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REVIEW: The Sennheiser HD 215 (the HD 205's bigger brother)

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by warrenpchi, Aug 14, 2012.
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  1. warrenpchi Administrator
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    Hmm, curious... perhaps I'm a bit more sensitive to higher frequencies than I originally thought?
     
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    Thanks for the update!  As for the setting the volume between 3~6, I'd wager that the HD 215 is sensitive enough where those levels start to exceed comfort.
     
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    Are you looking for something to be used for critical listening at home, or a pair of closed cans for portability's sake?  If it's the latter - and I'd hate to mention it - but I do like the Amperior quite a bit.  I AB'd an HD 25-II at the most recent LA Meet against Jude's Amperior.  Though some may say that the difference is slight, I could hear a distinct advantage in the Amperior - particularly in terms of speed and detail.  I know there's quite a price difference between those two, but for me (personally) it would be worth it.
     
    In fact, if anyone from Sennheiser is reading this, I wouldn't mind reviewing the Amperior.
     
    As for the HD 558, I really can't say as I haven't heard them.  Nor do I have a whole lot of experience with Grados.
     
  2. exxecutor
    @warren: Maybe I don't focus much on the sibilance (vocal aspect ). Also, maybe my source (ipod touch 4g) + fiio L3 lod cable might have something to do with it, and my music files (various quality).   
     
    What slightly bothering me is Amperior's 18 ohm impedance, as I'm now interested in harder-to-drive type to compliment the amplifier [​IMG]. There must be some sonic advantage with medium-to-high impedance phones, right? The hd25-II-C is 70 ohm which is quite OK. Sennheiser's hd600 is too much for me though hehe....  
     
    How about beyerdynamic and AKG range?
     
  3. warrenpchi Administrator
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    It varies with everyone, and there's really no standard as to what is or is not sibilant from one person to the next right?  There are a few members or ex-members of Head-Fi (like purrin, LFF, RhythmDevils, etc.) who consider treble peaks to be the devil incarnate, and rail against any cans with treble peaks in their signatures.  Others are more forgiving.  All in the ears of the beholder...  [​IMG]
     
    I read something interesting in an acoustics textbook a while back.  Apparently, adults start losing their high-frequency hearing at a rate of 1Hz per day starting around the age of 30.  [​IMG]  So I would think that the typical human being would be less susceptible to sibilance as they get older.  Not everything improves with age I guess.
     
    I myself listen to a fair amount of EDM and dub.  So even outside of vocal sibilance, strident or biting cans generally leave me a bit strung out after a while.  [​IMG]
     
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    I wouldn't really go by impedance.  Outside of the fact that certain drivers will [subjectively] sound better than others... and those drivers might just HAPPEN to have a higher impedance rating... there's no inherent advantage to a headphone with higher impedance drivers.  Some of Head-Fiers' most beloved cans have low-impedance drivers, like your PortaPros.  Plus, if we follow that logic, we'd be forced to admit that all IEMs are crap, and yet we know that just isn't true.  [​IMG]
     
    Actually, the opposite is true.  With the advent of portable audio from the original Walkman up to the present day, lower-impedance cans offer the advantage of not requiring a lot of current to be properly driven.  So I'd say there's absolutely nothing wrong with the Amperior's 18-Ohm rating, and I for one love the fact that I get to slim down my portable rig if when I get one.  There is one obvious drawback to the Amperior though, and that is the price tag - which I find to be a bit steep for what it is.  [​IMG]
     
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    I haven't heard any Beyers for any appreciable length of time.  The widespread comments about how bright they are has always demoted them a little in terms of my curiosity.  I may soon score a DT880 (32-Ohm) just for exploration's sake though.  We'll see, but in the meantime, there are so many good cans out that that wading into the Beyer pool isn't a huge priority for me right now.
     
    However, I consider the AKG K240 Studio to be one of those rarely talked about hidden gems that should get a bit more attention than it currently receives.  Its a semi-open little wonder that can be had for as little as $80!  It's 55-Ohms in case you're wondering.  And though some people say that it doesn't need to be amped, I find that feeding it a little more current does wonders sonically.  The sub-bass is - as you can imagine - not quite there, but there is a relatively pleasing mid-bass hump.  The highs are just a bit rolled off, but it does offer just enough sparkle to be pleasing.  But the real joy of a K240 is that is possesses that classic AKG house sound at a truly affordable price.  So it's a pretty cheap way to see if you'll like AKGs.  If you do, you can move up from there (probably to a Q701 or K702 or something like that).  If not, it was only about $80 and you can always sell it to recover some of that.
     
