back to article Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds: They're good – though for close to £300, they really should be

The past few years have borne witness to a new category of audio tech: the totally wireless earphones. Initially popularised by Apple's AirPods, we've since seen a wide range of alternatives crop up, ranging from bargain basement to unapologetically aspirational. Sennheiser's Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds fall into the latter …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    almost as much as a pair of Sony WH-1000XM3

    sorry to be the first petty commentard, but the WH-1000XM3 have, for quite some time, been available for about GBP 250, and in fact, you could get them off ebay.co.uk, apparently from Switzerland (new), for around 200 squid. And, if you're lucky to have caught the last flight to the Land of the Orange Hairstyles, they can be yours for 280 usd...

    p.s. not that it is much help to compare over the heads with earbuds...

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: almost as much as a pair of Sony WH-1000XM3

      They're cheaper than 200 quid now most places, but in my view they're not worth much more. I had a pair when they first came out, the left earpiece broke in short order (wouldn't charge) and although the replacement set didn't break per se, I was never happy with them. The buds were large and heavy, connection was ok but not great, and the ANC was nowhere near as good as my Bose QC20s - although those were wired and didn't have the engineering challenges of wireless 'buds.

      I also wasn't happy with the charging case - it was a big old beast, and although it looked ok when new it picked up scratches like nobody's business.

      I sold them and bought AirPods Pro* when they came out - haven't looked back.

      * In the interests of full transparency my AirPods Pro also had teething issues - I bought them on launch day, and I don't think Apple had got the manufacturing down to a tee yet. The plastic bud shells didn't perfectly match (so they ended up with a thin black grime ring around them) and the charging case also wasn't perfectly machined so you could clearly see the seams, which also picked up dirt. I took them back to Apple last month, the Genius guy agreed quality was not great and replaced them immediately; the new set is an order of magnitude better. Moral of this little diatribe is if your AirPods fall into the 'OK but not great' category, get them back to Apple and ask for a replacement.

      1. Andy Moreton

        Re: almost as much as a pair of Sony WH-1000XM3

        I think you are getting confused, the Sony WH-1000XM3 are full-sized over-ear 'phones, not earbuds.

        1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: almost as much as a pair of Sony WH-1000XM3

          Ah sorry yes - I’m thinking of the WF-1000XM3. Bloody Sony naming...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tronsmart Spunky Beat based on Qualcomm QCC30xx SoC.

      People should really try the Tronsmart Spunky Beats, terrible name yes, but the sound is surprisingly good. The hardware is based on the Qualcomm QCC30xx Series Bluetooth SoC.

      There is no way I'd ever spend £300 on earbuds just going through the process, having thought I'd lost one of the Tronsmart SBs gave me that sinking feeling.

      I spent 15 minutes with my camera phone on retracing my steps between the house and the outside bins thinking I'd lost one of them, only to find it later on the sofa.

      First they are so light and small you don't notice them, both a good and bad thing (see above) and the fact I spent 15 minutes looking for the lost one, when they cost me £12 from Aliexpress on 'Singles day' in November last year shows how good there are (or how tight I am regards tiny pieces of plastic/electronics that are easily lost walking London's streets). And yes, I do have a second backup pair.

      Try the Tronsmarts first, because it just makes you realise £300 earbuds are just pointless around London at least.

      Highlights:

      USB Charging cable in the base + USB-C Charging on the side.

      24Hr Charging case, 3 hrs real time usage for me (says up to 7hrs but at 50%)

      Fast Charge: 1 hour extra from 5 minutes of charging.

      One of the most comfortable earbuds and they don't fall out.

  2. TheProf Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Waxy build-up

    I've recently had to get my ears syringed due to wearing earbuds.

    Getting a good seal with buds pushes the wax back into ones ears. Over time it builds up and...silence.

    Just a precautionary note. I'm sure your lug 'oles are pristine.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Waxy build-up

      I've never been comfortable with wedging things into my ears, so these buds style things are just no use to me.

      1. smudge

        Re: Waxy build-up

        I've never been comfortable with wedging things into my ears, so these buds style things are just no use to me.

        They always remind me of the (wired) "earphones" on bedside radios in hospitals in the 60s, which I used to use during long hours at the weekends watching my grandparents die. So I have never fancied buds at all.

        Have a nice day!

    2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: Waxy build-up

      I hate this too. If you want buds but don't want them in your ears, try Bose buds with StayHear tips. They block the ear canal but don't actually go in - so unless your ears are properly mucky they shouldn't bother you.

      AirPods Pro use a similar approach; but people on here get fed up with me banging on about Apple so.... try the Bose.

      1. mickaroo

        Re: Waxy build-up

        I must have weird ears because I've been through a multitude of ear buds, including Bose StayHears... and they don't stay here. Or possibly "ear"...

        I presently have Sennheiser earbuds with over-the-ear clips, which kinda work, but I've mostly thrown my hands up in dismay.

        Bose QC-35 headphones are my go-to now. They make me look like a dork, but still not likely to drop three hundred quid on earbuds any time soon.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Waxy build-up

          Yes, I'm not going to chuck £220 at Apple in hope that they will fit, and I'm sure that no retailer is going to let me try them out.

