Reviewed on Aug 15, 2018

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0/HD1 Over-Ear HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3.1
6.1
Mixed Usage
6.9
Neutral Sound
6.0
Commute/Travel
6.1
Sports/Fitness
6.1
Office
5.2
Wireless Gaming
6.9
Wired Gaming
6.1
Phone Call
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Sennheiser HD1 Over-Ear are average headphones for most use cases with a decently well-balanced sound. They're a great-looking and well-built pair of wired over-ears with a good bass, low leakage and easy to use controls. Unfortunately, they're not the most comfortable over-ears that we've tested. They also tend to sound a bit dark overall due to their recessed treble range. They also won't be as practical as the noise cancelling and wireless HD1 .

Test Results
Design 7.1
Isolation 5.8
Microphone 6.4
Active Features 0
Connectivity 3.8
Pros
  • Great audio reproduction.
  • Sturdy and durable design.
  • Minimal sound leakage.
Cons
  • Poor isolation.
  • Lacking comfortable padding.
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  3. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  4. Update 10/2/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
  5. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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7.1

Design

The Sennheiser HD1 Over-Ear (Momentum 2.0 wired) are well-made, and stylish-looking headphones with a sturdy and durable build quality. The metal frame is solid enough to not warp easily under physical stress and the dense ear cups are able to withstand a few accidental drops without getting damaged. They offer a good control scheme thanks to their in-line remote and they're moderately comfortable although the lack of padding on the headband and slight stiffness in the ear cup padding lessens comfort level over-all. They're also not the most stable or breathable headphones for sports but should be fine for most casual activities.

Style

The Sennheiser HD1 Over-Ear have an old-school look that's visually appealing and feels high-end. The oval ear cups are dark gray with a matte finish accentuated by the black padding on the ear cups and the faux leather finish of the headband. Other color options are available that stand out a bit more than the matte gray finish but the design and understated retro look should work for most, although they won't be the most eye-catching headset out there for the fashion-forward listener.

7.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.6 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0.7 lbs

The HD1's over-ear cups are decently sized and encompass most ears well. They do not apply too much tension to the head, which makes them comfortable to listen to for long sessions. Unfortunately, they lack padding on the headband and the padding used for the ear cups could be softer. It's slightly stiff and may be uncomfortable for some.

7.2 Controls
OS Compatibility
:
iOS
Ease of use : Okay
Feedback : Good
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : No

The button layout and functionality of the HD1 is above average, offering well-defined inline controls for call/music, track skipping and volume. They don't have any additional features but what is present is efficient and easy to use, as long as you get the corresponding inline control for either Apple or Android.

6.4 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 5.7 C

The Sennheiser HD1 Over-Ear are not the most breathable headphones. They create a fairly decent seal around your ears and have thick pleather padding that obstructs quite a bit of airflow. They won't be the ideal headphones to take to the gym or for more intense workouts.

6.1 Portability
L : 4.72 "
W : 6.5 "
H : 2.95 "
Volume : 90.68 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 are decently portable. They are mid-size over-ear headphones that also fold up to occupy less space in your bag. They should easily fit into a backpack or gym bag, but won't be as potable as the HD1 On-Ear and will be a bit cumbersome to carry around on your person, if you're not wearing them, like most over-ears.

7.0 Case
Type : Soft case
L : 6.5 "
W : 7.68 "
H : 2.36 "
Volume : 117.8 Cu. Inches

The Sennheiser HD1 Over-Ear, like the Momentum 2.0 on-ear and the HD1 Wireless model, have the same soft case that will protect the headphones from scratches and will fit all the gear that is provided with headphone. Sadly, it will not protect the headphones from hard falls.

8.0 Build Quality

The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 have great build quality. The metal frame feels sturdy, durable, and able to withstand a fair amount of physical stress. The ear cups are also well made and the few joints present on the design are smooth and hold in place once adjusted by the listener.

