Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Review : Sennheiser HD 25-1 II
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Review : Sennheiser HD 25-1 II

post #1 of 134
Thread Starter 
I originally posted this review in a local forum ( HeadPhiles - Index ) but I thought why not share it here

-----------

I've had this for a few days now and most of my impressions are based on my experience with this can as a portable solution.



The Sennheiser HD 25-1 II is a closed supra-aural dynamic portable headphone. This is actually the senn flagship when it comes to the portable sealed cup category. The 25-1 II should not be confused with its cousin the HD-25 SP.



Technical Data

Nominal impedance70 Ohm
Load rating0.2 W
Contact pressureca. 2.5 N
Weight w/o cableca. 140 g
Jack plug3,5/6,3 mm stereo
Transducer principledynamic, closed
Ear couplingsupraaural
Cable length1,5 m
Sound pressure level (SPL)120 dB(SPL)
THD, total harmonic distortion< 0,3 %
Frequency response (headphones)16.....22000 Hz



The 25-1 II has dual entry cabling. The original cable actually hangs down from the right side and the original config is seen on the box above. As you can see the cable is assymetrical as the wire that goes on the left side is actually squeezed in between on the grooves of the headband.



Yup the headband splits as seen here. A very interesting and kinda unique feature of this headphone.



I actually didn't bother to take a pic of this headphone in its default stock configuration because after a quick listen, I've always used the extra HD650 cable for this can. The connectors for this headphone is the same as that for the HD650/600/580.

The mids and bass do benefit from the cable change for me, aside from a subtle increase in headstage. Another benefit of the cable change is that the HD650 cable is thicker and more durable than the stock cable.



The package also contains a 1/8" to 1/4" adaptor. It also contains extra pleather pads. But I prefer the velour pads as they are more comfortable.

So lets talk about comfort

Similar to the ESW9, this has a bit of a clamping force. But I learned that you just have to wear it properly. As the ear cups can move along the ear cup holder, you can vary the clamping force. The ear cups should just be at the same level and the clamping force becomes very minimal and this headphone becomes very comfortable, something I can wear for 2 hours or more without my ears becoming sore.



The adjustable headband also helps in making this fit better on your head. Splitting the headband improves in securing this over your head. I usually split the headband when I listen while lying down on bed, and while walking.



The package also contains this bag which doesn't really offer much protection for this headphone. So now let's talk about portablility

It's true what the other reviewers said about this headphone. It is very sturdy and something that you can actually just throw in your bag and not worry about it.

Another thing I like is that while walking, the cables are not microphonic. Plus with the HD650 cable upgrade, Im not afraid of it tangling up with something and getting torn. This is really one heavy duty headphone.



The ear cup with the label is actually the left side while



the one with the screws is the right side. I think this can be unscrewed to let the wire pass in between when in stock configuration.



Well, this headphone is full of tricks as you can actually remove the earcups from the headband. You have to put them back in reverse if you want to use the HD650 cable because you want to put the cables from below, as opposed to the stock config where the connectors come from above.

Anyway, one of the reasons I only wrote this review today is that I wanted to complete my tests on sound leakage and isolation

Sound leakage is minimal to nil. As for sound isolation, it is surprisingly superb when compared to the etymotic er4s. I actually had a chance to use this today on the MRT (local train). It will not isolate as perfectly as the er4s but the outside world was absolutely quiet, especially when you are playing music already. If the er4s can about isolate at about 35db, then the HD25-1 II can do about 30db, which is excellent for a non-IEM. The numbers I stated here are just estimates and I am referring to the passive isolation qualities of the er4s and HD25-1 II.



Another unique feature of this headphone is that the left headband can bend like this. I suppose this feature is more useful for DJs.

