In this Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 review, we try to find out if the earbuds are truly the best pick for an audiophile on the go.
Sennheiser’s first attempt at making true wireless earbuds was quite successful, receiving a crown for the best sounding TWS in-ears on the market. While the looks of the Momentum True Wireless 2 and the charging case are almost identical to the first generation, internally, they changed everything.
Now you’re getting slightly more refined sound, good active noise-cancellation, and great Transparent Hearing mode. You also get improved ergonomics, better battery life, and an updated mobile app with, finally, standard EQ.
But are all these things enough to justify their $300 price tag? Are these extra features good enough reason to buy them over Sony WF-1000XM3 or Apple AirPods Pro? Or even Sennheiser’s own CX 400BT model that just came out?
We got ourselves a pair of Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 to review them after the initial hype.
- Refined, audiophile-grade sound with natural midrange
- Above-average soundstage
- Great comfort and secure fit
- Good noise-canceling performance for truly wireless earbuds
- Premium-feeling charging case
- Good build quality with IPX4 water protection
- Good overall battery life
- Futureproof with Bluetooth 5.1
- Useful mobile app
- Responsive and intuitive touch controls
- Bass could be tighter
- No foam tips included in the box
- Call quality could be better
- Some audio lag when watching videos
Disclaimer: We tested them on a firmware version 4.13.0.
What’s Inside the Box?
- Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 true wireless earbuds
- Charging case
- 4 pairs of ear tips (XS, S, M, L)
- Charging USB-C cable
- User manual
- 2-year warranty
Comfort & Fit
Comfort on these is excellent, despite their bulky housing. To wear them properly, you need to twist them into place, making them extremely stable even for running.
While they do look bigger on official product pictures, Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 are still quite bulky in person. Thankfully, Germans did a fine work trimming down a few millimeters from the first generation’s housing to improve ergonomics.
As with many true wireless in-ears, Momentum True Wireless 2 also require a special insertion procedure. First, you place them in your ear and then twist upwards. You can feel the nozzle going slightly deeper into your ear canal. Not to worry, you don’t feel any discomfort while doing so.
While our ears seem perfect for the earbuds’ size, users with smaller ears might start to feel some pressure points. We find them very comfortable, even for long walks or “jamming” at the office.
By twisting them upwards, you also ensure a stable fit. You can shake your head as hard as you want: these are not falling off that quickly. And believe us, when you listen to Momentum True Wireless 2, you shake your head a lot.
You get a pretty good passive isolation, thanks to deep insertion.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 require you to insert them slightly deeper than usual. Thankfully you don’t sense any suction or pressure building up inside the ear canal (like bi-flanged or triple-flanged ear tips).
Deep insertion ensures good isolation, even when the active noise cancellation is off. When the music is playing, you probably can’t hear anything around you. Since that can be dangerous if you’re walking near a busy road, there is an option for Transparent Hearing.
Very effective for truly wireless earbuds, but not even close to what big over-ear headphones can offer.
Since the active noise cancellation is the latest trending feature in the wireless audio equipment, Sennheiser decided to add it to their new model of true wireless Momentum. Thankfully, it wasn’t an afterthought, and it works pretty well.
As with many noise-canceling headphones, it can effectively block out lower frequencies. Constant noises like computer fans, air conditioning, dishwasher, or annoying traffic outside your apartment, can go away with a simple tap on the bud.
However, eliminating human speech is something that these earbuds can’t do. While it can dampen the volume a bit, it’s still easily understandable. Fortunately, there is no background hissing or change in sound when ANC is on, which is quite common among noise-canceling headphones.
Maybe it’s a bit unfair to compare the Momentum True Wireless 2 to full-sized headphones. However, the price of the Sony WH-1000XM3 (WH-1000XM4 are very similar) is currently lower than Sennheiser’s earbuds. Therefore, if you seek the best noise-canceling performance, go with the bigger over-ears.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 were released on March 2020, and are still one of the few earbuds that offer Bluetooth 5.1. Also, the list of supported smartphones is relatively short, so not many people can take advantage of this feature. Mainly you can expect lower battery consumption and a more stable connection.
