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Sennheiser Amperior On-Ear Headphones

91% Positive Reviews
Rated #7 in On-Ear

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Posted

Pros: Accurate and detailed with clean, punchy bass. Funky styling.

Cons: Mildy sibilant. Minimal soundstage. Exposed wiring.

Oh, the Amperior - the street-wise sequel to the famed Sennheiser HD 25. They have a very similar sound signature, but the Amperior sports a fuller, more well defined bass and has toned down the sibilant, often unwieldy trebles of its predecessor. The build quality has increased. The style has been bumped up a notch. iDevice controls and mic are now present. And considering you can easily find them for $200 or less on various online venues (as opposed to the steep $349 MSRP), it's tough to justify the purchase of the HD 25s - no matter how classic they may be.

 

The sound is punchy and cohesive - really in your face. It's accurate, bold, and totally energetic throughout the entire spectrum. The bass is really tight and creates a percussive counterpoint to your most familiar music. It's well integrated and clean; no sloppy grumbliness here. The mids are accurate and forward - so forward that most music sounds like it's firmly resting on your nose. You can expect a clarity and detail that no other on-ear alternatives will provide. Very nice. The highs are crystal clear with a slight emphasis on the crystal. The detail is to be loved, but when listening at louder volumes, female vocals and high hats can become piercing and jangly. The sibilance of the Amperior's older sibling hasn't completely vanished from the family lineage. As for the sound stage - the on-ear style, mixed with the neutral and aggressive sound signature leave little room to hear your music in a 3D space. The music has the air of a studio or a live performance. You won't be surrounded by a hall of sound, but instead be confronted by a wall of it. A wide, thick, and beautiful wall of sound, but still condensed. Does that make sense?

 

If you prefer a warmer, spacious, and laid-back listening experience, I'd look elsewhere (Momentums, perhaps?).

 

The V-Moda M80's rumbly upper-bass/mids and treble roll-off are not present, but the M-80s have a broader, more engrossing soundstage. The classy warmth and eager-to-please well-roundedness of the Sennheiser Momentums aren't here either. That said, the Amperior's bass and overall presence beat the Momentums handily. Anyone calling the Momentum a bassier headphone than the Amperior is...well...incorrect. I hate to sound so authoritative on a subjective subject, but as a owner of both headphones, the Momentums have never created a bassier oomph than the Amperiors on any track I've listened to. That said, bassheads should probably look elsewhere. These have great lows, but they're not emphasized over any other part of the spectrum.

 

I've found the Amperiors to have a polarizing effect on listeners. The narrow soundstage and bossy, uncompromising presentation are offputting to laid-back listeners looking to unwind.

 

But if you want it punchy and clear. If you want it accurate - no frills - just a fun, hearty, detailed, portable on-ear listening experience, then the Sennheiser Amperior has no equal.

 

They're the best on-ear headphones I've ever heard.

Posted

Pros: Audiophile-grade portable headphone with excellent clarity and bass impact; luxurious-yet-rugged and stylish construction

Cons: Clamping pressure may be too much for some listeners; a more open, laid-back sounding headphone may be preferred

Intro

 

Long before I heard of Head-fi.org, one of the first headphones I ever bought was the Sennheiser HD 25-1. In 2004 I was on tour as the drummer for the internationally renowned singer Fish (ex-Marillion) and wanted an excellent headphone to enhance my music-listening experience both on and off the stage. When browsing in a European department store, I found and bought a discounted HD 25-1 for around £150 and used it for the rest of my touring time with Fish, much preferring its sound instead of the budget in-ear monitors I was issued at the start of the tour. After the tour I stored the HD 25 in one of my boxes where it lay dormant for a few years.

 

Fast forward to around 2010 and it was a time that I wasn't listening to much music nor was I interested in headphones. I then began to feel inspired to find a great headphone to enjoy music with, and that search led me to head-fi.org, other headphone sites, and many beautiful human beings. Along the way I resurrected my HD 25 and began to appreciate just how great a headphone it still is in my humble (and obviously subjective) opinion.

