or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Headphones › On-Ear › Sennheiser HD 25-1 II Professional Headphone

Sennheiser HD 25-1 II Professional Headphone


Pros: Indestructible, comfortable, well-isolating, great detail and clarity

Cons: Fairly analytical sound, treble can be aggressive and unnatural, small soundstage

The HD25-1 has been my favorite (trans)portable headphone for quite a few months. I spend a few nights a week away from my home rig and the HD25 works wonders with my iBasso D10 and netbook. Hi-fi on the go has never been so rugged and simple. Best of all is their sonic versatility – though my backup portables, the AKG K181Dj, excel with certain genres and recordings, the Sennheisers perform more than adequately with anything I can throw at them.

Build Quality: When it comes to build quality, Sennheiser’s flagship portables can do no wrong. The structure of the HD25 is painfully elementary. They are neither flat-folding nor collapsible, with very simple rotating joints and removable metal hardware. The rough black plastic is resistant to cracks and scratches. A thick and sturdy steel cable, terminated in a beefy L-plug, completes the picture. The headphones are also very light and not likely to get damaged from falls. Lastly, every single part of the headphones is user-replaceable. From the detachable cabling to the headband padding to the cups and joints, the HD25 can be disassembled completely in just a few minutes.

Comfort: The HD25 is surprisingly light compared to headphones such as the AKG K181 and M-Audio Q40. The adjustable dual headband exerts very little pressure – the majority of the force is applied by the supraaural coupling. Though clamping force is fairly strong in the HD25, the structure does a great job of distributing it over the entire surface of the pads. The cups have a good range of motion despite lacking any joints whatsoever and conform very well to the shape of one’s head. Vinyl pads come installed on stock HD25s but some versions include the optional velour pads as well. Even if that isn’t the case, at $7+shipping the velour pads are a worthy investment, providing a comfort improvement at the expense of a tiny bit of isolation. Overall comfort falls just behind the likes of the impossibly light Senn PX100s and the circumaural CAL!.

Isolation: Though in general portable headphones can never isolate as well as IEMs, the HD25 can compete with certain shallow-insertion in-ears. While the vinyl pads isolate just a bit more than the velour ones, the tradeoff is unlikely to be worth it for most users. Even with the velour pads the isolation crown of the HD25-1 can be usurped only the hard-clamping AKGs and only if you’re lucky enough to get the AKGs to seal properly.

Sound: Upon first hearing the HD25-1 I was absolutely convinced that I would be giving them a perfect score in sound quality. Having owned them for a while, however, I can’t help but notice that for $200 headphones they are just slightly lacking here and there. But the fact that I am still using them as my primary portables is certainly telling of the fact that they are a competitive product. They are well-balanced, have good clarity and detail, and are quite transparent when it comes to sources. The bass is tight and accurate. It’s hard-hitting in character and more punchy than powerful as opposed to something like the K181Dj or M-Audio Q40. It has impressive extension, though it won’t keep up with the M-Audios down to the lowest reaches. It is also well-textured and does not bleed into the midrange. For a portable headphone the quantity of bass is just right – a bit more than what one would expect from an analytical headphone but far from AKG K81/K181 quantity.

The mids are neutral, clear, and detailed. Articulation is very good and sounds are well-separated. However, the HD25 is lacking noticeably in both soundstage width and depth, at least when compared to most full-size headphones. Most of the other closed portables I own don’t exactly shine in soundstaging either but I can’t help but be disappointed that the smaller and cheaper PX200-II has a more spacious sound. Sheer size aside, soundstage positioning is fairly precise and instrumental separation is excellent on all but the densest tracks. Towards the upper midrange the HD25-1 struggles to stay smooth and as a result is very unforgiving of sibilant tracks. The high end is quite present and reasonably extended but comes off a bit edgy and clinical at times. The overall sound, though, is quite pleasant and works particularly well for genres not dependent on soundstage size for the full experience. All of my quibbles aside, the HD25 is as good for use on the go as any portable headphone I have heard.

