Sennheiser HD 439 Headphones

Average User Rating:
4.41667/5,
  1. PETEBULL
    4.5/5,
    "Choice of endurance"
    Pros - Non-fatiguing; comfortable in sound and form; just pretty in every aspect
    Cons - Flabby bass; under-extended highs; slightly under-expressive mids; can't handle high volume
    Perfect choice for those who need everyday "workhorse" to listen for hours and hours at low volume. They reproduce almost every detail and make music sound like candy.
     
     
    Characteristics (subjective, 10 max):
    Resolution: ............................7
    Transparency: ......................6.5
    Frequency range: .................6.8
     
    Balance (5 means equal):
    High relative to mid: ................4.5
    Low relative to mid: ................4.5
     
    Frequency accentuation brakedown:
    Bass is more: ........................low
    Mids are more: ......................high
    Highs are more: ....................middle
     
    Qualitative characteristics:
    Bass tightness.......................4
    Highs smoothness..................8
  2. chef8489
    3.5/5,
    "Great set of introductory audiophyle headphones for a great price."
    Pros - Good soundstage, nice highs and balanced sound.
    Cons - Bit of a bump in the mids. Not enough clamping pressure.
    I received these from a friend that got them on my recommendation on Sennheiser. They were a gift from his sister; but to his ears did not provide enough bass, so I bought him a set of hd419. They came in the usual Sennheiser clam shell with only a 3.5mm to 1/4" adapter and extra cable as accessories. You cant complain about the lack of accessories as you can find them for around 50.00 usd or under.
     
      They are constructed of black plastic with a slide adjustment. There is a silver plastic ring around a metal grill that makes you think they are open cans, but they are closed.The earpads are a nice soft velour earpads and headband cushion. Only thing I wish is that they clamped down a bit more. Some reason this pair does not clamp down as much as other pairs of Sennheiser headphones I have tried. They are constructed with single neodumium magnts on each side. They have a frequency response from 17hz to 22.5 KHz. They are 32Ω impedance with 112dB sensitivity. They weigh in around 421 grams with the standard cable.
     
     
    The first few weeks listening to them I found the sound changed a lot. I do find they do improve a lot with a good burn in. I listened to them from several sources. My desktop pc from the line out, my ipod classic 7g from line out, ipod classic with fiio a3 using l9 lod, and Fiio x1 both with and without the a3. With only 32Ω impedance, they are pretty easy to drive, but I find thy do benefit greatly from using the amp. Using the amp on high gain gives these a much fuller sound with a solid bass and great treble and highs. I do find there is a bit of a treble bump in the mids from around 2k to 8k range. It gives the vocals a nice presence over the bass and the highs.  I dont really find the highs rolled off just that the mids are brought forward. The bass is there. It is fairly tight and strong enough unless you are a basshead. If you are you can do the bass mod and it should make you happy. I really find these handle female vocals, rock, acoustic guitars, and jazz really well. I do like how it handles techno and dance, but I can see how many would love much more bass for these genres. I also find your source does play a big roll in how they sound. My ipod with the amp sound great, but the x1 with amp is much warmer as is my asus transformer tablet unamped compared to my ipod headphone out unamped.
     
    I will cut this review shorter than my usual reviews. I still get a smile when listening to them out of an amped source and love using them when I want a change of pace or dont want to use iem's They would be a great purchase if you can still find them for someone wanting to get into quality headphones or dabble into the audiophile world without breaking the bank. I just wish they were still being made. I would take these over Beats or skullcandy any day. If you want more bass either try and find the hd 419 or get these and do the bass mod as you can do the bass mod and keep the highs that are missing on the hd419.
  3. Redcarmoose
    4.0/5,
    "The Easy To Love Velour Experience"
    Pros - Low cost, feather-weight, sound pretty good
    Cons - At $39.00......none?








    There are many headphones out there for $39. Still finding a pair that you really like is maybe a slight challenge? Sennheiser has produced an interestingly fun pair of headphones which offer the consumer a number of traits which help it stand out. In this review I'm going to go over my personal history with the modification and talk about the stock headphone for those not interested in the mod. I'm going to delineate the build quality, the sound and ending, explain how the HD 439 is still a value in today's marketplace.