 

For those of you reading this who don’t know about the Sennheiser HD 25, for many years it has been an industry standard headphone for professional audio applications and is still frequently used by cameramen, DJs, and other music professionals. In addition to its prowess in those areas, the HD 25 is a popular choice of headphone for many non-professional music-lovers and headphone enthusiasts (it's currently #5 of all headphones on head-fi's official headphone ranking page) and has recently gained popularity and press with the release of an Adidas themed version that only differs cosmetically from the HD 25-II. 

 

I think the HD 25 is an excellent headphone for personal use that is particularly suited to music such as pop/rock music and other musical styles where rhythm is important such as some electronic music, reggae, and R&B. And in my quest for a headphone that revealed music as I would hear a live performance if I were present in person at the performance and hearing it with my own ears, or listening to high-quality studio monitor playback in a high-end studio, the HD 25, with its prominently bassy-yet-neutral sound and clear transients wasn’t perfect, but I thought it was very impressive and enjoyable.

 

Introducing the Amperior

 

Amperior box

 

At the start of this year, I saw this video of the Amperior posted on head-fi, followed by glowing reviews by Tyll Hertsens of Innerfidelity. I also began to get very excited about the Amperior and bought one from a local Apple store as soon as I knew it was available. When I got it back home and tried it (yes I waited :-) I liked what I heard. A lot.

 

Design

 

As will most probably be obvious to you now if you watched the above video, the Amperior is basically the same design as the HD 25 but with a few changes:

 

  • The swivel caps and plastic earcups of the HD 25 have been replaced with anodized aluminium in a choice of either blue or silver.
  • The headband padding and earpads have been replaced with a more luxurious material similar to that used with Sennheiser’s current flagship headphone, the HD 800, and also the HD 700.
  • Instead of the HD 25’s one cable, the Amperior comes fitted with a short cable, extending 0.3 metres from the right ear cup, and also included in the package are two extension cables, a standard 0.85 metre cable and a 0.96 metre cable with a remote control and integrated microphone, specifically designed for use with iDevices.
  • The iDevices the Amperior was designed for have a lower output level in comparison with the higher output level of standalone amplifiers, and to enable the Amperior to be driven sufficiently it has been given an impedence of 18 ohms, compared with the 70 ohm impedence of the HD 25; basically, at the same volume setting on an iDevice, the Amperior will sound significantly louder than the HD 25.

 

The Amperior's stylish box that is a very functional way to store the headphone and its cables when not in use. The box is hinged and closes securely due to the tension between the boxes’ outer and inner lip.

 

IMG_5483.jpg

 

The incredibly robust headband of the HD 25 seems mostly unchanged with the Amperior. Before selling my HD 25, I had used it extensively and casually stored it in my bags and cases when on the move, and after 10 years of wear-and-tear – not always in the most delicate way – the HD 25’s headband remained unscarred and in remarkably fresh-looking condition. The only criticism I have with the Amperior’s headband is that the headphone cable sometimes comes loose from the groove in the headband it runs through. This is a minor issue but one I would prefer not to deal with.

 

One feature about the Amperior and Sennheiser headphones in general for which I am incredibly grateful is that parts for all Sennheiser headphones are available for purchase. To me this is very reassuring as it pretty much guarantees a lifetime of use for any Sennheiser headphone as long as they continue to manufacture and supply spare parts.

 

Comfort

 

Though essentially the same design as the HD 25, I find the Amperior to be much more comfortable due to the upgraded pads. It feels very pleasurable to put the Amperior on and take it off and it also feels more expensive than the HD 25, which to me feels less luxurious and more of a standard item.

 

The Amperior is a supra-aural (on-ear) headphone and clamps firmly on my head, providing effective isolation from outside noise. Like with the HD 25, I find the Amperior's clamping pressure gets uncomfortable after wearing it for an hour or two, but if I take it off and give my ears a rest for a few minutes, they feel fine again when I put the Amperior back on.

 

Amperior clamping

 

Audio Quality

 

The sound of the Amperior is very similar to the HD 25-1 I had, but I find the sound quality of the Amperior to be a definite step-up and more cohesive sounding overall. Some say that the HD 25-II is a sonic improvement over the HD 25-1, but I can’t yet comment on that from actual listening experience. Since I sold my HD 25 soon after buying an Amperior, I won’t be A/B’ing the Amperior and HD 25, but some of my comparisons between them can be found in this thread.

