Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless review
$347 USD ($559.00 AUD, £375.99)
Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless
• Stylish looks
• Unsurpassed build quality
• Thick, punchy low end
• Simple, user-friendly control scheme
• Consistent sound throughout different modes
• Bass response will be too much for some
• A little light on the feature set
• On the pricey side
The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless is the company’s flagship set of wireless noise-cancelling headphones. The closed, over-ear model has a bass-heavy response aimed at contemporary music fans. With leather earcups and other premium materials, Sennheiser have spared no expense here. The model also comes with a premium price-tag: $347 USD (£375.99, $559.00 AUD *Sennheiser Australia is currently offering a cashback deal on the range – see the bottom of the page for details). Depending on what you’re looking for in a headphone, they very well could be worth the investment.
Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless delivers bass-focused sound
Sennheiser’s wireless noise-cancelling headphones are aimed at everyday music fans, not audiophiles. The Momentum 2.0 Wireless is true to form here. The first thing you’ll notice about this model is the massive bass response. The mids are recessed and the highs are boosted, but not to the same degree as the lows. The Momentum 2.0 Wireless is right at home with hip hop, electronic music, R&B and pop. It’s also a good contender for rock and metal. With the amount of bass presence it probably wouldn’t be the finest choice if you listen to a lot of retro music or classical.
The bass is very detailed and tight. There is a huge amount of bass present, but Sennheiser doesn’t let it get muddy. Some Bluetooth headphones lose depth in the bass response when operating wirelessly, but the Momentum 2.0 Wireless still sounds thick and full. The sound quality is remarkably even between wireless and wired modes, as well as noise cancellation and non-noise cancellation modes. I A/B’d the headphones between wired and wireless modes. Overall wired has more clarity and separation, and the bass is tighter. That said, before I went through the A/B process I couldn’t tell the difference.
The headphones provide very good separation between different layers and instruments. It’s not the type of separation you’ll get with headphones intended for professional applications, but then again people will not be buying these to mix a record on.
From Bring Me the Horizon to The Weeknd: Momentum 2.0 performance
Listening to The House of Wolves by Bring Me the Horizon, the rhythm guitars are pushed back a little while the bass and lower register drums move forward. The vocals are also brought to the front. This is a headphone which will have you noticing details in the bass guitar and drums which you haven’t heard before.
Spinning The Weeknd’s Starboy, the bass line and kick sounds thick, full and in-your-face. Abel’s crooning is front and centre and you can hear all the details in his vocal track. The hi-hats and the synth tom pattern are pushed back a little. The EQ of the headphones seems to smooth over any harshness in the mix, and as a result long listening sessions are a breeze. Sennheiser apparently designed the headphone to reproduced highly compressed music in a way that is not fatiguing.
Medium-strength noise cancellation
Like many noise-cancelling models, the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless does produce a subtle sensation of air-pressure on the ear drums while the mode is active. I was aware of it, although it’s worth noting that most reviewers and buyers said they did not feel any such sensation. If you think it could be an issue it’s best to try out the headphones yourself.
The active noise cancellation removes almost all external low and mid-range noise. When high volume noise is nearby, you can still hear some of the treble coming through, although even that is reduced to about one third of its original volume. For example, standing on the sidewalk, the roar of passing cars’ engines is almost totally removed. You can still hear the noise of them moving along but the character of the sound is different and the volume is heavily reduced.
I’d say the Momentum Wireless does not have quite the same strength of cancellation of the more recently-released PXC 550 Wireless. The latter model is perhaps 20 per cent stronger in terms of cancellation. Both models produce a sublime feeling of isolation that allows you to focus on the task at hand. I currently live in a house with four people who do tend to create a fair bit of noise while cooking, socialising etc. and while wearing the Momentums I can’t hear any of it.
Sennheiser deliver classy cans
The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless is a very stylish set of cans. Sennheiser have gone for a refined look rather than a modern, hip look. If you want an alternative to the loud colours of many Beats models, this is the way to go. The mix of leather and (lightweight) metal provides a unique look. There’s no loud logos or anything – it’s all about understated class.
In terms of usability, the Momentum gets a big thumbs up. It’s an increasing trend for wireless noise-cancelling headphones to have touch controls, but Sennheiser have gone for a traditional button control scheme here. The controls are laid out in a clear manner, are sturdily constructed and are easy to use. The call quality is excellent, as you would expect for a headphone in this price-range. There are different versions available designed to cover users of Android, iOS and Windows devices.
22 hours of battery life from a 3-hour charge
The headphones fold up easily and quickly. The semi-rigid case looks nice and is generous in terms of space. You also have the alternative of using the included felt bag. The presentation is very, very good, both of the headphones and the accessories. It’s got that Apple kind of feel to it where everything is presented in a very aesthetically pleasing way. The headphones offer 22 hours of wireless battery life off a single charge, which is more than enough to get you through the day.
