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Sennheiser HD 439 Headphones

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #30 in Over-Ear


Pros: great SQ, great modding capabillities, comfortable, very light, aesthetics, surprisingly durable

Cons: very plasticky, needs burn-in for full potential, needs modding for full potential, aesthetics


Sennheiser has always been well-renowned for their high-end headphones, why in fact their flagships cover most of the top 5 headphones, but what about their low-end headphones? Are they good enough to distinguish themselves? And I'm here to say, after about half a year that they are indeed quite well-rounded headphones.




The packaging is basic and get's job done. The headphones themselves come with an extra cable (more on that later) and an 1/4 inch gold-plated adapter for special equipment which is a nice touch for those that have the equipment



Despite the fact that these headphones look open they are very much closed and therefore isolate you from background noise however the velour pads on these leak a bit of sound out for other people to hear but you won't hear them.


                                                         Soundstage/Instrument Sep.

Now you won't be getting any amazing soundstaging or euphoric instrument seperation  but these do have their own little funky character when comes to their somewhat small soundstage. Because of the grill there is the possibility to drill holes and make them semi-open, but then again that is your choice.


                                                             Sound Signature

Classic Sennheiser sound sig. is present here and it can be darkener/funner/warmer if you decide to mod them as well as made a bit more laidback and grow more of a ''ballsy'' sound sig.


Despite what the packaging says these have un-assisted bass that doesn't extend at first but then after burn-in they have very punchy and extended but not muddy bass that can be modded to be made stronger tighter and louder which actually helps the mids and highs grow more of a ''ballsy'' but laidback sound sig.



The mids and sub bass are great in my opinion with a nice tone to it as well as great extension.



The highs have a nice sparkle and decay to them that seems to be right in the middle of too much and not enough but tipping slightly to too much.


                                                                                                  Build Quality/Design

This unfortunately is where the headphone starts to fall apart. These headphones are almost completely made of very cheap but strong plastic that doesn't feel good in the hands, but is by no means uncomfortable and is actually the exact opposite as it is one of the most comfortable and light headphones I've ever used. The headphones also feature a finicky, but useful cable swapping system that is alright. The cables are made of a strange rubbery, plasticky substance that makes it not very thick but alright in terms of durability, the cable that is stock is 1.4 meters the long cable is 3 meters for when your output source  is a bit of ways away. These headphones seems to have a hit or miss look with people as I've been given weird looks or people have come up to me and asked what type of headphones they are as they try to keep their jaws from hitting the floor.


This is a great somewhat under-appreciated headphone that I think is great for those who want their first pair or someone who wants to start getting into the modding scene, and with it's strong durability, very light and comfy design and the practicality of swappable cables makes these great for portability.



p.s. Thank you for reading my first review and leave some criticism on how I wrote it if you would like, HAVE A GREAT DAY!!


Pros: Sound quality, comfort, varying cable lengths

Cons: Underwhelming aesthetics, possible build quality issues

I picked these headphones up as a replacement for my years-old Bose TriPorts whose earcups are falling apart. I already own a pair of 558s, but at present my girlfriend and I share a small room and open-back headphones don't work well with our respective sleep schedules. 



Blister pack, nothing to write home about. Same basic packaging as most of their low-end stuff.



Kudos to Sennheiser here -- included are two different cables (4' and 10') as well as a 1/4" adapter plug, which in my experience is kind of rare for $100 headphones. As a company, they're pretty good about this. 


Quick note about the cable: If you decide to swap them out, you're going to feel like you're breaking the cable connector trying to pull it out. This is normal -- it's at a funky angle as it goes into the speaker and it takes a good deal of prying to pull loose.


Build Quality

As already touched upon with the cable, build quality is only so-so. As is pretty typical of Sennheiser's lower-end products, there's a plasticky feel throughout. The weird cable requiring crazy amounts of tugging, the not-inconsiderable creak of the gimbals, etc. In reality, the headphones should hold up quite well to reasonable use...they just don't necessarily feel like it. Gotta cut corners somewhere, I suppose.



I defy you to find more comfortable circumaurals at this price. The velour earcups and headband cause these suckers to melt to your ears and disappear after a few minutes' use. I can barely handle leatherette anymore, I'm so spoiled on this sensation.


Sound Quality

Why am I touching on sound quality last? It's the last thing you notice when you take the headphones out of the package. Boom, there goes your mind.


