Review : Sennheiser HD 25-1 II
Jun 16, 2010 at 2:45 AM Post #31 of 145
A good review, and I agree with most of your comments apart from your statement about isolation.
I personally think they isolate nowhere near as well as Etymotic IEMs.
I used to listen to Ety ER-6is on the Seoul subway and they isolated so well I literally couldn't hear any outside noise. With my HD25 1 II cans, I can hear the wheels screeching when the carriage turns a corner and can tell when the next stop is being announced.
They do isolate very well for full-sized headphones, but in my opinion it's an exaggeration to say they isolate as well as a good IEM.
Jun 16, 2010 at 3:36 AM Post #32 of 145
A message for those folks who are thinking of recabling:
You should try amping them before recabling, because it's possible that your source is struggling to drive them properly.
I'd recommend the Fiio E5 amp - it's only US$17 from
I haven't tried the E5 because the battery in mine crapped out, but my ultra-cheap $7 Fiio E3 is really making a big difference to my Fuze + HD 25 1 II. A little bass-heavy, but soundstage is much improved.
Jun 16, 2010 at 5:24 AM Post #33 of 145
looks ridiculously cheap..  Are these redundant once the battery reaches its max number of recharges?  or can you replace the battery? 
After breaking mine in for about a week, im finding the bass to be great, but the treble is a little 'harsh'.  I am using the RNB preset EQ on my ipod which I find is the best for the music I listen to.  Would the HD650 round off some treble to any noticeable amount?  Id prob rather not buy an amp for portability reasons. 
Jun 18, 2010 at 2:41 PM Post #34 of 145
A few questions to those who have these:
1. Is the HD650 cable only available in 3m length? Sounds too long for portable use.
2. Can the HD650 cable be installed the same way as the original so that we only have it on one side?
3. How will these compare to ESW9s if I want less warmth, more detail and more analytical sound?
Jun 18, 2010 at 6:37 PM Post #35 of 145
1.  I think so, HD650 cable is only sold in that length. You might want to get custom-made ones from our DIY experts in this site so that you will get the length of your choice.
2. Using the unique entry design of the HD25 with the thicker HD650 cable is highly unlikely. Both the connectors of the HD650 cable have equal lengths, while the stock steel one has the left channel cable longer to run along the thin headband groove. Again, a custom-built cable would be a wiser choice if you want to keep the HD25's cable entry.
3. The Sennheiser HD25-1 II is already highly analytical and detailed from the get-go, while the ESW9 in my experience is more laid back and warmer in sound signature. Sounds like the HD25 will be the best for your preferences.
Good luck with your purchase, friend. 

Jun 18, 2010 at 6:49 PM Post #36 of 145
I don't recommend HD650 cable on HD25-1 - it ruins the sound quality of the HD25s IMO. The soundstage collapses and timbre sounds really strange - very unnatural.
Jun 18, 2010 at 6:55 PM Post #37 of 145

I don't recommend HD650 cable on HD25-1 - it ruins the sound quality of the HD25s IMO. The soundstage collapses and timbre sounds really strange - very unnatural.

So what aftermarket cables are good? I'm thinking of a Canare Starquad for mine. There are also others I could use, like Mogami and Vampire Cryo.
Jun 18, 2010 at 7:06 PM Post #38 of 145
I got the 650 cable on mine and think the soundstage was expanded and enhanced the bass too. I listen to Jeff Healy's "A Mess of Blues", a live album before he passed away; the drum slam just makes the peformance sound so real that I have to stop anything I'm doing and listen. I change headphones to my Ultrasone Edition 8's and think that maybe I replayed it so many times that I'm getting tired of it, but then I change back to my 25-1's and damn it sounds so good again! If I HAD to get rid of one of them, I'd keep my 25-1's! I think the cable change is well worth it and if not then just change back again.
Jun 19, 2010 at 9:25 AM Post #39 of 145
To answer a couple of questions:
1) sixty2strat: Was your comment about something being "ridiculously cheap" and your question about a battery related to the Fiio E5 amp I mentioned? The answer is that yes, it is ridiculously cheap, and yes, the battery will die after a certain number of recharges. It should last hundreds of recharges, but in my case something went wrong with the unit and it crapped out. It might have been because I was recharging it from a wall socket rather from a computer USB port. I did open the unit to see if I could replace the battery, but in the end for $17 I simply ordered a new one. It arrived from Hong Kong yesterday. I much prefer it to the E3 because it has a flat response and an optional and subtle bass boost (enabled by a switch).
2) Szadzik: I agree with jjsoviet that the HD25 i II is already detailed, reasonably analytic and is certainly not overly warm. I tend to favour a flat response myself, and if anything I like to give the HD 25 i II a slight bass-boost on occasion.
Jun 19, 2010 at 1:03 PM Post #40 of 145
@jjsoviet and newzild,
Thanks for you responses. I am still looking into this, but will have to hold off until after holiday time. I am going to France and then Poland in 2 weeks' time and will be away for over two weeks so will wait until I come back and then buy the Senns. 
I was originally planning on selling the ATs and then buyin something for the money but I think I will first try the Senns and only if I like them better then my ESW9s I will sell the latter. Now I just have to be patient not to blow my holiday money :wink:
Jun 19, 2010 at 9:38 PM Post #42 of 145
I hate to be a wet towel here... but I just got a pair of these.  My impressions so far are no where near as enthusiastic.  These are just early impressions, so the jury is still out for me.
In terms of isolation, these are hard to beat.  Great sound isolation for office use.  That is no small accomplishment.  In terms of mid-bass, they do very well.  If you have some phones that are missing the bass, you appreciate something like this that has a very well defined bass voicing.
But that's it so far, as far as I can tell.  Highs seem rolled-off.  They just have a kind of flat, Sony-like signature otherwise.  I will let them break in and try them on a few other pieces of gear.  But so far, not very special.  I would prefer something a bit more musical or dynamic.
Jun 19, 2010 at 10:58 PM Post #43 of 145
Remember the HD25's are used for studio monitoring, so it is important for the headphones to be as flat in frequency response as possible. It is highly analytical and will reveal any sort of musical artifact from poor recordings and low-bitrate music.
If you want a bit of a higher punch to the treble, try removing the black pads inside the earcups. It will help. 

Jun 19, 2010 at 11:42 PM Post #44 of 145
Would agree with your first sentence.  But I wouldn't call these highly analytical.  To me they feel more tilted towards the bass, and rolled off on the highs.  But yeah, people use stuff like this in studios.  Agree on that point.
I'll put these on my best DAC and AMP and give them another listen.  Given the signature, I fully expect to enjoy them more than I am up to this point.  So it could well be the circumstances of the 1st couple of listening sessions.  Will give them a fair shot with the good chain soon, and report back.

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