Value. (MSRP: $299.95; Street Price: $199) By far the most expensive headphone of the bunch, both in street price and MSRP, the HD25-1 is on another level in terms of balance and detail compared to all of the other featured portables. Compared, however, to full-size cans in the price range, as it sometimes is, the HD25 can come off as dull and rather compressed-sounding because of the narrow stage. The hard treble can also be a bit fatiguing for home use. But of course such comparisons are unfair precisely because I am not comfortable wearing my full-size cans outside while using the HD25 comes naturally. It is this versatility that makes the Sennheisers well-worth the $200 price tag and one of the easiest portable headphones to recommend.

Manufacturer Specs:
Frequency Response:16-22,000 Hz
Impedance:70 Ω
Sensitivity:120 dB SPL/1mW
Cord:5ft (1.5m), single-sided; Angled Plug
Space-Saving Mechanism:N/A




To see how the HD25s compare to the other portables in my collection please see here.


Pros: no headphone hair, in-your-face sound

Cons: exposed wires, clamping force

Seriously, these things are built to last. When the apocalypse occurs in 2012, this Sennheiser would be left intact (maybe the wires would get destroyed). And for future generations of the human race (or whoever takes over the earth), they would be a relic of the old world.

I own two pairs, one for work and one for portable use, I treat the portable headphone with utmost care, like a baby, while the one for work gets tossed around and daily abuse, and yet both look the same. On a note of the clamping force, the frame needs to burn in, so that the force loosens and optimum comfort is achieved.

Sound. How does it sound? It's a bit colored, I think. Definitely not neutral, but I've gotten over the "neutral stage" where I cared about neutral headphones, I just want to enjoy my music with clarity. The bass mids and highs are fairly even in terms of balance, but not perfectly balanced. What's very noticeable is that it has punchy bass like a Grado, not deep rumbling bass. And absolutely no soundstage, which creates intimacy, or in my case, that in-your-face-sound that you get from Grado. I use these for speed metal, thrash metal, power metal, traditional metal, etc. Metal that's fast and guitar driven. They're like a closed back Grado, but not as bright.

I got it for free from work, as this is what they use for their stuff such as recording, calibration, etc. They previously used V6's, 440's and T50RP's, but they settled for the HD 25-1 II. There is a huge increase in price to the consumer, but I'd imagine when a company purchase these, the difference is not all that great. They are the basic edition, but I wish I owned a pair of the Adidas versions. :(


Pros: Light weight, portable

Cons: Hate plastic, uncomfortable, painful, not ergonomical , highs are too aggressive

Sennheiser HD25-II is one of hot model in on-ear headphone. I buy it because of high rating from different users.

However, i feel very disappointed when I use it.


First of all, the headband structure is too tight. It makes my head painful and can't wear for more than 5 minutes, 1 song?!


Bass, quite strong


Mids - not natural


Highs - clear, but the highs are too aggressive. It hurts my ear when listening for long time.


I can't use it for more than 5 mins because of the headband pinching force. No matter how the sound is, the headphone is useless for a user if they can't use it daily.


Sorry about that. Sennheiser.


Pros: accurate, very good imaging, portable, replaceable parts

Cons: comfort for others

The HD 25 series has been around for 15 years and this has been my 2nd purchase of the famed dual-band headphone.




Value: 10 years ago, if you are purchasing a $200 headphone it would've sounded absurd. Thanks to Beats by Dre, $200 headphones are now a steal. For $200, you get 2 pairs of ear pads (1) velour and (1) synthetic, also you get a nylon carrying bag, and of course the star of the show, the HD 25-1 II.


Audio Quality: HD25s are a favorite among DJs and broadcasters, although it is primarily designed for studio use, I rarely see this headphone used for mixing and remastering. The most common headphone, I see in studios are the ATH-M50 and SRH-840s.


Bass: It is there, present and just about right for a variety of tracks such as rock, hiphop, jazz, RnB, acoustic. But, if you are a basshead, this might not be for you. Bass is not deep as the ATH-M50s and the pacing is not as fast. This headphone will suffer from house music and dubstep. 


Mids: Now this is HD25s cream, the mids are very revealing, it is an ENG headphone after all, it will be unforgiving on bad recorded tracks as you will hear all the pops on the vocals. This is great if you like absolute precision when mixing. And, those who love vocals will definitely enjoy this.


