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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.

Wow. There was obviously a lot of thought and effort that went into designing these headphones for a more polished appeal.

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.

Ignoring one notable error in the mids, the frequency response of the Sennheiser Momentum is actually quite good.

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.

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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.
Sure, they look the part, but do they sound it? Mostly, but there are some perplexing errors that will make audiophiles hit pause before buying.
For the vast majority of the range of audible sound, the frequency response of the Momentum is actually quite good: it resembles an equal-loudness contour, though it's a little bit flatter, which is a welcome way to handle consumer audio. That one cutout happens at the highest couple notes on a piano and the attack on most cymbals, which will definitely be noticeable in music that uses those notes.

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Apart from a short range in the mids, the tracking on the is baffling, to say the least. For whatever reason, they are seemingly unable to keep sound at a constant volume in each channel, favoring the right speaker the lower the frequencies go.

In the high end, the problems that supposedly went away in the mids rear their ugly head again, though the channel preference is now more erratic. Also present is that cut-out between 4 and 5kHz.

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It doesn't give you much isolation from low-end sound, but the does give you freedom from high-pitched outside noise. Unfortunately, it will only halve or quarter a screaming baby, but every little bit helps. Similarly, these cans tend to corral their own sound fairly well, though they do leak a bit at volume. I'd suggest not cranking it if at all possible, although if your surroundings are noisy, these won't ring out above the din of the world.

If you were to bump your beats up to 115.35dB, you'd notice a general level of distortion hitting 3%, which gets quite annoying. Still, you should limit listening to music at this volume anyways, as prolonged exposure to a sound pressure level that high can damage your hearing.

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Meet the tester

Chris Thomas

Chris Thomas

Staff Writer, Imaging

@cthomas8888

A seasoned writer and professional photographer, Chris reviews cameras, headphones, smartphones, laptops, and lenses. Educated in Political Science and Linguistics, Chris can often be found building a robot army, snowboarding, or getting ink.

See all of Chris Thomas's reviews

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