Laptop Mag Verdict
The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds offer a premium design, long battery life, great audio quality and active noise canceling.
Great audio quality
Long battery life
Powerful active noise cancelling
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Sometimes it’s the little things that matter the most. The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds are the company’s second bite at the truly wireless apple (pun unintended). The new earbuds improve on the originals in a number of ways, the most important of which is bringing active noise cancellation into the mix without taking away from the great audio quality. The earbuds also boast 7 hours of battery life, surpassing its predecessor and the AirPods Pro, the de facto favorite in the space.
But a $299 price tag puts the earbuds at the top end of the spectrum, making them more expensive than the AirPods Pro, which might make some music lovers hit pause. Still, the Momentum has earned a place on our Best wireless earbuds page.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 design
First things first, the Momentum has one of the best-looking charging cases I’ve seen in the truly wireless earbuds space. Instead of a shiny plastic shell, Sennheiser gives us a slate gray fabric case with a white company logo emblazoned on the top. The edges and rear panel are a mix of shiny and matte black plastic. A pairing button and USB Type-C port sit in the back. Weighing 2 ounces, the 3 x 1.7 x 1.4-inch case is heavier than the AirPods Pro’s 1.6-oz, 2.4 x 1.7 x 0.9-inch case.
The actual earbuds are just as elegant as their case. The Momentums are topped with a silver metal cap in a concentric circle pattern that captures the light just right. In the center of the silver is the black Sennheiser insignia. The majority of the earbud is made of black matte plastic. It has an indicator and magnetic connectors and is topped off with a silicone ear tip. Sennheiser hasn’t disclosed the actual size of the earbuds, except to say the new buds are 0.8 inches smaller than their predecessors.
Just like most truly wireless buds on the market, the Momentum offers some durability with its IPX4 rating, which means its splash resistant. And if black and silver isn’t your thing, the earbuds also come in a white-and-silver color scheme.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 comfort
Although the earbuds protrude quite a bit from my tiny ears, they aren’t uncomfortable at all. I wore them over two hours with no ill effect. They don’t fade into the background like the AirPods Pro as I was still aware that I had something in my ears a few hours after inserting them. But there wasn’t any annoying pressure on my ear canal or concha. Even better, tapping the buds’s touch controls doesn’t push them further into my ear like other earbuds, which I definitely appreciate.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 setup
Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy. That’s how simple it is to connect the Momentum to my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Google Pixel XL 4. The buds go into pairing mode as soon as you take them out of the case. A charming female voice repeatedly announces “pairing” as soon as you place them in your ear. Go into your device’s Bluetooth menu, select the buds and the voice says “pairing complete.” It’s not as fast as the AirPods Pro, but it’s still plenty darned fast.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 controls
Like most truly wireless earbuds, the Momentum is controlled via a series of taps. A single tap on the left bud plays or pauses music while a double-tap skips ahead. Three taps skip backward and a long press lowers the volume.
The right side uses the same controls, but the single tap cues up whatever digital assistant you have installed on the device. A double-tap enables/disables Transparent Hearing mode while three presses control the active noise canceling. Long pressing the bud raises the volume.
For calls, one tap will answer or end a call while two presses will reject the call. Removing either bud will cause the music to pause unless you’ve tweaked it in the app.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 app
Sennheiser has a free companion app (Android, iOS) called Smart Control. The app allows listeners to customize the earbud touch controls as well as adjust ANC and Transparent Hearing modes. The app is also where you can activate/deactivate Smart Pause functionality as well as Auto-accept call. You can even switch off the voice in favor of a tone.
But my favorite feature is the equalizer, which can be used to create your own custom sound. I would have liked a few presets for newbies who might not feel comfortable tweaking the settings. I’m also disappointed there’s no “find my earbud” feature as the thought of losing one of these $299 earbuds kept me constantly on edge.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 noise cancelling and transparent hearing
Sennheiser did a great job on the active noise cancelling technology. Using a single microphone on either side, the Momentums effectively brings the world around you down to near quiet. On my daily walk around the neighborhood, the headphone severely dampened the volume of a heated argument occurring outside of my favorite bodega (a New York City convenience store), even with the music off.
When I ventured back inside, it totally blocked out my LG TV with the volume at 13, which is on a par with the AirPods Pro.
Sometimes you actually want to hear the outside world. For those occasions, there’s Transparent Hearing mode. When enabled, the earbuds let ambient noise into the soundstage, and, depending on your settings in the app, Transparency Mode can either pause whatever you're listening to or keep it playing in the background.
