Best Neckband Earbuds of 2019?
We rarely get the opportunity to review neckband earbuds. In fact, we’ve only tested two models all year. We don’t know why this is, but whenever the opp to review one comes our way, we seize it. This brings us to the Sennheiser Momentum Free earbuds, which until recently were known as Sennheiser HD1 Free earbuds. (Don’t be confused by our product photos.) With features such as high-quality audio, Bluetooth 4.2, and Qualcomm apt-X codecs, these earphones offer much to the consumer. So without further delay, let’s take a closer look at this Sennheiser Momentum Free Review.
• High-quality bass audio
• Connects to two devices
• Bluetooth 4.2
• apt-X, apt-X LL codecs
• Lightweight design
• Leather travel case
• No USB-C connection
• No noise cancellation
• Price tag of $200
• Battery life of 6 hours
Sennheiser Momentum Free Earbuds Review
What You Need To Know About Operation
- After pairing the Momentum Free to a Bluetooth device, place the earbuds in your ears. Then press the power on button located in the center of the control panel. Hold the button down for 2 seconds.
- When powering down, press the power button for 4 seconds, and they will turn off. Store them in the circular leather travel case for safekeeping.
- To charge the headphones, place the USB cord into a power source. Charging of the headphones takes up to 1.5 hours, and playtime lasts for 6 hours.
- Volume adjustment is controlled via the “+” and “-” buttons located beside the power button.
- To control music, press the power button to play and pause. To advance or return to a previous track, press and hold the “+” and “-” buttons for one second, respectively.
- To control phone calls, press the power button once to answer and disconnect calls. To reject a call, press and hold the button for one second. You can even achieve 3-way calling.
Design and Features
Per the Sennheiser website, “The smaller the headphone, the more meticulously built it has to be. The Sennheiser MOMENTUM Free is pure precision. From its custom machined stainless steel in-ear sound tunnels for the signature MOMENTUM sound to its luxurious leather carrying case.”
The Momentum Free earbuds come with a hard plastic outer shell in a black/silver color combination. Controls are located a few inches away from the right earbud. The earbuds come with a flexible and rubbery neckband approximately 29″ in length. As the cord comes out of each earbud, it goes through a loop. I suspect this helps prevent the cable from being accidentally yanked out of the earbud. It’s also a good look.
Unlike similar models, the earbuds are angled and noticeably so to fit your ears better. Ear tips come in four sizes: XS, S, M & L.
The quality of workmanship from Sennheiser is high. In testing, the buttons worked flawlessly during music and phone calls.
When not in use, there’s the magnetic clasping feature, which we don’t see often enough. These earbuds do lack wear detection, and that’s fine. One shouldn’t expect every available feature. I do wish they had A.N.C.
The Momentum Free earbuds don’t allow for passive audio to come through. So much passive audio was blocked, making it difficult to hear a conversation. I found myself removing one of the earbuds to listen to whoever was attempting to speak with me.
• Driver Type: Dynamic (SYS10)
• Frequency Response: 15 Hz – 22 kHz
• Bluetooth Version: 4.2
• Bluetooth Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP
• Impedance: 28 Ω
• THD: <0.5%
• Sound Pressure: 118 dB
• Battery Life: Up to 6 Hours
• Battery Type: Rechargeable Polymer Li-ion
• Range: 10 Meters
• Charging Time: 1.5 Hours
• Weight: 40 grams
• Available in Black
What’s In The Box?
• Leather Travel Case
• Quick & Safety Guides
• 4 Pairs of Ear Tips
Amazon Music Playlist
• Tove Lo – Queen Of The Clouds
• Halsey – hopeless fountain kingdom
• Rush – Clockwork Angels
• Tool – Fear Inoculum
• Halsey – BADLANDS
• Play List – Krewella and More
As I often state, the most critical factor regarding headphones is sound quality, followed by fit and feel. The Sennheiser Momentum Free earbuds (previously known as HD1 Free) were tested across music from the artists and playlists listed above using my Amazon Music account. Minus one change, it’s the same play list we used for the Edifier TWS2 earbuds.
Additionally, I gave them a go around the gym during numerous weight and treadmill workouts. The Momentum Free earbuds held up well during all my gym sessions. Due to their lightweight and secure fit, they held firmly in my ears.
The first test on how well these earbuds would handle (keyboard, drum, and guitar) bass was from listening to Tool’s new album Fear Inoculum. Over many albums, Tool has placed an emphasis on bass audio regardless of the musical instrument. Now, I’m not a fan of this particular album, but I couldn’t help but be impressed with how their 16-minute song 7empest sounded.
I want to make one thing clear, and that is I’m no bass head. Regardless, I know many who are, and they’ll appreciate what the Momentum Free offers. The bass clarity at the highest volume with my Samsung Galaxy phone was terrific.
When testing a $200 product, I better be impressed. Fortunately, with the Momentum Free, I was. These earbuds packed plenty of clear bass audio.
Even albums from female artists such as hopeless fountain kingdom and BADLANDS from Halsey or Queen Of The Clouds from Tove Lo sounded well, especially the former. The vocals are a bit deeper, but if this is what you enjoy listening to, then you won’t complain. I particularly enjoyed listening to Colors and Gasoline.
I was less impressed with how Make A Shadow from Meg Myers sounded. As her music is more pop-and-rock oriented, the increased bass takes away from some of the instruments.
From a physical design perspective, I found these earbuds to be very comfortable in my ears and very portable whether clasped around my neck or in its leather travel case.
Audio life of six hours is more than enough to cover two day’s worth of bus or subway commutes plus lunch breaks. The audio quality is quite good with its 15 Hz – 22 kHz range.
• Features – 4.25
• Value – 3.50
What do you think of this Sennheiser Momentum Free earbuds review? Do you agree or disagree with our verdict? Let us know in the comment section below or via social media. We’re eager to hear your thoughts.
• Follow Sennheiser on Facebook
• Follow Sennheiser on Instagram
• Follow Beantown on Twitter
• Follow Beantown on Facebook
• Follow Beantown on Instagram
Don’t hesitate to head over to the Sennheiser’s social media pages to see their latest announcements. The Momentum Free comes with a two-year warranty, click this Warranty Terms link for more information. To learn about returns, repairs, and technical support, click this Service Support link for more details.
FTC Disclosure: Sennheiser provided Beantown with one (1) Momentum Free Wireless Earbuds sample for review purposes. This writer’s opinion is 100% his own and not a paid product ambassador.
All photographs are the copyrighted property of Beantown LLC © 2019.