Sennheiser HD 25-1 II Professional Headphone

Average User Rating:
4.31915/5,
  1. aeromaniac
    4.0/5,
    "Should be the Norm"
    Pros - balanced, isolated, easily repairable, neutral (a bit redundant, no?)
    Cons - clamp force, looks and other aesthetics, accessibility
    Summary: These headphones give an accurate picture of what the producers had in mind when they mixed their music because they have a well-balanced, present, but not over-powering bass.
     
    Songs Used for Listening/Critiquing:
    1. Stuck on You - Michiko
    2. Unlike Any Other - Jeremy Ellis
    3. Garden - Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
    4. Basically, **** You - Deru
    5. Flashlight - Parliament
    6. Creator - Santigold
    7. Petrified - Fort Minor
    8. Jamba - Tyler, the Creator
    9. Ballad of NGB - Stateless
    10. I'll Never Leave You - Rogue Wave
    11. BloodStream - Quartet Session - Stateless
    12. Blue Ridge Mountains - Fleet Foxes
    13. Sunburn - Muse
    14. Rhino - Solander
     
    I know that headphones are truly the best consumer audio market right now, and that's cuz I said so.
     
    Just kidding.
     
    But seriously, not a day goes by where I don't see at least 250+ people with headphones or earbuds on their heads, listening to these ridiculously leaky headphones that tell me more about their music taste than anything else.
     
    Firstly, I think these headphones are quite something else. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but I know that they are amazing. Honestly, words can't describe the satisfaction these headphones bring to the table. I don't think I could describe the sound quite like others do (spacious soundstage, sweet treble, warm mids, supported bass, etc). On a side not, I work in the food industry, specifically coffee, and every day I have to work with coffee from Intelligentsia, people who describe their products with fluffy descriptive, pastoral, and picturesque diction and abstract syntax; I am not that kind of guy. I prefer to describe everything simply and with ease of understanding, so here goes.
     
    These headphones are good. They get the job done. They are utilitarian. They are affordable. They are the PERFECT consumer product because they do everything that a consumer needs.
     
    I own a pair of Sennheiser HD595's as well as Ultimate Ears Triple Hi Fi 10v (or something like that). I have also listened to the Senn. HD598, HiFi Man 500s, the Senn. OCX800, and a variety of Beats, Monsters, and other things. Of those, the HD598, HiFiman, and the Ultimate Ears were my favorite because they had noticeable clarity. They sounded good and didn't give me fatigue. I'm sure some have noticed that when listening to bad headphones, subconsciously or not, you get tired of listening to that music. I mean, if you listen trap music or like Blink 182, MUSE, and other high-gain songs that have massive compression and gain boost on the final mix, then duh of course you'll get fatigued, but I'm talking about Dave Brubeck, Kronos Quartet, and the Hilliard Ensemble. Listening to Stacey Kent's beautifully soft voice is tiresome when I have ****ty headphones on because those headphones don't sound natural, at all. The headphones that I liked were all natural-sounding headphones, with authentic sound that comes with quality engineering and technology.
     
    Then come in the HD 25s. It is an amazing product because it sounds just like all the other headphones I listed above but with more bass. Why is that important? For me, it's very important; my mama always loved Earth, Wind, and Fire, Parliament, Chic, etc. and my dad loves Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Bread, America, Sultans of Swing, etc. My uncle loves Jimmy Hendrix, Beethoven, and Bach (weird mix right?), and I love electronica, rhythmic world music, and folk music. With all that exposure (and rest assured, I listen to all of those genres on all of my headphones, all day, every day), the one common factor between all of them, from Bob Marley to Aphex Twin, is bass. This is pretty obvious, considering the fact that bass notes hit harmonics with higher notes, immediately beefing up the overall density of sound that is produced. For example, when I was in a band and played one of my songs, I'd always incorporate a melodic bass line that runs against the upper register instruments (like the piano), and it never sounded thick or dense, but when the band played solid, unified chords, I was so astonished how much of a difference it made. This subtle, meticulous balance of bass and other frequencies is hard to accomplish, and that's where these headphones shine.
     
    The bass on these headphones are not overpowering to the point where you can't hear other instruments, but they aren't thin like the HD595 to the point where Fleet Foxes sound wispy. They are perfect. They make the MUSIC sound BETTER. Now, I am not a pro audiologist, audiophile, whatever you wanna call it, but I can appreciate a well-balanced, supporting, not overwhelming, not nonexistent bass with a low range that goes all the way down to hit the sub-sonic frequencies in Tyler, the Creator's "Jamba," and these headphones are remarkable.
     