Highs: Average, rolled-off in some tunes, very common in studio headphones. Purposely done, not to fatigue your ears for long listening session.


Design and Comfort: HD25s are a ruggedly designed headphones, they are used almost everywhere by professionals. It is a favorite among DJs because of its isolation. This headphone can cancel out 20db of noise, better than those noise-cancelling headphones with batteries. Standing right into a noisy washing machine, I can't hear a thing with only 60% volume from an iPod, that's amazing. With isolation, you lose comfort. But in my case, I find this headphone very comfortable, the padding are well-balanced to distribute the clamping force of the band.




If you have a small ear, then it be uncomfortable. For medium and large ears, they'll be comfy since they will sit just on the inner side of the ear. Build quality is very good, plastics are tough, but not as polished as say Audio-Technicas. The plastics on the HD-25s are unpolished and raw. But, since I own this for 10 years, they are very reliable.


Split band will secure the headphone better, although, I'm not a fan of it. I use them as a single band. Also, there are a lot of aftermarket parts for this headphone, no worrying in breaking them. Replaceable ear cups, headband, cables with different flavors, ear pads and more.



Overall: The past 10 years, nothing has changed. But, this little headphone will continue to wow new enthusiasts and it will continue on production forever. If there is something to improve, it is to polish the plastic make it look more presentable and classy. Overall, it is still a highly recommended headphone, and it is my favorite DJ headphone for the clubs and commute.






Pros: Good isolation for trains, buses, great bass, shows up clear differences in source file qualities

Cons: OK, a bit geeky but who cares

Durable - replaced pads after two years - i use case supplied with phones for storage


Pros: Small, lightweigt, solid, interchangable parts, easy to fall in love with.

Cons: minor cons. as in easy to look past, due to all the pros.

Being a non-professional, but a general music lover, My review will probably be in layman's terms, but why not. It will give the perspective from someone that observe music in a different way than the purely analytic fashion.


Once, I had a great home stereo consisting of NAD CD-player, amplifier and B&W speakers with some fancy cabling. -So I am not completely rookie regarding what sounds good and not. Neither am I a person that thinks that resonating boomboxes (cars) driving by is coolz because of lotz of basz. I like to hear all kinds of music. Anything from Mozart'ish music to music 'designed for serious PA-systems'.


Being without my stereo for the longest time and getting tired of the 'noise' rendered by my speakers integrated in the laptop, I figured out it was beyond due time to get myself some headphones. Getting a proper soundsystem is out of the question due to limited space and girlfriend.


First problem was: What am I looking for. Go for a pair that is more fitting for the stuff you listen to the most. If You only listen to classical orchestras and alike, I guess You should stop reading. You need to look for stax-phones. Very Expensive. Only worth having if you are a feinschmecker.

My playlist when trying out music is stuff like Deep Purple, Child in Time, Roger Waters Amused to Death, preferably the whole album. Nina Simone, Feeling good, Peggy Lee, Fever, Jazz, Blues. That kind.

That'll tell me wether there is bass at all, if there is decent mid-range, and also if the treble is non-offensive.


By reading a lot of reviews, these phones came out pretty good. Although! -The impression I was given by other reviews were that they were a little expensive compared to the sound given. This was when my critically inclined mental alarmbells went off. Things like being warm, 'muffled', having a 'veil' between the music and ear, making the music feel distant. I then recalled the good old days, where I built my own speakers, -the horror of screwing up the expensive hobby project, just to later have that Aha!- feeling of having to actually 'run in' the speakers before they are able to show off what they are good for.


Eventually, I decided for  these ones. I know Sennheiser from before, and I have never had/heard about any real issues about them before, Not being tempted by any fancy modern bling with buttons, sliders and glossy paper/plastic, I found a dusty box pushed in the back of the shelf.


The reviews were per se correct. warm, muffled, not very precise music. -So I bought them.

Day one. One big ''Meh. I exchanged the fake skin pads with the velour ones. Much more comfy.

and playing music, wearing them for six hours, before my ears got physically tired. I have a small head by the way. If you have a full size head, perhaps consider something else. They are a little tight, but I am trying to expand the headband(s) a little by the use of something wider than my head. This is probably the only minor con i have with the HD 25-1 II.

