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Sennheiser HD 201 Headphones

Rating:
3.61765/5,
  1. 1eye1derweasil
    Change drastically with more power
    Written by 1eye1derweasil
    Published Dec 17, 2010
    3.0/5,
    Pros - Sound with a little extra juice
    Cons - You're going to need a little extra juice
    Straight out of an mp3 player or pc these won't be that good. Coming out of something with more power however they really change and become fun.

    Emphasis of the upper mids, which makes them slightly fatiguing, tight bass with decent extension (45hz before a dropoff). 

    With extra power these are neutral with a bit of life to them. Without any extra power they are tinny and surgical, a poor combination. 
  2. GeorgeGoodman
    Good for what it is
    Written by GeorgeGoodman
    Published Dec 16, 2010
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Good bass, overall crisp sound, durability, detail, light weight, long cord, inexpensive.
    Cons - Cheap manufacture so that the drivers are lightly mismatched.
    These are great headphones for the price. I could totally enjoy these on a desert island if they were all I had. They really need an EQ to get the best sound out of them and i have Rockbox on two of y DAPs so it works great. The bass is pretty good, and there are no glaring bad parts in the sound. 
     
    One negative is that the drivers are mismatched and one side is louder than the other. I have to use the panning control in Rockbox or winamp. Other than that, they are great for the money and do 70% of a hundred dollar phone.
  3. BotByte
    Cheap OverHead headphones
    Written by BotByte
    Published Dec 14, 2010
    1.0/5,
    Pros - Cheap, over ear, cord length
    Cons - Sound, cord, fit, size, material, plug, adjustable
    I have to say this, these are one of the worst headphones I have ever had.
     
    To start the comfort is horrible. I have long hair, curly so it all bundles together. Older headphones slid through my hair, these grab every single lock and tear it off my skull. They are not slanted, to they can slid behind you head all the time. The cushions are cheap and won't last very long. They do not adjust easily, I have two clicks on one side and three on the other side. They will irritate your ears because of the non-slant in the design. The top pad is soft, yet because of the design, causes the sides to dig into your head anyways.
     
    The cord is long 3 meters, 3 yards, 9 feet. That's abotu the only good thing. The cord doesn't wear out of that packaging crimps ever, the connections are cheap and the plug is cheap.
     
    The sound took me a while to figure out. You need to boost your bass (I use a great soundcard on my desktop) and it took me a while to figure that out. The bass is simulated (fake BOOM) and the treble is low. Music starts to sound chippy and grainy at higher volumes. Sound leaks not too badly.
     
    If you work with your soundcard and audio driver, you can make these things actually work well.
    Realtek HD Audio Driver set to Underwater environment with Powerful set in Eualizer worked out the bass problems
     
    They are nothing to walk around with.
     
    Currently I have then handing by a line in my room that i can drop anytime and pop into my desktop to listen to at any moment with the long cord.
     
    Personal Amp much needed
     
    Through I hate them so much, I still use them for the cord length and price
     
    If you want something you can throw away later without regrets or give to someone, these would be it.
  4. deadhead
    Good Value
    Written by deadhead
    Published Oct 9, 2010
    2.5/5,
    Pros - Durability, Cheap, Decent Sound, Comfortable, Light Weight
    Cons - Low Volume, Bright
    Good, Cheap, Durable, Comfortable head phones with decent sound, can't turn them up very loud without an amp, still good for computer use.
  5. EddieE
    Good for the price, but you get what you pay for
    Written by EddieE
    Published Aug 20, 2010
    0.5/5,
    Pros - Cheap, comfortable enough, treble is quite accurate, separation actually pretty good
    Cons - Everything else. No bass, metallic artificial sounding, un-salvagable by modding
    It's funny to remember that when I bought these I thought they were good headphones, at the time all I had was CX300 and the fact that they weren't muffled, had good separation and had nice crisp highs that bought out drums nicely seemed enough to win me over. They aren't uncomfortable either. Let's face it for the price you have nothing to lose, I got mine for £12.
    But now, with some real headphones under my belt, they sound god awful. There is really nothing good about these. That's being unfair. There is no bloating or distorting across the spectrum and separation is actually very good. But the whole sound is artificial from the weedy almost non-existant bass through to the metalic, robotic mids. The treble does the best but who cares about a nice snappy drum track when the rest of the sound is so unnatural?
    What has frustrated me the most is that nothing can save these. My girlfriend has an awful pair of low end Sony fart cannons, but I was able to open them up, add some dampening, tape up the vents and bring them under control a bit. With these phones nothing seemed to improve them and nothing bought any bass out of them. It's not an issue of a good driver in a cheap case with no dampening - it's a case of a bad driver.
    Frustrated, I finally binned these. 
    But if you have £12 to spend and you want something better than the stock buds on your DAP, they are certainly worth the asking price. My advice is to bite the bullet and up your budget.
  6. Jaisah
    Good for the price
    Written by Jaisah
    Published Aug 20, 2010
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Plenty of bass
    Cons - Long cable makes them very annoying to use anywhere apart from at home.
    These are great headphons if you dont want to spend very much but still want a capable pair of headphones. They produce strong bass but if you try to put on a more bassy equaliser you might find them distorting. They are comfortable and tough with my only dislike being the length of the cable, even with the provided tool to wind them up onto they are still unweildy if you plan to take them away from home.
  7. Deathz0r
    These headphones :P
    Written by Deathz0r
    Published Aug 19, 2010
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Amazing sound quality even on integrated audio
    Cons - not DJ style
    I bought these with the intention of replacing my Plantronics Gamecom 367 closed ear gaming headset and they are doing an excellent job thus far. They sound great (need a headphone amp btw if you dont have a decent audio source).
  8. THATSOUNDSBOMB
    Precision Detail, despite lacking "oomph"
    Written by THATSOUNDSBOMB
    Published Aug 14, 2010
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Astonishing detail in mid and upper frequencies, very cost-efficient
    Cons - Sensitive build material (plastic), lacking bass, thin cords, needs to be amped to show true potential
    I bought a pair of these during my vacation in Hong Kong, and I must say that I was amazed on the first listen. These cans offer immense precision when it comes to the mid and upper ranges. This is especially evident when you hear the crisp snaps of the snare drums in an audio recording.
     
