Ask anyone on the street what the best true wireless earphones are, and nine times out of ten they’ll give you the wrong answer. The AirPods Pro was so dominant in 2020 that you may have missed the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2, but you should pay attention now. With top-notch audio quality and a handful of useful creature comforts, Sennheiser makes a valiant effort at taking the crown of “best true wireless earphones.”
Editor’s note: this review of the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 was updated on September 14, 2021, to address the Sennheiser CX True Wireless and Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless as alternatives.
Who is the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 for?
- Anyone looking for luxury true wireless earphones. I’ll level with you: $300 is a tough sell in the age of working from home. However, to the right buyer there will always be a market for high-end… anything.
- Fashionistas with deep pockets will like the sleek and shiny appearance of the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2
What is the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 like?
Available in black or white, the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 is one of the better-looking true wireless options on the market. Accented by grooved metal plates on the back and a matte finish, these earphones definitely make a statement. The look is very similar to the original Momentum True Wireless earphones, but why fix what ain’t broke?
Much like their previous iteration, the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 have a rather bulky cloth-covered case, which houses and charges the also-large earbuds themselves. It’s covered in a coarse weave fabric, and while pretty, it will eventually become quite dirty if you let it.
Removing the earphones from the case triggers looking for their paired device, and putting them back in will terminate the connection. The buds align to the charging contacts with magnets, and thankfully Sennheiser seems to have fixed the issue where one earbud would sometimes remain connected to your source even when in the case.
The earbuds themselves have a grooved metal backing emblazoned with a Sennheiser logo that also hides the controls. Several holes telegraph the location of microphones on the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2, which are needed for noise cancelling, as well as recording your voice.
|Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2||Sennheiser CX 400BT||Apple AirPods Pro|
|Codecs available||SBC, AAC, aptX||SBC, AAC, aptX||SBC, AAC|
|Battery life (75dB)||3:59||5:15||5:06|
|Voice assistant support||✓||✓||✓|
Like most flagship releases, the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 offer the latest and greatest Bluetooth version 5.1, and can use SBC, AAC, and aptX to connect to your source du jour. We recommend aptX if you’re on Android, though AAC is much better when it comes to latency for video. iPhone users will be stuck on AAC, but that’s hardly a problem.
Controlling the earphones
Once you’ve paired the earphones to your source and started listening, you can control the playback, voice assistant, and phone calls by using either the left or right earbud. If these controls don’t really suit you, the app allows you to customize your inputs, and make them a bit more intuitive to you.
|Action||Left side||Right side|
|One tap||Play/pause||Voice assistant|
|Two taps||Next track||Transparent hearing|
|Three taps||Previous track||ANC|
|Hold||Volume down||Volume up|
Should you get the Sennheiser Smart Control app?
While we generally don’t recommend installing extra software for your peripherals, Sennheiser’s app is necessary for features like transparent voice, and equalization. Despite the rating on the Google Play Store, we recommend you install the app to take advantage of these features, as well as to update the firmware in the future.
How do you connect the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 to your phone?
When you open the case and remove the earphones, they’ll automatically start looking for a device to connect to. They’ll look to latch onto a device with the Sennheiser Smart Control app first, so make sure you have it installed before connecting the first time. If you’re going to be using these at the computer, Windows and Mac devices will be able to connect directly—though you’ll have to scrape by on stock settings until you pair with a phone that has the Sennheiser app.
Once you’ve installed the software and enabled your phone’s Bluetooth setting, you can pair your earphones. The app will look for firmware updates, and walk you through the other features, like software EQ, transparent hearing (passthrough), and tuning presets.
How long does the battery last?
By setting the output to 75dB and running a chosen playlist on repeat, the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 ran out of battery a few seconds before the test ran for 4 hours. We’re okay with rounding up in this case, especially considering that the ANC unit was running. If you listen to music a little softer, or turn the ANC off, you can expect to get better battery life than we did.
How do the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 sound?
The Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 sound really good—though they may not be everyone’s cup of tea. This is partly due to the fact that Sennheiser as a company makes every effort to mitigate potential problems with in-ear design, and that can lead to tradeoffs in the sound. Most people won’t notice or care, but it’s worth discussing in any case.
As always, performance is completely dependent on getting a good fit with your earphones, so be sure to play around with getting a good seal. Not only is this important for isolation and ANC performance, but it’s critical for your earphones to sound as good as they can.
Bass and low mids
The bass is slightly emphasized and there’s a very vocal-friendly bump in the mids, so many modern songs will sound very good. Not only does it allow for fairly clear-sounding reproduction, but it also means that any tinkering you do with the equalizer likely won’t mess things up too much.
You can always equalize the sound if you aren't happy with the default frequency response.
For example, if you were to listen to Bad Religion’s song American Jesus, you’d be able to pick out the bass line and the melody very easily, although the secondary rhythm guitar is masked a bit.
In Maxence Cyrin’s rendition of the Pixies’ Where Is My Mind, you might notice some of the lingering harmonics being muffled a bit, but the fundamental notes come through just fine.
High mids & highs
That dip in the high mids is intended to combat natural resonances in the human ear. We’ll be able to better demonstrate this once we get our Bruel & Kjaer 5128 set up (so stay tuned!). However, this means that guitar riffs that have to compete with a lot of other instruments can sometimes lose their “attack” sounds (when the pick hits the string) in the shuffle. In the song Adore You by Harry Styles, this happens in a few spots where the rest of the music is pretty loud.