 

Again like the HD 25, the Amperior is an excellent detail retrieval tool that will no doubt assist many listeners in hearing details they never knew existed in their favourite recordings. The Amperior is still nowhere near as revealing of musical details as current flagship headphones such as the Sennheiser HD 800 and the Audez’e LCD-3, but for a supra-aural headphone that costs a fraction of their price and is designed for portable use, the Amperior is truly excellent in this regard.

 

When listening to recordings with the Amperior, the instrumental tones are slightly thinner than natural i.e. what I would hear if I was present listening to a live concert performance at the venue, and in terms of overall sound balance the Amperior is very neutral with a slight emphasis on the bass region.

 

One of the Amperior’s most prominent features is its ability to deliver impactful bass that facilitates a fun toe-tapping factor (known as PRaT in the world of headphones). Listening to the drum and bass track Seven Samurai by Photek, the sub bass extends low to such an extent that I can feel it vibrating in my chest. With some tracks the Amperior’s bass at times sounds a bit boomy but when I listen more closely, even on tracks such as All My Life by the Foo Fighters where there’s a lot of activity in the bass region, I can still hear details such as the pointed attack of the bass drum beater above the bass guitar.

 

The Amperior reveals what’s on recordings with clarity that is there in spades but due to its closed-in sound, which could be described as intense, the listener may have to concentrate more to hear specific instrumental details than they would with a more open-sounding headphone. I’m not at all saying this is a ‘bad’ thing about the Amperior, but merely that the Amperior has a specific-sounding presentation that is different than some other types of headphones. I can see that many people who listen to music with a strong rhythmic emphasis could easily prefer the Amperior over less forward-sounding high-end headphones. I personally recommend giving the Amperior a listen if you get the opportunity.

 

Amperior close-up

 

I find that there is a slight sibilance in the Amperior's treble region which is evident when listening to cymbals, such as on the song White Limo and Dear Rosemary from the Foo Fighters Album Wasting Light, but for me such sibilance in no way affects my enjoyment of the music. Everything sounds clear and impactful.

 

The Amperior’s soundstage may be considered its weakest area as it isn’t as wide and expansive as other headphones and can relatively sound a little bit congested, but I still find its soundstage more than enjoyable for most recordings.

 

When it comes to instrumental definition, or separation as it's often referred to, the Amperior smoothly delineates each instrument on recordings in a way that cohesively, and with an intense intimacy, presents the whole musical picture. If you are looking for a spacious-sounding headphone that portrays instrumental details and texture with both the utmost definition and separation (useful qualities when listening to recordings featuring many instruments and subtly detailed orchestration e.g. classical music), the Amperior may not be the headphone for you, but it has clearly presented every instrument on most of the wide range of recordings I have so far fed it. (Since getting the Amperior, I’ve listened to many recordings with it; my current total listening time with the Amperior is about a few hundred hours.)

 

Value for Money

 

At the time of writing this, the Amperior is available from Apple stores for just under £260, which is around £100 more than the HD 25-II or HD 25 Adidas Originals versions. I think that £100 is a lot to pay for a headphone that is designed to sound the same as its predecessors, but I do much prefer the sound of the Amperior to other portable headphones that cost more than it.

 

When I recently compared the Amperior to the Bose Quiet Comfort 3 portable headphone (RRP approx. £300), I clearly preferred the Amperior and thought it sounded more natural and full-sounding, making the Bose sound thin and tinny by comparison, and a few years ago, I A/B’d my HD 25-1 with the B&W P5 (RRP approx. £240) and much preferred the clarity of the HD 25, so it makes sense that I’d also prefer the Amperior over the P5. 

 

Amperior close-up 2

 

The Amperior’s earcups are made from machined aluminium, which most probably adds to the cost of construction materials and the manufacturing process over-and-above what it costs to manufacture the HD 25, and they also add sparkle to the HD 25's aesthetic, so considering the Amperior’s excellent sound quality and fashionable, modern looks, I think the Amperior is great value for money relative to other headphones on the market. But again that is obviously subjective i.e. my opinion.