Day two. Sleeping well, doing other stuff, going back to my headphones, turn on the music. Same repertoire as yesterday. - There is a difference already. there is actually a soundstage there now, albeit small. they veil is disappearing and it doesn't sound that warm and muffled anymore. It is not neutral sound, but on the other hand, if I were to listen to a lot of classical, I wouldn't buy 'rock-speakers' anyways. I read reviews about how the phones were lacking in the upper levels, that sounds like -'S', -'SH', -'CH' etc would be... ...not perfect. Well, day two improved from day one in this aspect too.

The bass wasn't 'fluffy' anymore, but still deep. actually plenty deep, imo. and the midrange had improved a lot. from having to 'look' for it, to get it all the way to your ear without having to notice it was missing. Six hours, before they get uncomfy. -and after six hours, anyone will get tired in their heads/ears.

The headbands are not noticeable... ...and the cable is not in the way, nor noticeable.

Day three. Hah. Even better. After a total of 18 hours, the phones are now ready to be listened to.

You could say the virginity of it is now gone, and it is ready for some proper exercise and training.

I am not going to blast the volume on max for any reason, just so its said, but now i don't mind my equally critical friends to listen to them.

Day four. time to write a review.

I can only assume the sound in them will get better and better as time goes by.

The only, and ONLY thing that would make these better, were if the sound picture was wider and deeper.

It isn't a must, but it would be nice. After listening to High-end systems with SNELL speakers, more expensive than my pants can carry the cash, an open environment, -or the lack of it iin this case -will be burnt into your mind, and one will never be completely satisfied, unless buying super expensive stax with equally expensive amplifier(s), used on an equally expensive high end stereo setup.


These are lightweight, durable, good bass, good mid-range, good treble, even for sibilant music (Beware of Justin Bieber... ...the phones can't take that. The speakers will crack and fall into a hot,deep pit where beelzebub and his minions are removing impurities from the liquids in their forges.)

Seriously, the higher areas of music are just fine in these phones. -already by day three/four.

Every part can be exchanged.

If only the Amperior was cheaper, I'd go for that one. It is better, but kinda expensive if one doesn't have the money for it, you know what i say.


All in all. You can't go wrong with these ones. -unless you have extrordinaire music taste, are analythical instead of enjoying the music, like a nice glass of brewerage. I don't taste and spit the red wine. I drink it, and enjoy it for what its worth..


Pros: Portable, outstanding sound quality, user-replaceable parts, rugged construction, great isolation and comfort

Cons: Slightly sibilant, closed-in soundstage

I have previously owned a lot of headphones, but I felt the need of an all-in-one solution that I could use at home or on-the-go. So I scoured and found that the Sennheiser HD25-1 II is the perfect headphone for my needs. It is a small, supra-aural pair of headphones with superb sound quality in its price range and category.



The HD25-1 is a very rugged set of cans. Although lightweight and looks flimsy, it actually holds well against constant abuse and wear. The split-headband design allows for both a secure and comfortable fit, perfect for lengthy listening sessions. The earcups themselves are made of hardened plastic, and do not easily scratch or dent when hit by an impact force. Lastly, the provided stock steel cable has great tensile strength to maximize longevity. All of these parts are easily replaceable, so the headphone can last for years and years of usage.


It may not be the best when it comes to isolation, but it does its job well in blocking out external noise like the bustling city, airplane engines, and so on. Although the clamp is fairly tight, it's not as bad as the one from the AKG K518 DJ. The pleather and velour pads also add to the HD25's comfortable fit.



As I write this review, I have already clocked in about 200 or so hours with this pair of cans. Overall impression, the HD25-1's sound quality is excellent for a closed headphone. Although there is some slight sibilance in the high treble frequencies and soundstage is a bit closed-in, it still sounds great straight out of a DAP or from a headphone amp.


It retains the classic Sennheiser laid-back house sound, but adds a generous bit of Grado's upfront, edgy kick to it. The result is a pleasing mix of smooth-yet-aggressive sound signature that's hard to come by in other headphones; it reproduces lush vocals, deep, controlled bass, and detailed highs for a can of this size and type. Suitable for almost all genres of music, the Sennheiser HD25-1 is a very flexible can that's sure to please a lot of people.