    If you want to know a little secret to getting the K240s at a great price, here's a tip.  For some unknown reason, Amazon marketplace sellers like to dangle a super low price ($79.99 or less) on these every once in a while.  So all you have to do is find the AKG K240 Studio on Amazon.  The price should be somewhere at or under $99.99.  Go ahead and add it to cart but don't check out.  Then refresh the cart once or twice a day.  Every other day or so - usually in the dead of night - the price will drop to $79.99 or less.  When it does, pull the trigger.  I myself got mine for only $76.99.
     
  4. exxecutor
    @warren: Yes, agree with you - it's in the ears of the beholder [​IMG]. I'm OK with high amount of high frequency  as long as it does not biting/spiking/stinging my ears. I don't have that problem with hd215 - able to enjoy good high frequency with most songs. The portapro also perform well in that aspect. 
     
    Thanks for your opinion about the impedance and the Amazon tips - really appreciate it. I have just added the AKG K240 in the basket. and the Amperior too hehe [​IMG]
     
  5. warrenpchi Administrator
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    I'm on this quest to find that sparkle in the highs (or what I call Sonic Fairy Dust) - without sibilance.  So far, I have yet to come across it.
     
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    Of course, no sense spending more than they're asking for right?  LOL on the Amperior, but I'd agree with that.
     
  6. ravishkalra
    Nice review but one noob question i had in mind from a loong time which is better a noise cancellation headphone or a closed can <with a better sound quality> ? in terms of money
     
  7. streetdragon
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    closed can, very few active noise cancellation headphones actually sound good for its price.
    well really depends on what you want, if you are in an extremely noisy situation often (train/airplane) then the active noise cancellation like bose would suit you better, if not, then any standard closed headphone should seal outside noise enough to enjoy your music with overall better sound quality for price
     
  8. warrenpchi Administrator
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    Yes, definitely listen to streetdragon.  Unless you REALLY need it to drown out some obnoxious noise (aircraft powerplant, public transportation, spouse, hellspawn offspring, etc.), your best bet for sound quality is to go for cans that have good passive isolation - and NOT active noise cancellation.  It will be cheaper and the sound quality of the music will be better.  Also keep in mind that ANC (active noise cancellation) often comes with it's own problems (hiss, static, noise) so they're not the miracle workers that most people think they are.  [​IMG]  Having said that, if you are going to get ANC cans, you're best off with Bose.  Their ANC is the best (i.e. least flawed) by far - even if their cans aren't exactly considered audiophile quality around these parts.
     
  9. ravishkalra
    Thanx a lot that helped me im off to hd 215 on low budget good sound :)
     
  10. warrenpchi Administrator
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    You're welcome!  Hope you enjoy them!
     
    BTW, do you have an amp?  exxecutor (above) definitely prefers them with an mp as opposed to without.  And if those were my main cans, I think that I might also be inclined to amp it just for the change in sonic properties (e.g. less tamed sibilance).
     
  11. eskimoo
    How HD205 & HD215 compared to AKG & ShureDJ?
    Sennheiser only offer you these two since beginning & not yet update them despite fierce new competitors
     
  12. streetdragon
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    but then again, the sennheiser HD25-II is seen on a whole lot of music professionals, so i guess they have their foot in that market there. not to mention a lot of performers are using Sennheiser mics (saw them using them on tv performances when they zoomed in)

    though in the studio akg and shure are dominant
     
  13. warrenpchi Administrator
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    I actually haven't heard any of AKG's or Shure's DJ cans, so I can't say.  However, as Streetdragon pointed out, the HD 25-II is Sennheiser's suggested DJ headphone.  I have heard those, and they are quite good IMO.
     
  14. eskimoo
    HD25-ii only good for pro, from my perspective. Too dry too analytic
    That's why im asking their cheaper solutions, hd205 & hd215 
     
  15. warrenpchi Administrator
    Just out of curiosity, what kind of sound signature would you prefer?  [​IMG]
     
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