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Sennheiser Momentum Wireless review: Premium wireless sound for a premium price

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The Good The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless is a well-designed, sturdy headphone, that folds up for more compact storage and features excellent sound over Bluetooth, as well as over a wired connection. The headphone is also equipped with active noise-cancellation and has dual microphones for use as a cell-phone headset.

The Bad Expensive; like the Beats Studio Wireless, you can't turn noise-cancellation off (it's always on when you use Bluetooth).

The Bottom Line While it may be a bit overpriced, the Momentum 2.0 Wireless is an excellent and well-designed Bluetooth headphone with active noise-cancellation that also offers strong wired performance.

8.4 Overall
  • Design 9
  • Features 8
  • Sound 9
  • Value 8

In the last few months, Sennheiser's been blowing out the original version of its highly regarded Momentum headphones, selling them for less than $200 online after starting them out at $379 a couple of years ago. The reason for the price drop is that the company has new over-ear and on-ear Momentums, including new wireless models.

(Confusingly, the new wired models are called the Momentum 2.0, while the wireless models seem to use the "2.0" label at some retailers, but not at others.)

Not surprisingly, the new models don't come cheap. The over-ear Momentum 2.0 Wireless we're reviewing here carries a list price of $500 or £380 (that's AU$745 converted), which is probably about $100 more than it should cost. But aside from that pricing issue, it's a great Bluetooth headphone.

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The Momentum Wireless has larger earcups and is more comfortable than the original Momentum.

Sarah Tew/CNET

What's great about it? For starters, it's comfortable and well built. Sennheiser has tweaked the designs of both its Momentum over-ear and on-ear models. Both the wired and wireless versions have a new folding design that gives the headphones a slightly smaller footprint when they're in their included carrying case.

In the case of the new wired Momentum 2.0 and this wireless model, Sennheiser has made the earcups a little bigger so they fit over your ears better and don't pinch anything (some users complained that the headphones were too small, sort of in between on on-ear and over-ear headphone). The designers also made the earcups softer.

On top of its Bluetooth capabilities (it uses Bluetooth 4.0), the Momentum Wireless also features active noise cancellation and near-field communications tap-to-pair technology for compatible devices, and supports the aptX codec ( aptX is supposed to improve the sound when streaming over Bluetooth). Additionally, you can attach a cable and use the headphone as a wired headphone. Not only does it sound better in this mode, but it plays louder.

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The headphones, which come in black or ivory, now have a folding design.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The playback and volume controls, as well as the power on/off button, are on the right earcup, and I was able to operate everything easily enough just by feel.

Like a lot of other Bluetooth headphones and speakers, this model has some built-in voice prompts delivered by a soothing female voice. She tells you when the headphones are powered on or off, let's you know when your headphones are paired with your Bluetooth-enabled device (yes, these headphones work with iOS, Android, and Windows phones), and alerts you when your battery is low.

Wireless range is the typical 33 feet or 10 meters and my wireless connection was mostly rock steady, though you will run into a bit of Bluetooth interference now and again. (Some reviewers on Amazon have complained of this.)

Performance

The noise cancellation, which isn't too heavy, is always on -- there's no switch to turn it off -- but battery life is still quite good at up to 22 hours. The noise-canceling worked well in the streets of New York, and the integrated microphone, which is actually dual mics, worked very well for making calls with my cell phone. You can hear your own voice as you talk inside the headphones, which keeps you from talking louder than you need to.

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