    This is, again, my opinion however, and I think that is an important fact to consider. Some people like powerful bass, some don't, and I am neither of those, so consider my recommendation with a grain of salt. Furthermore, there is no such thing as "best" headphones; that's like saying there is such a thing like the "best" car, "best" steak, or whatever. It doesn't mean ****. Yet I can't help but appreciate how affordable these headphones are; they aren't, say, as cheap as some other headphones, but what you pay for and what you get is remarkable. On top of that, maintenance is super easy! Cables, ear cups, and other parts of the headphone are easily replaceable, a feature I love.
     
    The worst part about these headphones? The looks. See, I think these headphones should be the standard headphone for everyday consumers; it gives accurate pictures of what the producers wanted to make in their labs, so you see an honest, untampered musical idea. Beats, for example, have a stronger emphasis on bass, and so every song will have a bass emphasis, even if the producer didn't want one. But they aren't pretty, and they aren't marketed well. They do really well with professionals, but I have such an itching to have my friends all listen to these side-by-side with their headphones just to open their "eyes" to what's out there. Clamp force is strong, but if adjusted well, it's fine (plus, a good seal on the ears = better bass).
     
    Regardless, thanks for reading my ridiculously wordy, sarcastic, and boring review (just kidding, my reviews are the BEST). I recommend these headphones to anyone who's looking for something that is affordable, accurate, and eye-opening.

    Happy Listening!
  2. The Shane Train
    5.0/5,
    "Buy these. Stop looking for any other headphones. "
    Pros - Amazing sound, split headband, rotatable cups, indestructible, crazy light.
    Cons - Can be uncomfortable after an extremely long time wearing them, but still very comfortable.
    Best headphones I have ever used. Ever. Period.  You will not use better headphones than these.  I directly compared these to Beats Studios the other day and the Beats almost made my eardrums bleed after using my good old Sennheisers.  OK, that was an exaggeration, but you get the point.
  3. RayMusicLover
    4.5/5,
    "Real headphones for 'Music Lovers'"
    Pros - Durable & Hard Wearing, Good Looking, Excellent Sound Quality, Good Sound Isolation,
    Cons - None that I can think of
    OK I've never reviewed headphones before but think that the Sennheiser HD 25-1 II are the perfect set to start out with, I really love these headphones, I think they look good and as for sound quality they are really great all round performers, great bottom end, good mids & good tops. I'm not gonna get technical with bright, dark, veiled, sibilant etc etc. I'm not good with all these terms, my ears tell me I like them, I wouldn't say they were sound perfection but I've yet to find a pair that could be described that way. I actually own/have owned many headphones, all of them have some kind of flaw. If I had to describe the flaw with these I would say they have a 'very slight screechy sound' but they do make up for it with their excellent sound quality & general performance, as I said before personally I think all headphones have some kind of flaw. I hope that my description doesn't put you of because I honestly think these are one of the better headphones available and out perform many at twice the price.
     
    Nowadays I see more and more people wearing them in the streets & I think to myself these are people who care about how their music sounds, I got my first pair in the late 90's for DJ purposes, They are unbeatable. I've dropped them hundreds of times, the worst thing that ever happens is the ear-cups fall off, you just clip them back on again and your back in business, I've trodden on them more times than I care to remember, they've been literally ripped from my head when some fraggle went & got caught up in the cable (this has happened more than once). The cables are really strong. Durability wise these headphones are in a class of their own,
     
    Comfort: They are tight but I wouldn't say excessive, they're not going to fall from your head, I always use them when I'm on my pushbike, safe in the knowledge that they are safe and secure. Sometimes I remove them for a few seconds to give my ears a break but in my opinion they're a comfortable fit, I like the way the headband separates, with a little bit of adjustment you will find the fit that's best for you.
     
    As for portable audio once again I reiterate these are great headphones, they are of low enough impedance to perform well when plugged into an iPod. They are even better when plugged into an amp or my little Hisoundaudio Studio-V (DAP). Yes I do recommend them but I am biased because I totally am in love with them.
     
    Bottom line... You can't go wrong with these headphones, they are highly sought after & have a high resell value, they make men look wise & women look sexy.
  4. hxxh
    1.5/5,
    "Plastic and pinching force is too much, squeeze my head and painful, Sound is ok"
    Pros - Light weight, portable
    Cons - Hate plastic, uncomfortable, painful, not ergonomical , highs are too aggressive
    Sennheiser HD25-II is one of hot model in on-ear headphone. I buy it because of high rating from different users.
    However, i feel very disappointed when I use it.
     
    First of all, the headband structure is too tight. It makes my head painful and can't wear for more than 5 minutes, 1 song?!
     
