Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless Review

Sound Impressions

Summary

The MOMENTUM True Wireless is tuned for easy listening. It delivers a strong but not overpowering low-end, a warm and rich midrange timbre, forward vocal presence and a slightly relaxed treble delivery.

Bass

This is powerful, full-bodied delivery with a low-end delivery weighted and elevated sub-100Hz and slowly dropping into the lower mids. There is no shortage of PRaT and a pretty good fundamental so lower-pitching instruments can and do sound fairly powerful with a satisfying weight to them.

On the flip side, the single dynamic driver has a shade more bloom than something like the Sony WF-1000XM3 and not as tight as the Fostex TM2. So, whilst you get plenty of richness and warmth, you also get a little bit of looseness and some bloom that creeps into the lower-mids. It is nowhere near as boomy as something like the HELM TW5.0. Compared to the TW5.0 it is far tighter and controlled sounding with the better layering of the two ‘warm’ TWS.

Mids

Midrange timbre is thick, rich and very smooth sounding. The MOMENTUM True Wireless has a 1-3k elevation, which, combined with its warm elevated low-end produced a forward and full signature for both male and female vocals. The net effect is an intimate and ‘close’ sound.

You will be hard-pressed to tease out unnatural sibilance in this tuning but at the same time the even-harmonic bias is strong lower-down so those who like an accurate timbre might be left wanting.

There is not a huge amount of upper-mids emphasis so whilst there is some play around 6-8k on the treble of the Senn this does not translate into a hard-edged heavy percussion presence because of that drop. Only when

Treble

The MOMENTUM True Wireless treble actually has some lift from 5-8k to prevent the overall tuning from sounding dark or overly rounded. I still would classify it as a relaxed delivery compared to peppier alternatives such as the Fostex TM2 and the Lypertek TEVI.

You can hear the energy especially if you are working high-pitch synth “zaps” in traditional house music genres. However, it doesn’t readily translate down into the mids timbre due to that upper-mids dip. That means percussion can sound a shade muted in presence but at the same time, it is not a super wet or lush timbral overtone.

Staging

The MOMENTUM True Wireless is more depth than height and moderate width. The 1-3k bump ensures some tenor, alto and mix voice vocals are further forward so they are not drowned out by the thick velvety low-end which is also fairly elevated and forward sounding.

Instrumental positioning is generally tucked in behind vocals with dips in the lower-mids and upper mids around 3-5k just taking the sting out of its percussion bite.

The top-end sounds relaxed but does have some bumps around 6-8k so it is not a dark sounding top-end or totally lacking in air. However, compared to the likes of the Sony WF-1000XM3 or the Lypertek TEVI it is not as forward and energetic. There is just enough presence to ensure timbre is not overly rounded or mids lacking in air.

Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless

Wireless Performance

Pairing

In some ways really smooth and impressive actually and perhaps up there as the easiest to pair. However, at times downright frustrating though this was maybe anecdotal with my Samsung Note 9 Smart Control app refusing to recognize the MOMENTUM even when paired manually.

With a Huawei P20, the process was super fast. Pairing can be with either the app or manually then the app. I went with a manual then app pairing. There is no left-right confusion in the scanning, just one Momentum TW entry which pairs pretty quick. After this, open up the app and it should find the MOMENTUM’s pretty quick.

I also had the same lighting fast paring with my laptops BT connection. Even the scanning and finding process was quicker than normal.

Overall, outside of the Note 9 experience the MOMENTUM True Wireless pairing was fast, smooth and intuitive.

Stability & Range

The left-right connection was rock solid on the MOMENTUM True Wireless drivers nor did they seem susceptible to interference when among a lot of BT devices, even at aptX level. This is something I found the Sony WF-1000XM3 prone to with a lot of cut-outs at higher quality data transmissions.