 

Outro / In Summary

 

The Amperior is a stylish-looking, lively-sounding, and robustly-constructed headphone that presents music to the listener with an abundance of sonic impact. It sounds good with all styles/genres of music (it particularly shines with pop/rock and other music that thrives on visceral impact such as some electronic styles, reggae, and R&B) and it is excellent for both personal and professional audio applications. The Amperior is also an ideal choice for people who frequently travel or find themselves on-the-go and want an audiophile quality headphone to take with them.

 

The Amperior is another world-class product from Sennheiser and the finest supra-aural portable headphone I've yet heard.

Posted

Pros: rugged and utilitarian, good sound at this price, isolation one of the best, practically industry standard and most people know what it sounds like

Cons: good isolation comes at the cost of high clamp

Just a point form review... really just notes for myself comparing vs the HD25-1-ii. If you want something with more sonic impressions, read any other Amperior or HD25 reveiw below or the excellent one over at InnerFidelity.

 

pads: Amperior has this supple pleathery material which is way nicer than the HD25 pads and more comfortable

isolation: but somehow the HD25 pleather pads isolate better

clamp: really the same

build quality: Amperior clearly better in every way with nicer cups and cable assembly (and changeable cables with iDevice capability)

sensitivity: the Amperiors are a bit easier to drive

impedance: much lower than the HD25, which may be an issue with amps that have a high output impedance if you're the sort that worries about damping factor

amping: not really needed, nor much of a difference noted

bass: midbass still humped like the HD25 but to a slightly lesser degree

midrange: same 'ol

treble: again a tiny bit cleaner than the H25

overall sound: it's really just a slightly cleaner sound overall

upgrade from HD25? eh... if you already have the HD25 I don't really see the point unless you want the colours

 

 

Extra comparison of HD25-13 vs HD25-1-ii...

pads/isolation/clamp/build: all exactly the same as HD25

impedance: boom we're at 600ohms

sensitivity: not surprisingly lower than the HD25, but actually not by much; you can still get plenty of volume from a portable dap

amping: makes a difference, but don't go breaking the bank for it; it's a mild improvement and more useful here for the headroom

bass: take the HD25 midbass hump and stretch it out lower

midrange: same 'ol

treble: less wobbly than the HD25, more "hifi" but less useful for DJ use where you want that extra sharpness

overall sound: more even response across the frequency range

upgrade from HD25? only if you already have an amp, otherwise stick with the regular one

Posted

Pros: High build quality, clean, punchy and efficient headphone.

Cons: Not the most confertable headphone, lack of soundstage.

I got these second hand to use when traveling. I have owned a bunch of other headphones like the Grado RS225 D2000, DT880 and still own a HD650 (just so you know my point of reference).

 

THE GOOD:

- I think they look good in a geeky sense, they are not stylish at all.

- The construction seems very solid as one would expect form Sennheiser at this price level.

- The headphones sound pretty good straight out of the headphone jack of my macbook pro (equalized) as they are quite efficient (this is one area in which they improve upon the HD25).

- They are designed in a way so that you can fix them if they break!

- Velvet ear pads that feel way better than plastic types.

- They are punchy, good for base driven music (electronic, rock, reggae).

- The sound is very clean.

- Overall well tonally balanced i.e. not dark or bright.

- Decent isolation.

- Not too analytical while still retaining a good level of detail.

 

THE BAD:

- These are definitely not the most conferrable headphones you can buy due to excessive headband clamping force.

- I am not too much of a fan of the split headband although some (drummers) might find it useful.

- Complete lack of soundstage, the music is in my head not happening in front of me.

- They are not as portable as they could be, you cannot fold them up.

- They lack musicality, this is not a Grado.

- They sound a bit congested but they are small and closed so this is not really a criticism.

 

Conclusion:

It it is good at what it does well. Buy it if you are not satisfied with the level of fidelity provided by a HD25 and want a portable headphone that is good at bass driven music. I would not buy it if you listen to a lot of classical music.

Posted

Pros: Sounds quality if great. Typical Sennheiser sound signature, warm and fluidic. Can be driven with almost everything. Made in Ireland, not China

Cons: Flimsy headband design straight from HD-25. Cables supplied is un-proportionally thin. Initial introductory price a bit expensive for what it is.

