Sennheiser HD 439 Headphones

  1. EuphonicArin
    Fantastic but cheaply made and needs the burn-in
    Written by EuphonicArin
    Published Jul 6, 2013
    Pros - great SQ, great modding capabillities, comfortable, very light, aesthetics, surprisingly durable
    Cons - very plasticky, needs burn-in for full potential, needs modding for full potential, aesthetics
    Sennheiser has always been well-renowned for their high-end headphones, why in fact their flagships cover most of the top 5 headphones, but what about their low-end headphones? Are they good enough to distinguish themselves? And I'm here to say, after about half a year that they are indeed quite well-rounded headphones.
    The packaging is basic and get's job done. The headphones themselves come with an extra cable (more on that later) and an 1/4 inch gold-plated adapter for special equipment which is a nice touch for those that have the equipment
    Despite the fact that these headphones look open they are very much closed and therefore isolate you from background noise however the velour pads on these leak a bit of sound out for other people to hear but you won't hear them.
                                                             Soundstage/Instrument Sep.
    Now you won't be getting any amazing soundstaging or euphoric instrument seperation  but these do have their own little funky character when comes to their somewhat small soundstage. Because of the grill there is the possibility to drill holes and make them semi-open, but then again that is your choice.
                                                                 Sound Signature
    Classic Sennheiser sound sig. is present here and it can be darkener/funner/warmer if you decide to mod them as well as made a bit more laidback and grow more of a ''ballsy'' sound sig.
    Despite what the packaging says these have un-assisted bass that doesn't extend at first but then after burn-in they have very punchy and extended but not muddy bass that can be modded to be made stronger tighter and louder which actually helps the mids and highs grow more of a ''ballsy'' but laidback sound sig.
    The mids and sub bass are great in my opinion with a nice tone to it as well as great extension.
    The highs have a nice sparkle and decay to them that seems to be right in the middle of too much and not enough but tipping slightly to too much.
                                                                                                      Build Quality/Design
    This unfortunately is where the headphone starts to fall apart. These headphones are almost completely made of very cheap but strong plastic that doesn't feel good in the hands, but is by no means uncomfortable and is actually the exact opposite as it is one of the most comfortable and light headphones I've ever used. The headphones also feature a finicky, but useful cable swapping system that is alright. The cables are made of a strange rubbery, plasticky substance that makes it not very thick but alright in terms of durability, the cable that is stock is 1.4 meters the long cable is 3 meters for when your output source  is a bit of ways away. These headphones seems to have a hit or miss look with people as I've been given weird looks or people have come up to me and asked what type of headphones they are as they try to keep their jaws from hitting the floor.
    This is a great somewhat under-appreciated headphone that I think is great for those who want their first pair or someone who wants to start getting into the modding scene, and with it's strong durability, very light and comfy design and the practicality of swappable cables makes these great for portability.
    p.s. Thank you for reading my first review and leave some criticism on how I wrote it if you would like, HAVE A GREAT DAY!!
      Nyanman and trellus like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. EuphonicArin
      EuphonicArin, Jul 9, 2013
    3. juan1894
      Mmm cheaply made?! I dont think so. The headphone feels light in the hands but is no cheaply made, i think is light for maximum comfort. Mine have 1 year going strong, and I do not much care of things.
      juan1894, Oct 30, 2013
    4. NoobMH1C
      Does it normal to hear some rattling sounds especially at higher volume for this headphone ? Ex: For Song Imagine - John Lennon , i am hearing some rattling noise at high volume (more than 60%) , I am using the .vlac format file. 
      NoobMH1C, Mar 11, 2015
  2. Steamedonion
    A good expendable pair of cans for private use.
    Written by Steamedonion
    Published May 10, 2013
    Pros - Sound Quality (Post Burn-In), Portable device compatibility, Lightweight
    Cons - Feels INCREDIBLY plasticy, Maybe too light, Soundstage isn't the best, Isolation
    Disclaimer: My review may be rather invalid due to my lack of experience in the audio world. In that case, if you are new to this, it may be very helpful.
    The HD 439 was definitely a good buy for its purpose of being my iPod's go to for music.
    Sound Quality
