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Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear headphones review

Sabyasachi Biswas September 4 | Updated on September 04, 2013

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Until about a year ago, there was one thing that we really did not like about Sennheiser headphones – the way they looked. We loved the way some of their cans perform, but they carried a bland look. The only striking cosmetic feature used to be the big Sennheiser branding on the head-band. But that was until they launched the Momentum series and began taking looks very seriously. But over-the-ear headphones don’t really suit everyone’s taste.

So now Sennheiser has replicated the larger headphones' cosmetic and audio quality in the new smaller on-ear design. Available in four vibrant colours, the Momentum On-ear headphones are quite beautiful to look at. It’s a combination of metal, fabric and some more metal that blend well with each other. Yes, unlike the bigger over-the-ear Momentum headphones, the on-ear version comes with suede-like fabric, instead of leather. Nonetheless, the earcups are comfortable and the cushioning is easy on the ears. The only concern about the breathable fabric that the manufacturers call Alacantra is how they’d react if they got sweat-stained.

But the head-band gives that initial pinch – the tightness goes away with time, though. Thankfully, the headband’s cushioning makes up for the tightness and the stitching looks good too. And because the ear-cups are mounted on sliders, adjusting them is very easy. The build too is quite sturdy and the headphones are very light, making it the perfect companion for travel – Sennheiser adds to the portability factor by throwing in a very stylish carry case. Even the volume control remote (which works for iPhone, iPad and iPods) on the cable looks very sleek.

In terms of sound, the Momentum On-Ear is surprisingly good for almost genres of music. The usual concern around smaller drivers is the bass delivery, but we found this pair of headphones to be efficient. In fact, sometimes, a bit too efficient. On certain genres such as Metal, Classic Rock, Blues, Soul and Jazz the sound is very balanced. The bass doesn’t overwhelm the mids, trebles and vocals. But the when you switch to a track that has a pulsing bass line, or house-mix tracks with a lot of thump, you feel the mids and vocals being drowned out by bass.

That said, the treble clarity is absolutely stunning. For audiophiles and keen listeners, this is a delight because even the tiniest of audio detail in mids and highs are reproduced very efficiently. World music is an absolute delight to listen to on these headphones.

But noise isolation is a bit of a letdown with the Momentum On-Ear headphones. While the isolation works fine indoors and in public places such as parks or beaches, environment sounds start creeping in big-time when used in public transport. Here, we think that maybe using leather ear-cushions would’ve solved the purpose, instead of a material that sounds like a mythical creature.

But when you consider all of these factors, the Sennheiser On-Ear Momentum headphones are still a good buy and give good value for the money. They look good and sound good for on-ear headphones. The styling is classy and the bass is quite efficient. Yes, the bass issue is there, but then again, some users might like the extra punch.

Rs 14,990

Love – Detailed sound reproduction, sleek and light design

Hate – Bass is sometimes overwhelming, bad noise isolation

Published on September 04, 2013

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