Headphones have become ubiquitous and all of us want to own a pair to listen to good music, interesting information on audio podcasts, to watch our favourite videos and maybe even to play games. But how many of us really do an in-depth research to identify the one that is most suitable for us.
Well, not always because of many reasons. Some of us think we are not knowledgeable enough to test different headphones, while for the majority, it is a lack of time to test different headphones to choose the one that is perfect for you.
This is why reviewers like us can make a difference! In this article today, we will be comparing Sennheiser HD1 with Momentum to see which of the two is better.
Now before we jump into the comparison, it makes some sense to know about the background of these headphones. Both Momentum and HD1 are from Sennheiser. In fact, Momentum was released first and a few months later, it was rebranded to HD1. Why? Because it looks like Sennheiser does not own the rights to the word “Momentum”, so they had to change the name.
This brings up a ton of interesting questions. Is Sennheiser HD1 the same as Momentum, just called by a different name or is it a new model altogether that addressed the flaws in Momentum?
Before jumping into the comparison, it makes sense to understand that Momentum had a series of headphones and it does not refer to any one single model. There were about five different ones, starting from Momentum 1.0 going all the way up to the wireless and wired versions. The model that was changed to Sennheiser HD1 was Momentum 2.0.
With that, let’s find out all the answers to such questions in this article.
Sennheiser HD1 vs Momentum: Pros & Cons and Verdict
Table of Contets
Let’s compare Sennheiser’s HD1 and Momentum to know the differences that exist between the two and to help you understand which of the two will be ideal for you. We will compare them against different criteria to make it easy for you to determine your right choice.
Sennheiser HD1 is packed and shipped in the same box design as that of Momentum 2.0. it is a black and blue box that has the headphones on the front side. Earlier, it was called Momentum 2.0, but now it says “HD1: The Headphone with Momentum, Wireless Around Ear.”
The inner side of this box is lined with polyurethane foam and within it, you can find a hard case. This case looks solid and is lined with fabric on the inner side for a soft feel. You can keep the headphones inside this case, and it is sure to give you protection against accidental falls.
This case is the same one that shipped with Momentum 2.0. so this should give us some idea of what to expect in terms of design.
Besides the case, these headphones come with an airline adapter, micro USB charging cable and a cable for wired use.
So, in terms of packing, there is no difference whatsoever. Both the headphones are identical except for the change of model name in the outer side of the box.
The build is fantastic with the same retro one that looks stylish and comfortable. HD1 wireless has oval-shaped ear cups that expose the stainless steel extenders placed inside it. These extenders, in turn, connect to a thin but padded leather headband. There is a small stainless steel plate on the right-hand side of the headband that says “HD1”. Earlier, it said “Momentum.” Otherwise, the design looks the same.
Of course, this doesn’t mean both the headphones look identical! Sennheiser has made a few changes to HD1 that make it slightly different from that of Momentum. The most significant change is in the design of the headband. HD1’s headband is slightly wider than Momentum, and this was done to ease the pressure that Momentum users felt when they had to put these headphones on for long periods of time. They complained that the headband was clamping down hard on them, so the headband of HD1 is wider to avoid that complaint.
Another minor change in design is in the wire that runs from each ear cup. In HD1, this wire is slightly thicker and flatter when compared to the wire in Momentum, so you can expect the wire in HD1 to last longer.
3. Sound Quality
There is no change whatsoever in the sound quality. If you love the signature Sennheiser sound, you can rest assured that the same can be heard in HD1 too. Probably, the sound was the single largest selling point of Momentum, so Sennheiser has ensured that nothing in this aspect is changed in its successor.
The higher cost of Momentum can be attributed to the fact that it is not sold anymore by the company. This means, HD1 is your best bet and also, it makes sense to go for this headphone because you get everything in Momentum plus lesser pressure on your head. And above everything, HD1 costs a lot less.