6.5 Stability

The Sennheiser HD1 Over-Ear are decently stable. They easily maintain their position during casual listening sessions. However, they are not designed for sports. The ear cups will sway and slip off your ears during high-intensity activities like running and jumping. Their audio cable is detachable but can be locked into the ear cups. This means, that if the cable is locked and gets hooked by something in your environment, the headphones will be pulled off your head, unlike the wireless model.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
Top

Sound

They have an extended and powerful bass, an even and balanced mid-range, but a poor treble. Additionally, their bass delivery could vary noticeably from person to person, their mid-range is a bit forward sounding, and their treble lacks a lot of presence. Overall their bass and mid-range are rather overpowering, which makes them suitable for fans of heavy bass, but due to their lacking treble, they won't be the ideal choice for vocal-centric music. Also, like most other closed-back headphones, they don't have a large and speaker-like soundstage.

Sound Profile
Bass Amount
:
0.68 db
Treble Amount
:
-5.55 db
6.7 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.69 dB

The frequency response consistency of the Sennheiser Momentum 2 is about average. In the bass range, we measured about 5dB of deviation at 60Hz across our human subjects. This is significant and noticeable. In the treble range, the delivery is more consistent and the deviations happen in narrower bands. This is probably due to the relatively small size of the ear cups.

8.0 Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
2.76 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
:
3.5 dB
Mid-Bass
:
3.21 dB
High-Bass
:
2.23 dB

The Sennheiser HD1 Over-Ear have a very good bass. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is excellent. Low-bass, which is responsible for the thump and rumble common to bass-heavy tracks is over our neutral target by about 3.5dB. This means that these headphones have a deep and extended bass with a hyped thump, which will be pleasing to the fans of heavy bass. Mid-bass, responsible for the body of bass guitars and the punch of kick drums, is flat but overemphasized by more than 3dB. High-bass, responsible for warmth, is also flat and hyped by more than 2dB. Overall the bass of the Momentum 2.0 is deep, extended, and heavy, but slightly overemphasized and could sound slightly boomy.

8.5 Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
2.06 dB
Low-Mid
:
1.51 dB
Mid-Mid
:
2.45 dB
High-Mid
:
1.61 dB

The mid-range performance of the Momentum 2.0 is great. The overall response is balanced and even, but the broad 3dB overemphasis centered around 500Hz makes the overall sound of these headphones a bit forward and boxy. This will mostly affect vocals and lead instruments.

5.3 Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
5.62 dB
Low-Treble
:
-3.13 dB
Mid-Treble
:
-6.01 dB
High-Treble
:
-6.53 dB

The treble performance is sub-par. The overall response is rather inconsistent and quite underemphasized. The dips centered around 4KHz and 7KHz, which actually correspond to the spikes in their THD, negatively affect the detail and presence of their reproduction, which will be mostly noticed on vocals, lead instruments and cymbals.

7.0 Peaks/Dips
Peaks
:
1.85 db
Dips
:
1.87 db
8.3 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.18
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
1.26
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
2.2
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
4.36

The imaging performance is great. Weighted group delay is at 0.18, which is quite good. The GD graph also shows that the group delay response is almost entirely below the audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were exceptionally well-matched in amplitude, frequency, and phase response. This is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects (vocals, instruments, video games effects) in the stereo field.

5.1 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
3.89 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
-0.79 dB
PRTF Distance
:
16.32 dB
Openness
:
5.0
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
2.8

The soundstage is sub-par. Due to their closed-back design and small ear cups, the soundstage of the HD1 Over-Ear will be perceived as small and located inside the listener's head. The PRTF graph also shows that the pinna interaction/activation is low and not very accurate.

7.7 Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
:
0.149
WHD @ 100
:
0.177
5.8

Isolation

The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 isolate passively, unlike the HD1 Wireless, which have active noise cancellation and do much better in noisy environments. The oval ear cups seal the ears fairly well, so they do not leak much and block a decent amount of high-frequency noise.  Unfortunately, it won't be enough for most commutes and loud environments and will let most of the low-frequency noise of a plane or train seep into your audio. On the upside, since they do not leak much, you can mask a bit more ambient noise by playing your music at higher volumes.

