Sennheiser HD 439 Headphones

General Information

For a combination of streetstyle and prowess, the HD 439 closed-backstereo headphones are the choice. These headphones offer you the world of audio with a bold and revolutionary design, including a chrome inner lining and black mesh turbines. Delight in an enhanced and outstanding bass performance. Featuring two detachable single-sided cables, you will be able to find the cable length that distinguishes you apart from others. Make a firm statement with the HD 439 and feel the difference.

Latest reviews

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
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.
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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.



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