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Sennheiser HD 428's or HD 202's?

Poll Results: Which should I pursue?

  • 33% (5)
  • 66% (10)
15 Total Votes  
post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm torn as to which I should get. I like the looks of the 202's, but I get the feeling the sound reproduction and bass is better in the 428's. What do you guys think? Which set is better?


P.S.: I listen to Club, Dub, Dance, Trance, and Alt. Rock

post #2 of 11

No contest, get the HD428 or better yet, HD438 if you like a bit more bass.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

the HD438's are a bit too expensive for my budget. And the weird thing is the HD202's are higher ranked on here.

post #4 of 11

Eh, the HD202 are ok for their price, but in a lower league compared to the HD4X8 cans. Nevermind the rankings, better check out reviews. Btw, the HD428 and HD448 are almost identical in SQ and frequency response.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

So I'm burning in my 428's right now, because they sound like shit compared to my friend's 202's which I sampled earlier. Please tell me they will improve beyond the 202's after the burn...

post #6 of 11

That's a bit of an over-reaction, don't you think? What makes you say they're that bad? The lack of bloated, muddy bass? Give them a proper listen, then go back to the HD202, if you can stand them.

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

Not really, the highs were popping and cracking, there were pieces of the mid range that were simply missing, and there was no bass whatsoever. Now that I gave them a good burn in, however I'm pretty satisfied. Sound is clean all the way through, with some pretty sharp uppers. The bass is still way low for me, but I'm a basshead, so it's more than enough for the a normal listener. All in all not a bad set in the slightest.

post #8 of 11

Ah, well, if I'd known you were a basshead I would have told you to steer clear of these cans. The bass is a bit lacking, it's true, such sweet and detailed midrange is hard to find at this pricepoint. 

post #9 of 11

I have little grasp of the details of sound and I am trying to understand why you like 428 over 202. I have both with me (both new) and 428 just sounds like the sound has been muffled across the board and not just the bass. Cranking up the volume just increases the intensity but it still sounds muffled to me. There are songs (classical and rock/metal) that overwhelm me in 202 but in 428 it feels like I can hardly hear anything. Unfortunately I cannot describe it technically which is why I would appreciate your input on this.

post #10 of 11

202, no doubt.  As with guna, I own both sets of cans.  I work professionally with music, and I have paid a lot more for much worse pieces than the 202s.  I use them 2 to 4 times more often than my 428s and I don't have to worry about spending $$$ if something happens to them in transport.

In fact, this is my second set of 428s, and I'm still on my first set of 202s.  Don't let the higher "edition number" fool you, the 202s are no entry-level pieces.  I have much more bass and quality sound range on my 202s than I've been able to get out of my 428s.  I actually soldered together a home-made (CMoy) headphone amp because my 428s just weren't putting out the sound, even with everything maxxed out.  But let's be serious, the fact that you're looking at two pairs of Sennheisers means you know you're getting good stuff either way.

I'm not saying the 428s are bad, but for the money I'd buy 2x 202's (though you likely won't need them.  They're pretty tough.)

As an added bonus, I'm 6'3 and 180lbs, so I'm tall and rather linear.  The 202's fit my head profile much better than the 428s.

PS:  If you know how to operate a true equalizer, you'll easily make up for the "shortcomings" in bass levels these people are complaining about despite the fact that I've never had an issue with it.  Though now I'm wondering if several of us just received bad sets of 428s... and me twice.  Either way I'm voting for the 202s. 

Edited by Jbowed - 7/25/11 at 11:28pm
post #11 of 11

202, hands down!

I came to this thread because I just did an unintentional A/B listening of these 2 at work, and I'm very puzzled about how the lower numbered 202 model sounds so much better than the higher numbered 428 and started looking into it.


However, if not amped though, 202 experience is not enjoyable at all compared to 428.



I just took both headphones home to my better dac/amp set and the sound quality differenct became even more obvious.

202 is a lot better sound quality wise than 428 when amped.

Edited by lotonoro - 9/26/13 at 11:27pm
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