    1) The packaging:
    Bubble packaging has maybe good and bad points. I actually like it as you know when the bubble is unopened your guaranteed a pristine product. The bad thing is your not going to be able to demo your headphones prior to a purchase unless they have a demo pair out for use. I purchased my pair just based on reading reviews at Head-Fi.

    2) What you get:
    The headphones come with two cables and a 1/4 inch adapter to use the mini-plug with home gear. When the product was first introduced it had only one cable and you could either choose the model with the long cable or the model with the short cable. As it turns out both cables are a great asset and come into use at different times. Sennheiser also gives you a complete 2 year warranty with the purchase. Modding the headphone voids the warranty.

    3) The Build:
    People complain about the build with these at times. At $39, they are what they are. I actually would not have them built any other way other than maybe some stainless steel in the headband to increase the cup pressure and increase the bass response with the stock units. The big plus is they are low weight and the velour pads feel like pleasure. The cable is thin but you get two and it's made from a material that stays in shape and does not change in time. They have angulation at all the needed places. Talking about pressure, it's maybe the only fault here. There are actually threads here where members have fallen in love with the stock sound signature and placed a metal wire into the top of the headband to try and improve ear-pad pressure. Members have also purchased other (non-velour) Sennheiser ear-pads attempting to get a more airtight fit, thus increasing bass. I finally ended with the three hole bass mod and have found I was able to get used to the sound.

    4) The Sound:
    These are fairly flat headphones straight out of the box. They gain a bass response and smoothness of response after 60 hours of burn in. They are just shy in the bass region stock. The sound-stage is nice with a really enjoyable treble detail. The shape of the cups is oval and emulates the oval direction the human ear is placed. This shape maybe seems to add a upper and lower sound-stage factor. However it is done, it's the value at $39 as far as detail and sound-stage.

    Having heard the HD 600 you have to wonder if maybe some of the previously top of the line technology has been given a trickle-down in areas. They seem to do Jazz, Classical and New Age genres best with Rock and Metal maybe being a secondary level of quality. There are probably hand fulls of better Rock headphones for a choice especially if you can only find the HD439s in the $100 range.

    They are actually laid back and a fairly easy going and listenable headphone. They make something like the M-50 seem much more upfront and in your face. Again were given what I would call a colored sound. Even stock they are maybe on the warm side. Warm and lacking bass, if that makes sense here? They sound good with a phone or directly out of the headphone jack of a TV, but still really scale to a better place with amplification.

    5) The Modification Levels:

    Level One:
    There are threads here on the process and even three minute You-Tube videos showing just how easy the H439s come apart and can be modified by just about anyone, fast. The first level is to just remove the tape covering the single bass port. This gives a slightly better sound-stage and does not seem to effect the treble only to somehow make everything become more coherent and dynamic. This is really the most recommended modified form for the HD 439s.

    Level Two:
    Here two holes are opened.

    Level Three:
    I can't explain it but when I first did this mod the bass was just was too much. Some have tried to dampen the headphones and to try and reduce any rattling. I found that placing anything inside the cups seemed to lower the bass response. I actually found the bass was overwhelming at first and went back to the single hole mod for awhile. Finally I'm now back with three holes open but have made a special attempt to have all the screws super tight which seems to effect the sound.


    In Conclusion:

    At $39 the Sennheiser HD 439 Closed back headphones offer a special value. The sound straight out of the box is nice but improves to a point with burn in. At the price they are a great value which offers a level of finesse and character normally not found anywhere. The sound character may take time for some to get used to as it is actually different than a lot of headphones out there. The best traits come from the fact that they have a nice warm detailed sound signature and feel fantastic on your head. They are maybe missing some of the sparkle and authority for some musical genres but are found with-out fault for the price. They end-up being a really good looking pair of full-size headphones that go great outside driven just by a phone or iPod. They block outside noise to a certain level and keep the music from disturbing others.

