The much-awaited Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 has finally arrived in the congested and highly cutthroat Indian audio market. These are the esteemed German company’s second stab at the true wireless in-ears form factor, with the original version having been released back in 2018. At the time, those were the very best true wireless earphones you could get your hands on. In fact, these earbuds even won the Digit Zero1 award for the best performing True Wireless in-ear headphones in 2019. However, the landscape of true wireless earphones has gone through tectonic alterations in the last two years with the introduction of several features and the development of the then-nascent technology. So, how does the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 stack up to premium true wireless offerings from Jabra, Apple, and numerous others in 2020? Let’s find out in our review.
Build and design
Sennheiser has largely retained the aesthetic of the original Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless earphones in the new version, nevertheless, they do boast some functional changes in design and build. The earbuds’ size has been slashed down slightly, making them appear more streamlined overall. They now appear even more intelligibly luxurious featuring shiny metallic housings and a rounded, ergonomic shape. The Sennheiser logo is smacked right on the shiny metal housing. Don’t let the word ‘shiny’ here deter you from getting these earphones even if you’re not a fan of gloss and shine, the metallic housings aren’t at all ostentatious in appearance, in fact, they’re quite the opposite, they’re unmistakably premium and elegant.
The back houses the gold-plated charging connectors and LEDs that indicate the connectivity status. They are considerably bulkier than obnoxiously diminutive earphones such as the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus and the Jabra Elite 75t, however, the slight decrease in size has certainly made them more svelte overall.
The charging case’s look on the original Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless immediately floored us, with its gorgeous woven fabric finish. The Momentum True Wireless 2 sticks to the same tried-and-tested look, however, they have altered the colour to be more in line with the earphones themselves. The new case features a darker grey colour, which, in our opinion, elevates the design further.
The company will also be releasing a white variant later during the year. On the back of the charging case, you will find a USB-C port, an LED light and a tiny button, which when pressed, lights up the LED to relay the battery remaining on the charging case.
Upon opening the case, you will be greeted with the company’s name written in bold on the upper portion of the case. The bottom part houses the cavities for the earphones along with gold-plated magnetic pins that hold the earbuds secure in the case. The case opens and shuts with an audibly satisfying snap and the earbuds slot into the cavities in a similar, satisfying manner. Be assured that even if you drop the case, the earphones will hardly ever budge from their intended slot since the magnets within the case are pretty strong.
Overall, the build quality and design of the charging case and the earphones themselves will certainly match up to the lofty price of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2. You’re paying a premium for these exorbitantly-priced earphones but you’re, without an iota of doubt, getting a premium and seemingly durable design and build. The only complaint we’d dish out is that the case, while aesthetically-pleasing, is not one of the most pocketable ones we’ve seen. They are slightly on the larger side and will definitely bulge out of most pockets.
Comfort and fit
One complaint the 2018 Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless received by quite a few reviewers and customers was regarding the overall comfort. The original Momentum True Wireless would start to cause some fatigue over time due to the pressure the relatively large earphones would apply on the ears. This issue, faced by numerous users, has largely been solved in the Momentum True Wireless 2. We wore the earphones for over 5 hours at a stretch with absolutely no comfort issues. We’re guessing the reduced dimensions of the new earphones have made them feel more comfortable over longer listening sessions. The earphones are also quite lightweight which can aid comfort and fit as well. The reviewer’s ears are on the smaller side, still, there were no apparent signs of overwhelming fatigue or discomfort.
In addition to being supremely comfortable over long listening sessions, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 also provides an exceeding snug and secure fit in the ear. The company has included four pairs of silicone eartips in the box in various sizes (XS, S, M, L). Ensure that you find the right size for your ear by trying out all the tips and see which gives you the most secure fit possible. Also, to get the full extent of the fit, you will need to slide the earphones into your ear and then twist them to sort of, lock them into place.
The reviewer found the fit to be absolutely phenomenal with the medium-sized eartips. The earphones didn’t budge at all during various activities such as walking around, running, eating, talking, and even stayed put when the reviewer shook her hair violently for no apparent reason. You can easily go running or gymming with these earphones if you manage to find the perfect fit, and having four ear tips to choose from certainly helps in that quest. The good seal also amped up the passive isolation. While the earphones do feature Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), the passive noise cancellation was enough to diminish background noise considerably. An additional pair of foam tips would be phenomenal, even though we’re more than happy with the fit already.