So how does this thing actually sound. For this review I used my rockboxed ipod streaming out flac files using Ferds' LOD into a mini^3 high performance version. I listened to my usual JPOP consisting of YUI, Buono, Momusu. Listened to some Brilliant Green and Tommy Heavenly 6, some classical, some OPM songs. As usual, my impressions are my impressions only and YMMV



Listening Impressions

The HD25-1 II is actually the first closed headphone that I've actually had a lot of time listening to. I wasn't expecting much since I have my biases against closed cans.

But I was pleasantly surprised when I started listening. The first thing that struck was that this headphone is very capable of delivering detail. My reference for detail has always been the etymotic er4s. And I was shocked that the HD25-1 II can reveal as much as the er4s, and having more bass at the same time.

If you ask me to compare with the bigger Senns such as the HD650 and HD600. The first noticeable difference is the headstage size which of course falls in favor of the bigger Senns. I would say that the headstage is comparable to the Grado RS-1 in size. In terms of tonality, Id say the HD25-1 II sounds closer to the neutral tone of the HD600.

In terms of presentation, the HD25-1 II is not laid back. Vocals are actually presented upfront with everything just close in the background. Instruments can be clearly be heard, instrument separation is just okay, probably because of the smaller headstage as compared to its bigger cousins.

The mids are not as lush as the RS-1 from what I recall, but they are not recessed. I would describe it actually as kinda aggressive but borderline thin. The bass is one of the things I really like with this can. It has enough bass slam and adequate extension without bleeding into the midrange (but probably not enough for bassheads). The highs, thankfully do not hurt my ears, but they are not recessed. I did not find this headphone to be sibilant.

Nowadays, having heard different headphones and sources, it has become very hard for me to be impressed with a headphone. But that was not the case with the Senn HD25-1 II. I was really impressed with this portable solution to sound this good even though it is a closed headphone. Even harder to believe is that this headphone will scale up depending on your setup. I just heard this with the LDII and the definite increase in headstage when paired to this amp was remarkable. Pairing this up with C-2C enhaces detail, tightens the bass but it makes the mids sound thinner, so it has not displaced my fullsized Senns for home use.

Another thing I would like to mention is that for me, the HD25-1 II is not amp dependent and I've actually had some headtime with this with only the Ipod headphone out as source, and it was driven adequately, but personally I still do prefer amping this.

Overall, the Sennheiser HD25-1 II is a headphone I can easily recommend to someone looking for a good all rounder closed portable can. I think Sennheiser did good with this closed can

I hope you enjoyed reading my review
post #2 of 134
I enjoyed your review thoroughly. Their success in making this headphone probably explains why it is used for monitoring in so many recording studios. Have you seen 'Once'? It's used there in the in studio segments. Cool stuff. When I was trying to decide on a new closed can, it came down to this one, and the Ultrasone 780. I wound up finding a good deal on the 780's which were recabled. I'm very happy with them, but I'm very curious about these still, and will probably wind up purchasing a pair of them used as well.

Thanks for the insightful review.
post #3 of 134
nice review insyte. It makes me want one for my ld mk2. Also tempted to get the new shure closed model when it comes out. wonder how they compare.
post #4 of 134
bass improves with a recable. I really liked these when I had them; and so did the person I leant them to who didnt give them back before leaving the country I almost bought these again the other day when looking for some senns to test cables with, but ended up going HD600 as I have my eye on ED8 for a portable can; but I have a feeling my want for such a headphone will wane when I receive my JH13.

nice review though and I totally agree about the versatility and scalability. they sounded really nice with my pico when I had it, but also even nicer with Lisa III.

X2 on them being indestructible; I dont know what you would have to do to bust these up.
post #5 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by qusp View Post
X2 on them being indestructible; I dont know what you would have to do to bust these up.
Always an admirable quality in a portable can.
post #6 of 134
for sure
post #7 of 134


I miss these already.

