Technology

Gadgets: Sound and technology worth the wait

Often I get to review gadgets that I can't write about until the parent company lifts the announcement embargo with the official release. And often it's frustrating simply because I'm testing something so good that I want to tell people about it right then and there, but I can't.

That's the case with just announced Sennheiser MOMENTUM wireless (Bluetooth 5) headphones from Sennheiser. After using the headphones, I'd have to flip a coin to decide what was better, the sound or the built-in technology. Both are off-the-charts great.

Sennheiser is one of those companies that I can say, in my experience, doesn't seem to miss when it comes to impressive audio solutions. I had the press release for this latest product a few days before my review unit arrived. A feature I loved, even before I tested it, is the auto on/off, which is a great feature in wireless earbuds.

Just unfold the headphones to put them on and fold them to put away. What makes this feature so cool is the auto on/off feature; when you put the headphones on the music automatically plays, when you take them off it pauses. Go back and forth all you want, it works. Trust me, I tried to go fast or slow and stump it. The MOMENTUM's won that game by far.

The MOMENTUM has stunning looks with genuine sheep leather; features an adjustable soft padded leather headband, padded earcups and gets my overall "wow" factor in looks before a tune was played.

As I said, Sennheiser doesn't miss and that's true with this third generation of the MOMENTUM line, especially in what's most important the sound.

As is usual for my testing, I tried the headphones, which have 42mm drivers, in a steel tube at 34,000-feet; instead of Apple Music, I was watching the Elton John movie biography "Rocketman." While the movie itself didn't impress me, listening to the audio in high volume on the new MOMENTUM's was outstanding. After the movie, I did troll around steaming music and with any genre playlist, the sound, at head-banging levels, or low level had incredible clarity at any volume.

Another feature I loved is the active noise cancellation and a transparent hearing function, which I had turned on to block out the airplane engine noise. If you're walking city blocks you might want to have it turned off (a great option) so you're more aware of what's around you, such as oncoming traffic while crossing a street.

Controlling volume, tracks, and answering calls are all done with easy-to-access buttons on the outside of the earcups. The headphones also feature access to voice assistants Google Assistant and Siri, with Amazon Alexa integration coming soon. Test results with the headphones for hands-free calls were heard crystal clear on my end and I'm happy to say my mom heard me crystal clear on her end.

With Sennheiser's Smart Control app (iOS and Android) it takes seconds to customize features and sound in the headphones including an equalizer and a choice of three noise cancellation modes.

Like any other gadget, headphones are easy to lose but Sennheiser has put a significant piece of technology in these headphones with the Tile Tracker. The app talks with the integrated Bluetooth Tile Tracker to help locate them within range.

Audio 3.5 mm and USB-C charging cables are included along with a travel case for the fold-up headphones.

If you couldn't tell already, I'm a fan of the MOMENTUM. Get them for yourself, or put them first on the list for the upcoming holidays.

https://en-us.sennheiser.com $399.95, available in black now and a sandy white model available in November

Contact Gregg Ellman at greggellman@mac.com. Follow him on Twitter: @greggellman.

  Comments