Sennheiser has refreshed its Momentum line, making some design tweaks and adding two wireless models, the Momentum Wireless and Momentum On-Ear Wireless.
Both models also feature active noise cancellation, NFC tap-to-pair technology for compatible devices, aptX codec support and a new folding design.
The noise cancellation, which isn't too heavy, is always on (there's no switch to turn it off), but battery life is still good at 22 hours.
I had a listen to the new models, which are shipping very soon, and the over-ear Momentum Wireless is a more balanced, audiophile-oriented headphone while the Momentum On-Ear is a zippier, more exciting model.
I preferred the sound of the Momentum On-Ear Wireless but liked the fit of the over-ear Momentum Wireless, which features plusher, slightly larger earcups than the original Momentum. (Some people complained that the earcups on the original were too small.)
Neither model is cheap. The Momentum Wireless is $500 (£330 or AU$620 converted) while the Momentum On-Ear Wireless is $400 (£265 or AU$495).
Here's the smaller Momentum On-Ear Wireless ($400), which features more dynamic sound than its big brother but isn't quite as comfortable because it's an on-ear model. It, too, features active noise cancellation and over 20 hours of battery life. It's available soon in black and ivory.
AKG's Y45BT shipped recently and is available now. This on-ear model comes in white and black and carries a list price of $180 (£120 or AU$200 converted). But it can be had in the US for $120, and the white model shown here is going for $150.
Philips has a new entry in the Bluetooth headphone market: The on-ear
Fidelio M2BT, which is due out this spring for $280. We're still
waiting on official UK and Australian pricing, but converted that's around £185 or AU$350.
This is the follow up to the Fidelio M1BT, which was the wireless version of the popular Fidelio M1 ($80), which I reviewed and liked.
I got a chance to play around with the M2BT and it's definitely a very good on-ear Bluetooth headphone that stacks up well against the likes of the
Beats Solo 2 Wireless. The only problem is that its list price is almost
as expensive as that of the Solo 2 Wireless (which are $300, US-only).
Hopefully, the M2BT's street price will come in under $250, which is
what the Bose SoundLink On-Ear Bluetooth costs.
Harman bills its Synchros S210BT as the world's first in-ear Bluetooth headphones with motion sensor control.
It's a sweat-proof model that's due out this March for $200 (around £130 or AU$250) and features a two-way hybrid driver design.
Here's what JBL has to say about the motion sensor control, which I wasn't able to try:
"No longer will you become frustrated by the task of trying to change
tracks or answer calls with controllers that are both small and
difficult to locate on earphones. The
JBL Synchros S210BT offers an elevated consumer experience, made possible
by wave-to-control technology. The JBL Reflect Response BT frees your
workout from distraction with the world's first motion sensor sports
earphones — controlled with a simple wave of the hand. You can command
audio to playback or pause, along with control tracks and pick up calls."
Battery life is rated at 8 hours, which is fairly decent.
I felt I should include a couple of inexpensive models in this roundup and Monoprice is known for making inexpensive headphones that sound good.
Such is the case for the 11536/37, which comes in black and white and has a folding design, as you can see. I can't say it has the best build quality but it sounds decent for $69. (Monoprice doesn't sell in the UK or Australia.)
Parrot's Zik Sport, which is due out later this year (we suspect much later), has a heart-rate sensor built into it along with an accelerometer to track your cadence. Yes, there's a companion app that saves and analyses all the data.
The headphones feature stabilizer pads and a folding, sweat-proof design.
Def Tech is known for making very good speakers and now it's bringing out a Bluetooth headphone, the Symphony 1 ($400, which is around £265 or AU$495). Out in February, it also features active noise cancellation.
It has a more balanced sound signature (I had a quick listen). And while it's a large, sturdy headphone with 50mm drivers, it's not all that heavy, which is good.
I found it didn't fit incredibly snugly on my head, but it is comfortable.
Sennheiser's new Urbanite line has its fist wireless entry with the Urbanite XL Wireless ($300, which is around £200 or AU$370).
It doesn't sound quite as good as the Momentum Wireless and is missing the active noise cancelling of that model, but it's a very comfortable headphone -- we liked the wired version of the Urbanite XL. It offers 15 hours of battery life.
So far there's no wireless on-ear Urbanite, but we should see one eventually.
Yurbuds Leap Wireless, which shipped at the end of 2014, is another decent sounding sports model that's designed to sit securely in your ears and is fully waterproof (it's washable). Battery life is rated at around 6 hours, which is reasonable for a wireless earbud-style headphone.