Sennheiser Momentum review: Sennheiser's luxurious Momentum headphones are worth the price

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4.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

4.5 stars 5 user reviews

The Good Great sound quality; stylish design; excellent build quality.

The Bad Not especially packable.

The Bottom Line The Sennheiser Momentums combine style, strong construction and excellent sound quality. If you're after a pair of headphones for the commute and you value clear, accurate sound, then the Momentums would be a superb choice.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.8 Overall
CNET Editors' Choice Oct '12

If you fancy a pair of headphones with great sound quality -- ones that don't pummel you with bass -- and a lightweight, stylish design that's good enough to turn heads, then step this way.

With their leather earcups and lightweight stainless steel headband, the Sennheiser Momentums are undeniably attractive and offer sound that's sure to bring a smile to even the most dedicated travelling audiophile.

They're available now for £250 from the Apple Store.

Design and build

The Momentums are the first in Sennheiser's new headphone range to emphasise style for the street, rather than being designed solely for wearing in the home studio or via your hi-fi. Gone are the usual shades of functional black and silver on the earcups, to be replaced by dark brown leather pads with a brown/grey casing.

The headband is made from a single piece of brushed stainless steel with the same brown leather padding on top. The earcups simply slide up and down the metal supports, rather than bulk out the headband with an extending mechanism. It's a very minimal look.

Sennheiser Momentum side
The cups slide up and down the stainless steel band for simple adjustment.

They're certainly more style-focused than you'd typically see, but they won't suit everyone's tastes. If you're keen on soft leather bags, minimally-designed brown jackets and the subtle stitching you'll find on an Aston Martin's leather interior, then they'll be right up your street.

Build quality seems every bit as high as you'd expect from the £250 price tag. The leather pads feel very firmly sewn in place and they are made from -- I'm told -- high-quality leather from a traditional English tannery, which should keep them looking good months down the line. I didn't have long enough with them to judge this, but they didn't mark during testing, so I'm confident they could take some punishment.

The ear casings also feel very sturdy and there's no awkward plastic clips to snap off with the sliding mechanism, as you'd find on cheaper headphones. Sadly though, the one-piece design of the headband means they can't be folded up, which greatly reduces their portability. They come with a protective carry case for shoving in your luggage, but it's huge, so you might want to consider a lighter pair for your air travel.

The headphones aren't over-sized though and are, in fact, much less bulky than a lot of over-ear cans on the market. The headband design means weight is kept to a minimum, so they're perfectly comfortable for out-and-about use. I found I could happily wear them for several hours without discomfort.

The cable is made from a flexible rubber that's removable, meaning you can swap it for a new one if it gets mangled in your chair wheels. I initially didn't think it was removable as it's very awkward to take off, but it's not something you'd need to do every day and therefore isn't really something I can hold against them too much. It feels fairly sturdy though and features a three-button remote for controlling your iPhone or iPod or taking calls.

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