Other Gadgets

Uniquely crafted sound meets noise cancellation

Mala Bhargava | Updated on July 23, 2020 Published on July 23, 2020

Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wireless-2 brings double the battery life and reduced noise to its signature output

If the name of these true wireless earbuds sounds familiar, it isn’t surprising. They’ve been here before — but the second time around, there are welcome improvements and the addition of active noise cancellation, which users are beginning to expect to see on all earphones these days. There’s also about double the battery life. That’s added to very clean and detailed sound, so in what is becoming a veritable ocean of options for wireless audio, consider if these expensive earphones from the German audio giant might suit you. These were recently launched when Sennheiser had its 75-year anniversary.

Starting with the charging case in which the Momentum 2 earphones sit magnetically, it’s in familiar Sennheiser styling with a grey fabric covering, but it does happen to be rather bulky and even a little heavy, specially when compared with the increasing population of true wireless earphones around. You would feel its weight in the pocket of a light cotton shirt or dress and you’d feel its bulk in the pocket of your trousers or jeans. Still, people carry a lot of gadgets these days, so it’s not unlikely one can make one’s peace with carrying one more. There’s a white version that also looks quite attractive.

Inside the case, the two earbuds have been made smaller, but they still happen to be big. They tend to tumble and roll off whenever I held them, so I had to be specially careful. Though some small-earned users may find them tricky, they still are actually comfortable and secure, even for long wearing sessions. They could be used for workouts as they’re IPX4 water resistant. But what they’re best at is sounding excellent.

You have to be the type of listener who enjoys neutral and balanced sound rather than thumping and punchy. The sound on these earbuds is of the clean sparkly type; crystalline and detailed with good separation for each instrument and voice. It’s the type of sound that will make you feel you’re hearing some of your favourite songs a bit differently. Its energetic sound but not bass-forward, and perhaps not for everyone. The Sennheiser Smart Control app comes into use here because you can use the equaliser, in two interfaces, to tweak the sound and save the setting as your own pre-set. The earbuds use 7mm drivers. They use the Bluetooth 5.1 standard ad support AAC and Qualcomm’s aptXTM.

If you don’t want to use the Smart Control app and playback device so much, detailed controls are on the earbuds themselves. You can set them from the app and customise what way you want to use taps and presses on either bud. But this is not really intuitive and can be confusing, with some memorising of sequences to be done. If you do take the trouble to set the customisation up, you can use taps to trigger the usual basic actions and also receive and reject calls and summon the virtual assistant. One rather nice feature is that you can turn off touch controls if they’re too much to contend with, because at times just adjusting an earbud will cause the music to turn off.

Noise cancellation on the Momentum earbuds isn’t class leading. Often I strained to really make out the difference between regular and ANC-on modes. The passive noise cancellation is obviously present because the ear-tips do go a way into the ear canal and with the music being loud on top of that, you could mask the noise outside, but with low volume music or phone calls, the impact may not be too strong. The difference is more evident on activating transparent listening, which audibly heightens sounds you may not want to miss from the outside.

Perhaps one has to thank the battery for the extra heft of the case. Each charge gives you 7 hours of play time (a little less with ANC) and recharging with the case adds up to 28 hours. Enough to take you through the day. Charging takes one-and-a-half hours, though 10 minutes of charge gives you one-and-a-half hours of play time. This is much more than the previous generation of these earphones, on which battery life was one of the complaints.

Price: Rs 24,990

Pros: Great sound clarity, good battery life, app support, including equaliser and transparent listening

Cons: Case and buds a bit bulky, noise cancellation not that powerful

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Published on July 23, 2020
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