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.