Wireless earbuds. Everyone wants one. And why not. For years, there has been the push towards wireless. In earnest, the consumers skipped the one generation shift from wired earphones to wireless earphones, neckband earphones and to some extent wireless headphones too. And are straightway making the transition to wireless earbuds. A category that we have to credit Apple with creating, with two generations of the AirPods and then further strengthening it with the AirPods Pro, complete with noise cancellation. There are now capable wireless earbuds just upwards of the Rs 1,000 price point all the way nearing the Rs 25,000 mark. You have plenty of choices, for all budgets. That neatly leads us to the luxurious Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 which is priced at Rs 24,990. With Sennheiser sound, you can’t really go wrong. As it turns out, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 are no different. In fact, for all the money that you spend, you get an experience of consistency and sheer brilliance.
The competition check takes us to the, well obviously, the Apple AirPods Pro that cost almost as much. The AirPods Pro have Active Noise Cancellation. There is a Transparency Mode which allows some passthrough of the sounds in your immediate vicinity, such as people talking. As with AirPods, the experience particularly for iPhone and iPad users is seamless, and well, the Apple-designed high-excursion, low-distortion driver does a fantastic job with music quality as well. And while it is not a like for like comparison, we also have the very capable Jabra Elite 75t, priced around Rs 15,000 depending on the deal you can find—it doesn’t have noise cancellation, but taps the sound bit very well.
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Design: Refinement without starting from scratch
It is more of the same, but yet refreshingly different. The carry case size and design are much like how it was for the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless from last year. That hasn’t been changed, which is a good thing, because this creates the sort of first impression that has you hooked. It certainly had me intrigued. Back then, and now. The size of the case, the size of each earbud (albeit very slightly more compact) and right down to the charging port position, everything pretty much remains as is.
What has changed, and I really like this, is the switch to a darker fabric covering for the charging case. Sennheiser calls it black, but let’s just agree it is space grey or whereabouts! The fabric material and quality are still top notch, and it just feels great to hold and very premium to look at. A white color option is also coming soon. The USB-C charging port is at the back, which means for all intents and purposes, you will see a very clean look on the front and the sides as it is kept on your workstation or the bedside table. It also neatly hides away the charging notification LED and it doesn’t really bother you if you plug in the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 for charging, turn off the lights and hit the bed.
What this charging case doesn’t have are the wireless charging option, that the likes of the Apple AirPods Pro and even Huawei’s more affordable FreeBuds 3 offer. That being said, I would not hold that as a negative against the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2—it may have been fun to simply drop the case with the earbuds on a wireless charger to juice it up, but plugging in a cable isn’t a hardship at all.
Each earbud weighs 6 grams, and the combined weight with the charging case is just adding 58 grams to your chinos pocket or your backpack. The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 are IPX4 splash resistant as well.
I have often noticed with many other wireless earbuds how slippery they can be and picking them out of the charging case isn’t always the simplest task. Particularly in the Indian summer, when you may have moist hands. Or in the dry winters, when you have overdone the hand cream or body butter routine. With the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2, they sit flat, which is a function of the design. Your fingers have enough chunk to grip at and you pick them out of the charging case. Not once, in my experience, have they slipped back into the slots. What does this mean? Less risk of the buds accidentally slipping and falling down when you are outdoors or commuting.
Each earbud is chunky, as we have already established, and yet sits very comfortably in the ear. In fact, there are slight tweaks to the design which allows these buds to lock in snugly in the ear. With the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless, I had noted that the left earbud often didn’t sit securely, even though I tried multiple ear-tip sizes. With the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2, that isn’t the case. I have walked around, shook my head in disbelief (which is often, every day) and even picked up heavy stuff and moved that from point A to point B, without either earbud dislodging, popping out or even trying to wriggle free from the confines of my regularly cleaned ears.