    However, the bass is there, just not as upfront as you would expect from Sennheiser. The bass is VERY tight, and provides an overall well-balanced sound. Some people say that the bass is lacking, but they are incorrect. This headphone has a lighter bass load, but not enough that it bloats over the track.
     
    These headphones are improved GREATLY when you add in a Fiio E5 into the mix. With a proper amp to drive these cans, they sound absolutely marvellous! The bass range is definitely upped, and now you have crystal clear highs with plenty of warm, undistorted bass.
     
    Definitely needs to be amped, but a great budget headphone overall.
  9. releaseme88
    Great value. Good entry level cans.
    Written by releaseme88
    Published Jul 16, 2010
    3.0/5,
    Pros - Balanced, light, ipod compatible.
    Cons - Uncomfortable, ugly, weak structual point
    First off, these Sennheisers are super value. I paid £12 and for that price, you can't get a brand new pair of on-ear headphones that can beat this. The highs and lows, treble and bass is well balanced. The clarity far surpasses anything in the same price range. Clearly not Sennheiser's masterpeice, but they seem to be aimed at the infrequent user, who is simply looking to go one up from the poor stock earphones that came with their mp3 player (mp3/ipod compatible, very low impedance @ 24ohms).
    HD 201's become uncomfortable and it gets hot under the pads after about 30mins of use, though this will keep you warm in the colder outside air..
    For myself, comfort means alot. What's the point in a great set of headphones if listening to your music after half an hour become unbearable. Other than that, these would be a highly recommended bargain.
  10. Tadgh
    The best 25$ cans
    Written by Tadgh
    Published Aug 19, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Balanced sound, no immediately apparent weaknesses, lightweight, reasonably musical.
    Cons - Somewhat easy to break, slightly recessed bass, not as comfortable as they could be.
    Hello all,
     
    This review is written from the perspective of somebody who has spent a lot of time looking for good, cheap, cans - and I've used these good, cheap, cans for 5 years now.  I've owned cheap IEMs, Over-ears, On-ears, Earpods, and speakers. On the other hand I own a pair of Zensor 3s and MDR-7506s, and in all of my experience I've never encountered as solid a value-for-money ratio.
     
    For 25 euro you can purchase a new pair HD201s in a number of retailers, I can highly recommend them. Let's start at the beginning:
     
     
    Packaging: A box, some fabric.
     
    As one might expect from such a cheap headset, the HD201s have very underwhelming packaging. Given that, it's perfectly acceptable - the headset sits inside a cardboard box wrapped in a soft foamy fabric. I would assume that with the lightweight nature of these cans the protection offered should be sufficient to protect them from blunt impacts, and stop the cans getting scuffed. Fine for shipping of any kind.
     
     
    Build: Bog standard, but very well thought-over.
     
    These headphones are built with cheap-plasticy materials, there's really no other way of saying that, they don't feel or look premium. But to Sennheiser's defense, they've committed no cardinal sins. The plastic casing is matte, making it immune to fingerprints and quite scratch resistant. The colors are plain (silver and black), and don't run or fade. There are also no points of extreme weakness anywhere through the design. Sometimes the extension struts that allow for the cans to be extended or retracted can be snapped, I've experienced this a number of times over our 5 year run, and I can offer two bits of advice regarding this weakness: 1) Don't sit on your headphones - I've done this many a-time, and each time those struts snapped it was under my own weight 2) Using hot glue or epoxy resin to reattach the cups almost always works and holds. The cable is long enough for use for just about any application, is coated in soft (but plasticy feeling) rubber that leaves it durable, easy enough on the eye, and comfortable to have pressed against your body. You can find a lot better at slightly higher price points when it comes to sheer build quality, but If you treat these nicely, they will last, and look okay too.
     
