Sound Impresssions: Momentum
The Momentum’s sound is overall warm, smooth, thick and laid back and the sound stage width is actually quite good for a closed phone, it’s depth however could be better. It also is more centric minded. The left-right balance is very good but it’s lacking a bit in three dimensionality. The music is more inside your head.
The first thing you notice when using this headphone is the bass. It’s not as tight like with the HD25 and the Amperior. With the samples I heard the Amperior had the tightest bass, then the HD25-1 and then the Momentum. The Bass on the Momentum however has much more body and rumble and with the closed design it gives you a sense it has more impact. The better the fit, the better the bass impact also is. So you can feel the bass on the Momentum and at the same time the Momentum’s bass is more detailed than the Amperior and HD25-1 bass. The mid section is simply candy to your ears, period. For a closed portable headphone it is great. It is nicely detailed and lively and it is perfectly in line with the bass section with the same warmth and smoothness. The mids of the Momentum to me are miles ahead of the HD25/Amperior and from all portable headphones I recently tried it might just be the best.
Treble on the Momentum is maybe its weakest point. No, wait. That doesn’t mean it is bad (by far), it’s good but it could have been a bit more sparkling and detailed like the HD25 and Amperior’s treble for me personally. Yet in this design it fits right in with the rest of the sound. I enjoyed all musical genres on the Momentum, everything sounds fun and alive, something that isn’t necessarily the case with the HD25 and Amperior. And as said earlier, it also isolates best of all three.
Mike: I’ve published my impressions of the Momentum on this article.
I’m going to keep this section very² short as they clearly all do not need amplification. However with amplification you do get better results as we have explained so many times before. The 18ohm Amperior and Momentum are even easier to drive than the 70 Ohm HD25. Besides that they also are more efficient headphones and that translates in a lower need for amplification. When using an amp the volume button went up quite a bit more with the HD25 than with the other models.
Going from what I heard from my special review samples, the $349 Amperior is a good headphone, based on the $199 HD25 with some tweaks costing quite a bit more. The Amperior’s sound is different from the HD25’s sound but still has the same basis. I won’t say it’s better or worse as it simply depends on your own preferences. I think that with the characteristics given by Mike you can make a good choice for yourself. For me the good old HD25 is the more enjoyable one, my Amperior sample just is too “aggressive” sounding and I hope I can get to listen to another, different unit soon. The $349 Momentum, with its different sound, is the best of all three. It’s the most linear one, has the best bass and mids and wins comfort wise.
I took the Amperior to a local meet and actually almost no one borrowed it from my table making me wonder if people were really waiting for a “new” HD25 (That confirms what Mike said about his friends and the Amperior). The so completely different Momentum is a headphone that looks great for most and sounds good, it’s that simple. This headphone was specifically made for on the go but any “audiophile” will probably love it too. It’s hard not to like for casual listening actually and I really loved using it on the go. At home for some critical listening you could use the Momentum too but there of course are other options available on the market for that.
The gold medal obviously is for the Momentum. Silver and bronze medals are a not as easy to hand out in my case as the results might be a bit off. The Amperior should be the improved HD25 and it costs quite a bit more but I keep going back to the original HD25, especially with that aggressive Amperior sample of mine. That, in combination with the pricing of both, makes the silver medal goes to the HD25 in my case.
Sennheiser has 3 great headphones in the portable segment with these units and I hope the Momentum will still be here in 20 years, just like the HD25.
To finish I’d like to apologize for the weird review, I hope I can get another sample soon so we can set this straight. I could have just let Mike write the sound impressions but my Amperior really sounded like that and so I had to mention it.