That meant I could hear Guy Fieri’s witty banter while listening to SWV’s “Use Your Heart.” I found that the feature worked slightly better on the Sennheiser, allowing me to hear Alton Brown wax poetic about proper rib cooking technique while listening to Kevin Ross’ “Don’t Go.”
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 audio quality
Sennheiser outfitted the Momentum with 7mm custom drivers, which do a great job of delivering deep, sumptuous audio with fairly precise detail. I did find that they did better with mids than highs. It’s not that the lows and highs were distorted, it’s just what my ears were drawn to when I listened to the earbuds.
I started my testing listening to Meek Mills’ “Otherside of America” with the equalizer set to neutral and ANC enabled. The first thing I noticed was that the bass was a bit boomy, but not enough to obfuscate the rest of the track as I could still clearly hear the cymbals and high hats. The violin and guitars were clean and Mills’s high-pitched vocal was strong.
When I played the same track on the AirPods Pro (ANC on, EQ Flat), I got strong but measured bass. It was much more defined than what I heard on the Momentum, but the deep timbre of the piano, sweet violin and crisp percussion were about even. The buds were also pretty evenly matched on the volume level.
Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” was next up. On the Sennheisers, I heard sharp bongo with a full bass guitar, lively acoustic guitar and warm piano. Gaye’s vocal is soulful and melancholy. The tenor just seemed to float over the instrumental despite the heavy subject matter of the song. On the AirPods Pro, the horns and string section captured my attention the most on the track. The opening horn is sweet and just drew me into the rest of the song.
For my last song, I listened to Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit.” Details were so clear that I could just hear the hammers hitting the taut strings of the piano. The horns were restrained while Holiday’s mournful vocal reigned on the track and was clear enough that I could hear her crisp enunciation. Once again, the horn took center stage on the AirPods, which drew my attention to the brushed cymbals, and, while I lost the minute details of the piano, the higher register was lovely.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 battery life and Bluetooth
Sennheiser claims 7 hours of battery life for the Momentum and I haven’t found a reason to disagree. So far, I’ve been listening to the earbuds for 2 hours a day for three days and still have 10% of battery life to spare. The charging case adds an additional 21 hours of battery life for a grand total of 28 hours. That’s about what you’ll get from the AirPods Pro (4.5 hours, 21 hours charging case).
But when the batteries do eventually tap out, it’ll take 1.5 hours to get a full charge. If you’re in a pinch, 10 mins in the case will get you 1.5 hours of playtime.
The Momentum uses Bluetooth 5.1 to stay connected to your devices and has a theoretical range of 800 feet. I don’t know about all that. What I do know is that I left my Note 8 in the bedroom and still got a clean connection when I went downstairs to work out and when I went out into my backyard to grill.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 call quality
In addition to the noise-cancelling mics, the Momentum also has a beam-forming mic in each bud. That allows the buds to have an easier time picking up your voice when you’re talking to your digital assistant or making a phone call. In addition, there’s the Sidetone feature in the Smart Control app that allows you to adjust your voice volume on a call.
I made a few calls with the Momentum and was pleasantly surprised by the quality. Whether I was sitting on my couch or out taking a walk, the people I spoke with always said they could hear me loud and clear. In fact, the only time someone knew I wasn’t inside was when they heard a firetruck pass by. My callers sounded just as good, with no echoing, fade-outs or dropping out.
A premium price equates to premium performance –– at least it does when it comes to the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds. For $299, Sennheiser makes some notable improvements to its truly wireless buds. First, you get active noise cancelling, which does a bang-up job of keeping out the outside world. Next, the earbuds last upwards of 7 hours with an extra 21 hours of power via the charging case. They’re also slightly smaller with a sophisticated design and supreme comfort. But most importantly, they sound great.
That’s all well and good, but there are very few places where the Momentum downright outperform the $249 AirPods Pro. Sure, the Momentum looks a lot better, last longer on a charge and there’s a lot more touch functionality than the AirPods. But they’re neck and neck on the audio and ANC quality. That’s not to say the Momentum isn’t great truly wireless earbuds, because they are. It’s just that $299 is a pretty steep price. But overall, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 is an upscale pair of earbuds for music lovers with discerning tastes.
Sherri L. Smith has been cranking out product reviews for Laptopmag.com since 2011. In that time, she's reviewed more than her share of laptops, tablets, smartphones and everything in between. The resident gamer and audio junkie, Sherri was previously a managing editor for Black Web 2.0 and contributed to BET.Com and Popgadget.