Pros: Comfortable, removable cable, 10 and 4 foot cables
Cons: Mediocre build
I had to make a choice ladies and gentlemen. The Sennheiser Hd 439 or the AKG K-240s. After hours of video watching, review reading, and talking to friends, the hd 439 came out on top. In part because of the fact I got them refurbished for 60 bucks, and because of some common problems people had with the K-240s. After a few days of burning in, I feel safe saying that I made the correct choice. I'll do my best to give you an accurate representation of the Sennheiser HD 439s. Lets start of with the Negatives (that way you'll finish with the good stuff, and a smile :D) namely the build quality. These headphones aren't built incredibly well, considering the 100 dollar price tag. The plastic is the same as the HD 201 (for those of you who don't know those are a 20 dollar headphone). That being said, there may be metal reinforcements inside the headphone. One part of the build that I was happy (and surprised) about is the detachable cable. These are one of the two >100 HD headphones with this feature. Basically these headphones aren't made for snowboarding. I think they will do fine in daily commute (even the hd 201s did). Well thats all for the cons, lets move on to the good stuff.
This headphone features a type of padding I have never had touch my ears. Its a plush, and breathable cloth that reduces sweat by 100% compared to plastic or pleather. The cups encompass my ears completely. This allows the headphone to rest completely on my head, and not my ears. This creates extreme comfort, as an over ear should. After about 2 hours I started to notice the pressure of the headband a bit, but not enough to make me take them off. Overall these headphones are very comfortable, not the most comfortable, but no complaints.
The Isolation is next on the list, and I guess I'll throw in cable quality. The isolation is excellent. Being a closed back headphone the only way the sound can really get out is through the pads. I plugged the headphone straight into my ipod for this, no amp, and at 50% volume my dad said he couldn't hear anything. 75% he could here it, but not very much. 100% was noticeable, but this is in a silent room, so in commute, or in any place with people talking, it will be drowned out. Noise doesn't enter these headphones when music is above 50-60 percent (excluding quiet acoustic music, and stuff like that). Quite a few headphones boast superb passive noise cancellation, but these are the second best at it I have ever heard (second to the Shure SRH-840). These easily destroy the Beats by Dre's ACTIVE noise cancellation. Moving to the cable, its nothing special. I noticed heavy cable noise before playing music, which worried me, but didn't end up being an issue at all. any music will drown it out. The headphone includes a 4' cable for daily use, and a 10' cable for hifi use. Any speaker amp's headphone jack will power these well.
Onwards to sound quality. The main reason I chose this headphone over the AKG is because I have come to know Sennheiser as a company who cares an extreme amount about their products sound quality. I have never owned or tried a Sennheiser product that that has disapointed me sound quality wise. The highs are clear, and upfront. The highs are anything but harsh. They do their job without harming the users ears in any way. The mids are extremely crisp and accurate, female vocalist shined right through the mix, making me laugh with pleasure. The low end was a pleasant surprise. When initially reading the box which claims "Extended bass response" I was worried I was going to get sickening bass. I misunderstood one word. "Extended". Sennheiser really spent their time making the bass clear, responsive and accurate. The bass isn't upfront, or sickening by any means. The sound stage is as good as open back headphones of the same 100 dollar price tag, making the experience of wearing these headphones a real treat. I also have to mention that the instrument separation is excellent as well. I heard things I never expected possible with 100 dollar cans. These headphones provide a refined sound experience that blew my expectations away.
My Ipod nano (which ever one has the camera) couldn't quite drive these, but when I added my fiio E6 to the mix, the headphones really shined. I plan on using these for everything from daily use in school to Live mixing at concerts. I am extremely happy with this purchase and hope they last me forever. I would pay 100 for these in a second, but the 60 dollar price tag certainly helped. I suggest everyone have a pair, even if just to use as a portable headphone.
EDIT: I didn't mention it before, but these headphones look pretty nice. Most of Sennheiser's products aren't eye pleasing, but these are an exception. You won't be ridiculed by your peers for wearing these, don't worry.