The included 1.4 m cable has an angled jack plug for the phone end and a straight plug for the headphone end. Both are tough and durable despite the slimline design. Sennheiser have raised the angled jack enough to account for phone cases. The straight jack has a simple locking mechanism to keep it tethered to the headphones. This is easy to attach/detach and is a nice little touch.
Scoring the Momentum 2.0 Wireless in the comfort department
In terms of comfort the Momentum 2.0 Wireless scores fairly well. The leather pads are thick and luxurious. The cans were a little tight on my (admittedly quite large) head. I had to spend some time stretching them out before they started to feel right. If you think this might be a problem it’s definitely worth trying them out in person.
A consideration of the downsides
What are the downsides? Compared to some wireless noise-cancelling headphones, the feature-set is a little light. There’s no ability to customise the EQ or noise cancellation. Sennheiser introduced these features for the recently released PXC 550 Wireless Headphones, which is another noise-cancelling model (check out our full review here). You also can’t turn off the noise-cancellation at will on the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless. If you operate the headphones in wired mode and don’t turn them on, then the noise-cancellation does not engage. But there’s no way to turn it off on wireless mode. The lack of EQ didn’t really bother me, but some more options with the noise-cancellation would have been appreciated.
Stacking up the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless against the competition
So how does the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless stack up against the competition? The build quality is higher than other wireless noise-cancelling headphones I’ve tried at this price-point, and the unique look is something you won’t get elsewhere. Both the Momentum 2.0 Wireless and the Sennheiser PXC 550 Wireless have a bass-heavy response, although the Momentum has an even greater focus on the low-end. As mentioned above the PXC 550 Wireless does have more audio customisation options. At $399 USD you pay $50 more for the PXC 550 than the Momentum 2.0 Wireless.
Looking at other manufacturers, the Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones are comparable in features and price ($349 USD). The QC35 has a more even sound profile than the Momentum 2.0 Wireless. It’s still a tailored response intended for contemporary music, but there’s less emphasis on bass. The Bose model has stronger noise cancellation than the Momentum 2.0. The Bose noise cancellation cannot be turned off when the headphones are being used wirelessly. If you want a headphone with that ability, the PXC 550 Wireless would be a good bet.
The Beats Studio Wireless is a more affordable wireless noise-cancelling headphone at $249.99 USD. The battery life is significantly shorter at 12 hours. The Studio Wireless has a similar bass-focused sound profile as the Momentum 2.0 Wireless. However the Beats model doesn’t offer quite the same clarity throughout the spectrum.
The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless is an excellent, if somewhat pricy, high-end wireless noise-cancelling headphone. The construction and classy looks can’t be beat. It offers a tight, bass-focused sound paired with medium-strength noise cancellation. The comfort is pretty good, although with any model it’s best to try it yourself before buying. It doesn’t have the audio customisation of its younger brother the PXC 550 Wireless, although you can also snap up the Momentum 2.0 for $50 less. If you live for big bass and like to enjoy your tunes in blissful silence, these could be the set of cans for you.
Cashback deal for Australian buyers: Sennheiser Australia currently has a cashback deal for models within the Momentum range. Over-ear models will attract a $100 cashback deal and on-ear models a $75 deal. See the Sennheiser Australia page for more details.
United Kingdom: JohnLewis, Currys
International: Ebay, BHphotovideo, Sears
I was pleased with a quality of noise reduction implemented in Momentum 2, and found no annoying hissing or periodic pulsating white noise.
The bass presence is excellent and builds a strong warm foundation without muddying the sound or overwhelming the rest of the frequency range.
They weigh less than I expected, and are quite comfortable and don't tend to move around on my head.
Very long battery life, speaks for itself. Batteries either last or they don't and these do!
- Color: black, ivory
- Impedance passive: 28 Ω
- Impedance active: 480 Ω
- Frequency response (microphone) Wideband: 100 - 8,000Hz
- Frequency response (microphone) Narrowband: 300 - 3,400Hz
- Pick-up pattern Dual omni-directional microphone (2 mic beamforming array)
- Jack plug: 3.5 mm, angled
- Cable length: 1.4 m (Detachable)
- Attenuation: Up to 25dB
- Charging time: Approx. 3 hrs
- Operating time: 22hrs (HFP + ANC)
- Battery Specification: Rechargeable Lithium-ion Polymer (600mAh)
- Codecs: apt-X®
- NoiseGard™ noise compensation: NoiseGard™ Hybrid technology with 4 pick-up microphones