The range before any drop out was adequate though not stellar and not as good as the likes of the HELM TW5.0, Astrotec S80 and perhaps just behind the Fostex TM2. My testing zone where I expect drop out, that kitchen enclave about 10m beyond 1 wall division, didn’t fare too well with the MOMENTUMs but better than the TEVI by about 1m or so.

Latency

Perfect and the best TWS we have reviewed to date for movie file audio sync. Using VLC on Windows 10, we tested about 3 different audio kbps rates with some high video resolution files and nothing was out of sync or required sync tweaking. Nothing felt loose, in fact, very tight indeed and as a result quite enjoyable for movies.

The closest to this performance was the HELM TW5.0 but even side by side you can tell how tight the sync was with the MOMENTUM. The HELM just has the tiniest shade of off-sync that you probably would not notice until placing it beside the Senns.

Select Comparisons

Lypertek TEVI

£99.00

Technical

This is the ‘budget champion’ for me to date and it does seem to offer many features that the MOMENTUM True Wireless also has. Shared features including BT5.0, aptX, IPX, DSP noise suppression, and apps integration. The TEVI also has Qualcomm’s TrueWireless Stereo Plus technology which I do not believe the Senn TWS has.

On the flip side, the differences include a much shorter battery life on the MOMENTUM at just 4 hours in the drivers compared to a huge 10 hours on the TEVI. The cradle differences are stark, with the TEVI offering up to 70 hours via USB-C and the MOMENTUM just 8 hours via USB-C.

The MOMENTUM does have better control features with a fast reactive touch faceplate aided by aptX LL technology compared to the old school physical controls on the TEVI. Both do have app’s and the TEVI one does mimic the Senn one quite closely. What it misses though is the Transparent Hearing mic control system which blocks out noise much more effectively on the MOMENTUM.

Design-wise you can tell the MOMENTUM True Wireless is the better made with high-quality materials used side by side. The Senn is bigger and sticks out a bit more in your ear than the TEVI but that touch control accuracy makes for a more comfortable user experience.

Lypertek TEVI

Performance

Both the TEVI and the MOMENTUM True Wireless paired pretty easily but overall, the Senn was the faster and felt the simpler of the two despite the TEVI TrueWireless Stereo Plus technology. Senn seems to know how to keep this simple and thus a more pleasing user experience.

The TEVi did not perform as well for stability and range, perhaps it’s one real weak spot. Stability and distance were not great at 10-15m marker compared to the MOMENTUM. Definitely no chance of getting it into that little kitchen enclave and behind an additional wall at the 10m marker.

Latency is also better on the MOMENTUM but the TEVI is not that far behind. I would say 0.1s hasten on audio files using VLC on Windows 10 for audio/video files using the TEVI. The MOMENTUM requires no sync, its tight and you can see the difference easily side by side.

Tuning

The tuning on the TEVI is ultra-competitive compared to the MOMENTUM, which, considering the price difference is some of a big deal for me. The TEVI is one of those outlier TWS systems that just sounds really good, period. Not all TWS this cheap come close.

Both TWS has the same tuning goal and that’s a slightly musical but balanced sound signature where mids are pushed out to contrast a slightly weighted low-end. Neither are bright, neither are lean or overly juiced up sub-100Hz.

However, the emphasis in that broad tuning is different. The Senn has more low-end bloom and warmth as well as a bit more sub-bass quantity. It is the more powerful of the two and has the richer more even-harmonic instrumental timbre. The TEVI is cooler in the mid-bass and flatter in the lower-mids so it bleeds a little less and sounds the clearer as a result.

Neither has a pushed treble presence like the Fostex TM2, for example. However, the TEVI has more upper mids elevation than the MOMENTUM. That means it susceptible to drawing a bit more odd-harmonic overtones from a slightly bumped upper treble. Percussion timbre is cleaner as a result and it does sound the airier of the two TWS but also a little leaner and harder-edged.