    The sound is great for the price. Very crisp at the mids to highs, and the bass wasn't overpowering.
    The soundstage however, was a slight let down, being kinda too narrow to enjoy some more closed-off' sounding songs
    Build Quality
    The build quality is terrible, but expected for the price.
    They are made of a cheap, lightweight plastic that does not feel durable at all (So little that I feel worried taking them in a bag due to possible breakage)
    Comfort wise, these things are good. They are too light to be a burden, but maybe so much that moving around quickly may make them fall off.
    Additionally, my ears (not that big) don't fit perfectly in the headset. This, along with the diagonal circum-aural earcup design means the headband feels like it is leaning forward.
    The isolation isn't very good. Even for closed back. Any comfortably loud volume that is enough to drown out other noises can be heard by anyone nearby, though not extremely clearly.
    Think about that before buying.
    If you have any lower quality mp3's, this will gladly identify them. The HD 439 make it very obvious when a low bitrate is apparent.
    The replaceable cable (1.4 and 3 metres I think) are kinda tricky to remove at first, but not too difficult. The replaceable part is great if you break one though.
    Summary - TLDR
    If you are looking for a decent pair of headphones, that wont break the bank, are expendable and for use with a portable device (iPod for example), these are likely the ones to get. If you are looking for A+ quality in every field, you may want to look somewhere else. All in all these headphones do their job as a great set of cans to take places where you could break or lose them, due to them being rather cheap and still decent.
    If you can afford better for at home use only, DON'T bother with these. Go look at some 558's or something.
      trellus likes this.
    1. torturechambers
      I agree, great starter can for sure, although not the best for any individual field
      torturechambers, May 10, 2013
  3. luisdent
    great value headphone
    Written by luisdent
    Published Mar 21, 2013
    Pros - flat response
    Cons - extension not the best
    I'll post more text review soon.  For now here is my new video:
      mamadsa and drjoms like this.
  4. OneRhythm
    Outstanding under 100$ budget closed-back headphones with great overall sound quality and premium comfort.
    Written by OneRhythm
    Published Mar 10, 2013
    Pros - great value, very comfortable, velour padding, lightweight, surprisingly durable, detachable cable, best design of the Sennheiser HD 4xx series
    Cons - not for bassheads, cheap build, might feel like on-ears to those with large ears, comes with no carrying case, sound isolation is adequate at best
    First of all, I am by no means, a critical audiophile with a trained ear, so don't expect this review to have an in-depth breakdown of the sound.  I'm merely a college student that enjoys listening to my music.  I have had the Sennheiser HD 439 for four months and here's my review:
    For its price range, the comfort is unmatched.  I have worn them nonstop for 4+hours everyday (well mostly everyday) for the past four months and I always experience no discomfort whatsoever.  I don't even feel the weight of the headphones pressing on my head when I put them on and I have a pretty small head.  These are easily much more comfortable than the other headphones that I own, the Ultrasone Pro 750 and UE 6000, by a large margin  Also, the cable is detachable and that's a nice feature and a pretty rare one to find on headphones under 100$.  In addition, you can buy a replacement cable from Sennheiser's website for relatively cheap so all is not lost if your stock cables get messed up.  As for the design, the HD 439 is definitely not for those looking to make a fashion statement, but I believe that its design is the best looking out of the Sennheiser 4XX series.  As for durability, these headphones can take quite a beating.  I have had the cord of the headphones yanked several times, I have accidentally dropped them on the floor 3 times and I stuff it inside my backpack (with them inside its own pouch) all the time and these headphones are still alive and kicking and they still sound fantastic. 
    Sound-wise, these are not the headphones for bassheads... period.  THERE IS bass, however, it is not boomy, punchy, or in your face at all.  If I listen to a hip-hop song on my UE 6000 with ANC, I can definitely hear much stronger bass compared to the HD 439. Once again, I apologize for the inability to breakdown the sound further with the various terminology, but as a non-critical casual listener, I find that they sound fantastic for its price.  However, The HD 439 sounds just as great as the UE 6000 on passive mode and they definitely sound better than the more expensive Bose AE 2.  I can't comment how they sound amped, but they sound great unamped and I don't think it's necessary to pair them with an amp. The HD 439 really shines with mellow and laid-back genres of music and I find that they sound great with progressive, soft rock, r&b, soul, lounge, chill out, chillwave, downtempo, ambient.  Don't get me wrong, these are still fantastic and versatile all-arounders if you listen to multiple differing genres of music.