    Some may find it a fun experience to modify the headphones, though the end bass response may not be enjoyed by all listeners.



    trellus likes this.
  4. edujmac
    5.0/5,
    "Awesome sound quality and comfort for the price. You need to spend more than double to get better sound."
    Pros - Excellent soundstage for closed back headphones. Awesome bass extension and great overall clarity without being harsh or tiresome. Removable cables.
    Cons - Could include a storing pouch. Nothing else worth noticing.
    These headphones are the best. Neutral sound but without being boring, the only "coloration" is an increase in bass extension, which is excellent if you listen to rock, metal or electronic. You won't get tired of listening to them. Voices sound amazing on these, especially if you're listening to podcasts or other types of speech.
     
    I get the impression that volume, bass and overall clarity increase over time. Maybe it's what audiophiles call the "burn-in" effect. They do seem much louder now than a year ago. Or maybe I just love their sound. I would only get better ones if I chose open-back, got a really good amp and went for the Sennheiser HD 600.
     
    Overall, highly recommended!
    trellus likes this.
  5. um3rella
    5.0/5,
    "NEEDS AMP, PHONES DONT DO JUSTICE "
    Pros - Run of purity sound 2 on mobo so chrisp!
    Cons - none
    Exactly what I was looking for...38ohm high impedance? s4 doesn't really do them justice but can't complain @~431g feels like zilch, plus I pref velor, leather sweats...I listen to audiobooks/binaural beats w/hours on end comfort
  6. atarim
    4.0/5,
    "Decent closed headphones for home or travel use"
    Pros - Very comfy, sound for a price, Bass (modded)
    Cons - Build quality feels cheap, maybe female voices
    Hello,
     
    Quick thoughts on modded with bass mod sennheiser hd 439.
     
    Build quality
     
    It is a mixed bag really. Headphones it self feels cheap. Well, probably because it is cheap. But they don't feel cheap then you have them on a head. They are very comfy, velour pads fit my ears perfectly. I forget I have headphones on my head the moment I put them on. Although if you have big ears, it could become an on ear headphones, because pads are not very big. Design is nice to my eyes, but you know, it can look bad for you [​IMG]
     
    Audio quality
     
    I'm reviewing modded headphones with bass mod, so keep that in mind. The sound they make is really quite good. Bass goes very very deep. For tracks like royksopp - the drug it just blew my mind [​IMG]. I listened to it with my sens 518 and it just uncomparable. 439 destroys 518 in a bass heavy music. So if you are into music like this - go get it, do the mod and enjoy your music like you never did before. As for more popular music. They are actually not that bad. Sound stage is pretty good, but of course not as wide as 518 as they are opened. Still instrumental separation is good, you will here instruments in their place and not a chocolate mix  [​IMG]. Vocals. Hmmmm, well you can  hear them [​IMG]. Really not much more to say about them. You will not be blown away by them, when you listen to dido or meja. If you into female vocalist, when these headphones not really for you. Rock music is in a middle between bass heavy and female music. Lets say rise againts sounds good to my ears. As I said above, instruments are nicely separated but vocals are just where. So overall these headphones are perfect for a bit more bass heavy music, but not for "audiophile" stuff.
     
    Important note
     
    I don't why, but I find them very hard to drive. No joke, even though they are only 32 ohm, I find them a lot harder to drive than 518 which is 50 ohm. I don't know if it is just me, but I go to an 8 (max with low gain) with my fiio e10 and I keep 5 when I listen to 518. When I travel, I use my ps vita as a player and it does good job powering it (better than fiio e10 [​IMG]). As for ****y samsung android phone, it goes to listenable levels, but you can hear it struggles with headphones and ps vita just destroys it. I listen for few tracks on a phone for a review and just couldn't continue - it sounds terrible. So keep that in mind if you planing on using it with your ****y phone [​IMG] I don't about iphone or such. Probably it will sound as good as ps vita which sounds pretty nice.
     
    Conclusion
     
    For the price these are very nice headphone and actually holds up pretty good versus its big brothers. Beats them in low end but gets beat in mids and highs. As I said, I would recommend them for bassheads and such. As for pop music, I don't really listen to it. As I said, dido don't sound so good, but listenable, I will not call it terrible as my phone experience. Beyonce actually sounds good to my ears, low end gives a very lively sound. Of course beyonce itself have powerful voice. Well I took a hit for you dear reader and listened to katy perry's roar and it sounds pretty bad ( but it could be just katy perry [​IMG]). So yeah, I guess I gave you a pretty good understanding what to expect for these headphones. Cheers.
     
