle, with no obvious clues that it isn’t conventionally wired up. The connection is entirely stable up to a few metres from the transmitting device. This ensures that music isn’t affected by unwanted background noise and the sparse Shadow Queen by the Alba Griot Ensemble sounds immediate and believable as a result. The interplay between the guitar and harp as well as the vocal harmonies is easy to follow. For a closed-back design, there is very little feeling of constraint to the soundstage.

If you select something a bit more ballistic like Resonant Body by Octo Octa, the Sennheiser responds effortlessly. The driving rhythm of Can You See Me? is deep – effortlessly subsonic, even – and detailed without losing the energy and speed that’s needed to sound convincing.

In fact, this might be the most consistently entertaining Sennheiser headphone I can recall testing. It blasts its way through Barns Courtney’s 404 capturing the energy and intensity of the music without dwelling on the limitations of the recording itself. It is at times like this that the equaliser function has some tangible benefits as you can back off the upper registers fractionally for a more civilised performance. This is also useful when adjusting the tonal balance to compensate for using the noise cancelling, although the amount of adjustment required is impressively small. If you switch it on when there is little external background noise, its effect is so subtle as to make me briefly question whether it is actually working. The level of noise reduction it applies in noisier environments is impressive and is very effective while listening on public transport.

The ability to pause playback by removing the headphone is genuinely handy and while intoning voice commands to your phone into free space feels strange, it does work like a charm. The latest generation of the Momentum keeps the excellent aesthetic of the design and manages to combine it with a comprehensive, well-implemented and genuinely useful set of features. The result is an outstanding all-rounder and one of the best-sounding affordable wireless headphones I’ve heard. ES    

Product: Sennheiser Momentum Wireless
Price: £350
Origin: Germany/China
Type: On-ear, closed-back wireless headphone
Weight: 305g

● 42mm dynamic driver
● AptX and AAC Bluetooth wireless
● Noise-cancelling
● 17 hours listening time (with Bluetooth and noise cancelling activated)

Read the full review in November 2019 issue 455

Sennheiser UK
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