Seventy-five years is a long time. That’s how long Sennheiser has been around. These days it is most famous for, first, its headphones and, second, its microphones. It is celebrating by releasing the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 Anniversary Edition earphones. They are a fitting celebration.
About: Sennheiser is a German company. Although established three quarters of a century ago, employing thousands and with revenues of more than $1 billion, it remains privately held. Its first product was a voltmeter, but it soon began making microphones, and then headphones.
About the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 Anniversary Edition earphones
7mm drivers in each bud (these are manufactured in Germany)
four silicone ear tip sizes
seven hours of battery life, plus three recharges from the carry case
5-21,000 hertz frequency response
Bluetooth 5.1, with support for AAC and aptX codec
Compact, easily pocketable case, and compact earbuds
Built-in noise cancellation.
Touch controls which can be configured using the Sennheiser Smart Control app
EQ control in the app
Unusually, on-bud volume control.
The Anniversary Edition changes are essentially cosmetic. The tweedy charge case is a darker grey and the Sennheiser logo has been replace by a Sennheiser logo. The replacement logo takes us back to the original logo from the establishment of the company.
Listening to the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 Anniversary Edition earphones
I’m pretty tolerant of earphones, so long as they aren’t stabbing my ears with gobs of overdone treble. Because, truth be known, I mostly use them to listen to podcasts. Who cares if a Joe Rogan and his guest sounds a little less than purely high in their fidelity? When it comes to music, I have my preferred eargear – mostly high quality over ear headphones, or the rare wired in ear monitors. I try to avoid listening to music with Bluetooth earbuds.
With a very short list of exceptions. At the moment, at the top of that list are the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 Anniversary Edition earphones – or the non-Anniversary edition models. Either will do and are audibly indistinguishable as far as I can tell.
Sennheiser has a long-established audiophile tradition. Oh, no doubt that you can find this or that (cheaper) model from the company with a market-pleasing overblown bass. But don’t look for that here. What the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 Anniversary Edition earphones provide is balanced, accurate sound.
The bass on Billie Eilish, for example, was appropriately strong and deeply, deeply extended. But it was not that over-the-top delivery in which so much cheaper stuff specialises. You get the music as it is, as you should.
Lots of pairing
The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 Anniversary Edition earphones will pair with up to eight different source devices. I mostly used it with my Huawei P30 Pro phone, which of course implements (and uses with these earphones) the aptX codec. But, heh, eight devices! Why not try something unusual?
I flicked through my vinyl selection and grabbed the 1980 album Gentleman Take Polaroids by Japan, plonked it on the Audio-Technica AT-LP120XBT-USB turntable, turned off Bluetooth on my phone, put said turntable into Bluetooth pairing mode, and a few seconds later I was connected.
While you can do that with most over-ear Bluetooth headphones, it can be a practical difficulty with many in-ear units. Why? Volume, that’s why. I really like this turntable, but it does not have a volume control for its Bluetooth output. Most Bluetooth earphones don’t have a volume control either. But the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 Anniversary Edition earphones do. I could tap-and-hold the right earbud to increase the volume, tap-and-hold the left to reduce it. Completely usable, and rather nice sounding. That tight eighties synth-stuff isn’t half bad after you’ve spent a couple of decades trying to forget about it.
That said, the turntable accurately tracks and delivers all that’s in the groove, including any tiny clicks and pops. And, during the quiet bits and between tracks, the sound of diamond against vinyl. The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 Anniversary Edition earphones delivered all that with utter faithfulness.
Improvements in the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 Anniversary Edition earphones?
There have been at least a couple of firmware updates for these earphones since we reviewed the non-Anniversary models back in May. They have improved stability, connection efficiency and such. Not long ago bothof us reviewed the cheaper Sennheiser CX 400BT earphones. I found that range between source and earphones was “ten metres was tops”. I’d forgotten what I’d found for the earlier Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 earphones. But checking the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 Anniversary Edition earphones, I found a solid 20 metres. What, only twice as good you say? Um, no. Twenty metres is four times as good, since radiation level falls off proportional to the square of the distance from the source.
That made for perfect reception in every circumstance but one, regardless of where I had my phone about my person. That one exception was in my kitchen whenever I set the microwave oven to heating something. I suspect that might be a problem with the microwave leaking excessively rather than the earphones. Perhaps I should do something about that.
The noise cancellation remains modest. It certainly took the edge off my 100dB SPL airplane noise and made the music a little more audible. It also retained the characteristic of responding a touch excessively to cutlery striking a granite benchtop. Sennheiser seems to be a bit torn between what the market wants and what it wants to provide. The market wants noise reduction, but Sennheiser argues – probably rightly – that there are problems with that. The boss reports an exchange between me and Christian Ern, Portfolio Manager for Consumer Headphones at Sennheiser, Germany:
In essence, Thomas said that while Sennheiser’s ANC (noise cancelling) was good, it was not as good as other brands like Bose. Christian was not exactly apoplectic, but his Germanic response was “Yes, and it ruins sound’.
I think “ruins” is a bit strong, but I agree with the sentiment. These things are a trade-off. A lot of environmental noise can also ruin sound.
I don’t think more powerful ANC would be a problem on these earphones because they have more control than most. Earphones and earbuds with active noise cancelling usually default to ANC on whenever they’re turned on. The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 Anniversary Edition earphones retain their state on ANC when placed back in their case and then later re-inserted in your ears. Don’t like ANC? Then switch it off and it’ll stay off.
There’s also a hear-through mode. This does default to off. But I found it useful. Just two quick taps on the right earbud and I could talk to the supermarket cashier.
The buds also auto-pause playback whenever you remove one from an ear.
Gadgetguy’s Take – The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 earphones deliver great sound and a useful amount of active noise reduction
And that’s in a reliable, easy to use package. Highly recommended.