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Sennheiser HD 25-1 II Professional Headphone

  1. tds101
    I luv 'em!
    Written by tds101
    Published Dec 31, 2011
    Pros - SQ above all else,...
    Cons - Kinda tight,...but not too bad.
    The above says it all, as well as numerous other reviews. I luv these supra aural cans,...and I'll keep them till I either go deaf or die!
  2. staxxx
    Built to last the apocalypse
    Written by staxxx
    Published Dec 30, 2011
    Pros - no headphone hair, in-your-face sound
    Cons - exposed wires, clamping force
    Seriously, these things are built to last. When the apocalypse occurs in 2012, this Sennheiser would be left intact (maybe the wires would get destroyed). And for future generations of the human race (or whoever takes over the earth), they would be a relic of the old world.

    I own two pairs, one for work and one for portable use, I treat the portable headphone with utmost care, like a baby, while the one for work gets tossed around and daily abuse, and yet both look the same. On a note of the clamping force, the frame needs to burn in, so that the force loosens and optimum comfort is achieved.

    Sound. How does it sound? It's a bit colored, I think. Definitely not neutral, but I've gotten over the "neutral stage" where I cared about neutral headphones, I just want to enjoy my music with clarity. The bass mids and highs are fairly even in terms of balance, but not perfectly balanced. What's very noticeable is that it has punchy bass like a Grado, not deep rumbling bass. And absolutely no soundstage, which creates intimacy, or in my case, that in-your-face-sound that you get from Grado. I use these for speed metal, thrash metal, power metal, traditional metal, etc. Metal that's fast and guitar driven. They're like a closed back Grado, but not as bright.

    I got it for free from work, as this is what they use for their stuff such as recording, calibration, etc. They previously used V6's, 440's and T50RP's, but they settled for the HD 25-1 II. There is a huge increase in price to the consumer, but I'd imagine when a company purchase these, the difference is not all that great. They are the basic edition, but I wish I owned a pair of the Adidas versions. :frowning2:
      tds101 and stalepie like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. staxxx
      Depends on what you want. Joker's portable headphone thread has a review on both the M50 and the HD 25. The isolation I'm guessing is the same, I've previously owned the M50 and both blocks out a good bit of outside noise. As for sound. The M50 has more bass presence as compared to the HD 25, while the HD 25 is more punchy. As for my preference, I can't decide on both, they are both amazing.
      staxxx, Dec 30, 2011
    3. Enter Darkness
      Ath m50 isn't that good bit these are Amazing.
      Enter Darkness, Dec 30, 2011
    4. tds101
      I luv these cans as well,...nice mini review.
      tds101, Dec 31, 2011
  3. amateriat
    A Diamond in a Very Big Rough
    Written by amateriat
    Published Dec 24, 2011
    Pros - Tonal balance, light weight, durability/serviceability, low-key aesthetics
    Cons - Smaller/shallower soundstage than a good open-back headphone; may require some break-in time for optimum wearing comfort
    The problem with having a reference-grade pair of headphones for home listening (in my case, Grado's amazing Prestige Series SR325is) is that when you start looking for 'phones to listen to away from home, just about everything you try inevitably comes up short in one way or another, and the name of the game becomes "which set of compromises am I willing to live with?"

    For me, the current crop of headphones aimed toward portable listening is, at best, merely acceptable. I could drag out the usual suspects to use as punching bags, but we already know who they are; just think style-over-substance and there's no need to name names. But there are a few seriously-mediocre 'phones out there offered by outfits that should definitely know better (AKG, I'm looking at you). Really, nothing I listened to in the "portable headphones" category did the trick, which is rather astounding given the money being asked for some of the upper-end models.

    Then, while grousing about this situation to a sales guy at the headphone counter at J & R the other night, I got a suggestion I should have thought of before: ignore the "portable" category altogether, and audition something a pro would use. However, one good reason why I hadn't thought of this is that most "serious" headphones also typically sport some serious size and weight, and aren't always something that's easy for something like an iPod to drive at satisfying (not ear-splitting) sound levels. Yes, wearing big 'phones on the street is apparently cool again, but I prefer being a bit more discreet in my headwear, although I'm about done with in-ear phones and their assorted anomalies.

    The sales guy then handed me a pair of these Sennheisers. I listened. I looked them over. I listened again. I was sold, simple as that.

    They're decidedly ordinary-looking, literally dull. Sennheiser didn't exactly go out of their way to make an unstylish headphone: this is a model that was pitched initially to people who care a lot more about a 'phone's performance and reliability/durability than about how cool they look (or think they look) while wearing them: recording engineers and producers, sound-reinforcement people for the stage and the screen, sportscasters, and, of course, DJs. Think of the '55 Chevy James Taylor and Dennis Wilson drove in Two-Lane Blacktop: not slick, not working too hard to be cool, but clearly having what it takes to do the job.

