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Sennheiser HD 449 Headphones Black

86% Positive Reviews
Rated #190 in Over-Ear

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Posted

Pros: Great detailed sound, very modern looking, good isolation, feel solid in the hands

Cons: So far not good with all genres (especially ones with electric sounding instruments), padding feels stiff

I'm not experienced in this field so I will mostly talk about the characteristics of the headphones that don't have to do with sound.  But I will still talk about the sound as best to my abilities.  I also would take my descriptions of the sound as a generalization rather than specifics because I said before I have little experience and would hardly call myself an "audiophile".

 

Packaging and Accessories

Comes in a simple plastic box surrounding the headphones.  Nothing to write home about.  You get a carrying bag with a pull rope to close it.  It seems to be durably made of fabric and so far has seem to make a nice plus for its portable use.  However its not a hard case, so I don't feel entirely comfortable throwing it in a backpack without being aware of what I do with that backpack.

 

It comes with an extension cable with a 1/4" adapter for other uses besides portable use.

 

Build

The structure of these headphones are plastic.  There is some metallic material (most likely aluminum) on the cups with "Sennheiser" embedded into them.  Though it seems like it only serves a service to the looks of the headphones

 

They don't feel very flimsy, so they are sturdy in the hands.  They may seem flimsy but its only the cups using their adjustment abilities

 

The cable is just, a cable.  It hasn't tangled too much but doesn't seem tangle resistant in any way.  Not terribly durable either, I'm not comfortable with bending it in an unnatural position.

 

One complaint I have is that the padding is already starting to rip within the cups.  Quite a surprise.

 

EDIT: Accidentally dropped these from about 4' to a tiled floor.  I was expecting some kind of damage, maybe a scratch, possibly a dent.  But they seem to have made it out unscaived which was a nice surprise.

 

EDIT: Looks

I think I should talk about this briefly.  If you like the looks of these from the picture, you will like them even more in real life.  Very simple, yet appealing design.  The cups are simple and flat.  Very modern, not radical, looking.  Sometimes I take these off just to look at them.  I also notice people look at them while I'm wearing them occasionally, and not in a bad way.  This is a plus for some people, especially portable use.

 

Adjustability/fit/comfort

The band won't fall and do a 180 on the floor, but I would be surprised if it couldn't extend to a pretty large head.

 

The cups swivel left right, and fall in and sit back.  So it should adjust to whatever shape head you have.

 

Now how do my ears fit inside the cups?  They aren't very shallow so the farthest parts of my ears do touch the bottom. However, they put a nice fabric at the bottom and does not bother me in the bit.  But continuing, my ears do touch the sides of the padding, which can get irritating at times.  But in general my ears are quite comfortable.

 

These headphones feel very light, and almost like they're not there when you wear them minus the cups.

 

The padding on the top band is very soft and has so far not been uncomfortable.

 

The padding around the ear is a bit stiff, however the headphones themselves don't apply much pressure and it doesn't feel "too" uncomfortable.  And in general the headphones themselves feel comfortable and I have fallen asleep with them on a few occasions already with no problems.

 

Now as far as the sealing is.  There isn't much pressure like I said, so the padding doesn't push into your head, which is a good thing sense the padding doesn't feel all too comfortable.  But they do seal completely.  The best way I can describe it is "a car door that didn't close all the way".  Its fine, it works, but it could be closed more.  However this is my head and might be different for other people.

 

One thing I can let you know is that several people at school have already tried these, and have all found them comfortable.

 

EDITS:  After going to sleep with these a few more times, I notice that the headphones tend to slip a bit off your head.  I believe this is due to the low clamping pressure in them.  These defiantly aren't for jogging/gym as I can easily shake them off my head without much effort.

 

I don't know if I'm adjusting to the pads or the pads are they're loosening up, but I am able to wear these for longer periods of time.  I'd say my longest (conscious) session was about 4 hours, however the padding does seem to get irritating around 3 hours.  One thing I have been doing is taking my palm and pressing on the padding about 100 times each, left and right, each day.  I'm not sure if this is causing them to loosen up, or even do anything, but they do seem more comfortable now.

