Product Type: Sennheiser headphones
Newest Review: ... have started using them on mixing. Because of my busy schedule i was no longer able to sit in studio to mix my the numerous songs we were ... more
Sensational Sounds From Sennheiser Part 2!
Sennheiser HD 202
Member Name: Nar2
Sennheiser HD 202
Advantages: Well made, durable, comfortable, rich warm sound on offer, handy clip on cord wrap, screw in adaptor
Disadvantages: Can't be folded up, no in-line volume control.
Sometimes however, I just go by observation rather than read the specs - because if there is one set of Sennheiser headphones I have seen over the years in recording studios and music tech labs, it isn't the more favoured silver cupped HD201 headset, but the more durable, slightly timeless HD 202 series; the product got a five star rating from "What Hifi" in 2011, and I can see why!
The Producers, the Product, the Price & the Promise
Launched in 2004, the Sennheiser HD202 by today's standard are a very old set of padded headphones that most musicians and sound engineers would probably pass by were it not for the famous name. Famous for sound quality as well as durability, Sennheiser seems to be the best in the business when it comes to good quality sound for musicians and artists alike and though I've seen some studios with them, the silver version HD201 seem to be more popular down to pricing. My HD202's cost me £19-99 in 2010 online brand new from an EBay seller, whereas online prices the year of launch would have cost three times the cost back then. Put simply if you are looking for professional headphones with good quality design as well as crystal clear sound, you'll hardly go wrong with a pair of Sennheiser HD202's.
Current 2013 prices range from £22 to £30 with Argos now selling a slightly updated version at £29-99.
General Design & Quality
The general design of the HD202 is simple enough with black plastic being the order of the day with oval padded felt and leatherette stretched over to cover the foam that makes up the ear comfort pads. Soft touch rubber cord ensures that the cord remains anti-static to clothing, crucial if you have statically charged clothes on at the time of use! Each cup is removable and due to the Sennheiser name, a bit of a bonus since you can buy replaceable pad rings should the original ones start to go eventually. White company writing down either side of the headband holders to the cups are displayed clearly lending a touch of professionalism. A large comfort head band is also complete with a central "bumper" under the band with a likewise leatherette padded cushion for a tighter and more concise fit around the head without causing strain - or so far as I have found!
But as things start to become familiar, there are a few additions to this product - for a start it comes with a long 3 metre cord that is perfect for mixing with, or just if you require a long cord on a pair of headphones going from an electronic or electric music instrument to an amplifier or other device. It even qualifies well if you want to watch television in peace and require an equally long amount of stretch between you, your eyes and your television set.
Added to the design is a very handy oval branded cord winder that can be clipped to any part of the cord that enables loose or excess cord to be wound up and clipped to the headphone cord, making for a very compact set of headphones with no worry of tripping up if you are in one place for a long time. Fitted as standard is a small single headphone jack and a screw in large adaptor (3.5mm) is also included, making sure that due to its screw threads, the adaptor won't come off from the headphone jack, and is thus another professional touch.
The HD201 can be adjusted to height by a three pull up pull down ratchet on either side of the headband. I find these headphones to be most comfortable and have often worn them for two hours before my ears start to feel a bit hot!
General Performance & Downsides
When it comes to general performance and over the last "middle of the line" DJ foldable Sony MDR V300's I also have, the HD202's have a greater depth of bass sound that is so rich and warm, it is so easy to keep these headphones just for the sake of soaking up more of the warmth and additional reverb on offer. It seems though that due to their product date of launch, Sony must have looked to Sennheiser for offering a pretty similar product. Neodymium magnets have been fitted to the Sennheiser's ear cups for greater quality of sound and unlike the Sony MDR V300s; there is quite a good level of many different tones available with the HD202 set.
Of course it depends on the music sometimes but from bass beats in Hip Hop to rock music, folk music and rich classical music, I find that these headphones are the best for universal quality music reproduction. They seem to give a good balance of brightness without being tinny and a bass like sound almost as if additional tweeters have been added as opposed to a bass boost that can often thump and vibrate with other brands.
Compared to Sony and Philips, Sennheiser HD202's have a higher impedance of 32 compared to Sony's MDR V300's, which have 28. Impedance to those who may not be aware is basically the capability of coping with the amount of sound a pair of headphones is required to undertake. Those under 25 are more suitable for iPods, compact devices or portable devices. Impedance levels over 28 offer more stability and are protected from overloading noise, sound or power making them more suitable for use with larger music devices such as amplifiers, larger audio equipment and sound engineering equipment. The tip of the jack at the end of the cord is silver as opposed to gold - and proves at long last that just because they aren't gold coated - doesn't put a dent in the sound quality achieved here and for ease of use and installation it is good here that Sennheiser haven't offered a 45 degree angled connector - it's a straight connection all the way - the angled types are the first to go if you have ever had over sized headphones and require them to be installed into awkward headphone sockets, causing pressure on the seals and bonds that hold the jack pin to the wire.
Much as I would like to think that it all comes down to Sennheiser's rich processes of sound production, some of the excellent sound characteristics are down to the soft felt speaker cups themselves where the inner ear rests, directly next to the speaker. In use my ears don't really touch the felt - it is as if the designers have found a way to pivot the cup away from the ear not just from a safety's point of view but one that affects the sound quality. No wonder these headphones are popular - the design alone protects your noise from over spilling noise into the ear canal and ambient noise is also well contained when in use.
In so far as downsides are concerned, Sennheiser hasn't added a foldable cup design that more modern DJ style headphones offer. One could argue that due to the professional design and sound quality alone that Sennheiser don't have to bother since they have plenty of other products in their range that qualify for a more compact unit. Rather than suggest that they are not worthy for DJ's, their design and sound quality certainly is, but you'll have to be careful with them since they are bulky to transport and don't offer a compacting system of being folded away if you do carry them about other than to remove the cups independently and store the whole product in a soft material bag.
If you are looking for an understated pair of over sized headphones with a rich and warm sound quality on offer, plenty of bass and a touch of reverb, Sennheiser HD202's are particularly well worth looking out for. Compact enough with its neat clip on cord holder and beautifully made, these headphones are made to last with comfort and safety on their side. The little touches that exist with the design make me wish all over sized headphones could offer the same kind of quality, sound and general design, because not many brands offer replacement pads and cups alone - and with its popularity now being promoted by the likes of Argos, everyone else can now appreciate my best-kept secret over-sized headphones at long last! Thanks for reading. İNar2 2013.
Summary: One of the best kept secrets for audio headphones in the music business - and now on sale in 2013!
|Ease of use:|
|Ease of transport:|
More reviews in the field of Headphones
- Rockin All Over the World
- Skullcandy are amazing, ok?
- Powerful little headphones
- There are definitely better sports headphones out there!
- Excellent headphones but a bit pricey
- A absolute bargain. mix of quality and durability.
- Excellent audio quality, but leave these at home...
- Very good affordable headphones
- Decent in-ear headphones for less than a tenner