Sound: Mind = Blown
In each ear sit bespoke 7mm dynamic audio drivers. As far as the audio hardware is concerned, these are the same in the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 as they were in the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless. Frankly, there was absolutely no need to change that, because sound was a very strong point of the predecessor as well. What has changed is the sound processing, and the improvements are even more audible now. The audio experience is, to put it mildly, absolutely stunning. And this is before I got around to tweaking the sound with the Sennheiser Smart Control app. The depth, the width and the detailing are something pretty much no wireless earbuds are able to manage—and that is when all frequencies are also given their due moment in the spotlight, as demanded. The neutral Sennheiser sound signature has been a personal favorite for many years now, and I’m happy to note that for once, I didn’t have to tweak the sound EQ in the software to extract a bit more bass for certain music that I listen to—the default tuning does that brilliantly.
Bass heavy music playlists, vocals led tracks, podcasts or even extended periods of binging on movies as well as TV shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are all—the sound versatility allows everything to sound spot on, with no compromises. Everything is just so nicely rounded off, that you don’t feel anything is missing, any harshness or any sort of artificial tuning or boosting. The finer details really shine though, and you’ll notice that soon enough.
Noise cancellation: Replicates the experience of larger headphones
Noise cancellation has to be the big selling point for the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds. What you get are three settings—Active Noise Cancellation, Transparent Hearing and ANC off. Even with ANC off, a lot of the ambient disturbances are nicely kept out, purely because the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 sit better in your ears. If you still want to block out noisier annoyances still, the ANC does a fantastic job of it. It does feel like a much larger headphone is doing the ANC for you, that is the sort of capability that Sennheiser’s implementation brings to the fore. Shrill sounds and rumbles are well blocked out. That being said, the new world order has ensured I’ve not been able to test the prowess of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2’s ANC against an aircraft engine, noisy humans in an airport terminal building or the usual buzz of an office floor.
Calling: One on One
As an aside, you might sometimes use the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 for receiving and making voice calls also, probably because you were peacefully listening to music and someone purely irritated you at the time. The call clarity is great, for you, as the audio from the other party streams through clearly. A lot of that depends on the quality of network or the VoIP call, but when things are going well, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 passes that through as is. For the other party, what they hear is my sound with much less ambient noise, such as the hum of the AC, people chatting in the background and so on.
Battery: Evolving With Time
Sennheiser has significantly extended the battery life that you can get from the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2, compared with the predecessors. What they claim is now 7 hours from the earbuds, and up to 28 hours more from the charging case. In my tests, and I usually don’t listen to a lot of loud music, I got a few minutes more than the claimed 7 hours from the earbuds, before they needed to be charged again. You’ll be able to do most flights to Europe on a single charge, which is quite robust.
Controls: A Mixed Bag
Connectivity with an Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, an iPad Pro and a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, at different stages of the testing, remained rock solid. The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 has a new Bluetooth chip as well, which eliminates the connectivity issue of the predecessor where the buds didn’t turn off even after they were disconnected from the source device—thereby leading to battery drain. The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 pause playback when you take one or both buds out of your ear and resumes as soon as you put it back.
The touch controls on the earbuds, however, are a tad complex and you need to get used to those. Thankfully, they are customizable in the Smart Control app. Basically, the earbuds support single, double and trip tap commands for a variety of stuff—activate or deactivate ANC, call on a virtual assistant and more.
The Last Word: Let Nothing Stop You From Splurging
The thing is, who doesn’t like good sound. And that is what most earbuds do and do well. But there are very few that take the next step, from the zone of good sound, to the one where they pretty much set the benchmark. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 has done exactly that, with everything else that is a part of the user experience, also nailed down. You get brilliant sound, versatile sound signature, great battery life, a very usable design and all that is put together in a very premium package. For Android users, it is perhaps not even up for debate what they should be buying if they are looking for top-notch wireless earbuds. For iOS users, it may be a tough choice between the default favorites, the AirPods Pro, and the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2.
It is all about how well everything comes together, and the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 delivers on that. If your budget allows you to buy there, don’t let anything else stop you.