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Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear review: A slick, fast-sounding in-ear headphone that won't break the bank

The slick Momentum In-Ear isn't as balanced as the rest of the Momentum headphones, but some people may like that.

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David Carnoy
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David Carnoy

Executive Editor / Reviews

Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.

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The Momentum In-Ear is the latest addition to Sennheiser's well-regarded Momentum family of headphones, which are designed for use with today's mobile devices. The original Momentum is one of our favorite premium headphones and we also liked the Momentum On-Ear . This new In-Ear is the most affordable Momentum headphone yet, coming in at $99 (£90 in the UK or AU$169 in Australia), an attractive price point.

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7.7

Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear

The Good

The Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear looks slick, is quite affordable, and it delivers exciting sound with strong bass and good clarity. It has an integrated inline remote and microphone for making cell phones calls (both iOS and Android versions are available) and a nice carrying case is included.

The Bad

The top end (treble) is a touch brash, and also, while the headphones look swanky, the housings are mostly plastic.

The Bottom Line

The Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear doesn't measure up to the high standard set by other more expensive headphones in the Momentum line, but it still has a lot going for it for the price.

There's a lot to like about it. It looks slick, is lightweight and comfortable, and has a flat cable design with an integrated iOS friendly remote and microphone. A separate model is geared toward Samsung Galaxy owners, though its remote functions also work with LG, HTC, and Sony and other Android phones and tablets.

Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear headphones product photos

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At first glance, the polished housing appears to me made of metal, but upon closer examination, only the posts turn out to be metal. In short, while the headphone looks swanky on the surface, you quickly realize why the Momentum In-Ear costs only $99.

However, it does come with a sturdy L-shaped plug and nice carrying case. It is worth mentioning that the included cord-management tray may prove to be more of nuisance than a help because it's a bit of a chore to wrap up the headphones each time you go to put them away in the case. Luckily, the tray is removable, and when you get rid if it, it's much easier to get the headphones in the case.

Performance

The sound isn't typical of the Momentum line, which tends to be more balanced. In contrast, this is a fast headphone with lots of bass and treble and not much warmth in the midrange. It's certainly not a laid-back headphone. Both editor Ty Pendlebury and I found it a tad brash and CNET contributor Steve Guttenberg concurred with our diagnosis in a follow-up listen. He liked it for the money, but like us, thought it was a little "zingy" in the top end.

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The headphones come with a nice carrying case. Sarah Tew/CNET

Conclusion

The Momentum In-Ear has a lot going for it at $99, but at the same time, it doesn't measure up to the high standard set by other more expensive headphones in Sennheiser's Momentum line . Still, if you're after a more exciting headphone with forward sound and lots of bass, it could be an appealing choice at its fairly modest price point.

sennheiser-momentum-inear-main.jpg
7.7

Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 8Sound 7Value 8
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