     
    Ergonomics: Not sleepers, but not in any way offensive.
     
    The HD201s are decent to wear, but that's it. Until worn in they clamp a little hard, which sucks because the ear cups are fairly shallow and the pads aren't fantastic. Pleather and foam. The reality is that they don't hurt, and I have sensitive ears with hella annoying ear ridges :wink:. They hold onto your head through headbanging, and I've hiked with these through rain, sleep, and snow, they're no clouds floating on the ears, but there's little to complain about.
     
     
    Sound: Best of category, by a mile.
     
    The sound out of these cans is what makes them so remarkable. It's balanced, with clear separation between high, mid, and low frequencies - which is a lot more than can be said of 98% of headphones at this price range, and that's not where it ends. They do sound decent, even in comparison to my Zensors and 7506s, they're much less detailed than those two offerings, with softer treble, and weaker bass.
     
    The mids don't provide much intimacy or subtlety, but they're reasonably musical and rounded - listening to the Gorillaz - D-Sides for example, you can still appreciate the mastery behind Spitting out the Demons, and the various remixes of Kids with Guns. Listening to low vocals, acoustic guitars, pianos, and violins such as - The National - The Alligator (A decently hard album to reproduce due to it's harmonic cacophony of instruments) once can separate, and appreciate each instrument, all of which are portrayed forgivingly. The mids aren't juicy or detailed, but they're enjoyable to listen to - and that's the primary objective of a 25 euro headset. Bang on Sennheiser, budget done right.
     
    The aforementioned treble is a little soft, but present - non-sibilant, and easy to listen to. It strikes that difficult to find balance in similar low-end offerings between just not having anything up top, and the "we hope we've made your ears bleed" trigger happy treble approach. In short, the top-end offers musicality and balance, and while mixes can be left sounding soft when listened to on higher-end offerings and then compared with the 201s, there's nothing there to complain about at this price point whatsoever. Probably the greatest strength of the 201s in their price point, higher frequencies that can cause some mixes to be fatiguing and sibilant are forgiven for being over-zealous, but aren't muted to obscurity. This is rare and valuable, don't overlook it.
     
    Bass. Well, these aren't for bassheads, but they're also not lacking in a way that feels totally unfair. The bass response is well controlled, decently low-reaching, and generally proportional - but it's quiet. Recessed to just about the point of complaint, it's not rare for bass heavy mixes to sound slightly underplayed on these cans. I think people make too big a deal out of this in this one instance however as in my *considerable* experience most decent all-rounder cans in this price point have either no bass whatsoever, or bass floppier than dying carp. The bass provided by the 201s is present, audible, and controlled. This makes them head and shoulders above most other options - but it'd be nice not to have mention it's recessed nature at all. I wouldn't consider this a deal breaker at all, the bass is there, and can be enjoyed in all mixes - if you're expecting bass that leaves your jaw dropped open, you're expecting far too much out of 25 euro cans.
     
    Needless to say, these cans are low-impedance and will run fine with mobile devices. This review is written on experiences with a pair of 201s that have now been broken in for 500ish hours.
     
     
    Conclusion:
     
    These cans thoroughly trounce the majority of competitors, and some headphones far above their own price-point. The key to this isn't mind-blowing bass, jaw dropping detail, or stunning good looks. It's the fact that these cans are very well thought out, and then produced en-mass. They avoid all cardinal sins when it comes to packaging (Melt on packaging anyone?), build, or ergonomics - holding a strong 'good enough' on all of them, and on top of it they sound much much better than their price-tag would indicate (I actually had a few days back around 2013 where I got to swap between using 1st gen Beats and the 201s, the 201s beat them into the dust at a fraction of the price).
     
    I would happily recommend these to any man or woman who was looking to spend under 50 euro on headphones.
      dragon2knight likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. dragon2knight
      Yep, I did the same, and am still doing so. I have the M30's and they are ok, built better for sure, but still not good enough IMHO. The 201's are still the "Cheap Champs" :) 
      dragon2knight, Aug 20, 2015
    3. Tadgh
      Awww that's genuinely really disappointing ;-; I was kinda hoping I could find another fab pair of cheap cans to recommend people but I guess Sennheiser win again ^-^
      Have you got a review up on the M30s? I'd like to read it.
      Tadgh, Aug 20, 2015
    4. dragon2knight
      dragon2knight, Aug 20, 2015