Vocals have a bit more body for me on the MOMENTUM True Wireless, especially male vocals dipping below 1k. Male vocals that are chesty or rounded in delivery have a bit more texture and sustain compared to the TEVI’s leaner but more open sounding vocal delivery.

Fostex TM2

£269

Technical

The TM2’s purpose is incredibly different from the MOMENTUM True Wireless and to the point where I would say different audiences.

On a superficial level, the TM2 is a TWS and can be used much like the Senn option. However, its detachable driver nature and switching connections make it more of a choice for high-end audiophile rollers who want something for their existing customs or universal monitors.

The Sennheiser is more for those who need the complete TWS experience in a single box. Yes, there is overlap with both using single dynamic drivers, AAC/aptX decoding, BT5.0 and software apps integration. Both also have excellent environmental noise control with Fostex’s landscape sound and Sennheiser’s Transparent Hearing app options.

However, the emphasis in some key areas is different. The MOMENTUM TWS has aptX LL, the Fostex does not. The Senn has a battery capacity in a much smaller cradle whereas the Fostex has nothing in a huge cradle. The Fostex switches all battery to the drivers with a huge 10 hours per driver whereas the Senn fades away with just 4 hours.

Fostex TM2

Performance

Pairing on both was pretty straight forward though the TM2 does have TrueStereo Wireless Plus technology so you have a bit more flexibility on how to pair and controlling battery drain on both sides (mono or stereo).

Stability is on par with both TWS but the Fostex is just marginally better on range compared to the Sennheiser. The gap is not huge, maybe 1m beyond a second wall at best. Latency is the big gap with the TM2 definitely requiring 0.2s hastening on VLC on Windows compared to the MOMENTUM True Wireless which required no sync tweaking at all.

Tuning

The TM2 is the cleaner and brighter of the two TWS whereas the MOMENTUM True Wireless is wet, warm, accentuated in the lows and rich in the mids. The TM2 is dry, clear, mid-too-treble centric and quite forward at that.

Staging-wise the MOMENTUM True Wireless is deeper as the TM2 is taller. The MOMENTUM True wireless is the more forgiving of the two with a lot more treble fade. It clearly has more power but also more decay and a slower sounding signature.

The TM2 is leaner, more odd-harmonic biased in its timbre so the drivers have less PRaT but more speed. You will perceive a lot more treble presence and detail on the TM2 but it can be more fatiguing.

Personally, I think the differences are very stark and thus very easy to pick based on preferences. If you need the low-end power, warmth and richness grab the Sennheisers. If you prefer an airier, cleaner neutral sound signature and enjoy treble presence then grab the TM2 drivers.

Sony WF-1000XM3

$229.99

Technical

Up until the recent spate of ANC units, the MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 included, the WF-1000XM3 was probably the lead competitor. Sony has yet to release a new version so the XM3 is still their current flagship TWS. Current street pricing has these two around the same ballpark $200 marker.

Techwise, there are a fair few differences with the major one being ANC on the Sony. The Transparent Hearing actually does a very good job on the Senn but the Sony ANC is more complete and effective. I actually had a chance to test both a few weeks ago on a 1-hour flight and the ability to cancel out jet engine rumble on the Sony is more convincing.

There are other differences beyond ANC. The driver inside the Sony is a 6mm cone-type compared to the 7mm inside the MOMENTUM True Wireless. The Sony does not have aptX or aptX LL but instead uses AAC and SBC max decoding rate.

Both have integrated apps but I give the nod to the Sony app for just having a bit more to play with such as the 360 Reality Audio feature and partnerships with streaming services that offer 360 tracks.

Design & Charging

Both TWS are on the large side but designed well enough to fit rather comfortably with the right tips. They do, however, stick a bit out of the ear and in the case of the Sony most of it is out of the ear. I found the MOMENTUM True Wireless just to be the steadier fit overall between the two. The MOMENTUM also is IPX4 rated, the Sony has nothing – that could be a deal-breaker for many.