The latter is correct, there are no issues with audio cut-offs. You can go across your house without fear of dropping the connection.
If you like to use only one earbud, you need to use the correct one. Only the right earbud works in mono mode because it’s the only one connected with your smartphone. A signal is then beamed from right to the left earbud.
This is another thing missing in Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2. Some users like to use the same wireless headphones on multiple devices. However, in this case, you need to first disconnect them and reconnect to another device.
What Bluetooth Codes They Use?
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 use standard SBC, AAC, and aptX, but no longer aptX Low Latency like in a previous model. While that isn’t that big of a deal for watching videos, it can affect mobile gaming.
Is There a Video Lag?
In our test, we experienced a small audio lag while watching YouTube. This is strange since Momentum True Wireless 2 uses aptX, which should help in these situations.
Interestingly, if you go inside Developer Options on Android, and force earbuds to use SBC, playback is back in sync. The quality of the sound remains similar to the aptX, while AAC is somewhat quieter in comparison.
Sennheiser made some significant improvements to battery life while also solved the problem with spontaneous draining.
The first generation had some major problems in the battery department. Not only they lasted only 4 hours per single charge, the battery drained when placed inside the charging case.
This time, all the problems are gone. You can now expect around 7 hours of playtime without ANC, with another 21 hours waiting in the case. Consequently, enabling ANC takes its toll, giving you approximately 4.5 hours of battery life.
If you want to know the exact percentage of the battery left, you have to open the mobile application. You can see an overall percentage, but not how much charge is inside an individual earbud.
If you need a quick recharge, you can place earbuds inside the charging case for 10 minutes, giving you roughly 1.5 hours worth of battery life. It takes 1.5 hours to charge them from 0 to 100%. Despite the high price, there is no wireless charging available on Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2.
Plastic is a bit disappointing at this price, but it does feel solid, with an IPX4 rating to prevent accidental moisture or sweat damage.
While it’s understandable that true wireless earbuds need to be as light as possible, seeing all-plastic construction on a $300 pair of in-ears is a bit underwhelming.
Fortunately, the housing of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 seems well made, with no visible weak points where it could open if earbuds fall on the floor.
We can say the same thing about the charging case, with a sturdy hinge and premium-feeling fabric. The latter gives this product a more luxurious look and hopefully doesn’t get dirty too soon.
You can also take them on your runs or workouts. They are IPX4 water-resistant, making them resistant to heavy sweating like most workout headphones.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 are a significant improvement over the first generation. They come with more microphones, active noise cancellation, Transparent Hearing mode, and a great mobile app with plenty of customizations.
The most obvious thing that the second iteration brings is the noise-canceling feature. As we already discussed above, it works very well for small earbuds.
In contrast, you can also amplify your surrounding with Transparent Hearing. It does so quite naturally, and apart from a slight boost in high frequencies, it almost feels like you’re not wearing earbuds at all. While it does introduce some wind noise, we like their performance.
There are also sensors on both buds for automatic play/pause. While it can be useful to some, we disabled them almost instantly. It isn’t very pleasant when you grab one earbud out to clean the ear tip, and the music is continuously playing and pausing as you’re wiping them.
Sennheiser’s mobile app is by far the most controversial. The main reason is the horrendous EQ visualizer that makes absolutely no sense. Thankfully, a few months ago, the Smart Control app received an update that added a functional equalizer.
Now you have separate controls for bass, midrange, and treble. While that isn’t as in-depth EQ as in the Sony Headphones app, it still helps when tweaking the sound to your preferences.
You can also fully customize touch controls on both earbuds. There are many commands that you can change. For easier distinguishing between one tap or 2 taps, earbuds play a beep every time you touch them. That is extremely helpful if you don’t want to activate the wrong command. Of course, you can disable the beep if you don’t like it.
The only thing that could be better with the app is loading time. Sometimes it takes around 20 seconds to open the app, which is weird. And there are also firmware updates, which can take up to 40 minutes to finish.
If you like taking phone calls from the comfort of your home or the office, Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 will do the job just fine. In a quiet environment, they can pick up your voice reasonably clean without distortions.
