Sennheiser Momentum headphones
Headphones, headphones, headphones. There are so many of them, and they all sound totally different. If you're planning on buying headphones, then this must surely be the worst bit - deciding which set to get. Harder still is picking one that not only sounds good, but matches the sound you like, be that rich mids or pumping low frequencies.
The Sennheiser Momentum over-ear headphones have a lot to offer, even before you've considered the sound of them. And let's be honest, there's a lot more going on with headphones these days than just how they sound. They're also a fashion statement, and something worn out and about and perhaps - although we've not confirmed this - a way of keeping very cool people's ears warm.
These are small for over-ear headphones. That's good, because one of the problems with this sort of headphones is that they're often bulky and annoying to carry around. These are light, and about as small as you can get proper over-ear cans. On-ear headphones - and, of course, earphones - will always be more compact, but there's something nice about having your whole ear covered.
One downside to the compact design is that these headphones don't fold. So while they are small, they don't pack down like some of the larger cans. They also have a metal structure, that means they could, in theory, be damaged if you squash them into a small space. We don't worry about this though, as it's quite unlikely.
The headphones come with a removable cable. We like this, because it's the first thing to go wrong in any pair of headphones, and the simplest thing to fix, as long as it isn't hard-wired into the earpieces. There are two cables provided, one with a controller and microphone, one without.
People with iOS devices will more than likely opt to you use the controller cable. Android users might not bother: although the mic will almost certainly work, the controller won't. Even so, just having a microphone is handy when you're listening to music and a call comes in.
The lead also has one other nice trick up its sleeve. The jack end, which goes in to your player, has a bending end. So if you're using it in your pocket, you can adjust it so it's most comfortable. For players that have a socket at the top, you'll probably go straight up; for those on the side, you'll make use of its 90-degree angle. It's a simple idea, but we like it a lot.
We have to say, Sennheiser is on to something here, because these are surprisingly nice to wear. Our decent-sized ears are happy within the earcups, which makes them nice to wear. Add to that the fact that they're really light, and you have a listening experience that's a lot nicer than bigger headphones.
Again, because of the weight, you can move your head Fresh Prince style, and not have to worry about them flying off. The metal band also gives a decent amount of grip, so they stay in place. Tight headphones are a pain, but on our head the Momentum cans feel they're applying just the right amount of pressure to your skill.
The tightness also mean that these headphones do a passable job of isolating sound, without the need for active noise cancellation. That's a bonus, because noise cancelling headphones can often change the sound of music, so we like to avoid them where possible.
And so, on to the bit that matters: how they sound. The answer is good. Off that bat, we'll say that these aren't really audiophile headphones in the strict sense. There's some very noticeable bias to low-frequency sounds. We happen to like that, and we think it's handled well, but for those looking for a "transparent" or uncoloured sound, these probably aren't for you. Look higher up the range, and there are some good things on offer that may suit better.
The audio is all very clear though. Despite the keen bass, vocals in the mid-range and sounds up at the top are lovely and natural sounding. We've got a couple of tracks that sound too bright on some headphones, but the Sennheisers do a really good job of making them sound even and natural.
Because of their good bass response, we also quite liked the Momentums for listening to TV and movies. Dialogue is crisp, but you also get a very tasty feel for explosions too - which is always nice if it's late at night, and you can't have your subwoofer on.
All-in-all, we like the Momentums a great deal. At a bit north of £250, they certainly aren't cheap, so it's a considered purchase. For this money, there's lots of choice, but these are more natural-sounding and well-rounded than a lot of the "fashion headphones" that are designed for a specific type of music, and push the bass much harder.
If you're looking for something that suits both at home and out and about, then these are a fantastic choice. They're good all-rounders, and we've come to be very fond of them both in terms of comfort and their sound, which fits our musical taste quite well.
Keep an eye out, as there might be deals to be had on these soon. If you have to pay full price, we don't think you're being ripped off, although at first glance, their lightweight construction might make you think you're not getting value for money.