5.0 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-12.35 dB
Bass
:
0.31 dB
Mid
:
-9.28 dB
Treble
:
-28.86 dB

The isolation performance of the Sennheiser Momentum 2 is mediocre. Unlike the HD1 Wireless, the wired version of HD1 doesn't have active noise canceling and therefore, don't provide any isolation in the bass range. This means they will let in all the low rumbling noise of airplane and bus engines. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they achieve 11dB of isolation which is decent. In the treble range, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts, they isolate by more than 35, which is very good.

7.6 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
36.25 dB

The leakage performance of the HD1 is good. The significant portion of their leakage is concentrated in the mid-range between 400Hz and 1KHz. Therefore, their leakage will sound less bright than that most headphones, especially open-back ones. The overall level of their leakage is not loud either. With the music at 100dB SPL, their leakage at 1 foot away averages at 36dB SPL and peaks at 47dB SPL which is a bit lower than the noise floor of an average office.

6.4

Microphone

Integrated
:
No
In-line
:
Yes
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A

The in-line microphone of the Sennheiser HD1 Over-Ear is mediocre. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic will be noticeably thin and lack a bit of detail. But it will be quite intelligible and open sounding. In noisy situations, it will struggle to fully separate speech from background noise even in moderately loud places, like a busy street.

7.1 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
479.46 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
3.82 dB
HFE
:
19611.72 Hz
Weighted THD
:
2.193
Gain
:
23.44 dB

The microphone of the HD1 has an average recording quality. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 479Hz, which is results in recorded/transmitted speech to be noticeably thin. However, the HFE (high-frequency extension) is at 20KHz, indicating an open and airy sound. The dip around 7KHz though, negatively affects the detail and brightness of speech, but it won't have a noticeable effect on the intelligibility of speech.

5.7 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
8.22 dB

The noise handling of the Momentum 2.0's microphone is sub-par. In our SpNR test, it achieved a speech-to-noise ratio 8dB indicating it is best suited for quiet environments and they would struggle to fully separate speech from ambient noise even in moderately loud situations. This is typical of most in-line microphones and is due to the relatively long distance between the microphone and the mouth.

0

Active Features

The Sennheiser HD1 Over-Ear have no active features and therefore do not require a battery. They also do not have a dedicated app or software for added customization options.

N/A Battery
Battery Type
:
N/A
Continuous Battery Life
:
N/A
Additional Charges
:
N/A
Total Battery Life
:
N/A
Charge Time
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
:
N/A
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
N/A
Charging Port : N/A

These are passive headphones with no active components and no battery.

0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 are not compatible with the Sennheiser Captune app.

3.8

Connectivity

The Sennheiser HD1 Over-Ear only have a wired connection. They have practically no latency for watching movies and videos but do not have the convenient range of a wireless headphone. On the upside, their audio cable does come with an in-line remote and mic that will work with your PS4 controller but not with the Xbox since the cable is IOS specific.

0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Default Latency
:
N/A
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

The HD1 Over-Ear are wired and do not have a Bluetooth connection. If you want a good Bluetooth headset for more casual use, check out the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2.

The Sennheiser Momentum 2 do not have a wireless range since they're wired. If you want a good wireless headset for critical listening, consider the Bose QuietComfort 35 II.

0 Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Non-BT Latency
:
N/A
9.5 Wired
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.49 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRRS
Wired Latency
:
0 ms

These headphones come with a 1/8" TRRS audio cable with an in-line microphone that's compatible with the, PS4 and iOS devices but not the Xbox One. They will only provide audio when connected to your Xbox controller and will need a headset adapter or a compatible headphone jack to provide microphone support with your PC or tablet.

PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
:
Audio + Microphone
PC / PS4 Wired USB
:
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
:
No
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox Analog
:
Audio Only
Xbox Wired USB
:
No
Xbox Wireless
:
No
0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A

These headphones do not have a base/dock. If you want a versatile headset with a base that you can also use wired check out the SteelSeries Arctis 7 by SteelSeries.