Although a bit pricey at $199.99 in most stores available online, in my opinion the Sennheiser HD25-1 is a great buy in this price category. If you are looking for a portable headphone with sound quality rivaling full-sized cans, I strongly recommend getting the HD25-1's.


PS: I have included pictures of my HD25-1 II as seen in the product photos, to better judge its design and construction.


Pros: Sound quality, Confort, Isolation

Cons: none so far

No introduction is needed for this pair. The "rumours" about the sound quality are true. Some people disagree that they are good for music production, but I am not using them for this reason, so I cannot comment on that. When I am listening to music I prefer it to come to my ears as the musicians and sound engineers intended to, and I think that these headphones are doing it to a great extent.


Some people also find them to be uncomfortable. Well, they are not as comfortable as HD 598 for example, but this is to be expected from a closed-back pair. I would not expect more comfort than what they give. I'd describe my head as medium size, so people with large heads may find them a bit more uncomfortable.


Overall, very, very highly recommended!


Pros: DURABILITY, Easy to Drive, Lean Mids, BASS

Cons: Amp/ Source Dependent, Dry Upper Range


Sennheiser’s Classic the HD 25-1 II,  is a headphone that’s been around longer than I have been and one that’s proven its worth over two decades now!  Bringing an excellent quality of sound and a rock solid build quality, the HD 25-1 II a true companion for the road Warrior in us all 



Price                                      $249

Wearing Style                    On Ear

Frq Response                    16-22k

THD                                        .3%

                                          Transducer Principle       Closed Back Dynamic,  43.1mm Drivers

Impedance                         70 ohms

Sensitivity                           120dbs

Final Score                          81/100


Personally, I like the simple packing included with the HD 25-1 II. As in my eyes, a simple packing leaves more funds to the design of the headphone it self! The HD 25-1 II does come with a Plastic Draw String bag in addition to a nice gold palted Screw on 6.5mm adapter 


Build Quality [10/10]

It is built entirely out of very rugged plastic, and assembled with only two visible screws.  The drivers are attached to the headband by a plastic tooth mechanism. The headband itself features a spilt function, allowing the user to further adjust comfort, by widening or narrowing the gap between each rung of the headband. The cord for the headphone rests within a space etched into the head band itself.  The cable is a gold plated 3.5mm right angle at 2m length, and the ear pads are composed of synthetic leather.  The headphone also exerts a lot of clamping force, so it doesn’t move around much when on your head.




Another very interesting fact is that this particular headphone has been in production for almost two decades! As such, getting replacement parts from Sennhesier is a very cheap and simple process.  Meaning, if you ever manage to break any piece of the HD 25-1 II it’s a simple and cost effective to repair, that factor alone contributes to the sheer value of the HD 25-1 II.  I personally purchased the HD 25-1 II for use at the gym because of it’s durability and simple cost effective repairs. After having used it many times, I’ve found it to be a wonderfully rugged, well built an easy to use headphone! It’s defiantly a product I can throw into my car, and slap around my neck without having to worry about it breaking. Personally, I love that about it! I should also note that it’s the ONLY headphone I dare take into the jungle of iron machines that is my Gym! 



Utility [10/10]

The HD 25-1 II is built for portable use regardless of where and how you’ll be using it. It’s tough enough to be dropped, bumped and banged around. Additionally its sensitivity allows it to achieve high volumes without a lot of power. The clamping force also helps this headphone to stay in place. I recommend it for anyone who’s wanted a headphone to listen while on the go through most public spaces, anywhere there could be accidents, drops, scuffs or spills.

The HD 25-1 II is able to be driven by a wide range of sources, and it does however benefit from scaling. While the sound out of my LG V10 was acceptable, it had a much better sound quality driven from my HM901 LineOut to my ibasso PB2.


Comfort [5/10]

While rugged and durable, the HD 25-1 II is rather uncomfortable for listening after an about an hour.  The clamping force of this headphone can quickly fatigue anyone who is not used to On Ear Headphones.  Moreover, the pads tend are sweat magnets, especially if it’s hot whereever you are.  The HD 25-1 II will work flawlessly within reasonable temperatures, I’ve used them outside as low as 15 an as hot as 107. Though, at hotter temperatures it does get sweaty and at colder temperatures it can be a little painful on the ears.