The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 come equipped with a cornucopia of features. The most prominent one being the induction of Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) that wasn’t present on the 2018 model. Since the Sony WF-1000XM3 earphones aren’t officially available in India, it makes the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 one of the very few true wireless earphones that come equipped with ANC, alongside the Apple AirPods Pro. It’s great to see Sennheiser offer this feature since the premium price tag calls for it. We’ll elaborate more on the quality of the ANC in the next section.
Alongside ANC, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 also comes with a Transparent Hearing mode which basically enhances ambient sound and plays it back to you. It works pretty well and can really come in handy when you want to listen to music but you also need to be aware of your surroundings and have a quick conversation without taking the earphones off. It works great if your music volume is slightly on the lower side, say about 40-50 per cent.
The metallic outer surface of each earphone also doubles as a touch control pad that can be used to carry out various functions. The default touch controls are a bit unintuitive. Pressing the left touchpad once pauses or plays music, a double-tap skips the track, while a triple-tap takes you to the previous track. Similarly, on the right side, pressing the touchpad once activates your voice assistant, a double-tap turns on Transparent Hearing, while a triple-tap activates ANC. Also, pressing and holding down the right and left touchpad increases and decreases the volume level respectively. These controls just felt a bit too unnatural and hard to memorise for us. Fortunately, the touchpad commands are completely customisable! You can alter all the touch commands via the Sennheiser Smart Control app. We love that Sennheiser has allowed the ability to switch around the touch controls since it something that is not commonly seen in true wireless earphones, but it is often something many users desire.
Speaking of the Smart Control app, it hosts a customisable EQ as well. You can tweak the sound signature to your preference and even save up to 9 different sound profiles. You can also toggle on or off a few other features such as ANC, Transparent Hearing, Auto Accept Call (automatically accepts an incoming call when the right earbud is taken out of the case), Smart pause, and Sidetone.
Smart pause automatically pauses music or media when one earbud is taken out of the ear. It also auto-plays the music when the earphone is inserted back into the ear. The on-ear detection is likely accomplished by employing optical sensors and is a pretty nifty feature. You can easily pause/play music on the fly when you simply want to have a conversation or do something else. Instead of fumbling around to tap the touchpad to pause, you can simply enable this feature to make it more intuitive. Sidetone, on the other hand, gives you an audible feedback of your own voice when on a phone call. This prevents users from talking too loud when they’re on a call.
The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 comes equipped with the latest Bluetooth v5.1. The wireless transmission range of the earphones is 10m or 33 feet, as per the company. This is, of course, achieved barring any obstacles, which will essentially reduce the range. We noticed that the connection was quite solid throughout our usage, with absolutely no lags and skips in the audio. The connectivity was also maintained at a distance with a wall or two in between, so it’s safe to say you won’t have any pressing complaints about the Bluetooth connectivity. Additionally, audio codecs such as AAC and aptX are also supported.
Unfortunately, you can only connect to only one device at a time with the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2. So, if you’re used to using your earphones interchangeably on your smartphone and laptop/PC, you’ll be disappointed since you have to disconnect from the currently connected device to connect to another one.
Battery life is another area where the original Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless got some flak. Other than some odd battery drain issues, the battery life itself on the older version was lacklustre, coming in at a total of a mere 12 hours of battery life (4 hours on the buds + 8 hours from the charging case). This time around, Sennheiser has more than doubled the battery life on the Momentum True Wireless 2 compared to its predecessor. You now get a total of approximately 28 hours of battery life, with 7 hours on the buds and 3 additional charges (21 hours) via the case. We’ll elaborate more on battery life in the next section.
The earphones also sport an IPX4 rating which means they can easily withstand light splashes and sweat, making them usable during intense sweat-inducing workouts and even in light rainfall. Also, they come with a USB Type-C charging cable which charges the case pretty rapidly. The one feature that the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 sorely lacks is wireless charging. Although it is not an extremely essential feature, it is pretty useful for those who already use wireless chargers at home or those who have smartphones equipped with reverse charging. We were quite disappointed to see Sennheiser give this feature a skip since the premium price tag calls for it, seeing that even relatively affordable true wireless earphones such as the Noise Shots XO and the Realme Buds Air have included wireless charging for the case.