    Bass, quite strong
     
    Mids - not natural
     
    Highs - clear, but the highs are too aggressive. It hurts my ear when listening for long time.
     
    I can't use it for more than 5 mins because of the headband pinching force. No matter how the sound is, the headphone is useless for a user if they can't use it daily.
     
    Sorry about that. Sennheiser.
    zazex likes this.
  5. shasha
    5.0/5,
    "Calling them a great value is an insult"
    Pros - sensitive, durable, modular replacement parts
    Cons - headband can be a bit tight when new
    I'm pretty far from what I'd consider to be an audiophile.  I know that based on the extremes that people can go with this stuff that I'm never going to bring myself to justifying that kind of obsessive behavior, but I do believe in quality and performance and when you find something that works that the price is usually well worth it.  These headphones are the definition of money well spent.  I had bought blister pack junk in the $50-100 range for years with about every single year requiring replacement.  Not only did they not hold up, but they just never really sounded great.  I think that the sound quality has been discussed to death on these over the years as they are far from being a new product.  The only thing that I'll mention in that regard is that they are one of the most sensitive sets of headphones I've ever heard. When I was shopping for a "big boy" pair of cans I A/B'd every single headphone I could get my hands on and I discovered pretty early on that some of the higher end ones were going to require a dedicated headphone amp.  These do not.  I would be afraid to put an amp through these out of fear of blowing my ears out.  Portable, computers, etc., all drive these to insane volume levels with no problems and to me that means that their amps don't have to work as hard so I have less chance of distortion from overdriving the circuit. 
     
    Perhaps I'm mistaken, but it makes sense to me.
     
    The reason why I'm posting this "review" is because I recently replaced the cord on mine.  Now it wasn't that it wasn't working any longer, but I wanted a coily one so that I wouldn't be running over it with my chair anymore and I came across this place in my online search for a replacement.  It's funny because this was the place that I found when I was shopping for them the first time.  I thought that it would be cool to do a ten year trial period review.  :wink:
     
    I've had to replace the earpads once.  I've replaced the cord with a coily copper one from Sennheiser.  Now I don't get all wrapped up in the oxygen free depleted uranium titanium shielded kevlar cable stuff, but I did notice a marked difference in sound quality.  Not massive, but noticeable.  While I'm sure some will argue that is because of the copper I honestly chalk it up to the fact that the other cable had been run over about 2 million times in the last decade by a chair containing my large backside.  I'd like to see how well you performed after that kind of abuse.  The fact that it still worked in the first place is amazing to be honest.
     
    I'm not an occasional headphone user either.  I'd say that over the course of a month there is probably about 3 days in there that I don't use them.  I have never had a second's worth of problems with them in that time. 
     
    Some people may not like the way they sound.  I love them, but everyone's taste is different.  But I don't think that I've ever owned anything as reliable and if you calculate the money that I spent on headphones prior to buying these I would have saved a few bucks if I had just bought these in the first place.  If you figure out the cost of replacing $50 clunkers over a ten year period it's not even worth considering.  I've not only enjoyed outstanding performance the last decade, but I've actually come out about $250 ahead in savings on garbage.  Subtract about $100 for replacement parts (pads and cable) and I still have $150 leftover and a pair of headphones that are still working as well as they did when I bought them ten years ago.  I don't think that I even have anything in my house that's ten years old anymore (besides my kid and his days are numbered). 
     
    One of the best investments in anything I've ever made and I can't recommend them highly enough.
  6. directmusic94
    4.5/5,
    "Perfect portable headphone for Electronic Music."
    Pros - Clean low end, fun to listen to, detailed sound, high quality, light.
    Cons - Clamping, bad with glasses.
    I love my HD25-1 II Headphones. They are, in my opinion the perfect portable headphone. I am not a huge fan of on-ear headphones but I do quite enjoy them. The sound quality is addicting, they are easily driven by an iPod or iPhone and have quite a bit of low end (perfect for modern electronic music), but when put on a proper amp the low end levels out the headphone becomes much more accurate.
     
    The only real problem I see with them is they have quite a clamping force and when put on with glasses can become very uncomfortable. I use them for a max of 2 hours.
  7. Ulvetann
    5.0/5,
    "Really good stuff"
    Pros - Small, lightweigt, solid, interchangable parts, easy to fall in love with.
    Cons - minor cons. as in easy to look past, due to all the pros.
    Being a non-professional, but a general music lover, My review will probably be in layman's terms, but why not. It will give the perspective from someone that observe music in a different way than the purely analytic fashion.
     
