Sennheiser HD 449 Headphones

General Information

Sennheiser's HD 449 stands out from the crowd with its striking, kink design and high-quality audio reproduction. Delivering detailed sound and clarity, both indoor and outdoor with its advanced acoustic system, these headphones are guaranteed to please. Its design ensures a comfortable fit around your ears and isolate against ambient noise. Completing the package are gold plated plugs, extension cable and adaptor for excellent connectivity anywhere.

Latest reviews

Pros: Good soundstage, smooth mids, comfy, lightweight and portable, nice with "gentle" music
Cons: A bit bass light, could be more sensitive to signals.
I purchased these as my first "Audiophile headphones" a couple of years ago, and have since purchased better pairs. The good news is that they still work perfectly. They are lightweight, comfortable and not as flimsy as they feel, however for people with larger ears they will not fully fit and will feel like very big on-ears phones. They do not leak much sound and the isolation is OK but if your not playing music, anything above a moderate crowd throng will come through quite clearly.
The sound quality is very good in terms of mid to treble response, detail and sound stage width, and is very appealing for vocals and more relaxed genres of music as well as. Sadly the bass is slightly "recessed" however this ca be rectifed with gentle equalization from the source to provide a good neutral response, however these cans are hopeless for any basshead as they can't handle loud & hard pumping bass without slightly distorting the rest of the sound due to their "relaxed response" . Also, sadly for a headphone of such low impedance, it cannot be easily driven to an ideal volume by my Sony A17 Walkman (I have to set it to 28/30), and maybe it isn't the strongest source but it drives my other phones to even louder volumes at much lower levels (20/30), and I need to use my FiiO E17 DAC to get these to an "exciting" volume.
They are a really big step up from low-end crap but there are even better On and Over Ears sets for the price for Seventy quid or so, such as the Audio Technica M40X. I would advise people to avoid the replacement to the HD449, the HD471, if they don't like the sound of these, they apparently have the same sound quality, albeit with a detachable smartphone friendly cable.
Pros: Price
Cons: None yet
I have only bought these headphones today, so haven't used them properly to rate yet.
I had been thinking of buying my first pair of quality headphones for around two weeks now. I had narrowed it down to either Bose, Audio-Technica or Sennheiser.
Was prepared to spend up to $250, then came across a pair of Sennheiser HD 558 advertised at JB HIFI for $145.60 on the web, a saving of $62.40.
So off I go to buy them but you guessed it they had none. So I noticed JB had 30% off all Sennheiser so I grab a pair of HD 449 instead at a measly cost of $97.96.
That will do for my first pair of decent headphones.
For anyone who is interested, JB have a special on Sennheiser Urbanite XL for only $279.96, that's $119.99 of the normal retail and then Sennheiser give you a $100 cash back.
These baby's will only cost you $179.96, from a $399.95 retail, that's not bad if I would say so myself.
I might buy these for Ron. 
And no I don't work for JB, just like a great deal when I see it. Cheers. 
P.S. Audio Quality and Comfort yet to be rated.
The Senn HD 439 449 are regularly on sale in the $40 range.
Pros: Light weight, comfortable, detailed, balanced, wide frequency response
Cons: Some may think the bass is lacking but, they are remenicent of my old electrostatics
It is hard to find a pair of isolating headphones that won't rob the bank leaving a bitter after taste, a feeling of being conned, misled or otherwise suckered into filling another segment of that rapidly filling cupboard you so do not want the wife to find out about, you know, the one that is festooned with average, over priced abandoned audio kit.
In this case, the the phones were on special at £25 (retail normally £80) in Sainsbury's (a national supermarket).
Sennheiser is a name that is relatively reliable though that cupboard has a number of big S abandoned new kit.
So why try these. 
I suppose I was facing despair and a lack of major funds.  The inane desire for accurate, open, expansive phones often outweighs reason.
Are they the best I have heard? 
Honestly, no.  That honour lies with a pair of early 70's Beyer DT100's I stupidly traded for a pair of electrostatics that never really cut it.
Are they uncomfortable? 
No they are as comfortable as that top of the range pair of Koss I dreamt of as a lad.  They are like a feather on my head, bliss for a change, no crimping, scraping, pinching leading to an aching desire to throw them into a distant corner of the listening room.
Could they do with more bass? 
That's a big one.  A sort of subjective what is really needed, what is real, what should bass really sound like.  They may open up, it maybe the lack of low end drive in the laptop which, running Linux, is bereft of any tonal adaptability.  Though to many from my era we tend to believe that everything should be 'flat' when played.  For me, they have the detail of electrostatics without the punch of the tiring gaming phones.
Are they sharp and painful at the top end? 
For a new audio product fresh out of the packet, a set of phones with no run time no, not at all, there is no shrillness, no biting top, no brittle distortion.  But then, I don't run my phones at levels that equate to me hugging a 500w Marshall stack during a Metallica concert.
Are they are flat, too two dimensional? 
Surprisingly no, their balance and channel separation is impressive, there is real depth.  It's sort of built to listen to sound rather than built to impress.  Far better to have a pair of phones you have no conscious knowledge of as you listen.  Phones that let you listen to the music rather than concentrate on listening to the equipment.
Are they underwhelming? 
Well, at £80 ($120) I may have been a bit cheesed off (English expression) and feel I had had my pocket picked.  At less than $40 there is no way I can moan.  As they mature, one would expect them to settle in, like a V12 working within it's relaxed power band rather than a Japanese 1.2 screaming along at 9000 revs.
Overall impression? 
They handle my genres well, they are not the most dynamic but then again, that's not what I want.
Who or when in real life, in the real world does music contain the range of dynamics as the stuff that is promoted as being DVD hi-fi quality. 
I have a £50k hi-fi (yes I am that mad), as I sit here to listen to the Ghost of Tom Joad in HD lossless, hey it's pretty close.  Especially for laptop stereo and knowing the music intimately, yep, it's bringing a tear to my eye as I type (that doesn't happen often).  The bass is deep, detailed and not overpowering.  I had anticipated the harmonica to cut through and tear my ears out, nope, sweet, balanced, detailed.  I had expected the highs of 'the highway is alive tonight' to crackle in a cheap, boxy, forced, low value phone breakup.  Nope, clean, detailed revealing, nothing is drowning out the detail of anything else.
Walk on the Wild Side.  So hard to achieve an image on many an expensive system. 
Hmm. The double bass rattles and harmonics ring out beautifully.
But what about the backing the singers?  Well, it's YouTube, not a £5k turntable with virgin vinyl so, I have to settle for the shortfall of CD quality.  Even so they seem to be advancing towards the microphones.  It doesn't sound like their voices are being ranked up by an engineer with a slider.  So just maybe, that magic image of them stepping forward towards the microphone is almost there.  Oh and the sax doesn't break up or have an edge to it.  Nope it's all good.
I tried for some sibilance (I hate sibilance), such a let down for many a recording.  Nope, nothing harsh here. 
So.  In about 60 hours, hard driven, when things loosen up, experience says they will improve. 
Hey but they were only £25, so no complaints.
Interesting review @d-l-b! Glad you enjoy the HD 449! 


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