    What closed-back headphones under $100 other than the Sennheiser HD 439 offers great overall sound quality, sound great unamped, are extremely comfortable, has velour padding and premium comfort, has an effectively simple design, and has the option of a detachable cable?  If you can't answer that question and are looking for headphones that have all of the features that were just mentioned, your search should end with the HD 439.
      trellus likes this.
  5. nc863id
    Great Budget Closed-Back Cans
    Written by nc863id
    Published Jan 2, 2013
    Pros - Sound quality, comfort, varying cable lengths
    Cons - Underwhelming aesthetics, possible build quality issues
    I picked these headphones up as a replacement for my years-old Bose TriPorts whose earcups are falling apart. I already own a pair of 558s, but at present my girlfriend and I share a small room and open-back headphones don't work well with our respective sleep schedules. 
    Blister pack, nothing to write home about. Same basic packaging as most of their low-end stuff.
    Kudos to Sennheiser here -- included are two different cables (4' and 10') as well as a 1/4" adapter plug, which in my experience is kind of rare for $100 headphones. As a company, they're pretty good about this. 
    Quick note about the cable: If you decide to swap them out, you're going to feel like you're breaking the cable connector trying to pull it out. This is normal -- it's at a funky angle as it goes into the speaker and it takes a good deal of prying to pull loose.
    Build Quality
    As already touched upon with the cable, build quality is only so-so. As is pretty typical of Sennheiser's lower-end products, there's a plasticky feel throughout. The weird cable requiring crazy amounts of tugging, the not-inconsiderable creak of the gimbals, etc. In reality, the headphones should hold up quite well to reasonable use...they just don't necessarily feel like it. Gotta cut corners somewhere, I suppose.
    I defy you to find more comfortable circumaurals at this price. The velour earcups and headband cause these suckers to melt to your ears and disappear after a few minutes' use. I can barely handle leatherette anymore, I'm so spoiled on this sensation.
    Sound Quality
    Why am I touching on sound quality last? It's the last thing you notice when you take the headphones out of the package. Boom, there goes your mind.
    Looking at the package, you'll see the ominous phrase "Extended Bass Response." Oh lawd, Sennheiser is trying to make Beats, you may think. Thankfully, no. Bass is somewhat heavier than the other $100 headphones Sennheiser produces (the musician-centric 280s), but it doesn't have that bloated, overreaching feeling of Beats' EQ-based enhancement -- here it feels like a natural extension of the headphones' design, and helps to ground the overall feel of the music.
    A few days' burn-in certainly won't hurt these guys, just to wear the edges off the sound. To my ears it felt more settled with use.
    Overall, the sound feels assertive and balanced across the range, with surprisingly wide staging for a closed-back setup, especially one so basic as these. There's no confusing them with my 558s, but it certainly doesn't sound like the sound is emanating from my pineal gland, either.
    Cable noise is noticeable at very low volumes, but that's par for the course at this price point / with this brand. Unless you have parts on hand and a good deal of electrical/mechanical savvy, they're not worth cable modding. It's just something you deal with.
    At 32 ohms, these will sound fine coming from your portable device -- my Galaxy S3 with its shiny Wolfson DAC puts admirable sound into these cans, and I wouldn't expect much less from an iDevice or other mobile options. That being said, I noticed a distinct improvement in presence and clarity when I jacked these directly into my sound card (Auzen Raider 7.1) as opposed to the aux jack on my desktop speakers or through my phone. So if you have something to juice the sound (amp/DAC) then you'll hear a benefit. 
    From start to finish, a worthy headphone. Especially good as backup cans or gifts to budding audiophiles. Build quality is -ish, but not distressingly bad. Best-in-class comfort and superb sound quality for price. 
      torturechambers and trellus like this.
    1. XxDobermanxX
      Nice review
      XxDobermanxX, Jan 2, 2013
  6. EvansCantStop
    After a few days, spectacular.
    Written by EvansCantStop
    Published Dec 28, 2012
    Pros - wide range, just enough bass, comfort, accurate, lightweight
    Cons - takes a while of burn in, build quality
    These are about all i asked for for X-mas, yet i did not get them (not upset at all). I took my money the next day and went out to get a pair from my local Best Buys (which has them at a regular price of $79.99). 