Isolation [10/10]

Despite lack luster comfort, the HD 25-1 II has outstanding isolation! First time I put them on it scared me how… quiet everything was with them on!


Ease of Use [7/10]

The HD 25-1 II is an easy headphone to drive, though the better your source the better it will sound. When paired with entry level devices, such as cell phones or cheap Digital Audio Players, the sound will be sub optimal. It responds very well to amplification and EQ, I found it to be very enjoyable when Eq’d from my LG V10. Though, even with EQ out of the V10, the HD 25-1 II sounded it’s best driven from my Hm901 LineOut PB2.  Out of all my sources, the iPod Nano Gen 3, had the worse quality of sound  with the HD 25-1 II out of all my sources. 


Style and Design

Visually, I love the style of the headphone. The split headband an the top mounted cables really command your attention, while the rounded cups ease your eyes down, till you've reached the end of the saw tooth adjustment rods. From a design perspective, I love the use of soft shapes an sharp lines!



Sound Quality


Timbre [8/10]   Sound Stage [7.5/10] Detail   [8/10] Speed [6.5/10] Scale [9/10]


Overall, when driven and sourced properly it has a very dry and even sound. The bass is a touch forward but very taut with slightly recessed low mids, with a nice leading edge to the upper mids and treble.  The sound stage is of average width and a little shallow however instruments are well layered within the sound stage and have good spatial cues.   


However, if driven from a cheaper phone or digital audio player, the HD 25-1 II can sound sluggish, muddy, incoherent and very SHARP. With a very loose overall sound, in addition when listening to low bit rate music you will notice the artifacts that are inherent to poorly encoded music. When purchased and used right out the box with lower end gear and poorly encoded mp3s it’s nothing impressive, heck I’ll dare to say that right out of my iPod Nano Gen 3 [using 320 CBR mp3s] my Beats Solo 2 sound much cleaner than the HD 25-1 II. 


 Although the HD 25-1 II responds very well to EQ on low end devices and smart phones, so I recommend tinkering around with a quality Parametric EQ and DSP filters to get the best sound from these if your initial impression of them is negative.  Sadly though, there is no substitute for quality hardware.

Finally, regardless of source or amp, the HD 25-1 II is on the slower side of “dry.” While it excels with moderately paced music, I do find it a little lack luster with faster pieces such as progressive metal.


In terms of music genres though, the HD 25-1 II does an excellent job with them all! Personally, I LOVE it for Electronic Dance Music. The bass is easily one of the BEST I’ve heard from a headphone in this price category and form factor! It can take a nice bit of bass boost without any distortion as well!

In conclusion, given the price, I love the HD 25-1 II. It offers unmatched durability, and an excellent high quality of sound!  When paired with higher quality digital audio players, amps and properly encoded music, the HD 25-1 II can easily outpace the Solo 2!  

Sennheiser HD 25-1 II Professional Headphone

Professional closed headphone with split headband

FeatureCapable of handling very high sound pressure levels.
Height9.9 inches
Length7.5 inches
Weight0.31 pounds
Width3.4 inches
List Price$269.95
ModelHD25-1 II
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
TitleSennheiser HD 25-1 II Professional Headphone
Is Autographed0
Is Memorabilia0
Legal DisclaimerWarranty does not cover misuse of product.
Product Type Subcategory2300799
CatalogNumberList - CatalogNumberListElement4044156023793 502188 HD25-1 II HD-25 D14381 566996660 HD 25-1 53363 HD25-1MK2
Item Height9 inches
Item Length6 inches
Item Weight0.31 pounds
Item Width9 inches
Package Height3.4 inches
Package Length9.8 inches
Package Weight0.9 pounds
Package Width7.5 inches
UPCList - UPCListElement615104135703 615104132146 615104025769
Languages - ManualSpanish
LegalDisclaimerWarranty does not cover misuse of product.
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Headphones › On-Ear › Sennheiser HD 25-1 II Professional Headphone