    And, what a job! Riding the train or bus, or walking the streets, I get the music, full, deep and wide...or not, depending on the recording. Being more of a true "monitor" headphone, the HD 25 doesn't do much in the way of juicing or monkeying around with the signal in the name of making a grand impression; if the recording is good, you'll hear just how good it is, perhaps for the very first time while away from your "reference" home 'fi. If the recording is sub-par, you'll know that, too, but the result won't necessarily be unlistenable, just minus any sugarcoating.

    A few have pointed out the HD 25's nearly all-plastic construction, regarding it as "cheap." There's nothing cheap about this headphone's materials or construction: having been on the market for well over a decade, its design and build quality have been proven countless times in the professional field, where people are not known for treating gear with kid gloves. In the hands of the average consumer, these cans will easily outlast any flavor-of-the-month style-phones by an order of magnitude.

    As durable as these are, they're also a damn sight lighter than your typical please-don't-drop-me bling-phones. I won't say it feels like you're wearing nothing on your head, just that it's a light touch overall. For some people, however, the pressure of the headband's "clamping" effect might be a bit much for listening much beyond an hour; this gradually eases as the headphones are broken in.

    And, speaking of "broken": if by some freak event you manage to do damage to any part of the HD 25, that broken part can be replaced; Sennheiser keeps an inventory of spares if needed.

    (As an aside, these headphones happen to be manufactured in Ireland. Take away what you will about that.)

    That's the picture for you. I love the things. I think there's a fair chance that you'll at least like them.
    1. jwcy
      Very nice review, I love these Senns, too.
      jwcy, Dec 25, 2011
    2. JK1
      It would be nice to see a good comparison between this and the less expensive HD25 SP2.
      JK1, Dec 25, 2011
    3. amateriat
      jwcy: Thanks!
      JK1: I was curious about the SP2s as well (ever the cheapskate that I am), but the -1 II simply dazzled me too much (And I think it was the only one of the two J & R had on hand, being a few days before Christmas). The adjustable split-headband works quite well on my head.
      One little bonus feature I forgot to mention in the review is the swiveling left module: DJs and engineers like it so they can keep one ear "free" while still wearing the 'phones normally; I like it because I can quickly free up an ear when my cell phone rings without clumsily ripping them off my head.
      I'll be curious to hear how the sound of these phones change after having been broken in somewhat. For the moment I've next to nothing to complain about, though I do notice their being just a tad uncomfortable around the two-hour mark - hardly the worst I've endured.
      amateriat, Dec 26, 2011
  4. Matt V
    Great headphones!
    Written by Matt V
    Published Dec 17, 2011
    Haven't had these for very long but impressed upon initial listening!
  5. d1v1d
    Long-term review
    Written by d1v1d
    Published Oct 21, 2011
    Pros - Good isolation for trains, buses, great bass, shows up clear differences in source file qualities
    Cons - OK, a bit geeky but who cares
    Durable - replaced pads after two years - i use case supplied with phones for storage
      amateriat likes this.
  6. Danchou
    The perfect portable HP
    Written by Danchou
    Published Sep 16, 2011
    Pros - Sound quality, impact on bass and drums, detailed and refined yet fun sounding, completely user customizable/ detachable
    Cons - 100% plastic, light microphonics, revealing, imaging and soundstage
    I bought the Sennheiser HD 25-1 (adidas) after my ATH-M50 had a loose connection and i had to return them.

    Though I loved the M50's, they made me realize that a headphone is not all about sound quality.
    Their isolation just didn't do it for me, and the pleather pads got my ears sweaty all the time.

    The HD 25-1 finally does everything I need it to do.
    The isolation is top notch, and the velour pads are more comfy then pleather while not getting sweaty.

    The sound quality of the HD 25-1 II was horrible out of the box, but they got better after a few minutes.
    I didnt notice much of a burn-in process after that, and was quite disappointed with their sound, cause the only thing they did better then the M50 were drums and bass, while lacking a lot in highs, detail and especially soundstage and imaging.

    After two weeks of frequent use and over-night burn-in (~200 h) they suddenly made a BIG leap in sound quality and especially detail and extension.
    Compared to the M50 they sound more refined and detailed while also revealing a lot of bad recordings/ sources. the impact on drums and bass is just heavenly, like the overall bass response.

    The only thing they lack compared to the m50 is imaging(not existant) and soundstage.
    But since I use them as portable headphones mainly, that doesn't bug me at all.

    the hd 25-1 is a really decent hp and definitely one of the best portable headphones.
    I especially love the user customizable style, cause i don't have to worry what might happen if my warranty were to run out.