Overall, HD1 and Momentum are one and the same. As mentioned before, Sennheiser simply had to change the name because it did not own the name “Momentum”, but it did not do any major change to the headphone. The only significant change is the addition of width to the headband to ensure that it does not apply pressure on the head and ears. Since this was a common complaint of Momentum, Sennheiser changed it. Otherwise, they are just identical in all other aspects.
Since both the headphones are the same, except for their name, let us now go through an in-depth review of Sennheiser HD1 to give you an idea of what to expect from this headphone. More importantly, we hope it helps you to decide if these headphones are the right one for you.
Sennheiser HD1 – Review
Let’s review these headphones over different aspects, so you can get a better idea of what it has to offer.
First off, these headphones are not cheap. They are quite expensive even if these are bang-on when it comes to sound and have great noise cancellation.
So, how do you justify this price tag and for whom are these headphones designed for? let’s find out.
As soon as you open the case, you’ll find a great looking case that has luxury imprinted on it all over. This gives you the first look into HD1 and in some ways, even tells you straight up that you’re paying for a top quality product.
The outer side of the case is made of soft material and there is a leather stitch around the edges all over. There is excellent padding in these headphones, so you can rest assured that you can casually toss them into your bag and nothing will happen to your headphones.
When you open the zip of this case, you’ll see a small pouch that’s meant specifically for the headphones because this case can also hold other stuff. The idea is, you can put these headphones inside the pouch, so there are no scratches to it at all. You also have the option to store your headphones in this pouch if you don’t want to carry the case with you everywhere. This storage flexibility is a great one to have.
Inside the hard case is an area for storing cables. With these headphones, you get a micro USB cable that’s needed for charging. Since these headphones are wireless and use Bluetooth 4.0 to connect wirelessly, they need power for charging. Also, they come with the active noise cancelling feature, and this also requires a considerable amount of battery.
In comparison with other similar headphones, we can say that the battery life of HD 1 is fairly good. It offers about 20 hours of battery life and this is great considering that it also comes with active noise cancellation.
Besides micro USB, you also get the standard cable that plugs into the ear cups. This cable is proprietary and the lock is tight, so it does not fall off easily. It also comes with an airline adaptor for those who tend to travel a lot.
2. Sound Quality
Next, we’ll look at the sound quality because you’re paying a hefty price tag for this aspect alone. The accessories and other aspects are just there, but if HD1 does not perform well on sound output, then it doesn’t justify the high price tag.
That’s anyway not the case here. Sound quality is top notch, in fact, we can go to the extent of saying that this headphone delivers one of the best sound quality even when compared to other headphones in the same category. This is also one of the few headphones that have amazing bass, lows, mids and trebles, thereby making it ideal for all genres.
Bass has a nice punch to it and this makes it ideal for EDM tracks. In some areas, the bass is so clear and vivid that it takes listening to new heights. At the same time, the mids are great too, as they are smooth and clear. Vocals sound fantastic in these headphones. The treble is super nice as well.
We tested different tracks across different genres, tried some movies and even a few games on these headphones and everything was bang on.
That said, these headphones do have some colour signature. They are not neutral and natural if that’s what you want in your headphone. But then, they do sound balanced and make your overall music more exciting. Unlike many studio headphones, these are surely not intended for critical listening. They are more consumer-grade headphones that are designed to make your music lively and fun.
Another cool aspect about these headphones is that they sound great both in wired and wireless modes. There is surprisingly not much of a difference when it comes to sound quality when you listen with a wire or just go wireless. So, this gives you a big amount of flexibility, as you can listen to whatever mode that is comfortable for you. Not many headphones out there today, produce such a good output in wireless and wired mode, so that’s a bonus.
Also, these headphones are not your typical closed back headphones as their sound separation is incredible. For example, if you’re sitting and you see a jet whisk by, you’ll be able to feel the movement in your headphones and you may even be able to identify the direction from which it whizzed past you. That’s how incredible the sound separation is.
These headphones are compatible with the apyX codec, which makes it ideal for pairing with any Android device. But Apple doesn’t support it, so if you have an iPhone, the sound may not be as clear and crisp as it would be on Android devices.