Bought this as a factory second for £100 recent for a bit of portable fun. I have been looking at the Amperior for quite a while but I ended up with the DT-770 32ohm, which I did not regret at all. The initial pricing of the Amperior was the major thing that stopped me from buying it. But now that it has been discontinued by Sennheiser, the price has dropped quite dramatically as they are introducing the aluminium version of the original HD-25, essentially the Amperior with 70ohm drivers. Anyway, I am happy with the purchase.



 



I guess for the design and comfort, I really do not need to say much about it, the HD-25 design has been around ages, this one just goes along with the DNA really. Some people find it a bit too tight, but do not have big head, or my ears are located a bit higher on the skull, the tension is just right for me. I guess wear it in a hot hot summer day may not be a good idea though, I can feel that heat can build up quite easily with the velour caps. 



 



The sound is also pretty much what I expected from a closed can from Sennheiser. Honestly, I expect a bit more bass from them but it is not really bassy after all, probably because the aluminium casing actually helps tighten the low end a bit. The sound is straight forward, no colouration, sound stage is a bit narrow, overall it is the typical Sennheiser type of warmth, unlike some brands which has a huge emphasis in the highs (what they call clarity). I would say the frequency response is pretty flat compared to some of the cans that I have tried. I also compared side by side the the Momentum, the Momentum just sounds muddy where as the Amperior has got the right amount of clarity. When compared to my DT-770 32ohm, the Amperior can be driven much easier with smartphones or earphone jacks right out from my laptops. The Beyer apparently can give a much lower punch where as the Amperior has more mid-bass. One thing I find on the Amperior is that, the two channels are pretty 'separated' as there is not much "stereo soundstaging" at all, I just don't know how to explain this (not like they are out of phase....). This may possibly be due to the fact that as a studio monitor, the sound is just a bit too analytical and upfront, very good for mixing, but a bit odd for normal listening. I have not got the HD-25 II to compare with at the moment, but some might suggest that the 70ohm drivers may be better, but the idea for Amperior is for low power devices anyway. I have also briefly tried the DT-1350 on a separated occasion, but I feel that the sound is a bit thin to me, not my cup of tea. 



 



All in all, I think for the price that I have paid for the Amperior, I really have no complain afterall, and unlike some other headphones at similar price range, this one is still made in Ireland/Europe, unlike the Philips L1 or M50, which are made in China or some SE Asian countries, and even the new Momentums are made in China now?!?! FFS. I think it it certainly a good buy.

Posted

Pros: Sound quality, modular design!!!

Cons: not best for all genres, mids are lacking. Dongle attachment instead of inline controls

this is my first review, though these aren't my first good headphones.

 

 

Build quality:  they are made of mostly plastic, besides the aluminium cups and hinges, but they are still built very well.  i like that i am able to replace every part.  previous experience with headphones has proved to me that wires usually are the weak point of headphones, and being able to replace all of the wiring, including the wiring that runs through the headband is a very sexy.  though, i have noticed that the wiring occasionally gets loose from the right ear, taking the sound out of one ear.  this is annoying, though not terrible, since wiggling usually gets the signal back.

 

Portability: these don't collapse or fold flat, but the great build quality means that i feel more comfortable stuffing them anywhere i can.  so while they may not actually get that small, they will fit in any backpack or any bag, no matter how full.  

 

Comfort: the velour is very soft, and feels nice.  after an hour or two, my ears will start to hurt, though this is more the fact that they super-aural than an actual critique of the headphones.  

 

Sound: the signature is decidedly V shaped, with very good bass impact, and very good bass definition.  the treble is forward, and the mids are recessed.  the treble can make the headphones fatiguing after a while, but since they are used as portables, not for long sessions, a more engaging and bright sound is fine.  i would have preferred a more neutral signature, but the V shape is great for rock and pop, and the great bass is good for rap, electronica and Dubstep.  

the soundstage is lacking.  

 

 

in conclusion, for 200 dollars, they are absolutely worth it.  as portables.  if you want headphones for home use, buy some open and over ear cans.  if you like the V shape signature (listen to rock and pop) or if you want really durable cans, get them.

Posted

Pros: Tight and punchy bass, Detail mid, Crystal Clear high, amazing isolation, no leaking, secure fit.