    As soon as i got home, I plugged it up to my guitar amp to jam a bit, on a clean setting, there was some initial popping. I began to get worried. After i turned up the gain, they sounded great. Now there is no popping at all unless I just play entirely too hard or loud. 

    I also notice, through these, a massive difference between ALAC files and AAC files. I re-downloaded a lot of my music yesterday as ALAC or FLAC files (lossless) and put those on my itunes and ipod.
    Sound: People try to complain about the bass quantity in these, but i think it is just enough. There isn't too much bass to where it drowns out the rest of the music, but there is enough to where you can, at some points, feel it. It is the perfect balance. I'm not even planning on purchasing any pocket amp as i originally intended. [​IMG] The highs are crisp and accurate, and the bass complements the songs instead of making them. It's great!
    Design: The plastic on these feels as if it could have been better, however, for the price i paid, im not complaining. I usually look for sound quality for the price. If design is what you want, these look nice, but feel rather cheap... until you put them on. My only other concern is the chords it comes with seems like they will snap if run over by a rolling chair. 

    Comfort: Let me start out by stating that i wear glasses. This was initially a worry, because most headphones make my glasses dig into my head. I could wear these for hours. They are not heavy, fit nicely around the ears, and have just enough clamping force. if i shake my head too fast they will slip and re-position themselves, but they don't cause my glasses to dig into my head, and fit nicely around them. The isolation is average, but if you turn them up a bit, you won't hear anything else. Leakage is pretty minimal. Could be a little bit better, but what could you complain about? 
    Overall These are a great pair of cans. You can't go wrong, but upon initial purchase, just be patient with them and keep playing your music through them. Bad recordings will stick out like a sore thumb through these as well, so if you are having a bad time with them, check your recordings. I would recommend these to anyone that enjoys both quality and comfort from their headphones. 
    1. XxDobermanxX
      Good review, these headphones are not recessed like a certain popular recommendation here
      XxDobermanxX, Dec 28, 2012
    2. egosumlux
      I like this review it feels honest and no biased like many around here that probably fill you ap with useless jargon to avoid explaining how they felt their music talking about their better phones instead
      egosumlux, Dec 28, 2012
    3. zapanda
      Pretty accurate review. When I first got my 439s I was amazed about how comfortable they were (same glasses impediment as you). Also, the burn in period was quite long. It took about 30-40 hours to notice that they really come to life. Overall, a decent pair of cans.
      zapanda, Dec 29, 2012
  7. drewfig
    Sennheiser HD 439
    Written by drewfig
    Published Dec 27, 2012
    Pros - Great sound quality, very cocmfortable
    Cons - plastic, weak build. may fall off from your head
    after weeks and weeks of reading the reviews, i decided to give it a go and test this headphones in a concept store and eventually bought them. my first impressions were, these are veeery comfortable im telling you. i had pleathers before this one and for about less than 2 hours my ears starts to heat up and sweat. i use this for like 4-5 hours with taking it off whenever i will talk to someone here in my office but thats it. in short, this is so comfortable it can stay in your ears for quite awhile. 
    build quality is is mediocre. i expect more for a $100 cans. these are all plastic and if you have heavy hands, you might break them...i think same as hd 598's? (correct me pls if im wrong). they have detachable cables. i use the longest one if im using this as an FPS gaming headphone. 
    of course for the sound quality. some bassheads will probably get dissapointed. it has bass, but not those skullcrashing bass. its more of clear bass. very balanced. highs and mids are great. and this cans are veeeery versatile. you can use them in any music you want. i use them on hiphop and rnb's, rock, alternative, power ballads, mellow songs, piano, acoustic versions and my all time favorite for these cans....REGGAE. i dont know if its just me or these cans sound very very nice on reggae songs.
    balanced sound, has bass but not skullcrashing, very comfortable. these cans are a must have. but you might not want to use during workouts or listening to music while doing headbangs because they might fall off.  and you might want to purchase a portable amp. but thats just me. for others these cans are good without them but i find it better with a FiiO e6 attached to it
