As always, Sennheiser’s a key exhibitor this week at IFA in Berlin, where this they’ve been named as the trade show’s Global Audio Partner.
For personal audio, Sennheiser is updating some of their most popular and enduring over-ear personal headphones including the third generation of its premium Momentum headphones, while the more compact and travel-oriented PXC 550 gets a bump to a “II” model.
Featuring lambskin pads and pearl-blasted stainless steel arms, Momentum is a premium headphone experience that promises not to leave you disappointed.
With new sensors in the arms and proximity sensors in the pads, Momentum can now tell when you find or unfold it, as well as when you take it off or put it on, so it can offer quick access to your music. There’s three physical buttons to control music playback, and an extra one to summon your voice assistant of choice.
Momentum offers Active Noise Cancellation, with multiple settings so you can have a little more control over how it adapts to your environment. As with most new noise cancelling headphones, Momentum also offers the ability to reverse the function and amplify the sounds of the world around you.
They’re Bluetooth 5 headphones, with a companion app on your phone offering access to some settings. On the codec front, there’s aptXTM, AAC, SBC and aptXTM Low Latency. Initial pairing can be done via NFC.
Finally, a neat feature we’ve not seen before – Sennheiser’s partnered with item tracker company Tile to integrate their technology into the new Momentum headphones. If you lose your headphones, you’ll be able to take advantage of Tile’s global item tracking network to help find them (or figure out which room in the house you left them in).
All of this doesn’t come cheap, but Sennheiser’s one of the best names in personal audio. The new Momentum headphones are available now in black at AU$600. If black headphones are not really your thing, there’ll be a white version in November.
PXC 550 II
Sticking with foldable noise cancelling headphones, Sennheiser’s also updating their travel-focused set, which has been around for a few years now. Enter PXC 550 II.
Like its (slightly) bigger brother, there’s fold/unfold and proximity sensors to automatically start, play and pause music in the right circumstances. Controls are handled by a touch panel on the right cup, and the headphones also work with Sennheiser’s on-device companion app.
The headphones also feature Active Noise Cancelling, with three mics letting them get a better idea of the environment you’re in. Sennheiser mentions an “anti wind” setting that’ll likely come in handy – wind is one of the hardest things to handle for noise cancelling headphones.
With travelers a key market for PXC 550 II, battery performance is important, and it doesn’t disappoint – Sennheiser says it’ll last 20 hours with noise cancelling on Bluetooth, and half that again if you go wired (30 hours, useful for in-flight media consumption).
The headphones are also designed to fold that into the included zip-up carrying case to ensure they hold a place in your travel bag
If PXC 550 II sounds like it’ll be your next headphones, you’ve a short wait — they’ll go on sale in October for AU$550.