Cons: high clamping pressure, small sound staging, does not look like $350 headphone in terms of design.

Coming Soon.

Posted

Pros: Kind of 'fun' sounding, Pretty, Seem pretty durable

Cons: Very uncomfortable, Congested and not good for enjoying music

I've owned the Sennheiser Amperior for about a month and a half. I got these headphones for 175 dollars used, and I don't feel they're worth the money for me.Before I begin, I'd like to start off by saying some positive things so I don't come off as just bashing these things. I think they're very pretty headphones and they feel well made. They're fun to hold in your hands and appreciate the aluminium cups. They do have a rather quick and sharp sound. That's where I think the good ends. 

 

Wearing them becomes very uncomfortable after around 30 - 60 minutes of use. My ears get very hot/sore wearing these. I find that they are too aggressive for the metal music I listen to. I think there's too much bass and they don't have enough detail, especially for metal music which has walls of sound and there's not enough separation. For any music I think they sound too congested. I prefer a bit more soundstage. They may sound 'fun' at first, but I think these headphones, aside from the fact that they're uncomfortable, aren't easy to enjoy music with, they're just too bright and congested. 

 

- Minor Gripes:

 

-The swivel function for the ear piece is useless.

-The detachable cable is a bit bulky and thumps against my chest when I wear them for running. I supposed that these would be good for running because they're supposed to stay on your head very well, but my other headphones, the Bose AE2 actually stay on my head better when running, which I have used for running in for years (which are also vastly more comfortable headphones).

-You can't lay down with these headphones, even facing up on a pillow, because the ear cups fall off your ear breaking the seal. They don't actually stay on your head as well as you might think.

-When it's windy or when I'm riding my bike outside I can hear wind blowing against the ear cups, which actually makes it hard to hear the music. That is really annoying.

 

Thanks for reading.

Posted

Pros: Tight bass, no muddying of sound

Cons: Headband can be tight

I wasn't really in the market for another set of headphones, but i happened to be in the Apple Store buying a cable and was just having a general look around when I saw the Amperiors. I decided to have a listen and was seriously impressed.

I'm now writing this review after having listened to them for about 12 hours in total. Firstly the cups are made from Aluminium and not some cheap plastic and look / feel very classy and the foam pads are clothed in a really nice velour type material. Comfort wise they are good for me with a fairly big head although they do 'clamp' quite tight until they've loosened off a tad with use, however I've listened to them for an hour and a half at a time with no issues.

There is also an in line control with a mic built in and I've received a couple of calls on it - sound quality is distortion free and my callers could hear me with no problems. Normal iPhone controls are there to pause / play and adjust volume. The controller also has a clip to attach to your shirt / jacket to save it flapping around, which is a nice touch.

The headband is a quirky design and is a two piece affair that can be used like a normal headphone or it splits in two and can be adjusted to give extra grip on two points on your head. I've tried both, but prefer to leave it in the 'closed' position and use it as a one piece headband.

The left earcup also swivels up 'DJ Style' so that you can listen with one earcup, not my thing, but it's there if you need / want it.

Now moving onto the main reason I was compelled to buy these...the sound is absolutely amazing! Bass is tight & deep without muddying the mid range or highs.


The soundstage is absolutely amazing for such small headphones and whether you want to listen at home or commuting these are just excellent!

Highly recommended for sound & style.

 

700

 

Posted

Pros: Engrossing sound and good isolation

Cons: You will get run over by a speeding truck

These are not the final word in isolation, but coupled with their ability to play loud and to entertain, they might result in you forgetting that roads are dangerous and normally noisy.

 

The sound quality itself is great, like its older brother, but the bass can be a little like it's only one note. If you use these outdoors, you'll be shocked at how good they are for a portable, and they may make you reconsider whether IEMs are the best choice. They also look pretty funky in a WW2 headset sort of way.

Sennheiser Amperior On-Ear Headphones
Description:

In early 2012 Sennheiser released their new version of on-ear headphones deemed the Sennheiser Amperior. This is a headphone for all types of music that you can honestly listen for hours on end feeling comfortable and sonically pleased.

Details:
DetailValue
Driver TypeDynamic
Connector Type1/8 inch / 3.5mm
Impedance18 Ohms
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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