However, when you’re dealing with background noise, these are somewhat of a mixed bag. Sometimes they do an adequate job, but in most cases, they sound quite muffled. They’re fine if you need to take a call in a hurry, but you will probably have to repeat your words to the caller. Overall, we expected a bit more from a company that also makes professional microphones.
These are probably the most refined and natural-sounding true wireless earbuds right now. But they could be better.
The biggest enemy of the true wireless earbuds are still their wired counterparts. It’s still very much accurate that IEMs sound quality is better than TWS earbuds in the same price range. Sometimes, music from wireless headphones can sound too processed, since they rely on DSP (digital sound processing) to tweak the audio in real-time.
However, Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 come very close to the point where you can’t tell the difference. The sound coming out of these is very dynamic and lively, accompanied by above-average soundstage. But let’s go into details.
Starting with bass, it’s boosted, quite punchy, and well-controlled. Sub-bass extension is good, but not great. You can still feel a decent amount of rumble when a track demands it.
For more power see best bass earbuds.
However, instead of sounding tight, it feels more like a thump. That works amazingly for more popular genres like hip hop and EDM, but it can lose some focus when listening to old rock. Fortunately, it’s fast enough if you like to listen to progressive or metal music.
The midrange is where these earbuds shine the most. It’s warm and slightly recessed due to the U-shaped sound. It sounds very natural, with lifelike vocals for both males and females. Instruments share similar characteristics, with good separation between them.
Treble leans slightly on the brighter side, but it always stays smooth. It’s more shimmery than sparkly, effortlessly portraying cymbal crashes. If your playlist consists of jazz music, you will love these.
Another thing that is very obvious on Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 is the soundstage. It’s quite large for an in-ear headphone. Depending on a song, you can hear sounds slightly out of your head. The stage is equally wide as it’s deep.
Despite our praises about the sound, there is still room for improvement. Especially in the bass, which could be tighter to accommodate more genres of music. There is also a slight elevation in the upper midrange that causes some female vocals to become sibilant.
Update 10/18/2020: Sennheiser introduced a new feature called “High-End Sound Tuning.” We tested it out and found that the changes are quite significant. Sound is further refined, with a bit more presence in the midrange, giving you a more balanced output overall (previously it was more of a U-shape).
They have also cut off all the upper-midrange peaks that caused occasional sibilance. Because of that, some string instruments, like acoustic guitars, might lose some detail. However, electric guitars now sound fuller and more natural.
The new update also pushed the sounds a bit further, giving you a slightly bigger soundstage. All in all, a welcoming improvement in sound quality.
Should You Buy Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2?
As of right now, you probably can’t get better sounding true wireless earbuds. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 can reproduce your favorite music as faithfully as possible, giving a hit of warmth and smoothness to the overall sound.
Apart from the excellent sound quality, you’re also getting great comfort and a secure fit. Build quality is solid, despite plastic construction, and the charging case feels premium, albeit a bit too large to easily fit in the pocket.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 also offer many features that people expect from a premium product like that, such as noise-cancellation and Transparent Hearing. Both of them work great, especially the latter.
But at this price, there is a lot of competition, even from Sennheiser itself. They launched new true wireless earbuds called CX 400BT, which can offer the same sound quality as Momentum True Wireless 2, but for $100 less. However, they lose ANC, Transparent Hearing, proximity sensor, water-resistance, and a small amount of battery.
Overall, we think that $300 isn’t that much to ask for the quality you’re getting. Sure, you will get better ANC from bigger headphones, but for those who don’t want to sweat inside leathery earpads, in-ears are the only solution.
If you’re not in a rush, maybe wait for them to go on sale. We manage to get our pair for around $220, and at that price, they are a no-brainer.
|Weight:||0.42 oz (12g) both buds|
|Mic & Controls:||Yes|
|Battery life:||7h (5h with ANC) + 21h in case|
|Charging time:||2h + quick charge – USB-C|
|Active noise cancelling:||Yes|
|Bluetooth codecs:||SBC, AAC, aptX|
|Wireless range:||33ft (10m)|
|Microphone:||Built-in, one mic per earbud|