If these noise-cancelling cans look familiar, it’s because they’re basically the same as the Momentum 2.0 Wireless - Sennheiser has rebranded them as the HD1, but kept the same retro-chic design.
Not that this is a bad thing: the Momentums were kick-ass cans when they arrived in 2015, and they’re still pretty tasty now.
A handful of other companies have since tried the whole noise-cancelling thing, though, thanks partly to Apple ditching the headphone jack - so it’s going to take more than design to make them a must-buy.
Or maybe a purple colour-scheme and Pink Floyd tie-in will do the trick?
DESIGN & BUILD: Purple heart
The colour-shifting paint, rainbow-stitching and Dark Side of the Moon prism logos of this special edition pair of cans were created for the band’s Their Mortal Remains exhibition at London’s Victoria Albert Museum. You don’t have to be a Floyd fan to appreciate their good looks, though.
Just like the Momentums, these HD1s have a vintage-inspired look that we reckon will stay in fashion pretty much forever.
They’re all stitched leather, bare metal arms and exposed cables, with holographic logos on the ear cups reminding you these are Sennheiser headphones.
Spongy, leather ear cups are stuffed with memory foam to give a Goldilocks fit that’s just right, without too much pressure or feeling at all slack. The on-ear controls are also handy for skipping tracks, pausing your music and changing volume without fishing your phone out of a pocket first.
The headband doesn’t squeeze your head like a vice, but could use a bit more padding. There’s not as much here as on the ear cups, so can feel a little firm - but not so much you can’t wear ‘em all day.
Finding a comfortable fit is as easy as sliding the cups down the door-chain-style sliding arms, which are loose enough to adjust on the fly too. They don’t slide down by themselves, either, which the original Momentums were guilty of.
The whole thing collapses down so you can flat pack them into a (fairly large) coat pocket just as easily as a backpack.
If you’re anti-Pink Floyd, not a fan of purple, or just don’t fancy paying over the odds for a special edition pair of headphones, the HD1s are still available in black and ivory colours - with most stores still stocking them with the original Momentum 2.0 Wireless branding.
Bluetooth 4.0 and aptX might not be cutting edge any more (that’d be Bluetooth 5 and aptX HD), the HD1s still delivers a trouble-free wireless connection to just about anything with a Bluetooth connection.
There’s a 3.5mm cable included for plugging into a wired device, too.
The built-in battery is good for 22 hours of noise-cancelling playback, which is long enough for the longest long-haul flight - but still not as good as the Beats Studio 3 Wireless, which manage almost 40 hours when paired to an iOS device thanks to Apple’s W1 wireless chip.
It’s the noise-cancellation that has aged most dramatically, with Sony, Bose, Beats and B&W all stepping their game up with superior silencing headphones in the past twelve months.
Sennheiser still manages to strip out most exterior annoyances, doing a decent job with airplane noise and coping well with public transport, but high-frequency noises can still seep through. If you want real silence, Sony’s WH-1000XM2 still has the edge.
SOUND: a bit big on bass
Sennheiser’s sound has always been precise, balancing layers of instruments and delivering dynamics with plenty of body. Guess what? The HD1s are no different.
There’s a bit more bass here than you might expect, because that’s what the yoof seem to like now. It gives hip-hop and electronic tracks a hefty punch, without sounding too boomy or dominating the mix too much.
Try something lighter or acoustic and the higher frequencies shine through, but that bass presence is still there. If you want neutral, you’ll want to look somewhere else.
The soundstage always sounds wide and airy, no matter what you’re listening to, with plenty of detail on display in just about every genre. Not bad for a pair of closed-back cans.
High-end frequencies could maybe use a little more bite, especially for delicate, vocal-heavy tracks, but there are few pairs of wireless headphones that do deliver that kind of performance at this price.
You’ll notice things sound a little tighter if you listen over a cable, but only slightly. This is the only way to turn off noise cancellation, too - if you’re listening over Bluetooth, ANC is always on.
Sennheiser HD1 Pink Floyd edition verdict
They might not have changed much since they first showed up in 2015, but Sennheiser didn’t need to mix things up - these re-badged Momentums are still a fantastic pair of wireless cans.
You’ll have to be a serious Pink Floyd fan to pick up this special edition pair, which carries a hefty premium over the regular HD1s - and which are themselves more expensive than the Momentum 2.0 Wireless.
They aren’t the best noise-cancelling headphones out there: Sony’s WH-1000XM2 and the Bose QC35 do a better job at silencing the outside world. B&W’s PX has a more premium build, too, and costs less.
Still, if you value style over silence, these remain some of the best-looking headphones around.