It's a tough call, honestly. The second generation Momentum True Wireless supposedly fixes the battery life issues, adds active noise cancelation (ANC), and further improves on size and comfort. However, the earbuds make a few sacrifices when it comes to sound quality, compared to their first-generation counterparts.
Breaking the ice...
Let's start with what's changed. The most significant improvement between the two models is battery life. The outgoing Momentum TW featured 4 hours on the bud's side and an additional 8 hours with the charging case. The Momentum TW2 vastly improves this with 7 hours on the bud's side and up to 20 hours with the charging case, giving them a combined 28 hours on a single charge versus 11 hours on the first-gen.
The TW2 also adds support for active noise cancelation (ANC). This is a new addition to Sennheiser's Momentum True Wireless line, and the performance is right up there with some of the best. Compared to the market leaders, the Sony WF-1000XM3 and AirPods Pro, the Momentum TW2 holds their ground. The three sets of earbuds are very close in terms of ANC performance, and that's a good thing. The Momentum TW2 can confidently block out consistent noises such as engines, AC units, and wind noise. At this point, you can't even really rank ANC true wireless earbuds because they all offer similar ANC performance.
While it may be hard to tell, the Momentum TW2 are actually a bit smaller overall compared to the original Momentum TW. However, both earbuds are still rather large compared to other true wireless earbuds. Fortunately, neither earbuds cause any sort of discomfort or fatigue, even after long periods of use. Both sets stay in your ear pretty well, so you won't have to worry about them falling out.
Unlike the first-gen Momentum TW, the Momentum TW2 let you customize the tap gestures on either earbud. You can assign single-tap, double-tap, triple-tap, and quadruple-tap to virtually anything. This includes toggling ANC, transparency, media controls, volume, and toggling your phone's virtual assistant. You can customize this within Sennheiser's companion app available on Android and iOS.
|Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless||Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2|
|Battery life (buds)||4 hours||7 hours|
|Battery life (case)||8 hours||20 hours|
|Active noise cancelation||No||Yes|
Sound quality is where things get a little weird. The Momentum TW2 plays it safe when it comes to its sound signature. The bass can be classified as "boomy" but not deep. The midrange is recessed here, but not to the point where they sound muddy or distorted. And the treble is balanced, but could be considered as recessed and lacking "airiness." But what's very interesting is that the Momentum TW2 has notably worse soundstage and instrument separation. The lack of soundstage and instrument separation is likely due to the addition of ANC, though, as it is vastly improved with ANC disabled.
The original Momentum TW takes a different approach. The bass on the Momentum TW extends deep but isn't as "boomy" as the Momentum TW2. The midrange is balanced, but the treble is slightly boosted to give it that "airiness" and soundstage that many audio enthusiasts love.
Both sets of earbuds can be EQ'd via Sennheiser's companion smartphone app. The EQ option is pretty straightforward but bizarre at best. You can't adjust a frequency on its own. For example, turning up the treble will mess with the midrange a bit. Think of it like a teeter-totter; if one side goes up, the other must come down. However, having an EQ at all is better than no EQ, but this EQ can get real frustrating real fast if you want more intricate controls.
Otherwise, the two sets of earbuds are fairly similar. They both feature USB-C for wired charging, no wireless charging, and IPX4 "splash proof" water resistance. Aesthetically, the charging case remains largely unchanged, aside from the slight color difference.
To wrap things up, this is a tough decision. For most consumers, the Momentum TW2 are your best bet. They feature excellent battery life, remarkable comfort, and great ANC performance. The earbuds still sound really great but don't expect the same amount of detail and soundstage from the first-generation.
On the other hand, the original Momentum TW sound excellent and have excellent comfort as well. They just lack ANC of any kind and suffer from a significant battery life problem. If you can live with those two omissions, the original Momentum TW are a great set of earbuds, especially if you can find them on sale.
The Momentum TW2 are a substantial upgrade now with ANC, better battery life, and a slightly smaller size.
If you can deal with potential battery life issues, the original Momentum TW are a solid choice.
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