Sennheiser Momentum TW2 Review – The Complete Solution

0

Sound –

Tonality –

The MTW2 resembles the original but not in its entirety. It shares a V-shaped signature and remains smooth, warm and full in its voicing. The key differences are to be found in the mid-bass and upper midrange where the MTW2 takes equal steps forwards and backwards. The low-end is warm, full and organic but lacks the bloat and tubbiness of the original, creating a noticeably cleaner presentation. As a result, the midrange is more tonally transparent, however, it is just as laid-back due to a sharper dip in the upper-midrange. The result is denser, smoother and similarly laid-back vocals. As warmth has been reduced, the MTW2 isn’t congested but its vocal presentation is no clearer or more present than its predecessor either. The high-end meanwhile is slightly more aggressive but is fairly similar overall with a lower-treble peak and dark, clean background.

I personally find the midrange one of the most natural of the TWS earphones I’ve tested if not entirely accurate. Though I can still see those coming from Harman or diffuse-field neutral IEMs finding them veiled or congested. If you like a warm, organic sound, not necessarily high in clarity but prioritising coherence, the MTW2 will fit the bill very nicely.

Bass –

There appears to be a concern that Sennheiser over-tamed the MTW2 in lieu of critic complaint of mid-bass bloat on the original. To my ears, this is surely not the case as the MTW2 remains a powerful, warm and deep-reaching earphone. Extension is excellent delivering visceral slam and rumble. Deep-bass information is also easily discerned as the sub-bass and mid-bass are quite linear. As such, a warm tone and full, enlarged notes are mostly derived from a moderate hump in the upper-bass. Still, timbre isn’t overly off as the mid-bass is now more balanced and, in turn, the bloat and tubbiness of the original is mostly gone.

If there’s one thing Sennheiser is renowned for, it’s their dynamic driver quality and here the MTW2 is a noticeable step up from its predecessor too. Driver control is slightly higher which in culmination with its cleaner tuning results in improved separation and a more articulate presentation. The MTW2 has notably natural attack and decay resulting in a smooth texture and well articulated notes, if a slightly woollier presentation than quicker-decaying competitors. As such, notes don’t have outstanding definition, however, the low-end is natural and non-fatiguing.

Mids –

The original MTW stood out amongst the sea of thin, overly V-shaped TWS offerings with its warm, smooth albeit laid-back presentation. Little has changed here, the MTW2 shares the same qualities but exchanges some warmth for increased density. The key is its bass/midrange transition that is smooth and lightly bolstered. This provides good balance between male and female vocals in addition to ample vocal size and a commanding fullness. The tone is noticeably cleaner than the original producing organic, natural vocals with good coherence and note resolution. What some may have issue with is their increased density on behalf of a sharper upper-midrange dip.

As such, vocals are smooth and somewhat truncated at times yet also accurate in articulation, with their density mitigating the rasp and sharpness of their lower-treble peak. In this respect, the MTW2 is a step up from its predecessor. On the contrary, though bass is less present, vocals are just as laid-back as the original so overall balance remains the same. Vocal clarity and extension are also reduced so those wanting high vocal clarity and openness won’t find a perfect match here. The MTW2 caters to exactly the same audience as before; those wanting a rich, smooth and non-fatiguing listen with ample cleanliness and clarity but chief focus on a euphonic organic timbre.

Highs –

Crisp but clean, the top-end of the Momentum TWS is pleasantly detail-dense while avoiding fatigue. In general, the character is quite standard for a V-shaped earphone, with a moderate 6KHz peak followed by a generally smoother and darker background. The results are what you’d expect, the top-end isn’t over-forward or strident and provides a good sense of distance behind its detail presence. Meanwhile, it retains a clear image with strong focus on foreground details. The tone is lightly warm and the transient response on the smoother side so though instrument body is on the thinner side due, the presentation remains is devoid of sharpness or brittle character.