In the box

  • Sennheiser HD1 Over-Ear Headphones
  • Audio cable
  • Carrying case
  • Carrying pouch
  • Manual

Compared to other Headphones

The Sennheiser HD1 Over-Ear are stylish, well-crafted headphones with a sturdy and durable build quality. They sound decent with most music genres, delivering a powerful bass and a well-balanced midrange but a slightly recessed treble that makes them sound slightly dark overall. They're a bit stiff on the head, which won't be as comfortable as some of the headphones they are often compared to from other brands like Bose. They're also not noise canceling like the HD1 wireless so they do worse in loud environments but on the upside, they barely leak so you can mask some of the ambient noise that seeps into your audio by playing your music a little louder. See our recommendations for the best headphones for music, the best noise cancelling headphones and the best bass headphones.

Sony MDR-1A
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sony MDR-1A are a slightly better headphone than the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0. The Sonys have a much more comfortable over-ear fit than the Sennheisers. They're also a bit better built with durable materials that are a lot lighter than the Sennheisers' build quality. They also have a better sound quality that's more balanced with the higher frequencies and does not sound as dark. On the upside, the Sennheisers leak a lot less which make them a bit more suitable for noise sensitive environments like the office.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are a much better headphone than the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0. However, since the Bose are wireless and noise canceling, they're not really comparable to the Sennheisers. The QC 35 II are a lot more suitable for commuting and traveling than the Sennheisers since they have better noise isolation thanks to their ANC feature. They also have more range than the Sennheisers, and they sound better with a more balanced representation of the treble range than the Sennheisers. The Bose are also a lot more comfortable, too. On the other hand, since the Sennheisers are wired, they have no latency when watching videos. However, you can also use the Bose with the provided audio cable for the same use case.

Oppo PM-3
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Oppo PM-3 are a better headset overall than the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0. The Oppos have a better build quality and a more comfortable over-ear fit that most will prefer over the Sennheiser. They also sound a bit better balanced in the bass mid and treble ranges, although the Oppos do tend to sound a bit sharp at times. This means that some people may prefer the darker sound of the Sennheiser. The Sennheiser also have a slightly more compact and portable design, thanks to the folding joints, and their iOS-specific audio cable has mic support with the PS4 controller, unlike the Oppos.

Sony WH-1000XM2 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sony WH-1000XM2 are a much better headphone than the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0, but they're also wireless and noise canceling which is not as comparable. The WH-1000XM2 are more suitable for commuting and traveling than the HD1 Over-Ear, since they are noise cancelling and the HD1 are not. The Sonys also have a lot more features like a customizable EQ, codec options, and room effects. On the other hand, since the HD1 over-ear are wired, they have no latency when watching videos.

6.1 Mixed Usage

The Sennheiser HD1 Over-Ear are decent everyday headphones. They're passive and won't be as versatile as the noise-canceling wireless version, but they have a good sound and a sturdy, durable design. They also do not leak much which makes them a bit more suitable for use in quieter conditions like being at the office. Unfortunately, they're not the most comfortable, stable or breathable over-ears for sports and really long listening sessions.

6.9 Neutral Sound

Above-average for neutral listening. They have a decent sound quality but a poor soundstage due to their closed back design. They also sound a bit dark overall because of their slightly recessed treble range, but on the upside, they should be fine for most casual listeners and pack enough bass, with a sufficiently balanced mid-range to sound good enough with most genres and tracks.

6.0 Commute/Travel

Average-at-best for commuting. They have a decent control scheme, and they're moderately comfortable, but the noise isolation is too weak for noisy commutes. They're also a bit bulky and won't be the most comfortable headphones to wear on really long trips.

6.1 Sports/Fitness

Average for sports use. They're comfortable and have a good control scheme, but they're unstable for intense exercises. They're also not very breathable, so they will make you sweat more than usual if you use them for your workouts and for running.

6.1 Office

Average for office use. They do not isolate well enough for a noisy office environment but on the upside, they also do not leak much so you can play your music at higher volumes to mask some of the noise without distracting your colleagues.

5.2 Wireless Gaming

Average for gaming. The Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 have a decent sound and a low latency wired connection, but are not as convenient or as customizable as most wireless gaming headsets. They also have a mediocre at best microphone and an iOS specific audio cable that is only compatible with the PS4 controller and not the Xbox one.

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