          I am very interested in a bud that does not have to be rammed down the hole.

          1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

            Re: Waxy build-up

            Apple will let you try them for free - no problem. You can even buy them and return them within 30 days if they're not right for you.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: Waxy build-up

              Thanks, that's useful to know. Next time I am in Cambridge I will stop by Grand Arcade and grab a set.

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Waxy build-up

          Over-the-ear clips are great, unless you wear glasses!

    3. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Waxy build-up

      When I had this complaint a few years ago I called up the GP to ask for an appointment to be "syringed", and got told that if I hadn't been putting olive oil drops in my ear twice daily for a month then I could get lost.

      1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: Waxy build-up

        Just buy an ear syringe and DIY. Safer than someone else doing it as well because you can instantly feel if you push to hard. Best to do it in the shower - the lumps of wax flying out can be pretty messy.

        Available for under £5

        https://www.amazon.co.uk/LUGGUARDS%C2%AE-Stream-Removal-Syringe-STERILE/dp/B07JN43JQD

        1. Barry Rueger

          Re: Waxy build-up

          I tired every DIY wax removal trick, and suffered multiple doctors who couldn't or wouldn't remove prodigious wax build - up. I finally found the solution.

          Fly to China, go to any park, and you'll find guys who, for a couple RMB, will carefully and quickly scrape the wax out with little bamboo tool.

          It's hardly rocket science and I fail to see why western doctors can't do the same.

          1. Sean o' bhaile na gleann

            Re: Waxy build-up

            For the love everything you hold sacred, DON'T... DO. NOT. DO. THIS.

            My story: Wax build-up first identified some 50 years ago, causing my hearing to be considerably impaired. Went to GP - was told to use olive oil and to duck myself when taking a bath to flush my ears out.

            It worked - for a while, but the wax eventually came back, and was a constant irritant for the next n years.

            Later on in life, while having my morning shower, angling my head so that one individual jet of water was directed straight down my ear seemed to work... for a while. Trouble with that idea was that it cleaned my ears out completely... and ear wax, in normal amounts, is a normal (even necessary) thing, intended to trap any particulate stuff that might enter the ear canal.

            With no ear wax to speak of, even bits of floating dust were an extreme irritant - enough to get me started on using cotton buds. That worked for a time too, but...

            Next stage started because I found cotton buds to be too flexible, I wanted something more rigid, something that felt like it was doing something, and so... 'kitchen matches' - the ones with a long stalk.

            Overall result: 'Otitis Externa' - ear canals continually exuding a clear liquid that irritates when it dries up on reaching the open air, causing more scratching, more damage, more scratching and so on, and also leaving some fairly unsightly stains on bed pillows.

            These days, I have to keep things under control with neomycin. I use a preparation that goes by the name of 'Otomize' - an ear spray that appears to work nicely.

            There's an old wives saying about not putting anything smaller than your elbow into your ear. That's a bloody stupid way of saying something that's obvious in my opinion, but it's very stupidity is what keeps the concept in mind.

            Don't mess with your ears, people - they're just too damn fragile

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: Waxy build-up

              Otomize is acetic acid no less, vinegar.

              I had this for an ear infection and it did indeed work really well.

              1. Sean o' bhaile na gleann

                Re: Waxy build-up

                "Otomize is acetic acid no less, vinegar"

                Yeah - I had a little chuckle to myself when I read that on the label. If I'd known that vinegar (or, for that matter, lemon juice) would have done the trick, things would have been much simpler.

                It's got to be said though, that Otomize is just 2% acetic acid - so don't go reaching for the bottle of Sarsons.

      2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

        Re: Waxy build-up

        I used 0.5% H2O2, a few drops for 5 minutes twice a day gently breaks up the wax with a tickling fizz.

      3. Peter X

        Re: Waxy build-up

        I've had to had my ears syringed a few times over the last few years and always had to use olive oil for 5-days + prior to having it done. But these days they won't even do that and instead, I have "micro-suction" done... but whilst it's done at my local GP, it's performed by a private practitioner and thus I have to pay for it. Which is annoying.

        1. Ken Shabby
          Facepalm

          Re: Waxy build-up

          If feeling brave, have a massage and afterwards ask for the "wax job"

    4. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Waxy build-up

      I wear ear plugs to bed most nights - I am a light sleeper - and I wear ear bud headphone (wired and BT) when at the gym or walking the dog. I do clean the ears out after removing the plugs in the morning and I can't say I've ever had problems.

      At a recent hearing test, the assistant remarked how clean my ears were.

      YMMV

  3. DrBobK

    A pedant writes... WH-1000 XM3

    The reviewer said "At nearly £300, it's almost as much as a pair of Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones – which is one of this reviewer's daily drivers". These are *headphones*. They seem to be being confused with WF-1000XM3s in the comments. Those are Sony earbuds. I now don't know which I've missed out on buying for $280 from Orange-Idiot Land. One a related note (again risking bud and phone mixups) I had some Sennheiser Momentum Wireless Headphones which sounded great but were quite incapable of maintaining a connection to my phone when there were other bluetooth devices nearby - something which does occasionally happen in places like aeroplanes. I replaced them with Sony WH blah blah blah which might not have sounded quite as good, but did work wirelessly.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: A pedant writes... WH-1000 XM3

      There reviewer was making the point that you get a lot more bang for your buck with the fullsize headphones. The commentard was confuzzled and admitted so.