 

Isolation/leakage

The isolation is adequate.  I was in a rather chatty classroom, with about five people just a couple feet away from me, and my music was obviously the dominant sound at a regular volume.  I would have to describe my environmental sound as background noise.  You can hear it, but not notice it most of the time.  Was really happy for this as these main purpose for me were portables.

 

There is very little leakage.  In a silent room, people just a few feet away don't notice the noise to a bothering level.  And in a room with talking going on, it was almost non-existent.  Another great thing for me.

 

Sound

According to Sennheiser, the sound is identical to the HD 448's

http://www.facebook.com/SennheiserUSA/posts/10150511309064817?notif_t=feed_comment_reply

 

I will say this again.  I am not very experienced with these kinds of things, but I will still try to describe the sound as best as i can.

 

The sound is general can be said in 4 words.  Neutral, balanced, detailed, impactful.

 

I really like the sound of these headphones.  The lows, mids, highs, all sound like they should as far as my experience with sound goes.  No exaggerated bass, no harsh highs, and very detailed across the spectrum. Another comment I can make is the detail.  I listen to lossless audio so the whole recording is there.  However, I have heard things that I never heard before on headphones with my current library.  In some ways its bringing a new liveliness to them.

 

The bass is probably my favorite part of the headphones.  I own a pair of XB500's, real bass heavy and I still listen to them.  However, the exaggerated bass in some ways wasn't for me.  The Sennheiser's bass is much different.  First off I noticed much less, makes sense its a more balanced pair of headphones.  But in genres that aren't bass heavy, such as jazz, classical, classic rock, R&B, I much prefer the bass of these.  With the XB500's the bass was rumbly and I felt like it more of an over powering kind of sound.  With the Sennheisers the bass is more of a punch, kind of "let's just get to the point" kind of bass, and hits you with the sound.  Again, I'm not very experienced with audio-reproduction technology and I'm trying to describe the sound as best as I can, but all I can say is that I really like the bass and usually leaves me with a smile because it feels like it fits into the music so well.

 

However, these aren't perfect.  I would not recommend these if you like to listen to genres like hip-hop, house, dubstep ect... I much prefer the XB500's for these genres for the bass that really fills in the song.  I'd say after listening to deadmau5's 4x4=12 album with the Sennheisers, everything felt empty in some way.

 

The soundstage is nice.  Placement of instruments is obvious, and distinction between them is great and not a "wall of noise".

 

As to not dig myself into a deeper whole of talking about something that I'm quite ignorant to, I'll describe a couple tracks on these from several genres.  So far I only have about 15 hours of burn in through these.

 

This is coming straight out of an iPod Classic 7th gen unamped.

 

EDITS:  As far as driving these things with my iPod, its fine.  I need to get it up to about 70%-80% volume for it to get to an normal volume.  I also noticed my iPod is drained of its batteries much faster then with my XB500's (which need the volume to be at around 50%).  However it can defiantly power them, which is what I expected since these things were meant to be portable.

 

I found the sound signature very different out of my laptop.  The sound card only says "Intel High Definition Audio", which from my knowledge is a pretty basic sound card that comes stock in many computers.  I much prefer the sound out of my iPod.

 

I Was curious and listened to lower bit rate audio.  After listening to a bunch of 128 kbps AAC they handled them nice and was not able to here the imperfections of the audio file.  This was also expected from these headphones because again, they are meant for portable use, since in general, audio files on portable devices are at a lower bit rate for space concerns.

-Adele: Rolling in the Deep: smily_headphones1.gif Intro comes in really nice.  Acoustic is really settle and detailed, making a nice feeling.  Then Adele's voice comes in, sounds VERY nice.  You can hear a bit of an echo, making it sound like she's really in a room signing. Then a nice beat from the drums comes in, very nice and impacting.  Really gets your foot tapping. Then starts the chorus.  Piano feels distorted, and there is less distinction from it and between other instruments, hopefully this will improve with more burn in.  Background signers are obviously separated from Adele, drums start playing some more and are really nice and detailed.  Everything sounds nice at this point.  Then Adele yells a high note and the piano makes it sound rumbly, bad sounding at this point.  In general pretty nice sounding.

 

EDIT: Got some more burn in and the piano doesn't sound as bad, and doesn't mess with the sound of Adele and the other instruments as much.  But still bad.  I'd say it when from "I want to take the headphones off" to "Let's try another song".

