I remember Sennheiser’s CX300-II being my favorite in-ear model for quite some time when I was still a student. I moved to some other brands after that, explored Chinese offerings, etc. Now, I’m really glad to test another award-winning product from the brand, thanks to my friend Vesa.
BUILD AND FIT
The first thing I’ve noticed when picked them up is how light these buds actually are. Unlike so many earphones nowadays, these are almost entirely made out of plastic. It might not feel premium but it sure is practical – I don’t remember last time earphones stayed so securely in my ear while I’m moving around.
The cable is quite thin and lightweight too, and not removable. It has a rubbery feel to it and I’m happy to report it doesn’t tangle at all. The downside of this lightweight build is that cable is quite microphonic. It is prone to picking up your movements as it rubs off your clothes.
I’m happy to say that Momentum in-ears are not picky about the source. They’ll happily cooperate with a good phone output, but give their best with a reasonably priced DAC dongle like Sonata HD. Moving to Dragonfly Black didn’t yield much improvement.
Sound signature was a surprise for me as it wasn’t a typical Sennheiser affair. I expected warm, to die for, midrange and softened highs, but no sir. What I was treated with instead was something completely different. Bass was prominent, weighty and disciplined – in one word great. The lower midrange has a noticeable dip, while the higher midrange is pronounced. What this means is that vocals are not particularly weighty nor full sounding. That high midrange peak is giving them an edge too. This edge increases the sense of resolution but makes vocals sound more aggressive too. Occasionally harsh sss, hhh, etc. can be heard. Going higher into the frequency response everything sounds fine. Momentum can reveal plenty of atmospheric details on your recordings.
This U shaped signature really took me off guard, because I just wasn’t expecting it from Sennheiser. But moving on there are other qualities here. As I mentioned, bass notes are weighty but well-controlled, never rumbling without a purpose. Overall clarity and instrument separation are great too. Browsing through my Pop and Rock music I had a lot of fun. Due to its sound signature, my favorite Jazz singers didn’t sound as present and rich as I wanted them to.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, I’m exploring Chinese brands these days. That’s why I’ll mention a few great models I wanted to compare Momentums with.
Tin Audio T2 – has a more balanced approach with less weighty bass but fuller midrange. Some consider them to sound a bit thin due to bass restraint, but I believe T2 offers higher fidelity sound then Momentum. Detail retrieval and instrument separation are neck on neck.
BLON BL-03 – Even heavier and punchier bass than we have with Momentum. Similar slight lower midrange dip, but not as pronounced higher midrange. Thanks to that BL-03 sound tamer and never harsh. Basshead haven. Detail retrieval and instrument separation are comparable.
SENFER DT6 – Warmer sound with the fuller but also slightly muddier midbass and midrange. Great with vocals. No harshness and roughness in the upper midrange whatsoever. The highest frequencies are clean but not as pronounced. Compared to Momentums they do sacrifice that last bit of clarity for warmth and fluid-like sound.
As you can see, I believe that all of these are very comparable no matter their wildly different pricing. While DT6 sacrifice some insight for warmth, with T2 and BL-03 you get as incisive sound as with Momentum. Their build is top-notch too.
There’s really little to complain about Momentum In-ears. Although their sound signature is a detour from usual Sennheiser philosophy, for sure. Depending on your preferences you may welcome or dislike the change. As far as established western brands go, this is as good sound as you get at this price. But if you’re willing to shop online for less known brands coming from the east, you’d be able to spend less yet acquire the same sound quality with even more premium build. To quote Bob Dylan – The times they are a-changin‘.
|SENNHEISER MOMENTUM IN-EAR – CHARACTERISTICS|
Impedance: 18 Ohms