    Once, I had a great home stereo consisting of NAD CD-player, amplifier and B&W speakers with some fancy cabling. -So I am not completely rookie regarding what sounds good and not. Neither am I a person that thinks that resonating boomboxes (cars) driving by is coolz because of lotz of basz. I like to hear all kinds of music. Anything from Mozart'ish music to music 'designed for serious PA-systems'.
     
    Being without my stereo for the longest time and getting tired of the 'noise' rendered by my speakers integrated in the laptop, I figured out it was beyond due time to get myself some headphones. Getting a proper soundsystem is out of the question due to limited space and girlfriend.
     
    First problem was: What am I looking for. Go for a pair that is more fitting for the stuff you listen to the most. If You only listen to classical orchestras and alike, I guess You should stop reading. You need to look for stax-phones. Very Expensive. Only worth having if you are a feinschmecker.
    My playlist when trying out music is stuff like Deep Purple, Child in Time, Roger Waters Amused to Death, preferably the whole album. Nina Simone, Feeling good, Peggy Lee, Fever, Jazz, Blues. That kind.
    That'll tell me wether there is bass at all, if there is decent mid-range, and also if the treble is non-offensive.
     
    By reading a lot of reviews, these phones came out pretty good. Although! -The impression I was given by other reviews were that they were a little expensive compared to the sound given. This was when my critically inclined mental alarmbells went off. Things like being warm, 'muffled', having a 'veil' between the music and ear, making the music feel distant. I then recalled the good old days, where I built my own speakers, -the horror of screwing up the expensive hobby project, just to later have that Aha!- feeling of having to actually 'run in' the speakers before they are able to show off what they are good for.
     
    Eventually, I decided for  these ones. I know Sennheiser from before, and I have never had/heard about any real issues about them before, Not being tempted by any fancy modern bling with buttons, sliders and glossy paper/plastic, I found a dusty box pushed in the back of the shelf.
     
    The reviews were per se correct. warm, muffled, not very precise music. -So I bought them.
    Day one. One big ''Meh. I exchanged the fake skin pads with the velour ones. Much more comfy.
    and playing music, wearing them for six hours, before my ears got physically tired. I have a small head by the way. If you have a full size head, perhaps consider something else. They are a little tight, but I am trying to expand the headband(s) a little by the use of something wider than my head. This is probably the only minor con i have with the HD 25-1 II.
    Day two. Sleeping well, doing other stuff, going back to my headphones, turn on the music. Same repertoire as yesterday. - There is a difference already. there is actually a soundstage there now, albeit small. they veil is disappearing and it doesn't sound that warm and muffled anymore. It is not neutral sound, but on the other hand, if I were to listen to a lot of classical, I wouldn't buy 'rock-speakers' anyways. I read reviews about how the phones were lacking in the upper levels, that sounds like -'S', -'SH', -'CH' etc would be... ...not perfect. Well, day two improved from day one in this aspect too.
    The bass wasn't 'fluffy' anymore, but still deep. actually plenty deep, imo. and the midrange had improved a lot. from having to 'look' for it, to get it all the way to your ear without having to notice it was missing. Six hours, before they get uncomfy. -and after six hours, anyone will get tired in their heads/ears.
    The headbands are not noticeable... ...and the cable is not in the way, nor noticeable.
    Day three. Hah. Even better. After a total of 18 hours, the phones are now ready to be listened to.
    You could say the virginity of it is now gone, and it is ready for some proper exercise and training.
    I am not going to blast the volume on max for any reason, just so its said, but now i don't mind my equally critical friends to listen to them.
    Day four. time to write a review.
    I can only assume the sound in them will get better and better as time goes by.
    The only, and ONLY thing that would make these better, were if the sound picture was wider and deeper.
    It isn't a must, but it would be nice. After listening to High-end systems with SNELL speakers, more expensive than my pants can carry the cash, an open environment, -or the lack of it iin this case -will be burnt into your mind, and one will never be completely satisfied, unless buying super expensive stax with equally expensive amplifier(s), used on an equally expensive high end stereo setup.
     
    These are lightweight, durable, good bass, good mid-range, good treble, even for sibilant music (Beware of Justin Bieber... ...the phones can't take that. The speakers will crack and fall into a hot,deep pit where beelzebub and his minions are removing impurities from the liquids in their forges.)
    Seriously, the higher areas of music are just fine in these phones. -already by day three/four.
    Every part can be exchanged.
    If only the Amperior was cheaper, I'd go for that one. It is better, but kinda expensive if one doesn't have the money for it, you know what i say.
     