 

-Cross Canadian Ragweed: Dimebag: dt880smile.png  Electric guitar starts out, very clear and I can actually hear it fade over the the other side of my head.  Then comes in another one, more fast paced.  Both guitars sound clear and detailed.  Then comes in the drums, you can really feel the thump, shingles are nice and clear.  Then the vocals come in and are nice and detailed and leave me smiling.  Bass guitar is really nice to hear and is really setting a nice tone.  Every instrument was clear, detailed, could hear sound I didn't hear before. Just sounded great throughout the whole song.

 

After hearing more from Cross Canadian Ragweed, every song sounded great.  Especially the drums.

 

-Ella Fitzgerald: Dream a Little Dream of Me: dt880smile.png Trumpet comes in leading and is very nice and detailed.  Followed by several other jazzy instruments, all have good placement.  Then Ella starts signing...WOW, really liking the sound of her this time around.  Already hearing many details I didn't notice before.  Somewhat hard to describe the change of her voice, but much better than what I've heard before.  Then Louis Armstrong comes in.  I'd say he sounds very clear, maybe not as much of an improvement in detail from before as Ella, but still a lot better.

 

-Elvis Presley: If I Can Dream: dt880smile.png Just everything left me with a smile.  Presley, trumpet, xylophone?  not sure I didn't even know of this sound before in this song, organ, bass, guitar, drums.  Everything was really clear, and just sounded excellent.

 

-Mozart: Horn Concerto #3 In E flat K 447 - 1. Allegro:dt880smile.png Lows and mids sound really nice and detailed, and highs are all crisp.  Really linking the sound of the french horn in this one.  Strings are very detailed and shine in this song.  Everything had good placement.  Can't really say anything bad as far as my limited opinion goes.

 

EDIT: -Paramore: Misery Business:triportsad.gif then went to smily_headphones1.gif Hayley Williams sounded great.  Drums sounded great.  Bass sound really nice.  But I think the guitar really killed this song.  It didn't sound distinctive, and messed with the clarity of the whole song at some times.  Just not what I expected.  But after some burn in it really improved.  Ended up sound good like everything else.  However, these things just really don't sound like they are the best choice for this genre.

 

 

Now to try dubstep

 

-deadmau5: 4x4=12: frown.gif Opening bass sounds different, not quite as smooth.  after that rises, comes in a guitar.  like the sound of it.  The bass behind it doesn't sound as powerful as it usually sounds.  Then the drops starts, everything just isn't as "I NEED TO DANCE!" as it did on the XB500's.  Though it sounds clear, I much prefer the XB's on this track.  One thing I can say though is that the bass was much more impactful.  But in general I thought the song was lacking something.

 

Conclusion

Just one last time, this is my first review, I'm no expert, I haven't tried very many headphones, to put it into perspective these are the best headphones I've listened to.  So you can tell I don't know "much".  But hopefully I can help you put a generalization of the sound and a pretty good idea of the physical headphones themselves into perspective.  Perhaps you've listened to XB500's before and can use the comparisons I made to help also.

 

Sturdy, decently comfortable, nice portables because of isolation/leakage, high frequencies come out clear, everything is detailed, bass is really nice and has a thump to it, not so much headphones for modern rock/bassy/electronic music.  More for classical/jazz/classic rock.

 

Hope this helps in some way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted

First, I should note that I auditioned these both straight out of the box, without any break-in time and then later after 53 hours of break-in. Recent scientific studies have shown definite differences between new headphones and used headphones in frequency response; of course, "better" is a subjective impression outside the realm of science, but the studies confirm that reviewers are not imagining things. I heard no significant sound difference in this case, other than perhaps a little overall smoothness (so these are not phones that require major break-in to sound their best - unlike some others).

My overall impression is that the HD449's are a very versatile and enjoyable product, especially in this price range.

Pros:

* Excellent midrange response - the timbre reproduction of the instruments is very good (meaning that the instruments sound close to their real life sound, if the recording is good). Not reference quality, but excellent for this price range.

* Excellent balance of bass/midrange/treble. You never get the sense that there is too much of any particular frequency, in other words, it never seems overly bright, or recessed, or overly bassy - unless, of course, the actual recording is that way.