Details are brought to the fore with crisp percussion while shimmer and decay are natural, providing convincing texture. Middle-treble is dark and highs roll off through this region. As such, you don’t get the energy and sparkle of a similarly priced wired set nor the same resolution, but few would expect that. Rather, the MTW2 focuses on the fundamentals; it has stable imaging and defined layers with enough extension to craft convincing soundstage expansion and enough openness to avoid congestion. Background detail retrieval isn’t exceptional, but few would contend with the MTW2’s well-detailed foreground and tasteful combination of clarity and cleanliness.

Soundstage –

The MTW2 has a fairly involving soundstage too. Width extends beyond the head and tapers off naturally at its extremities. Depth is more intimate which aids its presentation by preventing vocals from sounding overly recessed but also detracts from the three-dimensionality of its presentation. Overall, though relaxed, vocals aren’t positioned too far from the listener thereby aiding balance to some degree. Imaging is quite good, coherent with sharp directional cues on behalf of its lower-treble presentation. Vocals occupy a strong centre image. Meanwhile, there’s good foreground/background contrast with defined layers. Separation is not the MTW2’s high point though it is improved over its predecessors which will provide the impression of greater detail retrieval.

Comparisons –

DSC08268

Adv M5 TWS ($200): The M5 TWS is a Harman-target IEM and very audiophile focussed. It lacks the feature set of the MTW2 in turn with no ANC, aware-mode or app support at present. The faux-custom style housings seal well with a slightly deeper fit but isolation doesn’t match the Momentum TWS even without ANC active. The touch controls are also less reliable and responsive. Battery life is rated at a similar 7hrs. Call quality isn’t as good, especially as the M5 struggles with background noise suppression.

Its sound is distinctly brighter and thinner suiting those valuing a clear, revealing midrange and superior technical performance. Bass extension is similar on both, the M5 TWS has more emphasis here followed by less mid-bass and substantially less upper-bass. Its tone is more neutral, and its driver is quicker decaying with slightly better control. The M5 TWS isn’t as powerful or rich but is just as hard-hitting and is more discerning of fine detail and texture. This trend continues through the higher frequencies. The M5 TWS has a thinner, clearer and considerably more forward vocal presentation.

Its tone is more neutral, and it is a lot more open sounding. I would hesitate to dub either more explicitly natural, they exist on opposite ends of the scale; the MTW2 suiting those wanting rich, smooth and coherent vocals, the M5 TWS for those valuing separation, cleanliness and definition. The top end is more organic on the MTW2 and slightly more focused with a darker background. Meanwhile, the M5 TWS has better extension with more background detail retrieval, resolution and sparkle but also a brighter background. Both have similar soundstage width but the M5 TWS has better depth projection and sharper imaging, it is a lot more separated due to its cleaner tuning.

Sennheiser MTW (~$199): The original MTW that started the craze, now commonly found at heavily reduced prices. It has less features but similar strengths and sound quality overall. What will be more of a deal-breaker is the aforementioned passive battery drain issue in addition to its odd pairing process. If you can live with that, get a good fit and don’t require the extended battery life and ANC ability of the 2, you can receive a similar experience at a much cheaper price. That said, the successor is certainly much easier to live with.

The MTW2 is certainly tuned in the same ballpark as its predecessor while introducing some new elements. Bass extension is similar on both, however, the MTW2 has a more linear sub to mid-bass transition. In turn, its tone is cleaner and note size smaller, the timbre is more natural and bloat is reduced. The sub-bass is more apparent by comparison which aids dynamics and both separation and definition are noticeably higher. The midrange will polarise. The MTW2 has a more laid-back upper-midrange so though it isn’t as warm due to reduced bass emphasis, it is just as full and slightly smoother.

This will be to the liking of those who found the original fatiguing of sibilant due to the lower-treble tuning, articulation is more accurate here. On the contrary, the MTW has slightly better clarity and a more open vocal presentation, both being equally laid-back that said. The lower-treble appears a touch more aggressive on the MTW2 as its emphasis contrasts greater with its more laid-back upper-midrange. It has a slightly thinner instrument body but also slightly better definition and detail retrieval. Both extend similar and have similar soundstage expansion. The MTW2 has slightly more dimension and more defined layers due to its cleaner tuning.

