Recently, the popularity of true wireless earbuds has taken off. It seems like it’s all anyone ever wants to talk about and there are always new headphones coming out. There are the obvious names that come to mind, such as the Apple AirPods and the Samsung Galaxy Buds, but it’s not just phone makers that are giving it a go at the product category.
Sennheiser is one of the oldest and most trusted brands in audio, and while it might not be the first name you think of when it comes to tech it has still managed to make some great consumer headphones over the years. So what is it like to use the Momentum True Wireless earbuds? Do they live up to the brand or are they a swing and a miss?
Let’s talk build quality
Like most true wireless earbuds, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless earbuds are made entirely of plastic, which makes them lightweight and easy to wear. Despite the earbuds having a metallic look to them, they aren’t heavy at all. You won’t have to worry about gravity forcing these out of your ears, and I didn’t have a problem getting them to stay in place during testing. Unlike AirPods, which have a stem-like design, the Momentum True Wireless just stick to the classic earbud shape. The whole case has a nice design. The earbuds also have an IPX4 rating which means they’re water-resistant. They can handle splashes, rain, and sweat, but you should avoid submerging them in water.
What’s it like to use the True Momentum Wireless?
When you first take the Sennheiser True Momentum Wireless out of the box it can be a little confusing to get everything set up exactly how you want it. When you enter the pairing process make sure to keep the device you want to connect to nearby. This makes it easier for the earbuds to connect. Once you complete setup, you won’t have to mess with the settings again unless you wish to pair to a second device.
Controlling playback is simple. Hold your finger against the left earbud to lower volume, and hold it against the right bud to raise the volume. Tapping once, twice, or three times on the left earbud will pause or play music, skip to the next song, and return to a previous track, respectively. If you want to access a virtual assistant instead, all you have to do is tap the right earbud once.
Pro tip: You should definitely download the Sennheiser app, which includes a few more handy features to help you control how your music sounds.
If you watch a lot of videos on your phone, this is the part you should care about. While plenty of earbuds feature the aptX codec, these take it a step further with aptX low latency compatibility. That means the lag between what you’re watching on screen and what you’re hearing in the earbuds is practically nonexistent, though your source device will also need to be compatible with the codec. This is especially important if you’re going to be connecting to iOS devices, such as an iPhone, as they only support SBC and AAC.
The Bluetooth connection between the earbuds and your source device will range roughly 30 feet, which is standard for most Bluetooth headphones.
How long does the battery last?
We test battery life by putting the earbuds at a constant output of 75dB (which is louder than most people listen) and letting them play music until they die. In our testing, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless earbuds topped out at 3 hours and 45 minutes, which puts them basically in the middle of pack when compared to other buds we’ve tested. The True Wireless are not the worst, but they’re not the best.
For reference, the Beats Powerbeats Pro will last you about 11 hours, while the Soul Emotion earbuds only last about two hours. Thankfully, you can get an extra two charges by tossing the Sennheisers back in the charging case, making for a total of 11 hours of playback. Recharging them takes roughly 1.5 hours.
Do they sound good?
If there is one thing Sennheiser is known for, it’s sound quality. The engineers at Sennheiser tend to under-emphasize the frequencies in the 2.5-7kHz range, where there tend to be resonances in the human ear. As you can see from the frequency response curve above, that’s exactly where these headphones under-emphasize. Despite our equipment and best efforts to calibrate to a head, there will always be variances between our test rig and your ears simply because everyone’s ears are shaped differently.
If you don’t like to have your eyes shake from bass, you’ll probably like these. They have a fairly flat response in the lows, meaning all the notes are going to sound equal in volume. Mids are where the highest fundamental frequencies tend to live in most music (green on the above chart.) Typically, human ears need a little bit of a bump to hear them clearly, and the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless accommodates well without taking too many liberties with the sound quality.
What is Transparent hearing?
The Sennheiser True Momentum wireless earbuds also have a feature called Transparent hearing, which uses the microphones in the earbuds to pick up the sound around you and play it back through the buds so you can hear it. This is helpful if you want to be aware of your surroundings, such as when you need to hear announcements at a train station or answer a quick question. If you don’t want the outside world invading your quiet space, you can always just toggle the feature off in the app.
Should you buy the Sennheiser True Momentum Wireless?
If you’re looking for a set of luxury true wireless earbuds, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless is a smart bet. The earbuds sound great, aren’t too heavy in your ears, and offer particularly good support for video playback.
However, as good as the Momentum True Wireless are, they’re still a hard sell at around $299. Plenty of true wireless options cost a fraction of that without sacrificing much in the way of features or quality. Still, if you trust Sennheiser and spend the cash on its Momentum buds, they won’t disappoint you.