Active Noise Cancellation
Now, the addition of ANC to the Momentum True Wireless 2 is one of the big-ticket items in terms of upgrades and reasons to choose versus the competition, so let’s say that I had high expectations around how it would perform. ANC is activated (by default) by tapping the right-hand side earbud three times, which gives you an ascending ‘boop BOOP BEEP’ noise of confirmation. There’s a subtle change in the background noise-floor of the Momentums in the form of an ever so slight hiss and change in pressure, but background noise really didn’t feel affected at all. In fact, after a while, I couldn’t even make out whether it was switched ‘on’ or ‘off’ which is actually kinda frustrating as ANC makes the battery drain faster and I would prefer to have it switched-off the whole time. Now of course I know that ANC isn’t designed to magically make background noise go away, but rather to lessen the effect of steady tones such as aircraft engine noise. I tested the Momentum True Wireless 2 under a range of different conditions and can only report that it’s very subtle, if barely noticeable – don’t buy them expecting Bose QuietComfort levels of background noise reduction.
Thankfully, their passive noise attenuation is actually quite good. Traffic noise, background conversations, and the (entirely unscientific) ‘handclap’ test showed the Momentum True Wireless 2 to make a genuinely great pair of IEMs for use while on-the-go, or in an office environment.
Sennheiser had some work to do here to claw-back consumer confidence after substantial reports of ‘battery-drain’ from the previous model – customers would stow their Momentum True Wireless away in their storage/charging case, only to find them flat or low on battery when they needed to use them later on. If you’re someone who needs to use wireless earbuds for productivity at work, or if you simply wanted to listen to music on the commute home from work, then understandably this would be quite infuriating. I’m happy to report that I didn’t get any experience of this whatsoever during my review period, but I also never managed to get quite near the claimed battery life of 7 hours from a single charge. While I didn’t get overly scientific with my testing, mixed music and video watching resulted in net playback performance of around 4.5/5 hours
Call and microphone performance
As someone who doesn’t tend to use wireless headphones for music enjoyment during the day, I have to say that I did enjoy being able to jump between work calls, music, and the odd YouTube video seamlessly throughout the day without skipping a beat. Phone calls with IEMs can be disconcerting at times if you can’t hear your own voice fully, so the Momentum True Wireless 2 employs the ‘Transparent Hearing’ effect during calls, so that ambient noise (including your own voice) is audible. It’s reasonably effective, and a little distracting at first but you do become accustomed to it pretty quickly. Call quality and transparency seem ‘adequate’, and there were no requests to ‘speak up!’ from the other end during conference calls, which infers that microphone performance is fine, although naturally, it’s not exactly the most transparent of microphone sources.
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