Sennheiser Mo­men­tum 2

Porta­bil­ity with­out com­pro­mise on sound or build qual­ity

Mac Format - - RATED | KIT -

£270 Man­u­fac­turer Sennheiser, sennheiser.com Fre­quency 16Hz - 2200Hz Con­nec­tiv­ity 1.4m de­tach­able ca­ble with 3.5mm plug Weight 240g Im­ped­ance 18 Ω

Now that the smart­phone is ubiq­ui­tous and you al­ways have your mu­sic li­brary with you, head­phones have moved from af­ter­thought to big busi­ness.

The ad­van­tage of us­ing big­ger cans rather than ear­buds is that, in gen­eral, they of­fer a more ac­cu­rate and de­tailed sound re­pro­duc­tion thanks to their far larger di­aphragms. A larger sur­face area means fewer com­pro­mises and tricks are re­quired to gen­er­ate a solid bass end. They’re also ar­guably less dam­ag­ing to your hear­ing as they don’t fire sound right into your ear canals. Sennheiser has an ex­cel­lent track record both in the pro and con­sumer au­dio worlds, and makes a wide range of head­phones to suit dif­fer­ent bud­gets.

Th­ese new Mo­men­tum 2 head­phones sit at the up­per end of the scale, an over-ear model de­signed both for lis­ten­ing at home and on the move. Over-ear head­phones are slightly larger than on-ear ones but can be more com­fort­able to wear be­cause they place less pres­sure on the sides of your head. They also usu­ally have the ad­van­tage of iso­lat­ing ex­ter­nal noise and leak­age from in­side, as they com­pletely en­close your ears.

Ro­bust pack­age

Beau­ti­fully pack­aged and with a bun­dled car­ry­ing case, th­ese head­phones are sur­pris­ingly light­weight de­spite be­ing very well built. Ro­bust build with­out ex­tra weight can be tricky to get right but it feels like Sennheiser has nailed it here. The fin­ish is very good too, with stain­less steel and leather fea­tur­ing ex­ten­sively, and soft ear pads. The two cups can ac­tu­ally be folded in to make the whole thing eas­ier to trans­port and less prone to dam­age, and the hinges and cup ad­just­ment slid­ers are re­as­sur­ingly sturdy.

The head­phones are very com­fort­able to wear, even for long pe­ri­ods, thanks to their light weight and the fact that they don’t press down hard on your ears yet still re­main firmly in place.

The ca­ble is de­tach­able and comes with a re­mote con­trol fea­tur­ing play/pause con­trols, vol­ume but­tons and a mi­cro­phone. It’s a lit­tle high up and near to your face so the mic can more eas­ily pick up your voice for phone calls, so you’ll prob­a­bly end up us­ing it by touch rather than by sight.

Jack of all trades

The re­mote sup­ports An­droid as well as Ap­ple’s iOS de­vices, and the head­phones can of course be plugged into any­thing with a mini jack out­put – though there’s no adap­tor pro­vided for con­nect­ing to the larger quar­ter-inch sock­ets.

The sound qual­ity of the Mo­men­tums is ex­cel­lent, pos­si­bly more so when con­nected to an iOS de­vice than a Mac’s head­phone out since iOS de­vices tend to be able to drive lev­els a lit­tle harder. Tested with an iPhone 6, they of­fered a very clear and de­tailed sound­stage with a rich but not over­pow­er­ing bass end and were as adept with gen­tler folk tunes as with thun­der­ing elec­tronic mu­sic. Where a track had a very prom­i­nent mid range, usu­ally mean­ing vo­cals mixed quite high, they did be­come slightly bright at the high­est vol­umes. This is with the iOS EQ con­trol switched off (as it al­ways is here), so you could per­haps tweak this if you found it to be an is­sue.

Th­ese beau­ti­fully pack­aged head­phones are light­weight and com­fort­able de­spite be­ing very well built and fin­ished

Lis­ten­ing to that thun­der­ing elec­tron­ica also showed that there was very lit­tle leak­age of sound ei­ther in from out­side or out from in­side even at high vol­umes, which is good news for the peo­ple sit­ting next to you on the tube or your col­leagues at work.

The bot­tom line is that th­ese are great head­phones, but at a shade un­der £300 they have some strong com­pe­ti­tion at that price point. It’s worth com­par­ing with other sets be­fore you buy. Hollin Jones

The leather and stain­less steel fin­ish makes the head­phones sturdy but light­weight.

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