They were an ideal portable solution for wintry mornings in the city. I am unsure if I will ever come upon such a sublime combination of comfort (with the velours), isolation, bodied sound, and lightweight durability (seriously, these things are so robust yet weigh next to nothing! as opposed to the ATH-ES** series) ever again.
post #8 of 134
That's it, I'm getting a pair in the FS section here soon.... Thanks for making my wallet even lighter, 3X0.
post #9 of 134
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3X0 View Post


I miss these already.

They were an ideal portable solution for wintry mornings in the city. I am unsure if I will ever come upon such a sublime combination of comfort (with the velours), isolation, bodied sound, and lightweight durability (seriously, these things are so robust yet weigh next to nothing! as opposed to the ATH-ES** series) ever again.
Exactly

Quote:
Originally Posted by cn11 View Post
That's it, I'm getting a pair in the FS section here soon.... Thanks for making my wallet even lighter, 3X0.
I think there is one over there
post #10 of 134
Thanks for a great review, Insyte. I decided to go for the HD 25 after reading this, and I am happy to tell that I am really satisfied!

For me these cans have the perfect combination of SQ, build quality and they are great for both portable and home use. Some say they are expencive, but hey - they will last forever and sound great!
post #11 of 134
I sold the HD25 at one point. Tried a whole bunch of other portable options including IEMs. Nothing had the versatality (isolation, ruggedness and great sound for a portable) of the HD25 and so I ended up purchasing another pair a few months ago. The stock cable is crap. Even after replacing the stock cable with a HD6xx cable they sounded a bit too closed. I built a cable with vampire ccc and it really opened the soundstage up, treble is smoother and bass is tighter. Overall the sound is much smoother now and these are my main portable cans. I absolutely love them.
post #12 of 134
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by adiZero View Post
Thanks for a great review, Insyte. I decided to go for the HD 25 after reading this, and I am happy to tell that I am really satisfied!

For me these cans have the perfect combination of SQ, build quality and they are great for both portable and home use. Some say they are expencive, but hey - they will last forever and sound great!
I'm glad you like them. Yup they are built to last

Quote:
Originally Posted by musicmaker View Post
I sold the HD25 at one point. Tried a whole bunch of other portable options including IEMs. Nothing had the versatality (isolation, ruggedness and great sound for a portable) of the HD25 and so I ended up purchasing another pair a few months ago. The stock cable is crap. Even after replacing the stock cable with a HD6xx cable they sounded a bit too closed. I built a cable with vampire ccc and it really opened the soundstage up, treble is smoother and bass is tighter. Overall the sound is much smoother now and these are my main portable cans. I absolutely love them.
I was considering getting mine better cables too as I think they would scale up. Maybe in the near future when I have some extra money
post #13 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicmaker View Post
I sold the HD25 at one point. Tried a whole bunch of other portable options including IEMs. Nothing had the versatality (isolation, ruggedness and great sound for a portable) of the HD25 and so I ended up purchasing another pair a few months ago. The stock cable is crap. Even after replacing the stock cable with a HD6xx cable they sounded a bit too closed. I built a cable with vampire ccc and it really opened the soundstage up, treble is smoother and bass is tighter. Overall the sound is much smoother now and these are my main portable cans. I absolutely love them.
yeah well both the stock cable (steel for christ sake) and the HD6xx series cables are all junk IMO, doesnt take much for an improvement. I couldnt believe the stock HD650 cable when I got it with the 600; same ballpark as the D2000 stock cable. i'll stop there though; I could go on, but wouldnt be cool.
post #14 of 134
Is anyone able to comment on the sound from these vs. the Audio Technica ATH-M50's?

Sorry if you're seeing this question from me pop up in different locations. I had a hard time deciding between the two and went with the M50's. Just wondering if anyone likes one over the other for any particular reason.
post #15 of 134
I always say if i had only one pair to use for all circumstances, it would be these.

Good bass to keep your average bass head (like me) happy, forward presentation easy to drive with portable gear, and does a very good job of cutting out ambient noise without the need for all that noise cancelling technology. i love 'em, i'd never get rid of them!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › Review : Sennheiser HD 25-1 II