No other stereo headphones get more recommendations than the Sennheiser Momentum. Both professionals and users lavishly praise their sound quality and luxurious, sturdy construction. Their closed, over-the-ears design blocks out ambient noise well, though not as well as headphones with active noise cancellation. Also, while most users find them comfortable to wear, some complain that they're tight or the ear cups are too small.
Warm, rich sound. Professional testers consistently describe the Sennheiser Momentum's sound quality as excellent, but they disagree somewhat about how to describe it. Geoff Morrison of TheWirecutter.com says these headphones have a "warm, bassy sound," while CNET's Steve Guttenberg says they "may not have enough bass to satisfy every taste." The overall consensus seems to be that the sound of the Momentum is generally balanced, with just a slight extra kick on the bass. Guttenberg thinks it works well with most types of music, as well as movies and TV shows. The Momentum's closed-back design helps muffle external noise, though it can also give the sound a closed-in feeling.
A bit snug. The point on which reviewers disagree most about these Sennheiser Momentum headphones is how comfortably they fit. Most reviewers find them comfortable and not too heavy. Wired magazine notes that the individual ear cups rotate slightly to "give you a nice seal without too much clamp." However, a significant percentage of reviews say the Momentum is uncomfortable in one way or another. Both professionals and users note the ear cups are on the small side, which can make them uncomfortable for people with largish ears. Testers at TheWirecutter.com also say the fit may be too snug for some. Guttenberg says he found them comfortable at first, but with longer use the pressure became fatiguing.
You get what you pay for. At $300, the Sennheiser Momentum headphones certainly aren't cheap. However, you get a lot for your money. In addition to their magnificent sound, they have an elegant, lavish design, with a sturdy metal band padded in leather and plush, leather-covered ear cushions. Both professionals and owners rave about the styling, which Michael Calore of Wired calls "downright sexy." The headphones seem to live up to their sturdy feel, as well; the only complaint we saw about durability in user reviews is that the cables and connectors tend to break easily. However, with Sennheiser's two-year warranty, this isn't a huge problem.
Editors at TheWirecutter.com select six sets of $300 headphones nominated by experts and have them tested by a panel of listeners. They name the Sennheiser Momentum as a runner up, saying its "warm, bassy sound" is less balanced than their favorite, the PSB Speakers M4U 1.
Review: The Best $300 Over-Ear Headphones, Geoff Morrison, Feb. 25, 2013
ConsumerReports.org includes the Sennheiser Momentum in its current round of headphone reviews. It and other headphones are carefully tested for sound quality, sensitivity and, where appropriate, noise reduction.
Review: Headphones, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated
3. Which? magazine
This British consumer advocacy magazine rates 59 sets of headphones, including the Sennheiser Momentum. A listening panel of three experts listens to seven pieces from a variety of genres to assess sound quality. Testers also evaluate comfort and fit, measure sound leakage, and rate the quality of construction.
Review: Headphone Reviews, Editors of Which?, As of May 2014
Based on his personal tests with music and video, Guttenberg calls the Sennheiser Momentum "the best-sounding full-size audiophile headphones we've heard in a long time." He also says build quality is excellent, but the headphones can be uncomfortable with prolonged use.
Review: Sennheiser Momentum Review: Luxurious Headphones Worth the High-End Price, Steve Guttenberg, Feb. 5, 2013
5. What Hi-Fi?
This British magazine awards the Sennheiser Momentum the title of "Best portable on-ears £200-£300" for 2013. In text, photos and a short video, editors describe them as "Smooth, punchy, refined all-rounders" whose comfortable, stylish design and "refreshingly balanced sound" justify their high price tag.
Review: Sennheiser Momentum, Editors of What Hi-Fi?, Not dated
R. Matthew Ward includes the Sennheiser Momentum in this roundup of four headphones he recommends as "affordable luxuries" in the $300-to-$400 range. He says this headphone's "sound quality, style, and versatility" easily justify its price: "It would be tough to find a better all-around headphone without spending a lot more."
Review: Review: Four Full-Size Headphones for Affordable Audiophile Luxury, R. Matthew Ward, Aug. 13, 2013
Wired recommends the Sennheiser Momentum as its top pick for Best Sound. Michael Calore awards it an overall rating of 9 out of 10 ("Nearly flawless; buy it now") for its "phenomenally sweet" sound and "downright sexy" design.
Review: Sennheiser Momentum: Rebirth of the Cool, Michael Calore, Oct. 26, 2012
Over 40 owners have reviewed the Sennheiser Momentum at this audiophile site. It earns an overall rating of 4.5 stars out of 5, and 95 percent of reviewers recommend it. Users give the headphones high marks for audio quality, comfort and design, though some feel its high price isn't justified.
Review: Sennheiser Momentum, Contributors to Head-Fi.org, As of May 2014
We found more than 175 reviews for the Sennheiser Momentum at Amazon.com with an overall rating of 4.3 stars out of 5. Owners say the sound quality is great, and most find it comfortable to wear, though some owners complain that the ear cups are too small.
Review: Sennheiser Momentum Headphone - Black, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2014