Looking at the package, you'll see the ominous phrase "Extended Bass Response." Oh lawd, Sennheiser is trying to make Beats, you may think. Thankfully, no. Bass is somewhat heavier than the other $100 headphones Sennheiser produces (the musician-centric 280s), but it doesn't have that bloated, overreaching feeling of Beats' EQ-based enhancement -- here it feels like a natural extension of the headphones' design, and helps to ground the overall feel of the music.


A few days' burn-in certainly won't hurt these guys, just to wear the edges off the sound. To my ears it felt more settled with use.


Overall, the sound feels assertive and balanced across the range, with surprisingly wide staging for a closed-back setup, especially one so basic as these. There's no confusing them with my 558s, but it certainly doesn't sound like the sound is emanating from my pineal gland, either.


Cable noise is noticeable at very low volumes, but that's par for the course at this price point / with this brand. Unless you have parts on hand and a good deal of electrical/mechanical savvy, they're not worth cable modding. It's just something you deal with.


At 32 ohms, these will sound fine coming from your portable device -- my Galaxy S3 with its shiny Wolfson DAC puts admirable sound into these cans, and I wouldn't expect much less from an iDevice or other mobile options. That being said, I noticed a distinct improvement in presence and clarity when I jacked these directly into my sound card (Auzen Raider 7.1) as opposed to the aux jack on my desktop speakers or through my phone. So if you have something to juice the sound (amp/DAC) then you'll hear a benefit. 



From start to finish, a worthy headphone. Especially good as backup cans or gifts to budding audiophiles. Build quality is -ish, but not distressingly bad. Best-in-class comfort and superb sound quality for price. 


Pros: Low cost, feather-weight, sound pretty good

Cons: At $39.00......none?

There are many headphones out there for $39. Still finding a pair that you really like is maybe a slight challenge? Sennheiser has produced an interestingly fun pair of headphones which offer the consumer a number of traits which help it stand out. In this review I'm going to go over my personal history with the modification and talk about the stock headphone for those not interested in the mod. I'm going to delineate the build quality, the sound and ending, explain how the HD 439 is still a value in today's marketplace.

1) The packaging:
Bubble packaging has maybe good and bad points. I actually like it as you know when the bubble is unopened your guaranteed a pristine product. The bad thing is your not going to be able to demo your headphones prior to a purchase unless they have a demo pair out for use. I purchased my pair just based on reading reviews at Head-Fi.

2) What you get:
The headphones come with two cables and a 1/4 inch adapter to use the mini-plug with home gear. When the product was first introduced it had only one cable and you could either choose the model with the long cable or the model with the short cable. As it turns out both cables are a great asset and come into use at different times. Sennheiser also gives you a complete 2 year warranty with the purchase. Modding the headphone voids the warranty.

3) The Build:
People complain about the build with these at times. At $39, they are what they are. I actually would not have them built any other way other than maybe some stainless steel in the headband to increase the cup pressure and increase the bass response with the stock units. The big plus is they are low weight and the velour pads feel like pleasure. The cable is thin but you get two and it's made from a material that stays in shape and does not change in time. They have angulation at all the needed places. Talking about pressure, it's maybe the only fault here. There are actually threads here where members have fallen in love with the stock sound signature and placed a metal wire into the top of the headband to try and improve ear-pad pressure. Members have also purchased other (non-velour) Sennheiser ear-pads attempting to get a more airtight fit, thus increasing bass. I finally ended with the three hole bass mod and have found I was able to get used to the sound.

4) The Sound:
These are fairly flat headphones straight out of the box. They gain a bass response and smoothness of response after 60 hours of burn in. They are just shy in the bass region stock. The sound-stage is nice with a really enjoyable treble detail. The shape of the cups is oval and emulates the oval direction the human ear is placed. This shape maybe seems to add a upper and lower sound-stage factor. However it is done, it's the value at $39 as far as detail and sound-stage.

Having heard the HD 600 you have to wonder if maybe some of the previously top of the line technology has been given a trickle-down in areas. They seem to do Jazz, Classical and New Age genres best with Rock and Metal maybe being a secondary level of quality. There are probably hand fulls of better Rock headphones for a choice especially if you can only find the HD439s in the $100 range.

They are actually laid back and a fairly easy going and listenable headphone. They make something like the M-50 seem much more upfront and in your face. Again were given what I would call a colored sound. Even stock they are maybe on the warm side. Warm and lacking bass, if that makes sense here? They sound good with a phone or directly out of the headphone jack of a TV, but still really scale to a better place with amplification.

