We interacted with Mr. Kapil Gulati, Vice-President - Sales and Marketing of the Consumer Segment at Sennheiser Electronics India Pvt Ltd to discuss with him the successful launch of the new MOMENTUM In-ears in India. Here's what he had to say in answer to our questions.
The Indian market is reasonably familiar with the MOMENTUM product line, with the success of the On-Ear and Over-Ear models launched last year. In what way are these In-Ears similar to the On-Ears & Over-Ears and in what ways are they different?
You are right; we have received overwhelming response from our consumers for the Momentum range. We at Sennheiser, are innovating consistently, delivering new and innovative solutions to our audiophile consumers; and are committed to enable people best audio experience on the move. Portability on the go is the “it” thing these days and our Momentum range is the reflection of the urban personality combining great sound experience with sophisticated look and feel. Hence this product has resonated well with a music loving country like India.
Our entire Momentum range is a symbol of style and sophistication, the primary difference between Sennheiser Momentum in-ear headphones and over/on- ear is that the in-ear headphones are more portable, helps conceal noise better and are lighter for wearing during a commute, a workout, or really any activity that involves moving around. In addition to this, the Momentum in-ear headphones come in two versions- Sennheiser Momentum in-ear i for Apple users and Sennheiser Momentum in-ear g for Android users. With an elliptical, tangle-free cable, these headphones deliver a healthy, rotund bass experience for Indian bass lovers as compared to the over/on ear headphones which deliver pure sound.
Immensely popular models like the CX 275s & CX 180 are amongst India's all-time top selling earphones. How does Sennheiser view the Indian consumer market for High-End In-Ears such as new Momentum In-Ears and how do they create products? Is there a future roadmap for similar products?
In today’s day and age change is the only constant thing and consumer demands are also changing with time. We have seen the audio industry evolve with time and headphones have come a long way from being just a bundled pair to a style statement in recent times. At Sennheiser, our focus has always been to stay ahead of the time and preempt the global scenario to maintain our great legacy of being the most innovative audio brand around the globe. Sennheiser has never followed trends blindly but has invested in research to understand needs and then create products that cater to the needs of people. We have an entire team in Zurich dedicated to monitor global trends and customer attitude for the coming 10-15 years. True to our belief in shaping the future of audio, we invest in research and technology to ensure we create relevant and path-breaking products to cater to consumer needs.
The core of our premium brand positioning is clear and its global and we need to make it relevant for the Indian end user and continues to be relevant as the market develops. We will not be going into the mass volume driven market segment, however we will be fine-tuning our way of bringing the brand to the end use – talking to retailers and getting a feel for the market can be the stepping stone for bringing the brand to the end user and consistent with our brand philosophy.
Sennheiser as a brand stands for pursuit of the perfect sound, which allows us the leeway of understanding what Indian consumers think is the perfect sound. For Indian consumers, bass is the primary criteria – how good is the punch, and if you see, most of our products are designed with that need in mind or the kind of portfolio we select in the Indian market. Also India is an important smartphone market globally which translates into infotainment consumption on the go and therefore we will be creating products that will enhance the mobile infotainment experience of Indians on the go.
We are working on creating some exciting products for the coming year, be it in the fashion and lifestyle, audiophile segment or the gaming segment. We will unveil some of the great products throughout the year and are hopeful that we will receive great response from our consumers. Even our offerings in professional segment would continue to be benchmarks for everyone else to follow.
How would you describe the typical user of the Momentum In-Ears in India?
Momentum range has been designed keeping in mind the style and fashion aficionados who cannot compromise on audio quality. Our Momentum family consumers are young, social, and aspirational. They are audio enthusiasts who love the pristine audio quality and premium build and design of our products.
Could you please elaborate on the 15 degree inclination of the eartips? Previous models do not seem to feature this.
Indians are passionate about music and thus a lot of people consume music for long hours as well. Taking this into consideration, we at Sennheiser always aim to bring best acoustic products which are comfortable and portable for our consumers. To aid long-term listeners, the casing of the in-ears is in the angle of 15 degrees to better fit the shape of the ear. They include an assortment of silicone sleeves, ranging from extra small to large, to ensure a perfect fit. With this ergonomic, adjustable angle of 15 degrees, the buds adapt incredibly well to the ears.
How would you describe the sound signature? Popular reviewers are of the opinion that it tends to be bass heavy, typically appealing to bass hungry Indian consumers.
Yes it’s true. We know the pulse of our consumers really well and hence to answer the needs of Indians who love bass heavy music, we have launched our Momentum in-ear headphones, which not only provides impactful and strong extended bass response but also gives them phenomenal sound stage and stereo imaging .To top it all, our Momentum range of headphones also provide brilliant highs with detailed vocal projection to our consumers for a perfect acoustic experience.
What is the design inspiration behind the MOMENTUM range and specifically the In-Ears? It is seen by audio purists to be more style centric to appeal to a modern & style conscious headphone consumer.
We looked at trends from the fashion world and drew inspiration from personal products like accessories and gadgets to incorporate them in our design so as to be trendy and relevant to our consumers. Our Momentum series is our foray into the lifestyle fashion segment and we invested heavily in research to understand fashion trends and create a product like Momentum that combines great audio experience along with great looks and comfort. The most important inspiration even for design continues to be our ‘pursuit of perfect sound’ complemented with the great looks.
On an ending note, when can we expect the launch of the Urbanite product range for Indian consumers?
We will unveil Urbanite very soon and are hopeful that we will receive great reception from our consumers. The music favored by the 18 to 30 demographic needs the bass to be a bit stronger than most other genres, and twenty-somethings need a headset that they can stash in their bags without damaging it. Urbanite answers this need of young, hyper active urban consumers.
Needless to say, the Momentum In-Ears, priced at Rs. 6990 sure leave an impression on the bass loving stylish Indian music enthusiast and we at Headphone Zone are quite excited by these momentous little earphones now being available to the Indian consumer.