Sennheiser Momentum Black Review
Extremely polished on the outside, but not so pretty to audiophiles.
Dipping their toes in the water of fashionable mobilewear, Sennheiser released the Momentum Black Edition to the public. While it certainly is slick, and it has a mostly good performance, there's a really bizarre issue in the 3.5kHz range that will make higher notes sound very strange. For $300, this may be enough to give you pause.
Comfort, Design & Features
Sleek, chic headphones
Wow. There was obviously a lot of thought and effort that went into designing these headphones for a more polished appeal. To the outside world, they won't look terribly flashy, but with the right blend of classic design and a popular color scheme, they will definitely catch more eyes than your last pair of headphones.
Due to the soft leather pads on the ear cups and the very low weight, these headphones are very comfortable to wear. Not only does the type of band make for low clamping force, but it also allows a more precise fit that is sometimes tough to get with a notched or click band. In the long haul, though, there is a strange tendency for heat to build up, and sometimes can lead to discomfort and itching over long sessions (mine was ~6 hours). It's not always realistic to think that this will definitely be a problem, but it's something to be aware of if you take it on a long sojourn.
Despite the metal band and detachable cable, these headphones seem rather susceptible to breaking from a good fall. Because of their band design, the weak point is where the plastic meets the metal on the backs, and should that break, your headphones are toast. That's not to say that the Sennheiser Momentums are fragile: quite the contrary. They have a few features like having the most breakable parts of a headphone protected either by metal, or by being replaceable, which is huge. They'll survive normal wear and tear, but massive trauma will still deep-six them.
Fairly good, though there is a rather notable blemish.
Ignoring one notable error in the mids, the frequency response of the Sennheiser Momentum is actually quite good. However, because that error falls well within the range of audible sound, and it's a big one, it's impossible to ignore. Not only will it make music with high notes in a short range sound weird, but it will also clip off some of the harmonic frequencies of lower notes, which may or may not be noticeable to you.
Aside from the issue in the high end, there wasn't much distortion to speak of. However, it's when we look at tracking (which channel gets emphasis), bigger errors get in the way of good performance. Not only do low-frequency sounds tend to favor the right ear over the left, but there is a very strange error in the high end where the aforementioned cut-out happens as well. You will definitely notice some notes coming in one side louder than the other.
It's far from a bad set of headphones, but there are enough foibles to make the Sennheiser Momentum a bit of a risk to buy. Despite their very attractive looks, some aspects of the design may be less durable than users may desire, and there are a few blemishes in the sound performance as well.
For whatever reason, there seems to be a defect in how the headphones handle their current, as a huge spike in distortion (and gap in frequency response) is present at a somewhat prominent range in the response. While it's unlikely that many people will notice it, the peculiarity may be enough to sour those looking for a portable high-end experience, especially when you consider the premium price.
Still, these headphones do have a rather adult appeal, and if you're looking to get your foot in the door to high-fashion headwear, the Sennheiser Momentum is a fantastic piece to look at. With better sound than many other fashion headphones (though not all), the Sennheiser Momentum is worth a listen.
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