Details: In-ear model from Sennheiser’s Momentum line

MSRP: $99.95 (manufacturer’s page) ; Available in 3-button iOS remote (MOMENTUM In-Ear i) and 3-button Android remote (MOMENTUM In-Ear G) versions
Current Price: $100 from; £89.99 from (UK); CDN $100 from (Canada); EUR 99 from (Germany) and (France)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 18Ω | Sens: 118 dB/Vrms | Freq: 15-22k Hz | Cable: 4.3′ L-plug
Nozzle Size: 4mm | Preferred tips: Stock single-flanges; trimmed Monster triple-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down

Accessories (3.5/5) – Single-flange silicone tips with cross-brace (4 sizes) and large carrying case with removable cable winder
Build Quality (3.5/5) – Sennheiser touts that no plastic was used in the acoustic components of the Momentum In-Ear. This is externally seen in the form of stainless steel sound tubes, but the actual housings of the earphones are still mostly plastic. Attention to detail is excellent, however, and the construction quality is good despite the apparent fragility. The Momentum uses a narrow two-tone flat cable with built-in 3-button remote (both iOS and Android versions are available) and slim L-shaped plug
Isolation (3.5/5) – Good
Microphonics (4/5) – Noticeable in the flattened cable but kept at bay by the “floating” cable attachment
Comfort (4/5) – Though it is not a small earphone, the Momentum In-Ear is comfortable thanks to the extremely light weight and smooth curves of its housings and the slim, angled nozzles. In addition, the cable attachment keeps the strain relief and cord farther out of the ear, preventing them from causing discomfort

Sound (8.6/10) – The Momentum In-Ear offers a rather unusual sound signature for Sennheiser, closest perhaps to the flagship IE800 model. It is v-shaped, with enhanced bass and energetic treble, and not as sensitive and ear-splittingly loud as one may expect from a consumer-oriented earphone.

The overall tone of the Momentum In-Ear is slightly warm, thanks to a generous amount of bass enhancement. Bass depth is excellent and the overall impact, while short of “basshead”, is plentiful, falling just between the bassier RHA MA750 and the more balanced VSonic GR07 Bass Edition. The bass enhancement is well balanced between sub-bass and mid-bass, and offers a minimal amount of bloat for the quantity.

The midrange of the Momentum is mildly recessed, in keeping with a v-shaped sound signature. However, due in large part to the plentiful bass, it does not sound overly thin. Clarity is limited slightly by the recession and bass boost, but on the whole it is more than respectable. Likewise, detailing is good for an enhanced-bass model but falls short of some flatter-sounding earphones. For instance, the popular Havi B3 Pro 1 has mids that are clearer and significantly more forward. However, it also sounds somewhat anemic and gutless at the low end compared to the Momentum, thanks to the far greater bass depth and power of the latter.

Starting with the upper midrange, the Momentum In-Ear again picks up steam, maintaining a rather high level of energy through the highs. It is still tilted towards the low end on the whole, but the treble presence provides a sound very different from most mainstream enhanced-bass earphones (such as the Beats by Dre Tour 2.0, for instance). The top end of the Momentum has a slightly splashy character that is not especially forgiving of either harshness or sibilance, but is still significantly less sibilance-prone than the similarly-priced VSonic GR07.

Like many earphones with v-shaped sound signatures, the Momentum In-Ear boasts a rather wide soundstage – on-par in size with the formidable VSonic GR07. Depth is, as with the GR07, lacking a bit in comparison to the width, but the combination of clarity and strong presence the highs and lows results in good dynamics and a very competent overall presentation.

Select Comparisons

HiFiMan RE-400 ($79)

The RE-400 is far flatter than the v-shaped, moderately bassy Momentum In-Ear. Its sound is more mid-focused, with less bass and treble presence compared to the Sennheiser set. The Momentum delivers more powerful and significantly deeper bass at the expense of a bit of bloat, while the tighter, flatter bass and lack of midrange recession in the RE-400 help it sound clearer and a touch more detailed overall. However, that same forward midrange makes the presentation of the RE-400 appear lacking in depth and dynamics compared to the Momentum.

The top end of the Momentum is more prominent and less smooth than that of the RE-400. There is more treble sparkle, but the Momentum is also prone to a bit of splashiness. On the whole it’s tough to determine the better earphone between these two – the RE-400 offers smoother, more natural treble and better midrange presence, while the Momentum delivers deeper, more impactful bass and a larger soundstage.

Fidue A71 ($90)

Compared to the Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear, the dual-driver A71 is less feature-rich and more finicky when it comes to fit, but offers a similar level of audio performance. Its bass is a little boomier – the tighter, more controlled lows of the Momentum leave a better impression and help the Sennheiser set sound a bit clearer despite its recessed midrange.

The mids of the A71 are not quite as clear, but a lot more forward, which balances out the intelligibility of vocals against the Momentum and makes the A71 sound richer and more full-bodied. The midrange of the more v-shaped Momentum tends to be a little thin and dry in comparison, but can sound more detailed and resolving than as well. The top end of the Fidue unit is smoother and its tone – warmer and arguably more natural. The A71 is also much more sensitive.

VSonic GR07 Classic ($99)

The GR07 Classic follows a more balanced and neutral sound signature than the warmer, more v-shaped Momentum In-Ear. The bass of the Sennheiser set is significantly deeper and more impactful, but also a little boomier and less refined than the tighter, flatter lows of the GR07.

The midrange of the Momentum is slightly more recessed while the GR07 is clearer and more detailed thanks to its flatter, more accurate response. The top end of the Momentum is less sibilant and not as bright, but otherwise the two earphones are in the same boat when it comes to highs – both tend to be energetic and at times a bit splashy. Both have wide soundstages with only average depth.

RHA MA750i ($130)

RHA’s MA750i model offers functionality similar to the iOS Momentum In-Ear, but in a very different form factor and with a warmer sound. The MA750 is bassier, boasting a bit more mid-bass emphasis but maintaining bass quality similar to the Momentum. Its sound signature can also be called v-shaped, but its mids are not quite as recessed as those of the Momentum.

The Momentum is a little brighter and at times can sound clearer, but also tends to be a little less full-bodied. The MA750 sounds slightly smoother overall, but actually has a bit more lower treble presence than the Momentum. Still, the Momentum is more v-shaped and has a greater tendency to sound splashy up top. The soundstage of the MA750 is also slightly larger.

Beats by Dre Tour 2.0 ($150)

This comparison is made very simple by the fact that the Momentum In-Ear is miles ahead of the Beats Tour 2.0 in fidelity. The Tour is more sensitive/efficient and much bassier, but its bass is significantly more bloated and boomy. The midrange is quite a lot muddier as well, though more forward than that of the Momentum. Despite its v-shaped sound sig and more recessed midrange, the Momentum sounds more balanced, clear, and refined with its tighter bass and superior treble energy. The treble presence and energy of the Momentum do make it less forgiving, but still not harsh even next to the dull-sounding Beats.

Value (9/10) – Sennheiser’s on- and over-ear Momentum models have been highly praised for successfully combining form and function, bringing Sennheiser audio performance to the style-focused headphone segment. The Momentum In-Ear follows in the same footsteps, boasting a unique design, comfortable, lightweight construction, and impressive audio performance. Combined with the choice of full-featured iOS or Android remotes – the latter still a relative rarity – this makes the Momentum an excellent value.

Pros: Lightweight and comfortable design; 3-button Android remote available; plentiful bass and solid overall performance
Cons: Midrange is a bit recessed