The biggest strength of the original Momentum True Wireless earphones was definitely the stellar sound quality. With the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2, despite the addition of more features, the sound quality is still very much the highlight. The Momentum True Wireless 2 pack the same 7mm dynamic drivers as the originals did, however, there are some subtle changes and even improvements to the sound quality that were probably achieved via chip and software upgrades over their predecessor.
Let’s start with the bass response, which is absolutely sublime on these earphones. The bass is rich, textured and also punchy. Each bass thump has sufficient drive and enthusiasm but it also features oodles of detail. The Momentum True Wireless 2 has an astounding control over the quality of the bass which never strays away from prioritising quality over raw power. In Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes, the bass guitar sounds taut, well-controlled and textured. The lows are also extremely well-produced and detailed. We didn’t hear any harshness in this frequency even at high volume levels, which is impressive. Listening to Rewind by Kelala, we were surprised to hear the sheer drive and intensity in the lows, which is rare in true wireless earbuds. The bass response and the lows bring a soothing warmth and fullness to tracks.
The mid accuracy on these earphones is also pretty remarkable. Lead instruments and vocals in these frequencies sound divine and natural, and the Momentum True Wireless 2 is able to extract absurd amounts of detail in this frequency range, with even slight breaths being clearly audible. It brings a certain rawness to vocal-centric tracks which we really appreciated.
The highs on the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 are definitely more subtle and controlled compared to the likes of the Apple AirPods. While overall the highs seem pretty detailed and well-produced, there’s a higher-than-usual drop in the lower-treble range that sometimes compromises a bit of detail, especially in female vocals. Sennheiser audio products usually have a characteristic drop in a part of the high frequencies which can be jarring to the human ear, however, this time around it seems that they have dropped the reproduction of this frequency point even more than usual which has compromised a bit of detail here. Nevertheless, it is still something most ears won’t be able to pick up that easily. If you do and it does bother you, you can always bump up the lower-treble range slightly via the customisable EQ on the app.
The soundstage is excellent on these earphones, possibly the best we’ve tested on true wireless earphones so far. The stage is abundantly wide and surprisingly, even features some height to it. The imaging on these earphones is yet again, stellar and in tracks such as Popular Monster by Falling in Reverse, that features a chaotic mess of instruments, you can still distinctly tell most of them apart.
Coming to the battery life, it has definitely improved in comparison to its predecessor. In our test the earphones did manage to stay powered on for about 7 hours continuously, however, this is without ANC turned on. With ANC, the earbuds will only last you about 4.5 hours with ANC turned on the whole time, as per our tests. Still, this stacks up pretty well since the AirPods Pro also last about 5 hours with ANC turned on. You also have an additional 3 charges (21 hours) of battery life on the case itself which is a massive improvement over the 8 hours on the previous model.
Powered by Bluetooth v5.1, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 features almost no tangible latency when playing games or streaming shows. Also, the sound is immersive and dynamic when watching films or TV series, especially action ones. The microphone quality on the earphones is also quite good. The caller on the other end could hear everything we said quite clearly and the sounds in our background were sufficiently filtered out of the conversation. Dictating a paragraph on Google Notes also showed that the microphone was able to pick up most of what we were saying accurately.
Now, let’s talk about the quality of the Active Noise Cancellation on the Momentum True Wireless 2. While these earphones certainly cannot reproduce the level of ANC an over-ear pair of headphones can provide, they do diminish background sounds significantly when ANC is active. The Momentum True Wireless 2 did a stellar job at drowning out constant sounds and chatter in the background such as the hum of the AC and even some voices. It does better at cutting out low rumbles in comparison to higher-frequency sounds such as typing on a mechanical keyboard. Nevertheless, it still muffles high-frequency sounds to an acceptable degree. They do offer much better ANC than the 1More True Wireless ANC earphones we reviewed in the past.
The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 had lofty expectations to meet, in more ways than one, and they have actually managed to meet and even surpass most of those expectations. The battery life has been hugely improved, the addition of ANC is a welcome one, and the fit and comfort of the earbuds have also been enhanced since the dimensions of the earbuds have been trimmed down. Moreover, the promising sound quality usually found on Sennheiser audio products is here in all of its glory. The lack of wireless charging and the slight veiling of detail in the lower-treble are really the only missteps here. Despite these small issues, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 is a truly remarkable pair of true wireless earphones. However, they are not for everyone, owing solely to the exorbitant price. Still, if you can afford to buy these stellar earphones, you will most likely be extremely pleased with your purchase.