The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 is a pair of wireless buds that both succeeds at impressing and fails to surprise. After all, this is the successor to the original Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless, one of the best sets of wireless earbuds ever. And with the great-sounding Sennheiser CX 400BT showing what the company can do even on a lower budget, it shouldn’t be remotely shocking that the premium, noise-cancelling Momentum True Wireless 2 has turned out so well.
Colors: Black and white
Battery life (rated): 7 hours without ANC (28 hours with charging case); ANC life not rated
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1
Processor: Qualcomm QCC5121
Size: 1.1 x 0.6 x 0.9 inches (per bud); 3 x 1.7 x 1.4 inches (charging case)
Weight: 0.2 ounces (per bud); 2 ounces (charging case)
Still, that’s with an emphasis on “premium.” This is one mighty pricey set of buds, even next to Apple’s AirPods Pro. And yet, as our Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 review will explain, there’s enough in the way of rich sound quality and advanced features that it’s a worthwhile investment. In fact, the True Wireless 2 earns a spot on our best wireless earbuds list.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 review: Price and availability
The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 is available in either black or white. The black buds come with a dark grey charging case, while the white option’s case is a lighter grey.
The MSRP is $299, but a lot of retailers sell it for $249, including Amazon and Walmart. That’s still big money for a pair of true wireless earbuds but it at least brings the Momentum True Wireless 2 in line with the $249 AirPods Pro.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 review: Design
The Momentum True Wireless 2 felt a little chunky at first, but then I had just spent two weeks with the startlingly tiny Earin A-3. In the grander scheme, Sennheiser’s buds are proportioned quite reasonably, with a circular touch sensor making each one look more modern and stylish than the square CX 400BT.
Each earbud is also smaller than those of the original Momentum True Wireless, even if the overall shape is similar. The charging case also looks almost identical, with the same fabric finish. This still fills up over USB-C, and has the same handy battery level indicator that lights up when you press the button on the back.
Ideally, Sennheiser would have gone further and upgraded the newer model’s water resistance, which remains rated at IPX4. That’s only enough to cope with sweat and light splashes, rather than strong jets or full submersion, but then it’s all you really need for occasional exercise. It’s also better than what you get with the CX 400BT, which hasis no IP-rated waterproofing at all.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 review: Comfort and fit
Each of the Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds is a teensy bit lighter than their predecessors, at 0.21 ounces per bud versus 0.23 ounces. That bodes well for what was already a comfortable earbud design, and sure enough this new pair fits very nicely indeed.
The fit is snug, which is what you want from a pair of active noise-cancelling (ANC) headphones as it creates a seal to block out ambient noise. Nonetheless, the Momentum True Wireless 2 buds spread their weight evenly around the ear, so fatigue doesn’t kick in as quickly.
And, with a choice of four replaceable tip sizes in the box, it’s not hard to find a set that’s just right. I recommend using the biggest tips you can handle, though: I tried the small tips, which were the most comfortable but didn’t provide as much passive noise isolation as the medium tips. These were still easy to wear for long periods, so I stuck with these.
Because there’s no over-ear hooks or wing tips, like you’d get on many of the best running headphones, the Momentum True Wireless 2 isn’t purpose-built for workouts. Still, the fit is secure enough that you can perform less strenuous exercises without fear that the buds will fall out.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 review: Setup and controls
Pairing the Momentum True Wireless 2 for the first time is easy: you just pop the buds in your ears, hold down both touch sensors for three seconds and then connect through your device’s Bluetooth menu. After that, the buds reconnect automatically as soon as you remove them from the charging case.
The touch controls are reliable, and helpfully versatile. Single, double and triple taps can perform a range of actions: besides the usual play, pause and skip controls, you can switch between ANC and transparency modes or summon your phone’s digital assistant. Holding down on the left and right earbuds also lowers or raises the volume, respectively. Why can’t the AirPods Pro do that?
By installing the Sennheiser Smart Control app (iOS and Android) you can also fully customize which inputs perform which action. You could do the same with the CX 400BT, but the Momentum True Wireless 2’s wider feature range makes this customization especially useful. For example, I changed the ANC toggle to a single tap on the right bud, to switch in and out of it faster.
It’s a great app in general, with lots of tools and an accessible UI. There’s a dedicated section for the transparent hearing mode available right from the home screen, and the equalizer controls provide two options for customizing the sound signature. One is a simple set of three EQ sliders, while the other lets you change the bass, mids and treble in one finger movement by dragging a marker around a grid. The latter requires more trial and error, though.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 review: Sound quality
If you’re going to spend $249 on a pair of wireless earbuds (and it isn’t the AirPods Pro), sound quality is probably what you’re here for. The good news is that the Momentum True Wireless 2 sounds exquisite, and is dripping with detail in every musical genre it tries.
