I'm channeling a little Andrew Kim here, and if you're not familiar with his blog Minimally Minimal you might be interested in taking a look over there and browsing the reviews in his archive. I don't have his talent for photography (and I used my iPhone and not a high-end DSLR), but I thought it would be fun to borrow his style and review my new headphones!
These are the Sennheiser MOMENTUM On-Ear Headphones in Ivory. They come in a handful of other colours, intended to bring a degree of style as well as sound quality. These are definitely showy headphones and as much thought has gone into the design and materials as the technology.
The box is simple, unremarkable, except for the immediate sense of how light it feels.
Inside the carrying case is tightly protected by cut-out foam. Its nice that it isn't just a moulded plastic slot.
The case itself is stiff, but not solid. It feels like stiffened neoprene and would probably offer some protection in your luggage, but I'd still be careful of what other items you packed it with. As you can likely see, it creased quite easily at the hinge, which isn't a big deal, but is a minor annoyance. I doubt I'll ever make much use of this case at all however.
Inside the carrying case is a simple draw-string pouch. This is far more practical in my opinion for general transportation. It will keep the cable from getting out of hand and will prevent the headphones from accidental scratching.
The headphones themselves are gorgeous. They're slightly retro, evocative of early to mid 20th century designs. They're also quite modern; exposed, machined steel and Alcantara dominating the design. The ivory cups are the only plastic component of the core design.
They are exceptionally light, and the sliding, ball-jointed cups allowed me to find a comfortable position very quickly. The Alcantara is extremely soft and double padded on the ears. When these have been worn in a little I expect that I'll barely be able to feel them at all. There's very little padding on the headband, but I barely noticed it was there anyway, probably due to how light these headphones are.
The construction quality is exceptional. It's precise with numerous well executed details. Every motion of adjustment is smooth.
My least favourite detail is the Apple-compatible inline control. It's perfectly operational, and contains a microphone and media controls identically functional to that of Apple's own Ear Pods — but it's bulky and honestly feels a little bit vulgar compared to the elegant detailing of the rest of the headphones. It does have a 90º audio jack, which is great for when you're listening to your phone while it's in your pocket.
The sound quality is amazing. I do not have the most capable or discerning of ears, but I found that I was able to pick out details in even my favourite music that I'd never noticed before. The sound has space and clarity with a little emphasis in the bass. There's little noise isolation, which might bother some people, and reportedly a little sound leakage at higher volumes. Neither of these is a particular issue for me.
Overall these are beautiful headphones with amazing sound quality.