      trellus likes this.
    1. Gilly87
      Nice review, I have considered buying these...I just got some DT770s which are doing just fine for now, but I tested the model lower than these at a Best Buy and thought they sounded good for the price, which was I believe $80. I am still deciding if I will keep the Beyers or not though, so who knows...
      How do you find the subbass? I know most Sennheiser cans tend to roll off gently after 100hz, which IMO is where it starts to get really juicy ^_^
      Gilly87, Dec 27, 2012
    2. audioKyle
      Im interested in these. How do these compare to the skullcandy aviators? Have them and like the sound quite a bit even more than my m50's.
      audioKyle, Dec 28, 2012
  8. juan1894
    Sennheiser Hd-439
    Written by juan1894
    Published Oct 12, 2012
    Pros - Excelent sound quality, very comfortable.
    I had this headphones for 3 months, and overall im very happy with this cans, the price paid for this hd439 was 99US, and i dont regret for buying them!!!
    The sound quality is excelent, the lows are accurate and precise, not overbloated bass. The mids are very good, and the highs are somewhat recessed, but that's the way I like it. The sound signature of this cans are very relaxing, not in a bad way.
    The comfort is unique in its class! With the cloth pads, ears do not hurt and the heat is less.
    IMPORTANT: Out of the box, these cans probably dissapoint. But with some burn-in and a amp (i have a fiio e6 or fujiyama) you will be quite surprised with the change.
    EDIT: If someone found the bass in this headphones light to your taste, you can mod this cans, is the same mod of the HD438. Search in this page and you will find it.
  9. Nyanman
    Sennheiser Hd 439 review
    Written by Nyanman
    Published Oct 12, 2012
    Pros - Very clear mids and highs
    Cons - Slighty bass light
    Hi all :D,after about 4 months of saving and debating,i finally picked up a pair of these beauties.
    Just over 2 months of owning them,and i feel the need to do a review on them.
    Keep i mind i'm not an audiophile,just a student who loves his music. 
    The phones came in a blister pack and contains the phones themselves,2 cables,and 1/4 inch adapter.The cables are 1.4m i believe and 3m in length.They start with a right angle 2.5mm back and terminate in a 3.5mm straight jack.
    Out of the box,they were a little bass light and the highs were slightly sibilant,but after a week of burn in,the sound became much more balanced.
    After 2 months, verdict.
    Highs: Very crisp and clear
    Mids: Clean and accurate
    Low/bass: Extends down low,but is missing some of the "punch" bassheads crave. Hopefully and amp with bass boost (Fiio E11) can fix this.
    Overall,these headphones are very comfortable,well built,good value,and quite balanced in terms of sound signature. They work well with almost all genres,a great buy,but an amp may help.
    Will post pictures if requested
    EDIT: Slightly muddy for music above 170bpm (techno)
    1. XxDobermanxX
      good review and yes these are great but underrated headphones
      XxDobermanxX, Oct 12, 2012
  10. GabeyGabe
    Excellent for the price.
    Written by GabeyGabe
    Published Oct 3, 2012
    Pros - Comfortable, removable cable, 10 and 4 foot cables
    Cons - Mediocre build
    I had to make a choice ladies and gentlemen. The Sennheiser Hd 439 or the AKG K-240s. After hours of video watching, review reading, and talking to friends, the hd 439 came out on top. In part because of the fact I got them refurbished for 60 bucks, and because of some common problems people had with the K-240s. After a few days of burning in, I feel safe saying that I made the correct choice. I'll do my best to give you an accurate representation of the Sennheiser HD 439s. Lets start of with the Negatives (that way you'll finish with the good stuff, and a smile :D) namely the build quality. These headphones aren't built incredibly well, considering the 100 dollar price tag. The plastic is the same as the HD 201 (for those of you who don't know those are a 20 dollar headphone). That being said, there may be metal reinforcements inside the headphone. One part of the build that I was happy (and surprised) about is the detachable cable. These are one of the two >100 HD headphones with this feature. Basically these headphones aren't made for snowboarding. I think they will do fine in daily commute (even the hd 201s did). Well thats all for the cons, lets move on to the good stuff.