The battery life on the Sony is better, even with NC on at 6 hours and NC off at 8 compared to 4 on the Senn. The charging cradle capacity of the Sony also offers up to 18 hours as opposed to just 8 on the Senn.

 

Sony WF-1000XM3

 

Performance

Pairing on the Sony is very similar to the Senn with an apps integrated route or a manual pairing. Like the Senn, the Sony will only show up a single entry and no left and right channels making the process that bit simpler. Scan and locate were fast as was the app’s recognition of the TWS once paired.

The Sony has a better range and more stable than the Sennheiser, only, and I repeat only if you opt for ‘Priority on a stable connection’ option in the app menu and not the ‘Priority on sound quality’ option.

With the former, it is up there with the HELM TW5.0 for range, which is excellent. Once you go for the latter you get some drop out much earlier and particularly if you are sitting in a field full of radio transitions like other BT sources and receivers.

The latency is just as good as the Senn which surprised me but then again, no aptX on the Sony which is the downside. Still, no audio sync tweaks require don VLC on Windows 10 for 3-4 movie files we tested which was welcome.

Tuning

The quality of the Sony driver inside more than compensates for the lack of aptX decoding. I can’t honestly detect any serious lack of dynamic range compared to the MOMENTUM’s performance when hooked up to the same Note 9 and Huawei P20 sources.

The tuning differences, however, are more obvious when not fiddling with EQ. The Sony driver sounds like it has more extension and clarity in its bass extension just not as much quantity as the warmer and fuller sounding MOMENTUM.

The MOMENTUM mids are closer, more elevated with a more intimate presentation. The Sony, whilst not recessed, is more neutral and continues to sound very neutral right up to the treble which gets a lot more energy.

MOMENTUM vocals, particularly male vocals sound closer, fuller sounding and pushed forward in its staging but the treble fades for me in comparison so it sounds bass and midrange focused whereas the Sony sounds airier and taller.

You will perceive a grander larger soundstage on the Sony with more headroom and better instrumental separation whereas Sennheiser’s timbre is richer, smoother and wetter due to that fade.

Treble on the Sony can be a bit hard-edged and spikey with certain recordings and I do find myself having to EQ that down a little from time to time. If you are treble sensitive the MOMENTUM True Wireless will be the less fatiguing or more forgiving of the two but at the price of a little perceived top-end detail.

Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless

Our Verdict

The MOMENTUM True Wireless is an easy to use, professional made and well-integrated TWS system. It strikes a solid balance between immediate listening, easy to use controls and solid build quality. What is lacks is battery life, lots of it, and that could well be a deal-breaker for many.

Tonally, they err to the colored warm and smooth side but have a lot more control than the HELM TW5.0’s more bloomy signature. It is more of an everyday sound with a splash of audiophile sensibilities. If you enjoy a more easy-listening side with a powerful low-end and smooth vocals then the MOMENTUM True Wireless has you covered.

Sennheiser also makes excellent use of the aptX LL codec inside and they are absolutely the best I have tried so far for audio/video sync. Outside of Sony’s flagship TWS, nothing comes close in that regard that I have reviewed to date.

Of course, the MOMENTUM True Wireless V1 is now overshadowed by the V2 which has a better battery life and ANC. However, the price is dropping and at sub-$200 so these are much better value for me.

Momentum True Wireless Specifications

  • Bluetooth ProfilesAdvanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP)
  • Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP)
  • Hands-Free Profile (HFP), Headset Profile (HSP)
  • Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP)
  • Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP)
  • Hands-Free Profile (HFP)
  • Headset Profile (HSP)
  • Frequency Response 5 Hz
  • Sensitivity 107 dB SPL
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Response Bandwidth 100 Hz
  • Run Time (Up To) 4 hour(s)
  • Charging time: 1.5 hours
  • Weight 69.8g inc case, 13.2g for both earbuds
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Sound Quality
Design
Comfort & Isolation
Performance & Features
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