    P.S.
     
    I forgot to talk about isolation. It will muffle the sounds around you and if you are on a bus or train really you will hear just a distant wheel and engine sound, nothing to worry about, you will be able to enjoy your music. But they leak. I will get looks at bus if I put sound on higher volume. So keep that in mind.
    trellus likes this.
  7. Avelign
    4.0/5,
    "Great Value, True Sound"
    Pros - Great Sound Quality, Reasonable Price, Removable Cable, Comfortable
    Cons - Itchy Earpads, Possible Build Issues
    I got an amazing deal for these on ebay for $50! Only downside is I did not get the original packaging.


    Build Quality:


    These are a all plastic designed, open-backed pair of headphones. And because of this, music leaks a lot and doesn't work too well in noisy areas. Fairly stylish, very lightweight, and very comfortable. The earpads however due collect dirt, dust, hair, and other gross things.. Making the earpads itchy after time. The headband adjusts quite a bit, perfect if you have a large head or are wearing a hat. But it looks like it could snap after enough wear and tear.


    Sound Quality:


    Out of the box, these headphones sounded outstanding. A little bit distorted at first, but after enough use and "burn-in", the cans really open up, sound smooth as ever and keeps everything in control. The overall sound seems very flat, very warm sounding.. Sounds great in just about every genre.


    Conclusion:


    For the price of $100.. You really can't go wrong with these. They sound amazing.
  8. tszhang217
    4.5/5,
    "Excellent!"
    Pros - Very comfortable, easy for hours, light, great sound (after burn-in), removable cable, variable long cable
    Cons - maybe not the best good looking headphone, but not bad
    PRO; Very comfortable, easy for hours, light, great sound (after burn-in), removable cable, variable long cable
     
    CON; maybe not the best good looking headphone, but not bad
  9. sagar khichi
    4.5/5,
    "the sound is good but they time to burn in...to give its full potential"
    Pros - great sound, very comfortable..
    Cons - they sound low on low end devices....
    i am giving this review after a month use, 30+ hours burning its still improving. at the first use found these a crap they were sounding low on my phone they are not that impact that i was looking for.i started burning it daily for two hour or one then the magic started and i found a great change in sound and its still improving day by day its real potential will be review after its complete burning  over 100 to 150  hours, but ya the sound-stage is getting wider the bass is tightend-up,but ya these are not for bass heads as it has low bass what i felt as compared to may hd 203, but wider sound stage good clarity compared to those i am still waiting to test it on some good amps and on cowon player which i wil share my review in the near future overall nice headphones for the price but low sounding on lower end mp3 and phones..............
  10. spittis
    3.5/5,
    "Good choice in its pricerange"
    Pros - Light, comfortable, detachable cable & comes with two lengths, bass is not dominating
    Cons - The sound overall is a bit muddy, plastic design seems quite fragile
    I got to try these out when my brother bought them for his casual computer use.
     
    The headphones are very light, and have quite comfortable cloth pads and headband. They are made entirely of plastic, which at least doesn't feel to be of too high quality. I can obviously not comment on long time endurance. Visually they do look quite appealing however.
     
    As my reference pair in this test I used the Beyerdynamic DT-770 80 ohm headphones. Note that I said reference, I didn't directly compare them since that would obviously be unfair considering the DT-770 costs twice as much. Only FLAC files were used, with a Cambridge Dacmagic Plus as source.
     
    Overall the sound is quite good considering the modest pricetag, nothing is overly present or completely lacking. The bass hits by a satisfying amount without dominating, lacks "texture" though. The rest of the spectrum is nothing special, it just "does its job". The product is a slightly muddy sound to my ears, but after listening to them for awhile the brain gets used to it.
     
    I would not mind having these with me on the go, they're definitely good enough for that. In any kind of critical listening there are many shortcomings, but hey, you get what you pay for.
    trellus likes this.