Momentum 2 over-ear

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published: Jul-13-2017

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NO SMOOTHING is applied to the shown plots. Most measurement sites have some smoothing applied which ‘irons flat’ sharp peaks and ‘wiggles’. I do not use smoothing because some info about sound quality is lost when plots are smoothed.

Aside from a small correction of the microphone itself also some correction in the lowest frequencies is applied to the plots to compensate for the perceived loss of bass when using headphones. This is described HERE in more detail.
A ‘horizontal‘ frequency response curve on the shown frequency response plots on this website thus indicates a perceived ‘flat’ tonal signature.

ALL measurements are made with a good SEAL on a flatbed measurement rig.
The shape of your head, bone structure, pad size, pad ‘softness,  (compliance), hair or no hair and or wearing glasses may (drastically) change the frequency response of some headphones, so… your personal experience may differ substantially from these plots.

Frequency response (tonal balance) is the most sound-determining aspect of headphones. A horizontal line shows audible neutral response in the plots on this website. Deviations in different severities at different frequency bands have an effect on the sound character.
The bigger the deviation the stronger the effect.

Below an aid to help determining the sound character of headphones with relation to the frequency response.


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Sennheiser Momentum 2 (over ear)

Momentum over-ear

The Momentum 2 over-ear is a closed over-ear headphone with a remote/mic in the headphone cable. It is designed for portable usage connected to a phone or MP3 player.
It is also suited to be used at home, in a studio or at the office. It retails for around € 200.- It is light weight and very stylish. It has high quality looks and feel to it.
The headband itself is not very comfortable abd the clampingforce a bit on the high side.
This is the black version, it is also available in white. This is not the wireless/noise canceling version which also exists but is more expensive. It folds into the headband and becomes a smaller package when you want to take it along with you. While being designed as an on-ear the earpads are small. For some people with bigger ears this will be a (partly ?) on ear headphone. This will break the seal most likely and lower bass levels considerably.
Those who want to use it on their desktop amp will have to buy a 6.3mm adapter as that is not included in the box.


Type: Over ear, closed.
Usage: Portable, commuting, office, home
Driver type: dynamic
Pads: leather
Inner Pad dimensions: depth = 15mm, Height = 60mm, Width = 32 mm
Foldable: yes
Headphone connector: 3.5mm TRS
Cable entry: single sided entry (right side which is unusual), locking
Cable: 1.4m angled 3.5mm TRRS with inline mic/remote
Driver size: 30mm
Nom. power rating: 0.2W (200mW)
Max. voltage: 2V
Max. current: 100mA
Max. S.P.L.: 119dB
Impedance: 18 Ω
Efficiency: 96dB @ 1mW
Sensitivity: 113dB @ 1V
Weight: 190 g.
Clamping force: medium/high (3.2N)
Colour options: ivory, brown & black
Accessories: carry case,  manual

Sound description:

The Momentum sounds bassy and ‘fat’. The sound character can be called ‘laid back’. These characteristics usually work well for portable usage but are less suited for home usage. The Momentum 2, just like the previous version, lacks clarity and has soft and subdued treble.


Below the frequency response of the Momentum 2.0 (Left, Right)FR Mom OE

The frequency plots appear to show this is a balanced headphone with a slight emphasis in the bass. From 200Hz to 3kHz it is measuring surprisingly flat and thus the mids sound realistic. The sharp ‘null’ at 4.5kHz is not really there as seen in the CSD further down this article, in fact it is a resonance in disguise. The small ‘dip’ from 3kHz to 7kHz will slightly lower the presence/clarity. This dip is rather small so the effect will be small too. In that frequency range is ‘sharpness’ and ‘sibilance’ so a small depression in this band will reduce sharpness in recordings which is a positive thing for a lot of poorer quality recordings. The treble quality is better than that of the first momentum and is less ‘rolled-off’ and a bit more detailed. The drop-off above 16kHz usually indicates a less airy/ethereal treble.

Below the phase response of the Momentum OE.
phase MomOE

output resistance / damping-factor

As this is a low impedance (18Ω) dynamic headphone the frequency response might be amplifier output resistance dependent when certain higher output resistance amplifiers are used.
To test this the headphone is measured via a low impedance amplifier (0.2Ω) and a high impedance amplifier (120Ω). On a higher output resistance amplifier the output level will be considerably lower. To compensate for this the amplifier is cranked up to the same level (at 1kHz) as the low impedance amplifier. This way the plots are overlay-ed and it is easy to see how the tonal balance changes.

FR mom oe R 120

There obviously is a wide peak in the impedance around 100Hz. You get around 2dB more (and a somewhat less controlled) bass when driven from a high output resistance desktop amplifier. The lack of a 6.3mm adapter prevents you from plugging it in home equipment. This headphone is designed for portable equipment which usually has output resistances below 10Ω so is not much of an issue with portable gear.

Below the distortion plots of the Momentum 2 : (only Left channel shown)
The distortion products are shown in dB.
Note that this headphone was measured at ears-unlimited-logo where  background noises were present in the demo room. As this is a closed headphone distortion levels and spectrum plot performance may thus be somewhat better in reality than as shown on the plots.

Dist mom OE L

The distortion profile is typical for a dynamic driver. Somewhat higher 2nd harmonic and 3rd harmonic distortion in the bass. The distortion is impressively low. < 0.5% in the bass area. The almost 1 % distortion spike around 4.5kHz is an indication there is a resonance there. Where the frequency response shows a sharp ‘null’ at that frequency the CSD shows a resonance. The distortion peaks here as well. Fortunately this is all very narrow band so may not be very audible at all.Dist mom OE L percent

Below the CSD of the Momentum 2 (Left and Right channel are superimposed)CSD mom oe R

The CSD shows some issues around 2kHz and 4.5kHz as well as a narrow one at 9kHz in the left channel only. Not something to really worry about.

Below the Group Delay (which is related to the phase response)
GD mom OEIt show some ‘pad bounce’ between 100Hz and 200Hz and some issues at just over 1kHz and the ‘null’ at 4.5kHz.

Below the spectrum plot of the Momentum 2 (Right channel)Spect mom oe R

Just like the CSD above (this plot basically is a CSD seen from the top and with different scales) there is a small 1kHz and 2.5kHz ringing showing. The 1kHz issue may be some cup resonance. Otherwise pretty clean.

By lack of oscilloscope shots (not enough time to measure that) below a step response plot of the Momentum. (left, right)
step mom oe

The step response shows a good impulse response albeit with some poorly damped ringing. The bump around 2kHz show it has a slight bassy character.


This headphone can fold up is quite stylish, has a microphone/remote and thus is suitable for connection to phones etc. It plays loud enough and has good bass quality. Mids are also excellent. The treble is slightly lacking in the finest nuances but on a good level and quality.
Very well suited for portable usage on the go because of its elevated bass.

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