Pros: Crystal clear sound, bang for the buck, comfort.
Cons: Cheap materials, lack of strong bass.
I got here to see what people are thinking about these headphones, and got surprised by the variety of responses. Some hate them, some think it's just OK, and some people love them. If you're thinking of buying them, at first you need to know what you want from a good set of headphones, and align with what you'll find in the HD 201.
First of all, if you're that guy who finds the Monster Beats AWESOME and is crazy about that boom-boom-so-dope bass approach, go away. Now. If you're looking for a cheaper alternative than the Beats, grab a Skullcandy.
If you need unexpensive, well-balanced headphones, with great isolation and great perception even on very low volumes, your search is over. I promise you won't find a better solution inside this price range. The HD 201 is THE BEST ENTRY-LEVEL SET OF HEADPHONES IN THE MARKET. PERIOD. All those cheaper Sonys, Panasonics and Philips sound like JUNK after using a 201. They don't even get close.
They're not perfect, sure. They lack in soundstage if compared with the open-back headphones. But the 201 is great to use at work, with low volumes and average room noise. When I'm at home, I use the Sennheiser HD 518, where I surely find a better sound experience. But I swear sometimes, because I own the 201 since 2010 and they´re completely burned-in, I discover some nuances in music that I can't find with the 518 because of its sheer power. The 201 sounds subtle, crystal-clear, there's no prevalence of any sound.
With this price, obviously there will be cost limitations. The plastic is very cheap and full of crackling noises. The leatherette cover won't last long, it starts to peel off after some months. The wiring is thin and fragile, and keeps touching your neck a lot. It´s the weakest spot of these cans for sure. BUT my unit is getting along well, the copper wires are even exposed at some points and it's working 100% yet.
And they're sooo comfortable. I can wear them for hours with only that slight discomfort you'll get with any headset. Works perfectly without an amplifier, but sure it gains some depth with one.
Still not prepared to spend a lot of money on hi-fi sound but want a good reward for a handful of dollars? Buy the HD 201. You won't regret a fart.