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.
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.
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.
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.
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.