* Classic Sennheiser easy, smooth sound, but without the "veil" often associated with that (evidently they have been working on tweaking this).

* Very good "pace" and "rhythm". A compelling dance track will get your toe tapping.

* Very good stereo imaging - especially for closed back headphones. Instruments are placed accurately from left to right, and from front to back. Depth (front to back) is not very deep, but that is typical of closed back headphones, and also hard to find in affordable ones.

* Excellent for a wide range of music types. As you can see from the tracks listed at the end, I verified that these have good sound quality with any music style.

* Relatively portable. Sennheiser seems to have this as a major design goal for this product, since it is relatively lightweight and compact for a full size audiophile headphone. It also has a single sided, short cord for use with ipod, phone or tablet (with the standard smaller plug for those), and then includes a nice 5 foot extension and 1/4" adapter for use with audio receivers. This is a much better solution that the HD202 which includes a massively long two-sided cord that is always in the way.

* Includes a cloth drawstring bag for protecting and carrying the headphones.

Cons:

* Sennheiser seems to reserve the really nice earpads for the price range just above this model. These come with a practical and durable soft fake-leather material backed with a good - but not great - foam. If you wear glasses, this will be a little more apparent, since these pads don't give as well as the better quality ones found in the HD558 or RS180, and so glasses make the pads fit more poorly. Also, the better pads are more comfortable if you are listening for extended multiple hour periods. While these pads are probably standard in this price range, I would be remiss if I did not mention this factor.

* These headphones are probably unique in that they work well with any music style, but conversely, they are not outstanding with any, either. Many professional headphone reviewers advise people to get different headphones for different types of music, i.e. rock phones, hip-hop phones, classical phones, etc. So, if you only listen to one genre, then you might prefer headphones that are particularly suited to that genre. For example, while these do not skimp on the bass in hip-hop tracks, they also do not reproduce bass in the sort of quantity and impact that hip-hop lovers have grown to expect.

* The main difference that I found between these and more expensive models is a coloration of the overall sound that adds a "plastic" quality to everything. This is more subtle than what the words might indicate, and is only noticeable to someone who has heard audiophlie speakers or headphones (because most under $100 speakers or headphones have the same quality). And, of course, there is a level of detail in more expensive models that you do not get in these or other more affordable products (with the exception of a few pro products like the AKG K240 that have exceptional detail, with some other tradeoffs that make it unsatisfying for everyday enjoyment.)

Album/tracks used in evaluation:

Alison Krauss & Union Station - Paper Airplane (hdtracks)
Miles Davis - Kind of Blue SACD
Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon (MFSL CD)
N.W.A. - Straight Outta Compton (20th Anniversary)
Mozart - Violin Concertos (Marianne Thorsen) (hdtracks)
Galactic - Crazyhorse Mongoose
Mozart - Sinfonia concertante (Julia Fischer) (hdtracks)
Lil Jon - "Outta Your Mind"
Andreas Vollenweider - White Winds
Derek and the Dominos - Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (hdtracks)
Buena Vista Social Club - Buena Vista Social Club (hdtracks)
Opus 3 Test Record "Depth of Image"

Previous headphones owned (not used in this review): Sennheiser HD590, HD518, HD424x, RS180, CX300II, Shure SE215, AKG K240DF

Equipment used: Custom built home theater PC using cPlay audiophile music player and HRT MusicStreamer II asynchronous DAC (an excellent product and outstanding value) into an Onkyo home theater receiver.

Posted

Pros: Great highs, well-defined mids, balanced lows

Cons: Can't handle lows that well

Great for 

Posted

Pros: Light weight (compared with previous, with batteries).

Cons: High frequency/ techno vocals hurt my ears; flat/unexciting sound (missing low and mid-range?)

I just bought them (89€) and compared with my 50€ Wireless Philips... so dissapointed. With these 449 the high ferquencies hurt my ears, and the techno songs I had on my youtube playlists seem so flat. I try back with the half-of-their-price Philips and the exciting and uplifting sound comes back.

 

Next workday I'll be returning them.

 

Update:

1-No amp. Directly plugged to my macbook. That is not important: if my wireless Philips SHC5100/10 almost half-priced sound great in it, these HD449 should too.

2-Mistake? Every model of headphones have good and bad opinions, depending of the person likes and the type of music. In the shops of your city you have an isolated cabin to try the products? Great for you.

