The Ambush Continues: AKG K550 vs Sennheiser Momentum
I promised my thoughts on this subject so here I am.
I was waiting to hear the Momentum for a while now. Tyll really made me curios about this pair of headphones as I really value his opinions in this domain.
I have been waiting for the first opportunity to hear one of these babies for some time now:
So was my friend Traian. He couldn’t wait for Avstore to bring them to the showroom and he pulled the trigger and he was very happy with them, and had the kindness to lend them to me this weekend along with the AudioQuest Dragonfly.
At last…I could hear the Momentum…:
I have tested the Sennheiser Momentum against the AKG K550 and I have used Burson Conductor, Fiio E17 and AudioQuest Dragonfly with them.
I have been impressed the moment I have seen and heard the Sens for the first time. The build quality is very nice and they also look quite good. One thing I love about them is the fact that they are small, easy to carry and fit very well on my head, not like K550 where I have to literally tie them with an elastic on my head to get the perfect seal.
You can also listen to music with your head on a pillow with Momentum, and you can’t do this with the K550.
The first impressions on Momentum were quite nice. I found it to have a warm sound with a lot of bass and smooth lush midrange and treble. I felt it was like a Creative Aurvana Live on steroids.
Sometimes I felt the sound to be a little congested, but i was expecting that, as it has a smaller driver than the K550.
I started the tests between the 2 headphones and got some interesting findings.
Tommy Smith – “In a sentimental Mood” & Johny Come Lately
The bass on momentum was a little too much for this song. The sound seemed a little congested and the piano in the back was more subtle than it was intended. I could not hear the full extension of the trumpet.
In this category and songs K550 was the clear winner. The fast paced sound, the tighter bass,the bigger soundstage & the details K550 has gave it a real advantage over Momentum.
Vivaldi (The Conneticut Eary Music Festival Ensemble) – “Flute Concerto in D-21”
I really enjoyed this song on K550. The flutes, violins and cellos sounded wonderful. All spectrum was very good. The low frequencies from the cellos were very well reproduced and I almost felt them through my body, the mid-range from violins and treble from the flutes were also a delight.
After I heard the song on K550 I was sure Momentum cannot beat it. And I was partly right. K550 wins on this one too. However I was able to enjoy the song very well on the Momentum. The warm presentation, the mellower treble gave a enjoyable experience of the song but now as good as K550 gives with classical music though.
The accent Momentum puts on lower frequencies made me enjoy the cellos.
Infected Mushroom – IM The Supervisor “Noon”
Knowing the bass on momentum I thought this song will be a hit with it. However, the bass was too slow and too much, invading too much of the rest of the spectrum taking the details away. Maybe a bass head will love this, but for me was to much.
The bass of K550 was perfect for this song, fast, well extended, punchy. The details really pop out over Momentum on this one too. However the treble was too much on K550 and the song became a little tiring. A combination of Momentum and K550 would have been nice on this song. However I still preferred K550 slightly over Momentum on this one too and I did not see this coming.
Gorillaz – “Double Bass”
Though it starter a little shy on the bass I ended enjoying this one with the K. However I felt that it was a tad too bright for this kind of song, and the bass not so well extended.
Well this one was not at all as shy with the bass as the AKG. It started in force. The bass has a lot of slam and punch but it is not well extended either, and k550 still had a more detailed bass on this one too. Ok…I am getting the feeling Momentum is for bass heads as I felt the bass was too much on this song too, and my ears demanded stopping the song before it ended as I could not take it anymore. Well…what can I say, I still preferred K550 with this too.
Michael Jackson- “Beat it”
After I took a moment to relax my ears after Momentum slammed them with the double bass from Gorillaz, I pushed the play button and I was impressed on this song. Really impressed. The punch of Momentum on this song really brought life to it. The warmness and lush midrange made Michaels voice and the instruments sound really enjoyable. I started tapping on this one.
Though the bass was nice, and the midrange also impressive, I found the song to be too bright on K550 and I preferred the Momentum as it was more euphonic .
Coldplay- “High Speed” & “Don’t Panic”
The midrange and details is amazing here. The I really feel the guitars in me ear. I was a little annoyed by the treble though which scratched my ears.
The smooth midrange was and the warmness won me over with this song. No sight of brightness and the voice was more natural. The songs just poured on momentum. Momentum won here with its smooth euphonic sound.
I must say that I really enjoyed these pieces with the Senns!
Dream Theater – The Glass Prison
I loved this song on Momentum as I felt no sibilance or brightness and it was really easy to enjoy. The bass had a lot of slam and it was nice even though it would have been nice if it was a little faster and tighter.
Two words: toe tapping.
Not as enjoyable as the Momentum with this song. The bass was faster but lacked a little slam. One word : ” Screeeeech” (from bright treble and sibilance)
I also listened to some other rock songs from ACDC, Metallica and others and my impressions were very much similar to what I have experienced with Dream Theater.
In conclusion I felt that Sennheiser Momentum had too much bass for my tastes, and its bass is kind of loose, but has a nice slam, but it sometimes floods the other frequencies. The midrange is smooth and warm as is the treble. It has details but not as much as K550.Sometimes it sounds a little congested. It sounds very nice with rock, pop and some house. I also liked the fact that it has a warm sound and no sign of sibilance or brightness. The male and female voices are presented very nice and natural .
I preferred the K550 overall because it has a larger soundstage and airiness, the bass is tighter and faster and also has a nice fast punch. It is in another class over Momentum when it comes to presenting details. The separation of instruments is quite better than Momentums’ where sometimes the sounds blend in all together.
For mobility Momentum clearly is a winner, as it has a sturdy build and is small and easy to carry.
As I said I tested them on AudioQuest Dragonfly and Fiio E17.
I find the E17 to be a better match for Akg K550 and the Dragonfly to be better with Sennheiser Momentum.
E17 brings a little warmness, slam and naturalness to K550 taming the bright treble .
The AudioQuest Dragonfly is brighter and more detailed and opens the sound of momentum a little, brings more details to it and doesn’t push too much bass as the fiio does.
I am quite curious about the Sennheiser Amperior right now and how they perform against the Momentum.
Maybe in one of my future posts 😀 ….