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Sennheiser HD 219

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I recently bought the PX 360's and reviewed them. I ended up not keeping them because I had issues with their driving difficulties (I'm very picky with this, for most of you it's probably not an issue, I just don't like carrying an amp). On a lot of my quieter recordings I needed to use an amp. However, I gave them a good review, and if you don't mind using an amp, I still highly recommend them. 

 

Anyway, with the refund, I picked up these little bad boys in the same Best Buy, and I had about $100 left to spare as they are a third of the price of the PX 360's. 

 

I am Incredibly impressed with them. Insanely enough, I actually think they manage to sound better than the PX 360's. I think they reveal more detail than the PX 360's, crazily enough, but I have a feeling some people might say that the HD 219's are just more sibilant. 

 

Let it be known that I actually own the older version of these, the HD 218's. I loved the original 218's sound and design. This design is the exact same, an on ear light weight portable phone reminiscent of the Bose on ear headphones. 

 

The main differences between these and the originals: first, the bass seems to have been reigned in. The original ones had emphasized bass, and it wasn't tight or controlled bass. The bass was very deep and rich, but it gave the overall sound a more distant and dark sound. The HD 219's have fixed this. They still market the headphones as a bass lover's phone, but to me, it's very balanced. The bass is still dark and very deep sounding, but it's less bloated and doesn't bleed into the other layers of sound. It's more akin to the PX 200 II's bass quality, but about twice as present. 

 

The other major difference is that these updated 219's are much easier to drive. They still don't go as loud as my original PX 200's (I can usually only listen to them with my player at half volume because they are just that loud), but they don't need an amplifier to get very loud, and they are easier to drive than the PX 360's that I just reviewed. Compared to the originals, they have a few decibels more headroom, which is good as the original 218's tended to be very quiet cans. 

 

One minor difference is that the treble is a bit more prominent, but only just. 

 

Other than this, the sound signature is the same. The overall sound is airy, dark, and very detailed yet smooth. Treble sparkles more than it did and when listening to Beethoven's 7th symphony, the violins have a very sharp and accurate sound. Sound stage is medium. The PX 360's have a more spacious sound, but the HD 219's have more sound stage than, say, the PX 200's. Things don't sound too close but they don't sound distant. 

 

Mid range detail is as good as it was with the 218s. I can still hear mid range level parts in my rock music, and when I listen to orchestral music, I can hear the second violins and violas as well as the various winds pretty well. In the PX 360 review I brought up the Red Hot Chili Pepper song "me and my friends". There's this funk guitar  pattern that keeps playing most of the song, and on unbalanced headphones it's hard to hear between the bass, vocals, and guitar leads. I can hear them very well on the HD 219s. 

 

As I said, drive ability has been fixed for the most part. I still would have liked a little more head room sound wise for my quieter recordings, but they do very well without an amp. 

 

The sound is not as neutral as the PX line. It's very balanced, but tends to have the darker Sennheiser sound, which I personally love. 

 

Build quality and comfort is the same as the originals, which is a great thing because the initial design and comfort was always great. I can wear them for hours and there's not discomfort. Furthermore, they block A LOT of sound out passively. The originals did this very well too. The ear pads have a fair amount of give and are a sort of pleather material, so they seal well. The effect is one of ear muffs. 

 

Get em folks. Sennheiser is doin' right be me these days. 


Edited by swaffleman - 5/14/12 at 4:10pm
post #2 of 20
Thread Starter 

EDIT: A couple of other things I forgot to mention: The original HD 218's would distort at very high volumes unless amplified. The HD 219's do not do this. 

 

Furthermore, I have done some side by side listening comparing the HD 218's and the HD 219's. What I said above holds true, but also the general clarity of sound has improved with the HD 219's. Things are just more in focus and sharper across the board. This is probably because the HD 219's are more efficient, and their impedance is 16 ohms, compared to 24 with the 218's. 


Edited by swaffleman - 5/14/12 at 7:35pm
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

One con about these is that they are a bit "microphonic." They transmit some noise from walking, when your feet hit the ground. The cord also does this whenever it moves up against something a little. It's not bad at all and a minor problem but I did notice it today when walking. They still work very well as a portable walkin' phone, but I wouldn't recommend them as a running or jogging headphone. Honestly, for those purposes, get the Koss porta pro or the Senn PX 100-200's...or some ear buds/IEM's. 

post #4 of 20

It's good to see that they addressed some of the issues with the original, thanks for the impressions.

post #5 of 20

I have had the original 218's. Nice bang for the buck at $35, though the sound isn't very lively.

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 

A big part of why the sound wasn't lively is because they were really inefficient. I've been doing more side by side listening, and at all times at the same volume on my player, the HD219's are slightly louder and more clear and energetic sounding. The HD 218's have a nice sound, but compared to the 219's, they sound a bit dull. But the basic sound characteristic are very similar. 

 

The 219's really are just a good tweaking of an already good original product. 

post #7 of 20

Have you heard the 229's or the 239's?

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

Nope. I owned the previous version of the 239's, though, the 238's. They were good but I didn't want an open design, so I took them back to get the 218's. They mostly sounded like an open version of the 218's. I never heard the 228's. I didn't think the 238's sounded much better than the 218's given their price difference, and also besides the fact that the 238's had a much more spacious sound. In fact the 238's distorted more than the 218's did, which I found odd. 

 

I will say that the 219's will be the easiest to drive of the bunch, going from the SPL ratings and the impedance ratings. So for me, they are just fine. 

 

EDIT: I'm wrong. Going from specs, the 229's will be the easiest of the three to drive...Hmmm. Gives me an idea. I might have to return my 219's and order the 229's! Best Buy is going to get tired of seeing me returning yet another headphones. LOL. 


Edited by swaffleman - 5/15/12 at 4:51pm
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

I just ordered a refurbished pair of the 229's from amazon. We'll see how they do. 

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by swaffleman View Post

I just ordered a refurbished pair of the 229's from amazon. We'll see how they do. 

 

For how much?

post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 

$29 ish. You can get em new on amazon for not much more than the 219's, at about $56. I also saw a  used pair for around $25, but the refurbished ones still have the warranty. The used ones didn't have the box or anything. 

 

Hopefully I don't get a knock off. I'll be able to tell though. 

post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by swaffleman View Post

$29 ish. You can get em new on amazon for not much more than the 219's, at about $56. I also saw a  used pair for around $25, but the refurbished ones still have the warranty. The used ones didn't have the box or anything. 

 

Hopefully I don't get a knock off. I'll be able to tell though. 

 

Can't imagine there's many fakes with such an un-popular headphone.

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 

Huh, I didn't know they were considered unpopular. I like them a lot, so hey. happy_face1.gif (at least the 219's)


Edited by swaffleman - 5/18/12 at 5:22pm
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by swaffleman View Post

Huh, I didn't know they were considered unpopular. I like them a lot, so hey. happy_face1.gif (at least the 219's)

 

Un-popular as in few people know/buy them in comparison to say the Beats by Dr Dre.

post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Santa View Post

 

Un-popular as in few people know/buy them in comparison to say the Beats by Dr Dre.

Oh, right. I had heard that there were quite a few fake Sennheisers out there though. Is that just for the PX models? But yeah I doubt there'd be a fake version of the HD 229's, seeing as they're brand new. 

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