     This headphone features a type of padding I have never had touch my ears. Its a plush, and breathable cloth that reduces sweat by 100% compared to plastic or pleather. The cups encompass my ears completely. This allows the headphone to rest completely on my head, and not my ears. This creates extreme comfort, as an over ear should. After about 2 hours I started to notice the pressure of the headband a bit, but not enough to make me take them off. Overall these headphones are very comfortable, not the most comfortable, but no complaints.

     The Isolation is next on the list, and I guess I'll throw in cable quality. The isolation is excellent. Being a closed back headphone the only way the sound can really get out is through the pads. I plugged the headphone straight into my ipod for this, no amp, and at 50% volume my dad said he couldn't hear anything. 75% he could here it, but not very much. 100% was noticeable, but this is in a silent room, so in commute, or in any place with people talking, it will be drowned out. Noise doesn't enter these headphones when music is above 50-60 percent (excluding quiet acoustic music, and stuff like that). Quite a few headphones boast superb passive noise cancellation, but these are the second best at it I have ever heard (second to the Shure SRH-840). These easily destroy the Beats by Dre's ACTIVE noise cancellation. Moving to the cable, its nothing special. I noticed heavy cable noise before playing music, which worried me, but didn't end up being an issue at all. any music will drown it out. The headphone includes a 4' cable for daily use, and a 10' cable for hifi use. Any speaker amp's headphone jack will power these well.

     Onwards to sound quality. The main reason I chose this headphone over the AKG is because I have come to know Sennheiser as a company who cares an extreme amount about their products sound quality. I have never owned or tried a Sennheiser product that that has disapointed me sound quality wise. The highs are clear, and upfront. The highs are anything but harsh. They do their job without harming the users ears in any way. The mids are extremely crisp and accurate, female vocalist shined right through the mix, making me laugh with pleasure. The low end was a pleasant surprise. When initially reading the box which claims "Extended bass response" I was worried I was going to get sickening bass. I misunderstood one word. "Extended". Sennheiser really spent their time making the bass clear, responsive and accurate. The bass isn't upfront, or sickening by any means. The sound stage is as good as open back headphones of the same 100 dollar price tag, making the experience of wearing these headphones a real treat. I also have to mention that the instrument separation is excellent as well. I heard things I never expected possible with 100 dollar cans. These headphones provide a refined sound experience that blew my expectations away.
    My Ipod nano (which ever one has the camera) couldn't quite drive these, but when I added my fiio E6 to the mix, the headphones really shined. I plan on using these for everything from daily use in school to Live mixing at concerts. I am extremely happy with this purchase and hope they last me forever. I would pay 100 for these in a second, but the 60 dollar price tag certainly helped. I suggest everyone have a pair, even if just to use as a portable headphone.

    EDIT: I didn't mention it before, but these headphones look pretty nice. Most of Sennheiser's products aren't eye pleasing, but these are an exception. You won't be ridiculed by your peers for wearing these, don't worry.
    1. XxDobermanxX
      Excellent review, i have the HD 449 :p
      XxDobermanxX, Oct 3, 2012
    2. LiSAuCE
      I have the 439's too!

      First "not crappy" headphone. Love it! Debated whether to buy an amp but my Ipod touch is just able to drive these.

      I disagree slightly about the isolation. I feel it could be better but I ordered leather pads so we'll see if that changes anything.

      All in all a fantastic headphone for 100
      LiSAuCE, Oct 5, 2012
    3. trellus
      You've convinced me to buy them.... on sale right now on Amazon for $54.94.
      trellus, Jan 9, 2016