What codec should you use?
Ideally, you should stick with aptX or AAC if you care about sound quality, but sometimes you won’t get the option because of how different computers are nowadays. If you’re using an Apple computer or phone, you’ll be locked into AAC regardless, so the choice is already made for you.
If you’re on Android or Windows, aptX is the choice for you. However, if your source doesn’t support it, you’ll be using SBC. Don’t panic: it’s not as bad as it used to be, provided your source is newer than, say, 8 years old. SBC isn’t the indicator of crap connection quality it used to be, and you can get perfectly acceptable audio over it nowadays, provided you’re within the normal operating range and your source is able to make the most of it.
How good is the active noise cancelling?
If you’re a commuter, the noise cancelling is essential to combat engine noise and the clamor of other people but it isn’t going to rock the house with the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2. You will hardly notice a difference when noise cancelling is toggled on or off, but thankfully the passive isolation properties are quite good so long as you get a proper fit.
How good is the microphone?
I could wax poetic about the microphone array of the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2, but why do that when I can just have you listen for yourself? Below is a recording of me talking to you over the microphone of the earbuds in question. Please take the time to rate the quality of the recording: it really helps our other readers understand how it sounds over a huge range of headphones and speakers!
You’ll notice that sibilant sounds (f, s, sh) will come through very loudly, to the point of being a bit grating. While these sounds are critical for speech intelligibility, you might find that this mic goes a bit far. If that’s the case, there’s not a ton you can do, but be mindful of the people you’re talking to when making hissing sounds over the phone.
As of May 21, 2021, 1,968 readers have rated the above mic sample as somewhere between “okay” and “good.” This is a pretty typical result for true wireless earbuds, and at the upper end of what you should expect to get out of any products of this type.
Should you buy the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2?
If you’ve got a few bills lying about, the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 are the earphones to get in 2020. By offering all the bells and whistles out there in an attractive package, it’s not hard to see why Sennheiser is one of the oldest and most well-regarded audio companies out there. They know how to do it right, even if the tech is new.
These earbuds sound great, they’re sweat-resistant, and they offer respectable noise cancelation. It’s just gravy that they’re stylish. We’re not crazy about the fabric-lined case, but true wireless earphones tend not to last for many years—so this may be a non-issue for most.
However, the price might be hard to swallow, and if you don’t want to spend $250 USD n true wireless earphones, you’re in good company. If you want to check out our lists for more affordable options that offer somewhat similar features, here are our picks for the best true wireless earphones, or even the best under $100.
Additionally, you may be able to find these on sale around the web, so don’t worry if you can’t afford the full price up front. The holidays always seem to bring discounts on high-end electronics like these, so you might want to try shopping around.
What should you get instead of the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2?
If you don’t need noise cancellation, we recommend you look at the Sennheiser CX True Wireless instead. It offers extremely similar performance to the original Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless earphones, but at a lower cost. Sure, they don’t look the same, but they are impressive in their own right—and they have the same drivers on the inside as well, so you’re not sacrificing any audio quality.
If you like the design of the CX model, you may want to look into the Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless. This headset marries the ANC functionality of the MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 with the look and feel of the CX True Wireless. The CX Plus True Wireless uses Bluetooth 5.2 and streams over SBC, AAC, aptX, and aptX Adaptive codec, so any mobile OS can stream high-quality audio. It has an IPX 4 rating and 24 hours of playtime with the USB-C charging case.
How does the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 compare to the Apple AirPods Pro and Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro?
Lucky for you, we have a whole article outlining the major differences between the AirPods Pro and Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 and the long and short of it is this: if you have an iPhone, you should go with the AirPods Pro. However, both earbuds have good sound quality, but their frequency responses are pretty different, with the AirPods Pro focusing on amplifying treble notes, and the Sennheiser buds focus on emphasizing bass frequencies.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro is a more feature-packed product than the MOMENTUM True Wireless 2, from its Samsung 360 Audio support to its wireless charging case. AKG tuned the Galaxy Buds Pro and the sound quality is very good, though you can’t create a custom EQ profile here as you can with the Sennheiser earphones. While the Galaxy Buds Pro doesn’t support aptX streaming, it does support the Samsung Scalable Codec which effectively works like aptX Adaptive when you stream from a compatible Samsung Galaxy device. If you own a Samsung smartphone, get the noise cancelling Galaxy Buds Pro, but if you want best-in-class sound quality and design get Sennheiser’s earphones.
What about the Sony WF-1000XM4?
The Sony WF-1000XM4 is the latest and hottest pair of active noise cancelling true wireless earbuds and it falls in a similar price range as the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2. Both headsets have an IPX4 rating, though the Sony WF-1000XM4 might give you an easier time when trying to find a good fit. These buds come with three pairs of memory foam ear tips and the Sony Headphones Connect companion app offers an ear tip fit test as well. The new Sony buds also uses Bluetooth 5.2, and is one of the very first products on the market to do so.
Both buds have great sound quality, though the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 scored just a titch higher in our objective test. Luckily, both headsets can be equalized in their companion apps to sound just the way you like. The active noise cancelling performance is definitely more effective with the Sony WF-1000XM4, and it’s also more likely to passively isolate environmental noise.