The Sennheiser Momentum 2 On-Ear Wireless headphones are wireless Bluetooth headphones made using fancy materials and loaded with features that shouldn’t be confused with the full-size Momentum Wireless headphones. These ones have pads that sit on your ears rather than cups that fit around them, making them a more compact, and portable, pair.
Sennheiser Momentum 2 On Ear Wireless Review
At around $399/£300/AU$238 they’re extremely expensive. Much cheaper headphones sound about as good, and when the active noise cancellation isn’t close to that offered by the Bose QuietComfort 35s in terms of sheer noise-zapping effectiveness, it’s hard to justify that price.
Design and comfort
The Momentum 2 On-Ear Wireless headphones look and feel a lot like the original Momentum On-Ears. That’s no bad thing – they have a stylish look that’s less overtly ‘young and aggressive’ than something like the Beats Solo 3 Wireless.
Alcantara is a very hard-wearing synthetic alternative to suede. It feels soft, and doesn’t have the obviously fake feel of many synthetic fabrics. It looks, feels and is expensive.
The Sennheiser Momentum 2 On-Ear Wireless headphones also have a steel headband with a very sturdy hinge that lets you fold them up to fit in the neat included carry case. These headphones aren’t exactly flashy, though; they want to look normal. The outer of the cups is plastic, and the showiest part is perhaps the real stitching on the headband.
However, they don’t gradually start torturing you ears like some on-ear pairs. The headband is designed to make sure the pressure is distributed evenly across the pads – it’s when this pressure isn’t distributed evenly that on-ear headphones can get very uncomfortable, causing pressure points on, normally, the top or bottom.
Compared to the old, wired version of the Momentum On-Ears, one change is that Sennheiser has bulked up the cables that join the cups to the headband. It’s a welcome tweak, as our original pair of Momentum On-Ears actually failed at this point, leaving us with one working earpiece; these should hold up better.
Features and wireless
Other Momentum sets come in a wider choice of colors, but the increased cost caused by the broad array of features in the Sennheiser Momentum 2 On-Ear Wireless headphones pushes them into a bit of a niche. These headphones have Bluetooth wireless, NFC, aptX and Sennheiser’s NoiseGard active noise cancellation.
Both of the highlights – noise cancellation and wireless – are just okay rather than stellar, though. Using them out and about in London, the Sennheiser Momentum 2 On-Ear Wireless don’t have the rock-solid connection of pairs like the Beats Solo 3 Wireless and Sony MDR-100ABN.
The NoiseGard active noise cancellation is a mixed bag too. It’s welcome because one of the weak spots of the wired Momentum On-Ears is poor noise isolation. By cutting down the incursion of ambient noise a bit this issue is solved, but compared to the latest ANC from Sony and Bose, it’s light stuff.
A chunk of lower-frequency noise is taken away, but the effect is not particularly dramatic; noise is shaved down rather than decimated. One benefit of this style is that the Sennheiser Momentum 2 On-Ear Wireless headphones don’t create the strange impression of in-ear pressure that other noise-cancelling sets can.
The on-cup controls work fairly well too. There’s a power button, and a little joystick that acts as both play/pause control and track changer. Combine these controls with the clear mic grilles on the other cup and the headphones look a bit nerdy or tech-packed up close, but few would notice when they’re on your head.
Our original pair of Momentum On-Ears may have almost bitten the dust, but they still work well enough to tell us that Sennheiser hasn’t tried too hard to change the range’s sound signature in this newer wireless set. These are nice-sounding headphones that most people would be happy to use daily.
It’s a fun sound, with big bass matched with pronounced-but-not-sharp treble and mid-range chunkiness similar to what you hear in the Sennheiser Momentum In-Ears or Sennheiser IE 5.00s. The character is bold and full, not too serious.
The Sennheiser Momentum 2 On-Ears don’t have the next-level fidelity you get with the full-size Momentum headphones, though. This pair’s soundstage is less wide, and the approach to bass thrills less nuanced.
Where their big brothers have powerful sub-bass but are a little more reserved higher up the bass frequency register to avoid any sense of low-end bloat, the Sennheiser Momentum 2 On-Ear Wireless headphones are more bullish. Bass is enjoyable but not entirely well controlled.
There’s nothing to seriously offend in the sound from the Momentum 2 On-Ear Wireless headphones. But it’s real mid-range fodder, with almost none of the high-end traits you might expect to hear in headphones at this price. Separation of instruments is poor for the price, and the width of the stereo image nothing like that of the bigger Momentums.
To put this into context beyond Sennheiser’s range, the Momentum 2 On-Ear Wireless headphones don’t sound dramatically better than the excellent $99 Urbanista Seattles or $150 AKG Y50BTs. When we listened to this sound signature as part of a nice-looking $100 or $150 pair of headphones, it made sense. But in a $400 set? That’s a bit harder to accept.