There have never been complaints about the sound quality delivered with the Momentum True Wireless, but the autonomy was not very good. Sennheiser is now addressing that shortcoming with a second version. And it now also gets noise canceling. We take a look at the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 in this review.
Introduction Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
When we compared a series of total wireless earphones in a few months ago, we were very impressed. speak about Sennheiser appliances. The Momentum True Wireless has a very good sound, thanks to the enormous knowledge about audio that Sennheiser has in house. You will build up some know-how if you have been working with microphones and headphones for seventy years. However, the major flaw with these premium earphones was their modest autonomy. Despite the higher price, they also had no noise canceling on board.
Both gaps are addressed with a new version of the wireless earphones . The Momentum True Wireless 2 is thus more advanced and promises the same good sound. There is a cost. Literally, because with a price of 299 euros, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 is one of the most expensive total wireless earphones in stores. Is that price tag justified?
Very compact design
The Momentum True Wireless 2 responds to one of the biggest trends in headphones: in-ears that are completely wireless. Neither cable can be seen between the two ears. The slogan of “total freedom” that the marketers of such products like to shout is correct for once. If you plug in earphones such as the Momentum Wireless 2, you can listen to your music without the slightest disturbance. You don’t have those (very) minor irritations from a cable that swings away or makes noise when you contact a T-shirt. The Sennheiser earphones are also incredibly light. Each ear weighs less than 7 grams. That’s really very little. You forget very quickly that you are wearing them.
In terms of design, hardly anything has changed compared to the past. The earphones are hardly distinguishable from first-generation Momentum True Wireless. Each cap is a black cylinder, with a circle in metal color on the outside on which the Sennheiser logo adorns the whole. The ears are not huge in themselves, but due to their construction they protrude a bit from the ear. They are not as discreet as some competitors, such as the Samsung Galaxy Buds or the Jabra Elite 75t. But then again, when you wear the Sennheisers, at least it doesn’t seem like a few electric toothbrush attachments are dangling out of your ears. “Look at you, Apple.
The design consists of a cylinder that hangs from your ear with a protrusion on which the tip fits. That tip or cap then fits into the beginning of your ear canal. Even more than with other earphones, it is important with the Momentum True Wireless 2 that these tips fit well. If they are loose because the chosen tip is too small or too big, the Sennheiser ears will quickly drop out. The stability therefore largely depends on the good fit of the tip, although they rest for a bit at the bottom of the auricle. As usual, the manufacturer supplies three pairs, in sizes S-M-L. They are silicone caps that are suitable for many. However, some people find this material less useful because it starts to move when you sweat a little more. For them, we would recommend foam tips like Comply’s. We also use these ourselves because they fit much better. By the way, tips from third parties will fit on the True Wireless 2 without any problems. Later in the spring, Sennheiser will also release a white version of the True Wireless 2.
The most beautiful case
Just like before you get the Sennheiser- earphones a beautiful case. All completely wireless earphones on the market come with a box that has a double function: providing a safe place for devices (which are generally very small) and charging the earphones during transport. In any case, the Sennheiser case is one of the most beautiful. It’s an elegant thing covered with a Scandinavian-style fabric. You will immediately see whether you are dealing with the first generation Momentum True Wireless or the new generation 2. The older models come with a light gray box with a black logo, the True Wireless 2 comes in a dark gray box with a logo in white.
The major shortcoming of the first True Wireless earphones was the four-hour autonomy, which is really too little for a longer trip or a day in the hell of an open office. The True Wireless 2 promises seven hours, which is roughly the norm in this segment. You do have the Audio-Technica ATH-CKS5TW that can work on a charge for fifteen hours, but that’s a real standout. If you put the in-ears in their case, they can be fully charged twice more.
Earphones with a large touch button are very convenient to use. But we also always experience the same problem: when you plug in, you always accidentally press those buttons. Guaranteed, you accidentally activate the Google Assistant, change the volume or skip a track. This is not a phenomenon that only affects Momentum True Wireless 2, that’s right. Many wireless earphones have the same problem. At least with the Sennheisers you can prevent this by grasping the ears with the tips of your fingers on the edge. That is a lot more difficult with the Galaxy Buds from Samsung, for example. Oh well, it is of course not a huge problem, unless for some reason you plug in and take out the True Wireless 2 during the day.
The implementation of the touch controls is very successful. The buttons respond perfectly. Not too fast, not too slow. It is very nice that you do not have to press very hard to do something. That is especially nice when changing the volume. Just gently hold your finger against the earpiece and your music will become quieter or louder.
Each earpiece is a button, but by tapping several times you do different things. As a result, a surprising amount is possible, simply via just two touch buttons. To give you an idea: if you press the left ear briefly, you pause the music. Pressing longer is decreasing the volume. But you can also quickly press twice, and then you jump to the next song. Tapping three times is going back to the song from just now. You also have four options on the right side, including activating Siri or Google Assistant (depending on the OS of your smartphone) and activating transparent hearing or noise canceling. To make it even more complex: when you receive a call, two taps do something else. Decline a call, to be exact. It may sound incredibly complicated, but the accompanying app explains it clearly and we notice time and again that you quickly become accustomed to such controls. The most important thing is that you can quickly and intuitively find and press the touch button – and that is absolutely the case here.
