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