Looking at Sennheiser’s range of beautifully styled, impeccably built headphones, it’s too easy to lose sight of what the brand is all about.
But slip on any of the new MOMENTUM 2.0 and SPORTS headphones and play back well recorded music and a strange thing happens.
Within seconds you lose track of the fact you are wearing headphones. You become instead absorbed by the music.
Those that know about these things will all tell you the ultimate test of the sound quality of any audio appliance is its ‘’vanishing factor”.
Which means the very best headphones have the uncanny ability to disappear and not draw attention to themselves.
A good thing too. Because the sole focus of a great audio product is the enjoyment of music.
This isn’t to say Sennheiser ignores styling or build quality. The company, which has been around since 1945, is iconic for its attention to build quality and aesthetic appeal.
Right now, Sennheiser is celebrating its 70th anniversary and is rightly proud of its achievements. Think of high-quality products, excellent sound and a mountain load of new, standard setting innovations and the Sennheiser name comes immediately to mind.
Sennheiser remains a family owned and run company. Its current CEOs are Daniel Sennheiser and Dr. Andreas Sennheiser, both third generation members of the Sennheiser family and grandchildren of company founder Pro.Dr. Fritz Sennheiser.
MOMENTUM 2.0 WIRELESS HEADPHONES
Time also moves on and Sennheiser moves with it and has unveiled two wireless MOMENTUM models.
MOMENTUM 2.0 Around Ear Wireless is $799.95 and the $649.95 MOMENTUM 2.0 On-ear model both feature Sennheiser’s new NFC technology which we used to easily and very quickly pair both ‘phones via Bluetooth to a Samsung Galaxy 6 and Sony Xperia3 smartphones in preparation for on a plane trip interstate recently.
Have to say, the MOMENTUM’S Active Noise Cancellation technology came in very handy when we were given mid-section seats adjacent to the wing and its two ultra powerful and noisy jet engines.
Interestingly, Sennheiser originally developed its NoiseGard technology for use in Lufthansa Pilots’ headsets to give them needed respite from the stress and noise of a typical cockpit.
The technology was so advanced and effective it’s now used in professional pilot headsets of major airlines but also in thousands of cockpits of private planes.
And of course, NoiseGard is a major feature of these two new headphones and all of the models in Sennheiser’s vast travel range.
NoiseGard offers travellers three noise-cancelling profiles.
Mode 1 targets and absorbs low-frequency noise of about 100-Hertz commonly a plague against music enjoyment and stress free travelling on trains, buses or small passenger aircraft.
Mode 2 cancels noise in mid-frequencies of about 400 to 300 Hertz and a by-product of air-conditioning systems in large passenger planes or commercial buildings.
Mode 3, which was our favourite on our flight, has a huge effective frequency range spanning 100 to 3000 Hertz. It is ideal for cancelling mid to low frequency noise heard as background grunge at airports and railway or underground stations.
But here’s the thing: most noise cancelling headphones we’ve used over the years sounded uninteresting playing back music. But not the MOMENTUMs, which always sounded detailed and involving.
If we had to point to the reason why both models sounded so musically pleasing we’d have to say the sound was beautifully balanced. Meaning when you put on a pair, apart from their high comfort factor, you will hear the right amount of treble, midrange and high frequencies relative to each other.
What you don’t want to hear, especially on a long flight is say, an over exuberant treble or wallow in a bass so forceful it intrudes into vocals.
We guarantee, all of the latest MOMENTUM’S have an impeccably balanced sound. But which version you prefer depends on personal taste.
The around-ear MOMENTUM 2.0 will envelope the ear keeping the outside, well out where it should be.
Personally we preferred the on ear MOMENTUM 2.0 by a small margin, not because it sounded better but because we prefer to keep some engagement with the external world whilst donning headphones.
Either way, you’ll enjoy the sound quality both offer in spades. One thing’s for certain, travellers will revel in the 2-hour battery life of either phone.
But here’s the ting: both models have wired versions which offer the same ‘phone at a cheaper price. The MOMENTUM 2.0 around ear wired version is $499.95 and the on ear wired model is $349.95.
Few brands devote as much energy in getting the sound of their sports headphones right as Sennheiser.
Chatting to a couple of the designers a while back, both said good sound and sports in-ear headphones are not a happy combination for most headphone brands.
Great sound and musical enjoyment are non-negotiable design goals for Sennheiser. Auditioning the four new sports headphones turned out to be a treat rather than a chore, for that very reason. They sounded superb.
The new SPORTS series comprises the MX686 ($129.95), CX686 ($129.95), PMX686 ($179.95), and the OCX686 (179.95).
Have to say a personal favourite turned out to be the MX686. Given my idea of exercise is to lay on the couch sampling YouTube music I want to buy, the MX686’s shape was just perfect and sank into my pillow without any stress at all.
That’s not to say the other three models were not as enjoyable or involving musically. Because clearly they were. Each put a musical performance between the ears with what seemed like consummate ease. And just like the much, more expensive MOMENTUM models, the sound was notable because of its balanced quality.
Also worth mentioning was the attention to styling and the choice of materials used in the construction of the SPORTS models.
Each model has a different contour obviously for different types of outdoor activities. But all had inline smart remotes and microphones on the cable, and as for the aforementioned materials used, all the models dip into nanotechnology for their anti-bacterial additives.
All are water resistant and come with adapters, cable clip and storage pouch.
Which completes the trifecta of great sound, perfect styling and superb fit and finish.
For more information: www.sennheiser.com.au