3-why roll eyes when talking about youtube playlists? I listen to the songs I like and they sound different (worse).

 

I am doing a moderate "break-in" as I've read in some webs (moderate volume, differents music styles, silences). If it's true, nice; if not, I lose nothing trying it, so don't blame on it.

I have found a single song that sounds great with the Philips, and when I put the 449 I find that clearly sounds worse, and the vocals and high instruments hurt my ears (yes, real). Seems that I'm not the only one with this issue with Senn HD4XX. If that does not improve in 10 days I'll return (or exchange).

 

Update for bonami2

"Good headphone will make youtube sound crap lol it compressed to death" --> and how does the compression make the simpler Philips sound great? Come on, man.

Also, my ears hurs after some hours; I imagine the cushion/foam needs to adapt.

 

Last update: finally I got Sony MDR-V55 after trying some at the audio store. That is music!!!

Posted

Pros: Good isolation. Extension cable and pouch are nice touch

Cons: None so far, than again, what do I know

Just got the headphones. It took me a great deal to settle with them as these are my first headphones in this price-range.Till now I was using the HD201 headphones from Sennheiser, but wore off the last pair so decided to try out something new.

Confort

As other Sennheiser models, earcups rotate and tilt. Headstrip is padded, and adjustable in length, gives a good but not too firm grip. I have a big head and they fit me perfectly.
The earcups are oval and a bit small. It takes some time to adjust them, once there it's confy for an hour or two, but not a headphone to wear all day, not for us with big ears.

Sound

I'm not a conaisseur, so don't expect me to say things like "even frequency response" or "a bit weak in the mid range". It's ok for me.

 

Isolation

That's where the HD 449 shines, one of the reasons I bought this one. Even when I listen to nothing, my surroundings seem like a distant place. When one talks to me, I notice it but don't understand a word. I listen on low levels, so no complains about leakage.

Design

Mostly medium to crappy plastic, same as the cheaper HD201. But it can last. Chord going only to one side makes it easy to wear.It comes with an extension cable, without it (around 120cm), the headphone is good for use with laptops or on the street.

While giving only 3 starts it's a better headphone than any of my previous ones from the 20-30 USD range, I just am not sure what to expect for this price.

Posted

Pros: Lightweight, Neutral, Balanced, Stylish

Cons: Cheap build quality, Flat/unexciting sound, Low sensitivity, Narrow ear pads

I'll give a quick overview of my thoughts on the 449's here, but if you want a full review, you can check out a complete breakdown here:

 

HD 449 Review

 

My quick thoughts on the HD 449 is that it has a decent sound in that it's tonally accurate as it has a very neutral sound.  The bass, midrange and treble are all well balanced throughout the volume range but overall the sound just lacks that level of detail that gets you tapping your feet and nodding your head.  The one huge plus of the HD 449's is they are super lightweight.  You'll barely notice these things on your head.  To get more detailed information check out the review above, and for more headphone reviews check out my main site:

 

Headphone Reviews

(http://www.headphonereviewhq.com)

Posted

Pros: Great Clear Highs, Great Clear Mids, Excellent Clarity

Cons: Slight Bass but still Good and Better than HD 448

NOTE: Not for Bass Heads, you will not be satisfied smile.gif

 

 

Sennheiser HD 449 Headphones Black
Description:

Sennheiser's HD 449 stands out from the crowd with its striking, kink design and high-quality audio reproduction. Delivering detailed sound and clarity, both indoor and outdoor with its advanced acoustic system, these headphones are guaranteed to please. Its design ensures a comfortable fit around your ears and isolate against ambient noise. Completing the package are gold plated plugs, extension cable and adaptor for excellent connectivity anywhere.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandSennheiser
Colorblack
EAN0615104218093
FeatureOptimised for portable audio includingMP3, CD players, iPad, iPod and iPhone
Height9 inches
Length8 inches
Weight0.95 pounds
Width3.6 inches
LabelSennheiser
List Price$119.95
ManufacturerSennheiser
ModelHD 449
MPNHD 449
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
PublisherSennheiser
StudioSennheiser
TitleSennheiser HD 449 Headphones Black
UPC615104218093
Warranty2 yrs
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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