5) The Modification Levels:

Level One:
There are threads here on the process and even three minute You-Tube videos showing just how easy the H439s come apart and can be modified by just about anyone, fast. The first level is to just remove the tape covering the single bass port. This gives a slightly better sound-stage and does not seem to effect the treble only to somehow make everything become more coherent and dynamic. This is really the most recommended modified form for the HD 439s.

Level Two:
Here two holes are opened.

Level Three:
I can't explain it but when I first did this mod the bass was just was too much. Some have tried to dampen the headphones and to try and reduce any rattling. I found that placing anything inside the cups seemed to lower the bass response. I actually found the bass was overwhelming at first and went back to the single hole mod for awhile. Finally I'm now back with three holes open but have made a special attempt to have all the screws super tight which seems to effect the sound.

In Conclusion:

At $39 the Sennheiser HD 439 Closed back headphones offer a special value. The sound straight out of the box is nice but improves to a point with burn in. At the price they are a great value which offers a level of finesse and character normally not found anywhere. The sound character may take time for some to get used to as it is actually different than a lot of headphones out there. The best traits come from the fact that they have a nice warm detailed sound signature and feel fantastic on your head. They are maybe missing some of the sparkle and authority for some musical genres but are found with-out fault for the price. They end-up being a really good looking pair of full-size headphones that go great outside driven just by a phone or iPod. They block outside noise to a certain level and keep the music from disturbing others.

Some may find it a fun experience to modify the headphones, though the end bass response may not be enjoyed by all listeners.


Pros: Excellent soundstage for closed back headphones. Awesome bass extension and great overall clarity without being harsh or tiresome. Removable cables.

Cons: Could include a storing pouch. Nothing else worth noticing.

These headphones are the best. Neutral sound but without being boring, the only "coloration" is an increase in bass extension, which is excellent if you listen to rock, metal or electronic. You won't get tired of listening to them. Voices sound amazing on these, especially if you're listening to podcasts or other types of speech.


I get the impression that volume, bass and overall clarity increase over time. Maybe it's what audiophiles call the "burn-in" effect. They do seem much louder now than a year ago. Or maybe I just love their sound. I would only get better ones if I chose open-back, got a really good amp and went for the Sennheiser HD 600.


Overall, highly recommended!


Pros: Very comfy, sound for a price, Bass (modded)

Cons: Build quality feels cheap, maybe female voices



Quick thoughts on modded with bass mod sennheiser hd 439.


Build quality


It is a mixed bag really. Headphones it self feels cheap. Well, probably because it is cheap. But they don't feel cheap then you have them on a head. They are very comfy, velour pads fit my ears perfectly. I forget I have headphones on my head the moment I put them on. Although if you have big ears, it could become an on ear headphones, because pads are not very big. Design is nice to my eyes, but you know, it can look bad for you ;)


Audio quality


I'm reviewing modded headphones with bass mod, so keep that in mind. The sound they make is really quite good. Bass goes very very deep. For tracks like royksopp - the drug it just blew my mind :basshead:. I listened to it with my sens 518 and it just uncomparable. 439 destroys 518 in a bass heavy music. So if you are into music like this - go get it, do the mod and enjoy your music like you never did before. As for more popular music. They are actually not that bad. Sound stage is pretty good, but of course not as wide as 518 as they are opened. Still instrumental separation is good, you will here instruments in their place and not a chocolate mix  :rolleyes:. Vocals. Hmmmm, well you can  hear them :p. Really not much more to say about them. You will not be blown away by them, when you listen to dido or meja. If you into female vocalist, when these headphones not really for you. Rock music is in a middle between bass heavy and female music. Lets say rise againts sounds good to my ears. As I said above, instruments are nicely separated but vocals are just where. So overall these headphones are perfect for a bit more bass heavy music, but not for "audiophile" stuff.


Important note


I don't why, but I find them very hard to drive. No joke, even though they are only 32 ohm, I find them a lot harder to drive than 518 which is 50 ohm. I don't know if it is just me, but I go to an 8 (max with low gain) with my fiio e10 and I keep 5 when I listen to 518. When I travel, I use my ps vita as a player and it does good job powering it (better than fiio e10 :confused:). As for ****y samsung android phone, it goes to listenable levels, but you can hear it struggles with headphones and ps vita just destroys it. I listen for few tracks on a phone for a review and just couldn't continue - it sounds terrible. So keep that in mind if you planing on using it with your ****y phone ;) I don't about iphone or such. Probably it will sound as good as ps vita which sounds pretty nice.




