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Looking at Sennheiser HD 449s

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Edit: I should clarify, I'm not sure if these are full size or on ear headphones, I've seen websites list them as either, but I do prefer full size ones, in case you want to recommend an alternative.


If you're a TL;DR person, skip this paragraph. I'm really just getting into high quality audio and I love it, I have a Sansa Clip Zip (4GB) that's filled with only FLAC music, much of which I made myself in FL Studio. I currently use Klipsch Image S4 in-ear headphones. I moved up gradually from Skullcandy Hesh, (you can guess how that went) to Bose in ear (just as overrated as they say) to my current ones. My Skullcandy ones were pretty terrible, and I even listened to MP3s for most of their life. Then I found out about lossless audio, and fell in love as I always hated nasty artifacts in MP3s and WMAs etc. My Dingoo could already play FLACs, I was lucky, and didn't know how rare FLAC players are (I assumed iPods could without apps/Rockbox) so I just needed to get some cash for good headphones. I used my Skullcandy ones for a bit until they broke, the store was nice enough to lie to Skullcandy and say it was a defect (they're all dysfunctional) and replace them with some fruity looking things that were apparently the same type. Those snapped shortly afterward, but I knew to gorilla tape them this time, and sold them for $15 (too much, even though I paid $50) They surprisingly work well for my friend after like 2 years. I hardly noticed the difference between MP3s and FLACs with those things, but I still got rid of my MP3 collection. I was then extremely impressed with my Bose in-ear headphones, which were $100. Not that much more for how much better they are. They worked for less then a year until sound stopped coming out of the left bud, at which time all the rubber on the jack and under the buds was falling out. Then I got my current Klipsch Image S4 headphones not too long ago, and they've worked amazing up until now, the right one has too much bass and is quieter then the other, and crackles at medium volumes, while the left one ironically lost bass, but doesn't crackle or anything major. I've tested this with sine wave sweeps and switched ears, players and all that, its definitely the headphones.



TL;DR or otherwise:

So, issue is, my Klipsch Image S4s are good enough quality for me but they're almost junk now and getting worse fast. I've been looking at over ear ones, my only concern is if other people can hear them when the volume is up (stupid issue, don't care much about it) Are the Sennheiser HD 449 headphones a good choice? I don't want to overpay, I'm 17 and have no job, and I also don't want to buy something like the worst possible choice of the brand when there's better alternatives at better prices, or they're prone to failure or something stupid, because I figured somebody here would know. Also, there might be a huge quality difference, because I've never heard anything better then my S4s, and maybe I should work more for my parents to get even more expensive ones.


Thanks for reading,


Edited by retrotails - 3/15/12 at 7:15pm
post #2 of 7



The HD449 is over-ear, so full size. It's not terrible, but it's not awesome either. It sort of is flying under the radar right now, as most people try to avoid the entire HD4xx series. I tried two of them and it was just disappointment. Sennheiser is a niche market filler, not just a quality headphone maker, they try to capitalize on every market, so you find sub-par stuff with their name on it all over the place. I happen to think there's only a handful of Sennheiser headphones as it is. But that's my bias. I felt like the HD4xx series was flimsy, toy-like, and not that comfortable. Sound quality was decent, but nothing impressive. For the $100ish price tag, there are options in a similar price range that are pretty good though.


What's your total budget? And what kind of sound are you looking for (neutral, bass shy, bass heavy, bright, not bright, etc)?


I would say, within a similar price bracket as the HD449, consider:




Brainwavz HM5

Shure SRH440

Shure SRH750

M-Audio Q40

AudioTechnica A700

Ultrasone HFI 580 (used)

CAD Audio MH310


Open (leak/no isolation):


AKG K240

Samson SR850

Grado SR60i (with L-cush pads)


And really, look around the for sale forum for headphones, second hand is a great way to get the most for your money when on a budget.


Very best,

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

     Well, if something is said to be infinitely better then the Image S4 (I've heard nothing better to compare) I'd probably go up to $200, it's all about how I can budget with my parents... Right now I have a used car with repairs I owe my parents for as well as insurance etc and I work for our business at random times when not at school, and I currently have about... $0.00. It's all confusing. As for the sound, I do usually try to get accurate sounds from songs where heavy bass and treble overlap, so I assume neutral is the best option. I listen to Slayer, Castlevania, classical organ and piano music, chiptunes, a ton of varied stuff. My Klipsch buds seem to sacrafice mids for bass and treble, and the treble can get lost when the bass kicks in, its like an overpowered subwoofer, and they have this worse then my old Bose ones, which were mostly not as good otherwise. I wouldn't think that I'm very destructive, but I've never owned headphones I haven't broken, so build quality may be of importance. Of the links you sent, the "Audio Technica ATH-A700" ones seem the best for the price and my budget (if you want to call it a "budget"...) I've heard they're very good and the frequency response etc. looks great. I don't know why, but if a company, like Sennheiser, makes cheap products as well as good products, I tend to not like them as much as those that specialize in good, expensive products. Like Nissan, they make the Z but also the Versa, so I'd prefer a Porsche of about the same price range and power as the Z, just because all they do is make sports cars. Also, have you ever used in-ear headphones that were anything like mine? Because the only full size headphones I've ever used were made by Skullcandy.... if it's safe to say that word here...

Thanks for your help so far, it's reassuring and helpful to hear from somebody who really knows what they're talking about.

post #4 of 7

The guy above recommends you the shure srh440 , if you do some research you will see that people say the sennheiser HD 428( which is 3rd in line in the sennheiser HD 4XX series ) is better than the shure srh 440 , the sennhesier you chose is good if you like superb sound quality and not too much bass or in simple if you like a balanced and natural sounding headphone go for the HD 449. another headphone that is reputable is the audio technica ath m50 , these are very good monitoring headphones very  detailed and has more bass than the HD 449 . 

the guy above always reviews the HD 4xx series bad f you dont believe me check this out 


he was the only one on the page who gave the sennheiser a bad review .

if you want to know about the 4xx series look for a user named violetta88 , he is an expert when it comes to the headphone . or to make it easier for you :

http://www.head-fi.org/t/441191/new-sennheiser-hd-448  he is the 7th commenter on this page check him out 

Very best !!!


post #5 of 7

depends what music you are listening to.

i recently got the hd449 and after burning it in a bit i find them pretty good.

isolation is decent, though obviously not iem quality.

comfort is great, one of the reasons why i got it over an iem,


like many have said, if you are used to bassy headphones, you will likely feel the bass to be underwhelming.

i mainly use these for classical, however, and do not feel that the bass in bad for such music.


definitely check out the cal! - goes for $70 on amazon and has many vouching for it.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

I'm not sure about Sennheisers since I've never listened to a pair but I got the Audio Technica ATH-M50 headphones... they actually need less power then my old Klipsch IEMs. Also, they're truly amazing. Out of curiosity, I once listened to Monster Beats... twice the price, and they sound like ****. These are amazing. I can't believe the highs I'm hearing from full-size headphones. Thanks for the advice!

post #7 of 7

Coming from the S4, you probably would not like any Sennheiser HD4xx headphone on offer. They all have a detatched, analytical sound that doesn't really sound at all like the S4, which has more of a "fun", mid-bassy sound signature. Out of MalVeaux's suggestions, the M-Audio Q40 would best match that signature. If you like the sound of the S4, a Q40 should do the trick.

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