Of course there is also an app with the new ears. In any case, it seems very familiar to us, because Sennheiser has the policy that the same app (Smart Control) must serve for almost all products. We’ve used the first True Wireless in the past, as well as other Bluetooth headphones and even the Sennheiser Ambeo Bar .
You shouldn’t expect too much from the Smart Control app. It looks nice, but it is limited to the essentials. And that is actually fine. It doesn’t have to include a media player function or anything. You mainly use it to switch a number of main functions on and off (but you can also do that via the touch buttons). Think of noise canceling, for example. There are also a limited number of institutions. Think of features such as whether or not to automatically accept calls and the automatic pause of music when you take out an earpiece. You will also find an equalizer in Smart Control. In previous reviews we have moaned about that, because it is something that looks especially beautiful but is also very meaningless. With your finger you move a circle on the screen, on which a colorful curve adapts in a rather organic way. The catch is that you have to look at the curve and not the position of the round puck. And maybe even more: that you move the circle on the screen and listen to what it does.
An important option in the app is “Keep Music Playing” if you activate Transparent Hearing. When you do that, the microphones on the outside of the earphones transmit the ambient noise. What you hear sounds very hollow and noisy, but this way you can follow a conversation or hear the announcer from the station. If you choose to let the music play when you choose Transparent Hearing, you will notice that it does not come across as well. But this is clearly a mode that is meant to be activated only when the need arises.
We still have the first generation Momentum True Wireless at hand and can therefore immediately compare with the updated version. With the earphones connected to an LG G8X (which supports aptX), we go through our big playlists with fixed test tracks in Roon. First, we check with the institutions whether the Momentum True Wireless 2 can indeed handle the promise of Bluetooth codecs. And indeed: SBC, AAC and aptX are possible. The LG automatically chooses the latter, a lossy codec that does deliver high quality. It is a kind of quality label that at least a certain quality is supplied. Obviously, a Bluetooth codec cannot make up for a bad source file or stream. That is why we recommend listening to lossless files or – if that is not possible – to lossy files with the highest possible bitrate. It is therefore best to choose high quality in the apps of services such as Spotify. The Momentum True Wireless 2 also supports the low latency variant of aptX, allowing us to watch a season two episode of ‘Altered Carbon’ on Netflix without noticing a discrepancy or lag between spoken dialogues and lip movements.
comparing old and new we actually made little difference. Both in terms of comfort and sound quality, the experience is the same as far as we could determine. We did not find the latter surprising, because the driver and structure are the same and Sennheiser has a reputation for delivering a certain sound. You will not notice in practice that the earphones are two millimeters more compact.
Transparent Hearing was also present on the first Momentum True Wireless, but the noise canceling is completely new. You have to search for it in the app. For Transparent Hearing there is a slider in the main screen, NC you have to search in the settings. Crazy. But you can also activate by tapping your right ear.
Now the noise canceling on the Sennheiser in-ears does not work miracles. The Sony WH-1000XM3 repels much more noise, but that is a larger over-ear headphones. In these times with travel restrictions, to test effectiveness, we use a YouTube video of a long train journey and play it at high volume (approximately 80 dBA). Frankly, before that we had the impression that the NC of Sennheiser was not much, but in this test it worked quite well. The difference between the first (without NC) and second Momentum True Wireless (with NC) is therefore really huge. The noise cancellation may not be super effective, as with Sony’s or Sennheiser’s own Momentum Wireless 3 headphones, it does the job without changing the tonality of your music. When listening to “In absentia” by Porcupine Tree as well as floating “Erased Tapes Collection IX” with artists like Nils Frahm and Rival Consoles, we could hardly hear any difference between NC on and off. There is a slight noise detectable in very quiet areas, but that phenomenon is present in almost all wireless earphones. If you are listening to music, you will not notice it.
What we hear sounds very good. The bass drum kicks in well with a rock song ‘Black Wave / Bad Vibrations’ by A Giant Dog (a Texan garage rock group that for some reason covered the full Neon Bible album of Arcade Fire last year), and also the rhythm section at’ You Did Good Kid ‘by The Hold Steady sounds punchy and dynamic. At the same time, Craig Finn’s vocals loosen up completely and there is no sign of stress or distortion. Of course you have to ensure a good fit to really experience a full sound, but that is always the case with earphones. What these in-ears do very well is present music on a large sound stage. The wood percussion on Pantha du Prince’s “Transparent Tickle Shining Glace” – a minimalist track by German electronics producer Hendrik Weber – seems to be played in an immense space. On a better open headphone it will look even more spacious, but with the wireless in-ears the Sennheiser is a winner for this.
When it comes to sound quality, the Momentum True Wireless 2 offers an excellent balanced reproduction , with a convincing layer. Total wireless earphones often have limitations due to their small size, but this Sennheiser manages to escape that. Autonomy is now much more competitive than before, making the Momentum True Wireless 2 finally deliver on its predecessor’s potential. The addition of noise canceling is welcome, but it does manage expectations. There is no total wireless earpiece that is as effective in terms of noise reduction as an over-ear.
Cons of Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
- More expensive than the competition
- Equalizer in the app is of little use
Pros of Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
- Best sound in the segment
- Support for aptX
- Better autonomy