M&D MW07 Plus ($299): Like the M5 TWS, it is more audio-focused with no ap integration but implements lifestyle features such as ANC and aware mode. The aware mode doesn’t work nearly as well while the ANC is similar to the MTW2 being less aggressive but also free of artefacts or pressure. As the MW07 housing blocks considerably less noise than the MTW2 passively, overall noise attenuation is noticeably better on the MTW2. The housings are just as comfortable to me and may be more stable in larger ears due to the silicone wing stabilisers. They have a higher IPX5 water resistance rating, offer good call quality and background noise suppression in addition to longer 10-hr battery life. They will be a good alternative for those fearing the MTW2 may be too dark sounding for their liking.

The MW07 Plus provides a more U-shaped sound and a generally more vivid presentation. It has slightly better sub-bass extension with similar emphasis through the sub and mid-bass but a cleaner upper-bass creating a slightly cleaner image. It has higher driver control with harder-hitting attack and slightly quicker decay creating a more defined image with similar power and drive. The MTW2 is smoother and richer in voicing for those wanting more warmth and fullness. Through the midrange, the same theme continues. The MTW2 is slightly more laid-back while the MW07 Plus has a push in the upper-midrange that gives it a slightly more intimate presentation.

The MTW2 is denser, fuller and warmer where the MW07 Plus is cleaner, more open and revealing but not too forward so it won’t polarise like the M5 TWS as its bass is more present and its vocals are slightly denser and smoother. The MTW2 actually has a crisper treble where the MW07 Plus is slightly smoother with a brighter background. As such, it doesn’t have the same focus and contrast, it is slightly less detailed in the foreground but has slightly better top-end extension and a cleaner transient response with more top-octave sparkle and a bit more fine detail retrieval. The MW07 Plus has similar soundstage width but more depth for a more rounded presentation. Its separation is higher but its imaging isn’t quite as coherent.

Verdict –

Much like its predecessor, the MTW2 is sweeping up awards and accolades in abundance. And, where some critical design flaws in its predecessor caused polarisation between users and critics, I can’t see the same happening here. For the MTW2 has no immediate faults and there’s nothing it does poorly, no situation where I was left wanting features. Of similar importance, there was no instance where I was left wanting those features to work better either. The high-cost will be difficult to justify as with all premium products. Yet what comes with that cost is refinement and versatility.

DSC08220

The MTW2 is a great all-in-one solution for the user that intends to take them everywhere and use them for everything. The ANC isn’t especially effective and the sound remains V-shaped, perhaps overly relaxed in the upper-midrange for some. Still, this is a great update to the original and a strong addition to the ever more competitive TWS market. The MTW2 is equipped for almost every situation the user could throw at it; whether that be workout, commute or air travel. Furthermore, though no longer the undisputed champion, the MTW2 retains an engaging and natural sound that’s easy to enjoy if not possessing the greatest balanced and fine detail retrieval. Some products amount to more than the sum of their parts and the MTW2 exemplifies this notion entirely.

The Sennheiser MTW2 is available from on Amazon (International) for $299 USD at the time of writing. Please see my affiliate link for the most updated pricing, availability and configurations.

Track List –

88Rising – Head in The Clouds

Dire Straits – Communique

Eric Clapton – Unplugged

Fetty Wap – Fresh N Clean

keshi – bandaids

Post Malone – Beerbongs and Bentleys

PREP – Cold Fire

Radiohead – The Bends

Rich Brian – Amen

The Beach Boys – Surfer Girl

The Marshall Tucker Band – The Mashall Tucker Band

1 2
Share.

About Author

Avid writer, passionate photographer and sleep-deprived medical student, Ryan has an ongoing desire to bring quality products to the regular reader.

Leave A Reply