Sennheiser’s Momentum range was designed to bring the company’s reputation for high-performance studio and domestic headphones to the iListener. Those decades of experience stood for nothing with the iPhone generation, unless the end result sounded good enough on the end of a smartphone. Fortunately, in closed-back broadcast designs like the evergreen HD-25 series, Sennheiser had a perfect template – a headphone that was at once easy to drive, lightweight, and designed to keep music in and environmental sound out. In fact, the HD-25 remains a popular choice among iPhone and Android users today, despite a lack of inline microphone and a utilitarian appearance.
Momentum was hugely successful for the company, and Sennheiser decided to give the Momentum line a small ‘2.0’ upgrade and refresh. And to keep the line in the news, it came up with the Momentum Wireless.
In effect, Sennheiser’s Momentum Wireless needs to be three headphones in one. Momentum Wireless has to retain at least some of the sound quality of its Momentum stable-mates, but it also has to work well as a Bluetooth wireless device, connecting to phones, pads, tablets, and laptops. The third component is its noise-cancellation performance, using the latest version of Sennheiser’s own NoiseGuard active system. But it’s also a style-led design, with the foldaway Momentums supplied in their own dedicated pouch and with a timeless look in black or ivory.
We were supplied the black models and they do look great. The headband is wrapped in brown, ivory-stitched pleather, with medium soft pads protecting your pate from the two bars across your head. The metal bars the earcups move on are hinged (for folding), and afford the earcups a great degree of movement and adjustment. It’s simple, but effective. The earpads themselves are also thick pleather; well padded and jet black (in contrast to the yellow foam pads that hide the drive units). The right-hand earcup contains the active circuitry, which is charged from a USB output from a computer. There is also a wired cable for times when Bluetooth is not recommended (as in, on a plane). A two-jack in flight socket is also supplied. A full juicing from a USB socket gives the listener up to 22 hours of listening and noise cancellation, a figure that seems broadly accurate in reality. And while spending 22 hours in one stretch with these headphones on is unlikely, they are extremely comfortable in use. You can spend hours with them with almost no sense of weight or discomfort, and even without noise cancellation in use (using them wired with no active electronics switched on) they cut out a lot of extraneous noise.