    All in all. You can't go wrong with these ones. -unless you have extrordinaire music taste, are analythical instead of enjoying the music, like a nice glass of brewerage. I don't taste and spit the red wine. I drink it, and enjoy it for what its worth..
    ezzony and philiphotog like this.
  8. paulmvg
    5.0/5,
    "What can I ask for?"
    Pros - Sound quality, changeable parts
    Cons - confort maybe? and narrow soundstage
    I never thought that there's such a headphone like this existing! Everything that I'm looking for for a headphone, I found it all on this hp. Cool looks (at least for me), changeable parts (especially the cables), superb clarity with excellent bass response, and lastly, known for its superb durability.  
  9. rigodeni
    4.5/5,
    "The Last Closed Headphone You Will Ever Need"
    Pros - Durability, Comfort, Portability, Style, Versatility, Isolation
    Cons - Price keeps going up, not as good a value as it used to be
     
    The HD 25-1 is more than a great sounding headphone, it has stood the test of time, and proved to be one of the worlds most durable and versatile headphones. There's many detailed reviews of this classic headphone, so I won't go too much into the details. In short, all I can say is the hype and praise these headphones have received is well deserved. After owning these, I began noticing professional DJ's and Sports Announcers on TV wearing these all the time. Funny I never noticed that before, but I can see now that they use them for a good reason. I think the reason these are so well regarded is more so because of their design/comfort/durability/versatility vs their sound quality (which is great too).
     
    Sound (9/10)
     
    The sound signature of these is quite balanced, with a slightly above average bass response, likely due to the above average isolation they provide. The sound stage is about average for a closed headphone in this price range, but the separation on more complex compositions is impressive to me. They are very sensitive and easy to drive, which makes them ideal for portable use. They get loud enough to be dangerous, even from portables. Like most higher end headphones, they also benefit from high end amplification, but it's by no means required to reach their potential. Due to their balanced sound signature, these will please lovers of any genre of music. They are equally suited for gaming or movies also. Gave it 9/10 due to the average sound stage, there's other closed headphones that do better in this regard.
     
    Design/Comfort (10/10)
     
    The reason Sennheiser built a reputation off this model is the design and versatility of it, it is a true feat of engineering. The plastic is of high quality, making them light and durable. The clasping force is moderate, and combined with the Velour ear pads, I notice no discomfort at all when wearing them all day, even with my glasses on. With the leatherette ear pads they come with, you will get warm after 1-2hrs, but you get a slightly better seal, which improves bass impact slightly. I think the added comfort of Velour more than makes up for the unnoticeable decrease in bass impact. It's easy to get the right seal on all head sizes/shapes. Once there on, they stay there, even when running/exercising. The split headband helps keep them from moving. 
     
    They look good when there on, not overly stylish or big, a more minimalistic look. The cable is just the right length too (1.5m), and conveniently terminated to a 90 degree 3.5mm connector, with a screw on ¼ inch adapter too. For those who care, mine say Made In Ireland. Because these are so modular, you can easily take these apart and customize them with custom paint jobs or after market cables if that's your thing. All the parts are easily replaceable, and easily available, which is something no other headphone achieves in this price range with this sound quality and comfort/durability. For many, this headphone is the last one they ever purchase, simply because it won't break, sounds great, and is so versatile. For those who manage to break something, a replacement is easy to find. That's why you see so many professionals using these on a daily basis.
     
    Verdict (9/10)
     
    I highly recommend this headphone, for anyone. It will be the last headphone you buy. I can honestly say I was skeptical of the hype these had, but after owning them, I quit using all my other closed headphones in favor of this one, not just for the sound quality, but the versatility it provides. It's like a good ol' Acura; it might not look the most flashy, or perform spectacularly well in any one area, but it does everything well, takes a beating, and never lets you down. Gave it 9/10 due to the constantly raising price of this model.
  10. LTTan
    4.0/5,
    "My favorite closed can"
    Pros - Comfortable and entertaining
    Cons - Could be more neutral
    Good sound quality and good comfort. It is fairly lightweight but durable. The stock cable has some horrable mechanical transported contact noise (Some call it microphonics but microphonics is where mechanical vibration is transformed into electrical signal) so i replaced it with the HD650 stock cable. Yes i had to reverse the cups to make it fit.
    I use it with a rockboxed iPod video and the RSA Hornet. Listening with crossfeed on i can listen to this combo for hours.
    I listen mainly classical music. Opera, orchestral works, string quartets etc.
    In my opinion, a closed can does not need to be perfect. i use a closed can to be isolated from outside noises but no passive closed headphone can isolate me for 100% so i will hear always hear some distracting noises
     
    a great allrounder.
    I do not really need a neutral sounding headphone since what is neutral nowadays? only my own ears listening to a live concert.
    and my ears are not yours :)