  4. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

    Why on earth would anyone buy these buds over a serious pair of top quality and truly epic cans like the Sennheiser HD-600? Every part of which is replaceable. Your eardrums are with your forever, not replaceable: Buds attack your eardrums directly whereas an over ear headset provides (albeit marginally) more protection because of the earlobes... Carrying a boombox at waist level is the safest option.

    1. Timbo 1

      Beleive it comes to personal taste and the pros and cons of full size headphones.

      HD-600’s are open back if i recall correctly, which leak sound, annoying not only the people around you, but also lessening your sound enjoyment whilst the guy next to you on the train decides to watch youtube videos without any headphones.

      Personal comfort, waterproof capabilities, lots of other reasons, but can’t be arsed to write or copy and paste from r/headphones why some prefer iems instead of full size.

      1. Duffy Moon

        "HD-600’s are open back if i recall correctly, which leak sound,"

        I keep my HD600s at home. For out and about use (which won't be happening much in the next few months!) I take my HD25-IIs - they're closed back, sound great and are almost indestructible.

    2. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Err Size & convenience perhaps? I often have a full rucksack for my commute and there is no room for a set of full size cans.

      1. batfink Silver badge

        Try wearing them instead...

  5. DenTheMan

    And I thought ..

    Disposable Diapers were just Crap.

    Obviously , Apple thinking of the customer first, makes the battery and thus unit dies before ear wax becomes too humongous.

  6. DenTheMan

    More landfill

    And I thought disposable Diapers were just crap.

  7. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    I have the V1 of these

    They are great for music, providing you remember the final twist to fix them in your ears.

    Connectivity slighty iffy sometimes but I'm 99% sure thats the iffy Huawei bluetooth stack on my Honor 10 as they are fine on my Ipad.

    Nice to hear the Mic quality has improved - the V1's are friggin lousy for this - almost guaranteed to break up at some point during a 1hr Conf call. Although some reviewers claimed the V1's were ok for call too....

    Getting more bang for the same buck - as the V1's were the same price - albeit slightly eye watering.

    I also have a set of Jabra 65t's that I use for calls which are amazing, but absolutely lousy for music - sound like the bottom of the well.

  8. kuiash

    Latency?

    I bought a pair of pretty good wireless ear buds for my iPad. I like synths.

    F'n useless. Hit the snare and the sound turns up a few weeks later.

    I guess one doesn't notice this when listening to music or making phones calls but for music creation just use wired.

    100 quid spaff'd away cos' I only need them for music making.

    Be warned! I had no idea.

    1. Neal L

      Re: Latency?

      Surely you could take them back as not fit for purpose?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    earbuds work but that's all.

    My kid and all her friends use earbuds all the time ... and then they come over to our house and listen to my vintage Phase Tech loudspeaker system with a monster woofer in my 30x45x18 living room - and they are just stunned to hear their music sounding so different and much better. Then I put on Anthem of the Sun for them.

    Ear buds work, studio cans are generally pretty good, but there's nothing like decent loudspeakers, setup right for stereo, in a nice sized room with a high ceiling. I've been a good boy for years now but I still see patterns dancing on the wall when I listen to the Grateful Dead.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: earbuds work but that's all.

      I presume that you put on Anthem of the Sun to get rid of them?

  10. gnasher729 Silver badge

    Should last the duration of a transatlantic flight

    What transatlantic flights?

  11. Jason Hindle Silver badge

    I am in the market for buds, but...

    Something this easy to lose? I’d go for something like Echo Buds (Prime Day or Black Friday pricing) at the very max in terms of budget. I already have decent cans for when I’m in my own private (and quiet) bubble.

  12. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Noies cancellation versus safety first

    The Momentum True Wireless 2 fit snugly into my ear, offering decent sound isolation from outside noises. There's also active noise cancellation (ANC), which does a decent job at filtering out the drone of road traffic, albeit at the expense of battery life.

    This sounds great but is in practice dangerous in many real world scenarios: if you are anywhere near traffic, you must be able to respond to it and not drown it out! I recently got some Sony WI-SP500 to replace my Jabra sport, which I took to wearing in only one ear when out and about, and can confirm that the Sony buds do respond to external noises so that you can hear things like announcements, etc. Of course, if you're somewhere where it is safe and reasonable to want to cancel out noise (in bus, train, plane, airport, etc.) then it's a godsend to have and I think some headphones/buds allow you to switch it on or off. But really, people are paying far too much for this kind of gear.

  13. StuartK

    Replaceable battery?

    The key question I don't see address is - are they in any way user servicable? Or filled with glue like airpods? The value proposition becomes better if the battery can be replaced when it wears out, otherwise that's a hard pass.

  14. foxloaded

    I have been waiting for this for long. Finally i can get my wireless earphones

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