After testing the Bose QC 35 ii, today, I am testing and comparing Sennheiser HD1 with Sennheiser Momentum wireless, brilliant headphones of 2018, to see which of the two is better. Before we start the comparison, here is some background on these on-ear headphones. Both Momentum and HD1 are from Sennheiser, and Momentum was released first. After its release, a few months later, it was rebranded to HD1. It’s because Sennheiser does not own the rights to the word “Momentum”, so they had to change the name. This brings up to the interesting question as to whether Sennheiser HD1 is same as Momentum, or is it a new model altogether! Both Momentum and HD1 are from Sennheiser, and Momentum was released first. The model that was changed to Sennheiser HD1 was Momentum 2.0 wireless.
Looks are of course subjective and you can be the judge for yourself. The Sennheiser Momentum wireless, which I reviewed, features real brown leather over the headband. With stainless steel arms and ivory cups, it does look premium. Now they do come in black leather with yellow stitching which looks good as well but the one I tested exude a vintage feel to it. Both options are great according to my opinion. The Sennheiser Momentum wireless comes with a premium-looking hard carry case with pockets and soft inner construction. Unlike the original Momentum, the wireless counterpart does fold in thus saving a bit more space, tucking neatly away into the carry case along with the wires and cables included.
Look & Feel
The Sennheiser HD1 has the almost identical head case as that of the Sennheiser Momentum wireless. Both these pairs of headphones come with the same or identical cables including the charging cable and the audio cable. I tested the black colored Sennheiser HD1 and it does not differ from the Momentum wireless much. Both have a classic retro look to themselves and fold for a compact fit.
Looking at the built quality and craftsmanship, the Sennheiser Momentum wireless has an impressive look. Straying away from the super glossy look or excessive use of plastic as other brands use, these pair of wireless headphones is a delight to hold and work with. Starting with the headband, there is more cushion but it feels more stiff or dense compared to the other models from the Sennheiser’s stable as well as the original wired Momentum models. The pivots are all-metal construction with a full flush socket screws on each side of the ear cups. In performing my stress tests, I found the headphone holding up well against all the exertions I put without any cracks.
The Sennheiser HD1 wireless has wider headband and do not have anything added when compared to the Sennheiser Momentum wireless. The leather headband and the earpads remain the same and the high quality is also identical. The stress test was also successfully completed without any problems and the wire that runs from each ear cup wire is thicker and flatter compared to the wire in Momentum; I felt they were practically the same, just different names; that’s all.
Going down to the earcups, this is one design that, after testing so many other pair of headphones, I do really appreciate. Instead of the traditional extendable clicking arm, the Sennheiser Momentum wireless slide up and down along the slotted rail of the headphone on each cup. There is just enough tension to keep the ear cups in place as well and the stress test on them repeatedly showed that it the quality was great. The ear pads are very plush and thick and have (feels) memory foam inside. This is very comfortable to wear for long listening sessions and they do grow on the user over time. And they weigh only 295 grams and did not put any pressure on the jawline, unlike other wireless headphones offer.
I couldn’t place any difference in the comfort zone for the Sennheiser HD1 either. I felt this model was a bit more lenient; a little more comfortable than the Momentum wireless but it can be subjective analysis because the headband width is the only notable difference here.
Performance and Connectivity
I tested the Sennheiser Momentum wireless by leaving my phone on the other side of the room and managed to get a pretty strong signal without losing the connection or any break in audio quality. An additional feature for easy pairing is the NFC in Sennheiser Momentum wireless that instantly connects when placed near a smartphone. Pairing is automatic once you tap on the left earcup and the NFC prompt becomes visible on your phone to pair. If you don’t want to go wireless then there is a 2.5mm cable for wired use with a secure locking mechanism.
With the Sennheiser HD1, the performance does alter your experience. I feel a bit flustered to mention that these are identical in connectivity, performance, and usage.
The power and pairing button on the Sennheiser Momentum wireless is located on the right earcup on the topmost part of the headphone. There is a volume and media control rocker button below the power button. Pushing the rocker up two consecutive times skips a song forward and pushing it down three times moves the song back. Now there is one last way to connect the Sennheiser Momentum wireless and that is via the micro USB cord. Connect the headphones via the micro USB to your computer and let the headphones install the drivers; then you can listen to music/audio by setting the headphones as the default speakers.
The controls on the Sennheiser HD1 remains the same as the Momentum wireless – the right with the buttons for volume and media controls and the left for NFC pairing.
Sennheiser Momentum wireless claims up to 22 hours of battery life. In my testing with continuous use, I was able to extract 25 hours and 9 minutes of juice precisely, but at 50% volume. The headphone is loud and unbearable to hear at high volumes but more on that in the ‘sound quality’ section below.
Battery life of the Sennheiser HD1 is 20 hours as claimed by the company and I managed to squeeze the exact amount with active noise cancelling on.
There is barely any hiss from the ANC in the Sennheiser Momentum wireless and works very well in different outdoor conditions. I tested it on roads, cafes, and subways and found that these noise cancelling headphones do block most of the noises but I was able to pick up some small conversations when the volume was set to medium. Unlike the Bose QC 35 ii, which shuts the entire world, the Sennheiser Momentum wireless still needs to go a long way. There is noise cancellation mic on the earcups that cancels out most of the sound to give you a pleasant listening effect. Phone calls are also great to listen to. The Sennheiser HD1 has similar microphones and do deliver the same quality of audio clarity.
ANC on the Sennheiser HD1 was similar to the Momentum wireless but given the latest and upgrade model, I felt the comfort in these was higher but only by a hairline difference. Though upgraded, they don’t match up to the Bose ANC quality.
I am a fan of clean sound and while testing the Sennheiser Momentum wireless, I came across the desired sound characteristic, when I turned on the volume to nearly 80%. Starting with bass, these headphones give just the right touch to make EDM and pop genres music really sharp and distinct. It feels deep enough without being overdone and does not compromise the midrange and high ranges of audio. During long listening sessions my ears did not feel drowned or numb and the sound did feel lively without any overpowering bass-y feel. The midrange does not sound great but they are not dull sounding either. Vocals do not sound boxy or nasal-like but sounded natural with the bass-boost signature in these headphones. The only genre that didn’t seem to do well was classical music when the lower notes and midrange felt dull and unimpressive. Sound leakage is not a problem but listening to music on high volume is painful in the Sennheiser Momentum wireless.
The sound is exactly the same. I would go far to mention that the drivers in both these headphones are the same. The clinical exactness can be felt even to the laymen if given a chance to test. The bass-boost sound signature, neutral soundstage and a muddy mids in the classical songs are visible here too. Sennheiser has geared both the headphones for the modern crowd, so people interested in classical music will find them hard to like.
The HD1 and Momentum are the same. Sennheiser simply changed the name because it did not own the name “Momentum”. The only significant change is the addition of width to the headband, which resolved the common complaint of Momentum – clamping pressure on the jawline. Otherwise, they are very much identical in all other aspects. Be sure to check our other articles on different brands in our blog.