    If you find the pads to be uncomfortable, wash them in warm water. It makes them smoother and allows a better fit and comfort for the head.
  7. JasonZ10
    Sennheiser HD 25-1 II
    Written by JasonZ10
    Published Sep 9, 2011
    No review quite yet.
  8. Ikelmonster
    Amazing headphones
    Written by Ikelmonster
    Published Sep 3, 2011
    Pros - Portability, ability to take any music thrown at it
    Cons - initial comfort, stock pleather pads cause sweat issues
    These headphones are great. I listen to mostly metal and have listened to Grado's mostly because of it, and these phones are really similar to the grado sound; I can see why people refer to these as the equivalent to a closed grado headphone. It's funny to me how different these phones are to the description of every other sennheiser headphones. Every review for the hd 600 or 650 talks about their laid back nature, while the hd 25's are anything but laid back. indeed, they are very forward, and for metal and rock, this is just what the doctor ordered. Bass-y music sounds great too, these headphones can really bring out the lower end of the sound spectrum. My only gripe with them is the initial comfort - it takes a bit to get used to the amount of pressure they put on the ears. After owning them for over 3 weeks now though I can say that I love this set. While its hard to argue with the portability of IEMs, these guys just sound so good I am willing to give up a little more space in my backpack when i need to store them.
    Highly recommended, especially with the velour pads!
    1. Ikelmonster
      Yes, you are right :) thanks haha
      Ikelmonster, Sep 3, 2011
    2. JamesMcProgger
      BTW thw comfort will get better, I have two pairs and the older one clamps just right for me. and I use pleater in both.
      JamesMcProgger, Sep 3, 2011
    3. Ikelmonster
      i think the sound is slightly better with the pleather due to better isolation, but right now in summer it sucks to have my ears get all sweaty, we'll see how i feel in winter haha
      Ikelmonster, Sep 3, 2011
  9. Marleybob217
    Not so satisfied [EDIT]
    Written by Marleybob217
    Published Aug 2, 2011
    Pros - Isolation, durability, spl
    Cons - Tiny soundstage, Dark sounding, not very much detail, very uncomfortable
    I have had these headphones for a couple of days, and used/tested them intensely during that period.
    I have a pair of mackie mr8 mk2 studio monitors, so this is the sound I am used to.
    The sennheiser HD25-1 II are extremely populair, and this is one of the reasons i bought them, yet I was not satisfied at all.
    First of all, the sound stage is extremely small, it actually sounds more like everything I was playing was in mono instead of stereo.
    Also the headphone lacks in treble, and really does not have a lot of detail, this headphone is everything but balanced, so to call this a studio headphone is just wrong.
    Don't get me wrong, it sounds good, has a lot of tight bass, really upfront (could be your taste) and goes really loud. And maybe if you are a pro and need a headphone that is built to last, and has an extremely high spl this is the headphone for you.
    Otherwise, I think the headphone is a bit expensive.
    Alternative: I have the beyerdynamic DT770 pro, these are closed, don't go as loud (as if you would ever need 120db in your ears), still more than loud enough though and have a huge sound space. Also I got them for 130 euro's, so that's 10 euro's cheaper than the sennheiser 25-1-II.
    The only downside to these headphones is that they are quite a bit bigger than the sennheiser's 25-1-II.
    Some people act like this is the best headphone in the whole world. With this review I am trying to tell that the 25-1-II really is not the best headphone, and that there are a a lot of alternatives.
    I actually have bought these headphones again, and love them!
    My main headphone is the HD650, and I use the HD25-1 II for bass heavy music, portable uses and playing the drums. I actually don't mind the small soundstage for some reason, and love the sound.
    I bought the velour pads for extra comfort, and the fiio e6 for portable uses.
    Not sure if my first pair was falty or that my sound signature preferences has changed.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Marleybob217
      @ miceblue, I think supra-aurals can never be as comfortable as circumaural headphones. Ofcourse it does take a while before the headband becomes a bit more loose, bit it will still mildly crush the ear.
      So apart from being smaller I really don't see any advantages to supra-aural headphones.
      Marleybob217, Aug 4, 2011
    3. JeckyllAndHyde
      it all comes down to personal taste, but for me hd25 combines nice set of bonuses in one package:
      good, funny sounding + portable + easy to drive + undestructible
      i found K181 and for example HDJ1000 just as good sounding, but much less comfortable (to me at least)
      JeckyllAndHyde, Aug 5, 2011
    4. Marleybob217
      @ JeckyllAndHyde, I agree with you on the Pros, yet for the price I rather have something bigger thus les portable but with a larger soundstage. What exactly do you mean by funny sounding? And what is the max time you can have these headphones on your ears? I couldn't wear these for more than half an hour without having sore ears, but my ears stick out a bit!
      Marleybob217, Aug 5, 2011
  10. C ee X
    Surprised the first time I put one on, and surprised every time I listen to something new!
    Written by C ee X
    Published Jun 12, 2011
    Pros - Awesome frequency responce and good isolation.
    Cons - Feels weak and fragile.
    The first song I listened to with the HD-25 (like with any new pair of heaphones) was Dizzee Rascal's "Bonkers". This is the one track that I know that feels like every audible and inaudible frequency is used in the bassline... It just surrounds you and therefore can be used as a benchmark tool to test audio hardware.
    And boy was I convinced instantly, also the isolation is extremely good so all of that really set me on my way!
    Definitely recommend!