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Sennheiser Momentum review

Best portable on-ears £200-£300, Awards 2013. Great looks, great sound, great headphones Tested at £260

Our Verdict

Best portable on-ears £200-£300, Awards 2013. Smooth, punchy, refined all-rounders – and great-looking too

For

  • Premium design
  • Dynamic, balanced and enjoyable sound
  • Comfortable
  • Choice of cables and connections

Against

  • Chunky carry case
  • Not the most portable in design

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Best portable on-ears £200-£300, Awards 2013. Smooth, punchy, refined all-rounders – and great-looking too

Pros

  • + Premium design
  • + Dynamic, balanced and enjoyable sound
  • + Comfortable
  • + Choice of cables and connections

Cons

  • - Chunky carry case
  • - Not the most portable in design

The Sennheiser Momentum headphones have a space to fill. Arguably one of the only gaps in Sennheiser’s extensive range of headphones is a pair of really stylish on-ears to tempt the most fashion-forward of audiophiles.

Video review

And with the headphones market steadily putting more emphasis on cans that not only sound good, but look good too, Sennheiser’s range was in need of a pair of headphones that could offer the best of both worlds.

MORE: Awards 2013

Enter the Sennheiser Momentum headphones. Just one look at their leather and steel headband and the bronze-finish cans with soft leather ear cups, and they instantly have the style box ticked.

Accessories

In the rather chunky carry case, you’ll find two durable rubber cables - one plain and one with a metal inline mic and remote for controlling your music (if you’re using an iOS device) and taking calls when hooked up to your phone.

The 3.5mm jack on both cables features a handy hinge that allows it to bend to a 90-degree angle, which works well for giving it some flexibility when connected to a device in your pocket, for example.

There’s also a full-size 6.3mm jack adaptor included, for plugging them straight into your hi-fi when you’re back home.

Design

Despite their premium materials, the Momentums are lightweight and really comfortable to wear. We’ve tested them at length and never found them to be tiring on the ears, something not all over-ear cans manage as well.

But while this makes them good for taking on the go, their solid design does make them somewhat less portable than some of the competition. Keep these in the carry case when you’re traveling and they’ll take up a fair bit of space indeed.

Speaking of on the go, these speakers do a fairly good job of not leaking sound, which should make your fellow commuters happy.

They aren’t noise cancelling, so they aren’t going to block out every last bit of noise from your surroundings, but they’ll do enough that it shouldn’t disturb your tunes too much.

Performance

Keen to separate themselves from bass-booming ‘fashion headphones’, the Momentums do things a lot differently from some of its competitors.

Instead of showing a bias towards the low-end, they are smooth and balanced from top to bottom, offering tight, full-bodied bass, with plenty of detail through the mids and a treble that is never harsh or overdone. It’s a clear, dynamic and enjoyable listen that works well with a variety of genres.

For closed back cans, we were also impressed at the feeling of space the Momentums offered too, with a wide, unconstrained sound that we’re more used to hearing from a pair of open back headphones.

Verdict

At £260 they certainly aren’t the cheapest among their competitors, but their refreshingly balanced sound and great design makes them worth every penny, easily putting them among our favourite on-the-go headphones.

MORE: Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear review

MORE: Best on-ear headphones 2014

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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