Unlike the more recent Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, there’s no dual-speaker trickery going on here. The Momentum True Wireless 2 just has one 7mm dynamic driver per earbud, of the same design as the CX 400BT. It’s not the loudest speaker but the sound it pumps out is rich and textured, with excellent clarity across the frequency range.
One highlight is the impeccable level of detail. I was hearing hitherto-unnoticed instrumental tracks in Studio Killer’s “All Men Are Pigs,” a song I’ve been listening to for years, and little touches like the guitar fretting sounds in Muse’s “Falling Away With You” became easier to pick out.
As with the CX 400BT, the frequency balance is neutral by default. But that doesn’t mean upbeat songs fall flat: the pumping chorus in Jack Wins’ dance track “Animals” was full of life, and “Just Because” by Jane’s Addiction sounded as immense as it would on any decent over-ears.
That said, I personally preferred a dash of added low end — which I added through the app.
Even without EQ adjustment, the Momentum True Wireless 2 is more than a match for the AirPods Pro on audio quality, and if your device supports it you can take advantage of the high-quality aptX Bluetooth codec as well.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 review: Active noise cancellation
ANC on the Momentum True Wireless 2 is closer to “decent” than “amazing,” but ultimately it does work well in most situations. It can completely silence low-level droning, such as air conditioning, and makes a reasonable effort with louder sounds like passing traffic. I could still hear cars and buses pass me by, but not to a distracting degree. There’s also no pronounced buzzing sound from the negative noise, like you can hear on the AirPods Pro in quiet rooms.
Similarly, the transparent listening mode is good enough even if it’s not the best in its class. I found it mainly useful for close-range interactions, like speaking to someone face-to-face; it’s less useful for picking up speech when you’re across the room. It also shares the AirPods Pro transparency mode’s limitation of only having one setting: you can’t change how much sound is let in.
Still, I loved how activating this ambient mode doesn’t adversely impact playback quality, as it does on lesser ANC headphones. If you’d prefer, you can opt to pause music when you switch it on: another customization option offered in the app.
If you want the absolute best wireless earbuds for noise-cancelling specifically, Sennheiser’s effort isn’t on the same level as the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds. But it’s a good try.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 review: Features
The Momentum True Wireless 2 sports one of the best implementations of in-ear detection I’ve used. This is where the music automatically pauses when you remove a bud from your ear, and resumes when you put it back. On most headphones there’s a delay between the sensor taking note and the music pausing or playing, but here it’s close enough to instantaneous.
Voice assistant implementation works well, too. The True Wireless 2 supports both Google Assistant and Siri, and there’s no significant delay betweening summoning the assistant and it becoming available to take commands. Voice input is also registered as accurately as if you were speaking into your phone directly.
Factoring in ANC, transparency mode, customizable controls, customizable EQ and water resistance, and the Momentum True Wireless 2 is as fully-featured as you’d hope from a pair of premium buds.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 review: Battery life
This is one area where the Momentum True Wireless 2 falls short. After a couple of full-to-empty runs, these earbuds lasted an average of 4 hours and 13 minutes of ANC-enabled playback.
While that’s an improvement on the original Momentum True Wireless 2, it’s less than the AirPods Pro (4.5 hours), and that’s not a particularly outstanding battery performer in the first place. Sennheiser quotes a battery life of 7 hours, but this must be with ANC switched off. I ran my tests at only 50% volume so I can’t see any way of stretching it that far.
Sennheiser also says the charging case can extend that 7 hours up to 28, which indicates that it’s good for 3 full charges. That would still only get you about 16 to 17 hours of ANC playback, judging by my testing. Again, that’s not great.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 review: Call quality
I was also a little surprised that the Momentum True Wireless 2 didn’t perform better as a calling headset — an imperfection shared with the CX 400BT.
When using the earbud’s microphones, I apparently sounded a lot fuzzier and more distorted than when I used my handset mic. Background noise, when outside, was also a lot more pronounced, making me harder to hear.
It wasn’t so bad that I was intelligible but if you use this set of buds for regular phone calls, don’t be surprised if your recipient needs to focus harder on your voice. Given how good the Momentum True Wireless 2 is in most other respects, that’s a shame.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 review: Verdict
If sound quality is most important to you, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 will not disappoint. While battery life in particular should really be better, a couple of drawbacks can’t ruin what is otherwise a very fine pair of wireless ANC earbuds.
It’s an expensive pair, true, but you’re paying for audio that’s both excellent out of the box and fully customizable. Add in the secure yet comfortable fit, reliable connectivity, easy-to-use mobile app and added water resistance, and the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 proves that it’s deserving of the cash.