Expectations are always high for a Sennheiser pair of headphones – but what should we expect from the company’s first completely untethered Bluetooth earbuds?
Though conventional wisdom has long put a cap on what can be achieved with headphones’ more compact, in-ear counterparts – or over a wireless Bluetooth connection – the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless look to continue the company’s audio heritage within those physical constraints.
The Momentum range is already a by-word for quality hardware and audio, with the cabled Senneiser Momentum In-Ear proving one of the top picks in our round-up of the best in-ear headphones.
At £259/$299 (about AU$400) for the pair, the True Wireless earbuds are far from cheap, but our first impression at this year’s IFA 2018 may just about warrant the asking price.
- IFA 2018 is Europe’s biggest tech show. The TechRadar team took to Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new phones, watches and other tech as they were announced.
The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless are the company’s smallest offering yet, doing away with the neck-cable on the Momentum Free and packing in a brand new 7mm driver to boot.
They carry the classic silver detailing of other Momentum earphones, with a pleasing pattern of magnetic gold points that connect each earbud into the accompanying carry case, securing them in place with a satisfying click. One of the main concerns with ‘true wireless’ earphones is how easy they can be to misplace – which is especially worrying for ones at such a firmly three-figure sum – but the smart design of the hard case does a lot to put us at ease.
The earbuds are lightweight and simple to place in your ear, with a smart box-shaped design that fits comfortably without feeling obtrusive (though we haven’t yet had the chance to see how they fare in longer listening sessions).
The touch controls feel hugely intuitive, using a simple tap on the left earbud to pause/play, or a double tap to skip a track. Holding a finger on the right or left earbud turns the volume up and down respectively. It works wonderfully well, circumvent ing the fiddly nature of cable-line controls or having to constantly get out your phone.
At launch you should also be able to use the right earbud’s two built-in mics to chat to your phone’s smart assistant – Siri, Alexa, and the like – and navigate your music library completely hands-free.
We’ve tested out a limited number of tracks, but the range of the True Wireless’ drivers could prove a match for plenty of the in-ear competition.
The usual high-standard sound profile of Sennheiser’s Momentum range is here, with the boost from its new 7mm driver resulting in a controlled, capable audio performance beyond what you might expect from a ‘true wireless’ model.
Each earbud should have a four-hour battery life, though the carry case comes with its own backup battery with twice that capacity, sporting a USB-C ports on the side for linking up to laptop or plug socket. The case simply charges the buds when they’re connected, meaning you should be able to get a respectable 12-hour charge when you’re on the go.
Our early verdict
Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wireless seem to deliver what they promise: high-end audio that goes above and beyond the expectation of wireless earbuds. There are far cheaper options out there, but for sheer audio performance and the thoughtful design choices we’ve seen, we could see these earbuds making quite a splash in an increasingly cordless market.