For the price these are very nice headphone and actually holds up pretty good versus its big brothers. Beats them in low end but gets beat in mids and highs. As I said, I would recommend them for bassheads and such. As for pop music, I don't really listen to it. As I said, dido don't sound so good, but listenable, I will not call it terrible as my phone experience. Beyonce actually sounds good to my ears, low end gives a very lively sound. Of course beyonce itself have powerful voice. Well I took a hit for you dear reader and listened to katy perry's roar and it sounds pretty bad ( but it could be just katy perry :atsmile:). So yeah, I guess I gave you a pretty good understanding what to expect for these headphones. Cheers.




I forgot to talk about isolation. It will muffle the sounds around you and if you are on a bus or train really you will hear just a distant wheel and engine sound, nothing to worry about, you will be able to enjoy your music. But they leak. I will get looks at bus if I put sound on higher volume. So keep that in mind.


Pros: Light, comfortable, detachable cable & comes with two lengths, bass is not dominating

Cons: The sound overall is a bit muddy, plastic design seems quite fragile

I got to try these out when my brother bought them for his casual computer use.


The headphones are very light, and have quite comfortable cloth pads and headband. They are made entirely of plastic, which at least doesn't feel to be of too high quality. I can obviously not comment on long time endurance. Visually they do look quite appealing however.


As my reference pair in this test I used the Beyerdynamic DT-770 80 ohm headphones. Note that I said reference, I didn't directly compare them since that would obviously be unfair considering the DT-770 costs twice as much. Only FLAC files were used, with a Cambridge Dacmagic Plus as source.


Overall the sound is quite good considering the modest pricetag, nothing is overly present or completely lacking. The bass hits by a satisfying amount without dominating, lacks "texture" though. The rest of the spectrum is nothing special, it just "does its job". The product is a slightly muddy sound to my ears, but after listening to them for awhile the brain gets used to it.


I would not mind having these with me on the go, they're definitely good enough for that. In any kind of critical listening there are many shortcomings, but hey, you get what you pay for.


Pros: Sound Quality (Post Burn-In), Portable device compatibility, Lightweight

Cons: Feels INCREDIBLY plasticy, Maybe too light, Soundstage isn't the best, Isolation

Disclaimer: My review may be rather invalid due to my lack of experience in the audio world. In that case, if you are new to this, it may be very helpful.


The HD 439 was definitely a good buy for its purpose of being my iPod's go to for music.


Sound Quality

The sound is great for the price. Very crisp at the mids to highs, and the bass wasn't overpowering.

The soundstage however, was a slight let down, being kinda too narrow to enjoy some more closed-off' sounding songs


Build Quality

The build quality is terrible, but expected for the price.

They are made of a cheap, lightweight plastic that does not feel durable at all (So little that I feel worried taking them in a bag due to possible breakage)

Comfort wise, these things are good. They are too light to be a burden, but maybe so much that moving around quickly may make them fall off.


Additionally, my ears (not that big) don't fit perfectly in the headset. This, along with the diagonal circum-aural earcup design means the headband feels like it is leaning forward.



The isolation isn't very good. Even for closed back. Any comfortably loud volume that is enough to drown out other noises can be heard by anyone nearby, though not extremely clearly.

Think about that before buying.



If you have any lower quality mp3's, this will gladly identify them. The HD 439 make it very obvious when a low bitrate is apparent.

The replaceable cable[s] (1.4 and 3 metres I think) are kinda tricky to remove at first, but not too difficult. The replaceable part is great if you break one though.



Summary - TLDR

If you are looking for a decent pair of headphones, that wont break the bank, are expendable and for use with a portable device (iPod for example), these are likely the ones to get. If you are looking for A+ quality in every field, you may want to look somewhere else. All in all these headphones do their job as a great set of cans to take places where you could break or lose them, due to them being rather cheap and still decent.


If you can afford better for at home use only, DON'T bother with these. Go look at some 558's or something.