When we talk about sound quality, one aspect that needs to be mentioned is noise cancellation. These headphones have advanced noise cancelling technology that takes the outside noise and mix it in with the music so well that you don’t hear anything that happens outside your headphones. The best part is this noise cancellation doesn’t put a ton of pressure on your ears, unlike some headphones like Bose, so this makes for a smooth listening experience.
Overall, a big thumbs up when it comes to sound quality.
The build is sturdy and luxurious. The top of the headband is made of high-quality leather that is stitched all around to give a beautiful look.
The ear cups are made of one of the softest leather to give you a comfortable feel. The ear cups are round and cover the entire well. They sit well on ears of any shape and that’s a nice aspect, especially if you plan to share your headphone with others.
Overall, these headphones have a classical and retro look. They have the branding simple too. On the right side, just above the metal slider, you can see the word “HD1” while on the left side, the word “Sennheiser.” Other than that, you can see the logo of Sennheiser on the button that sits on the metal slider and allows you to adjust.
Another cool aspect is that the headphones have markings on both sides to distinguish right ear cup from the left one. You can find the words “R” and “L” just where the headband meets the metal slider. All the controls are on the right-hand ear cup while NFC connection alone is on the left side.
The controls on the right ear cup include a spot for plugging in your mic and a USB port for charging. There is a volume slider that you can move up and down. This same control is used for selecting songs. You have to press the button twice to move it forward and thrice to move back on your playlist. Some people opine that there should have been separate buttons for navigating through playlists, but that would have made the design cluttered. Above this button is your power and pairing button, and that’s it. Overall, a sleek and simple design.
One thing that we don’t like about these headphones is the wire running between the headband and ear cups. If you look, there is a metal slider between the headband and the ear cups and there is a wire that runs between them. The metal slider is fine as it helps you to adjust the headband to match your head size, but it is the wire that is a spot of bother.
The controls are present on the headband and this wire connects the controls with the ear cups. This wire seems fragile and there’s always a possibility for this wire to get cut while using or even when you leave them. The possibilities for damage is endless, and when the wire gets cut, the entire headphone needs to be replaced. This is why it is a sore point with this otherwise perfect design.
But, by no means does this aspect bring down the usability or design. It is just something to keep in mind for Sennheiser, so they can try to avoid this in future models.
These headphones are really expensive. But their versatility is mind-blowing.
Let’s say, you had to buy a pair of headphones for music and one pair for gaming, that would come to about the same price, so you’ll only be spending a little bit more to buy these headphones and they can be used for almost anything.
If that doesn’t convince you, the sheer quality of sound output is sure to make you buy these headphones. Along with a great looking design and the high levels of comfort, it offers to add the appeal of these headphones. They are one of the best models available in the market today and truly worth the hefty price tag.
To conclude, Sennheiser HD1 is a rebranding of Sennheiser’s popular Momentum series because the company did not own the name. There aren’t many changes because Momentum 2.0 was amazing and there was really no need to make any changes. There was only one small difference between the two models and that is in the design area. HD1 is wider to make up for the common complaint of excess clamping force that came from users of Momentum. Besides this one change, there is nothing else new in HD1. Thus, there is no opportunity for a comparison.
Instead, we have reviewed Sennheiser HD1 alone and have come to the conclusion that this is definitely one of the best headphones available today. Its design is sleek and they are super comfortable to wear. Sound quality is excellent and there is nothing much really to complain about these headphones. There are some minor aspects that could have been better, but they are not significant enough to affect the quality or listening experience in any way.
They are ideal for genres. Also, they have been designed specifically for those who travel quite a lot. This is most evident with the noise cancelling technology that keeps the ambient noise out without clamping down too much on your ears. So, it is comfortable to use while travelling on a subway or long distance aeroplane journeys.
Though these headphones tend to be on the pricey side, they are definitely worth their price tag. We would highly recommend it to everyone, regardless of your preference for genres.