Pros: great value, very comfortable, velour padding, lightweight, surprisingly durable, detachable cable, best design of the Sennheiser HD 4xx series

Cons: not for bassheads, cheap build, might feel like on-ears to those with large ears, comes with no carrying case, sound isolation is adequate at best

First of all, I am by no means, a critical audiophile with a trained ear, so don't expect this review to have an in-depth breakdown of the sound.  I'm merely a college student that enjoys listening to my music.  I have had the Sennheiser HD 439 for four months and here's my review:


For its price range, the comfort is unmatched.  I have worn them nonstop for 4+hours everyday (well mostly everyday) for the past four months and I always experience no discomfort whatsoever.  I don't even feel the weight of the headphones pressing on my head when I put them on and I have a pretty small head.  These are easily much more comfortable than the other headphones that I own, the Ultrasone Pro 750 and UE 6000, by a large margin  Also, the cable is detachable and that's a nice feature and a pretty rare one to find on headphones under 100$.  In addition, you can buy a replacement cable from Sennheiser's website for relatively cheap so all is not lost if your stock cables get messed up.  As for the design, the HD 439 is definitely not for those looking to make a fashion statement, but I believe that its design is the best looking out of the Sennheiser 4XX series.  As for durability, these headphones can take quite a beating.  I have had the cord of the headphones yanked several times, I have accidentally dropped them on the floor 3 times and I stuff it inside my backpack (with them inside its own pouch) all the time and these headphones are still alive and kicking and they still sound fantastic. 


Sound-wise, these are not the headphones for bassheads... period.  THERE IS bass, however, it is not boomy, punchy, or in your face at all.  If I listen to a hip-hop song on my UE 6000 with ANC, I can definitely hear much stronger bass compared to the HD 439. Once again, I apologize for the inability to breakdown the sound further with the various terminology, but as a non-critical casual listener, I find that they sound fantastic for its price.  However, The HD 439 sounds just as great as the UE 6000 on passive mode and they definitely sound better than the more expensive Bose AE 2.  I can't comment how they sound amped, but they sound great unamped and I don't think it's necessary to pair them with an amp. The HD 439 really shines with mellow and laid-back genres of music and I find that they sound great with progressive, soft rock, r&b, soul, lounge, chill out, chillwave, downtempo, ambient.  Don't get me wrong, these are still fantastic and versatile all-arounders if you listen to multiple differing genres of music.


What closed-back headphones under $100 other than the Sennheiser HD 439 offers great overall sound quality, sound great unamped, are extremely comfortable, has velour padding and premium comfort, has an effectively simple design, and has the option of a detachable cable?  If you can't answer that question and are looking for headphones that have all of the features that were just mentioned, your search should end with the HD 439.


Pros: Great sound quality, very cocmfortable

Cons: plastic, weak build. may fall off from your head

after weeks and weeks of reading the reviews, i decided to give it a go and test this headphones in a concept store and eventually bought them. my first impressions were, these are veeery comfortable im telling you. i had pleathers before this one and for about less than 2 hours my ears starts to heat up and sweat. i use this for like 4-5 hours with taking it off whenever i will talk to someone here in my office but thats it. in short, this is so comfortable it can stay in your ears for quite awhile. 


build quality is is mediocre. i expect more for a $100 cans. these are all plastic and if you have heavy hands, you might break them...i think same as hd 598's? (correct me pls if im wrong). they have detachable cables. i use the longest one if im using this as an FPS gaming headphone. 



of course for the sound quality. some bassheads will probably get dissapointed. it has bass, but not those skullcrashing bass. its more of clear bass. very balanced. highs and mids are great. and this cans are veeeery versatile. you can use them in any music you want. i use them on hiphop and rnb's, rock, alternative, power ballads, mellow songs, piano, acoustic versions and my all time favorite for these cans....REGGAE. i dont know if its just me or these cans sound very very nice on reggae songs.


balanced sound, has bass but not skullcrashing, very comfortable. these cans are a must have. but you might not want to use during workouts or listening to music while doing headbangs because they might fall off.  and you might want to purchase a portable amp. but thats just me. for others these cans are good without them but i find it better with a FiiO e6 attached to it

Sennheiser HD 439 Headphones

For a combination of streetstyle and prowess, the HD 439 closed-backstereo headphones are the choice. These headphones offer you the world of audio with a bold and revolutionary design, including a chrome inner lining and black mesh turbines. Delight in an enhanced and outstanding bass performance. Featuring two detachable single-sided cables, you will be able to find the cable length that distinguishes you apart from others. Make a firm statement with the HD 439 and feel the difference.

FeatureOptimised for portable audio includingMP3, CD players, iPad, iPod and iPhone
Height9 inches
Length8 inches
Weight0.93 pounds
Width3.6 inches
List Price$99.95
ModelHD 439
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
TitleSennheiser HD 439 Headphones Black
Warranty2 yrs
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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