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Sennheiser HD 215 Review

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by bowei006, Aug 3, 2012.
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  1. koolas
  2. 8day
    Judging by the packaging, it's not SENNHEISER HD 215 that was reviewed, but SENNHEISER HD 215 II. In mine, box opened like the doors, sideways (there were a lock at the top and the bottom), not up. The same packaging can be seen at this page: http://www.head-fi.org/products/sennheiser-hd-215-extreme-dj-sound-headphones For those who will buy this HP I must say that there's almost no non-II Sennheisers left, so this review is valid.
    BTW, I plan to make a post/video on how to disassemble them, which is kinda tricky.
  3. Apogee777
    Please consider Roland RH-A30 is considerably more expensive than the HD 215.
  4. Apogee777
    i think that the 215 and the 215-II are the same headphone re-marketed,
    one of the early posts here: quote "Sennheiser will be re-introducing these into the market shortly.."
    however we can only truly know if someone can front up who has owned both :)
    maybe someone can, that would be cool.
  5. koolas

    Ok, what about Senn 449 or ATH TAD400?
  6. shtldr
    I'm sorry but I'm not touching any mainstream Sennheiser headphone again. Over-bassed stuff with recessed treble in general - this seems all that people want, this Porta Pro like sound, which I despise. Maybe HD 449 is different but I'm not wasting my money to find out.
  7. Apogee777
    sounds like a brainless troll post from a headphone nub.
    edit: sorry harsh but no headphone is perfect and congratulations for your extremely informative post.
    thank you.
  8. shtldr
    I wasn't criticizing Sennheiser as much as I was criticizing the poor taste of general population. I respect professional Sennheiser products but in the consumer business, I guess they have little choice. They must make their headphones intentionally bass-heavy, otherwise people brainwashed with Porta Pro sound would not buy their products, thinking they're inferior while exactly the opposite would be true.
    I need a neutral headphone, I need to look elsewhere. The risk of wasting my money is simply too high.
    I judge headphone's quality based on how close to real instruments the reproduction sounds. Live drumkit recordings, for example, sound like crap on most commercial headphones, nowhere near the real sound of a kit. The fact that there are so few neutral/balanced headphones under $100 bothers me, it does not take $300+ to produce a neutral headphone.
  9. Apogee777
    in my country they are even higher in price due to shipping and low population.
    its taken a while to find something appropriate in price vs value, and of course to find something built well and not plasticy poor design is another mission as well :)
  10. koolas
    I believe the HD215 was designed to be used by DJs, so they'd be connected to some professional equipment, and not consumer grade amplifier. That basically means they need to be reasonably detailed with pretty flat FR, but not necessarily H-Fi. The HD215 are significantly lacking treble above 8kHz and bass under 100Hz. But they sound great when you push Loudness button, which boosts bass and high treble. I suppose they are designed to work in that mode - assuming that consumer basically has Loudness always ON.

    I think HD215 are nice for what they are designed to be, but you can find more HI-FI headphone in similar price.

    BTW I don't know which Sennheiser headphone you were referring to, but out of all Sennheiser HD series headphones I tried so far, I don't remember any sounding too bassy, or too veiled - all were pretty balanced or slightly bright. I also remember that Sennheiser headphones sound more detailed and less compressed than some Sony or Denon I tried. I have also tried several AKG, and I hated their signature completely, because of that peak somewhere at 3kHz. What I'm basically saying is that Sennheiser honestly does some great headphones, and I am surprised with what you say @shtldr.
  11. shtldr
    I have owned or still own PX100, HD518, IE4, HD490, HD380. Every single one of these has too much bass. Definitely not flat. Not sure what you mean by "Hi-fi" - 20Hz to 20kHz +-3 dB? I doubt any commercial headphone actually achieves that. :)
    HD215 has the most accurate treble/mid balance of all these headphones. Boosting treble on HD215 will likely make them less accurate.
    Note that there is some production variance, not every HD215 headphone sounds the same. Maybe you just got a worse specimen?
  12. koolas
    From the very first post:

    The treble on HD215 over certain frequency need boost, and same applies to bass below certain point. Many amp have loudness button, and many people listen to the music with this button depressed. I'd say Senn designed HD215 to play well in such scenario.

    With the price range where HD215 sits I wouldn't really go the route of discussing whether EQ would change SQ. All headphones you mentioned sit around or below $100 price, and you can pay few bucks more to just get M50 (see also other proposed headphones on 'M50 no longer king" thread). There is a Senn for similar money and it's HD449. It does sound pretty well, but you can have ATH-TAD400 for HD215 money, and you get more detailed, more neutral sound. The ATH-TAD400 looks open, but I don't remember it leaking that much. Bottom line, what I'm saying is that for HD215 money you can do much better as long as you are not buying Senn, and then for HD449 money same story. Generally it sounds like Senn is always more expensive than others if you try to compare two headphones proposing similar SQ.
  13. shtldr
    Well, you need to take into account the fact that I bought my HD215 almost 10 years ago. It was probably the best purchase I could have made. I did some research back then and there weren't many headphones around the same price with such accurate and neutral sound. Many people worshipped Porta Pro sound as the reference signature. And some still do to this day, it just blows my mind.
  14. Apogee777
    koolas, you're going against the grain of many reviewers and even Paul Kalkbrenner who created the full soundtrack to Berlin Calling on HD 215's.
    they are not perfect and not full audiophile, just heavy built rugged DJ cans with an excellent range and also well proven over time.
    i only have these connected to an X-FI sound card and are well suited
    i like the dry sound, same as my Yamaha amp and sub + polk audio speaker setup - not perfect but nice, dry and detailed :p
  15. koolas
    I wonder if you bothered to read the very first post in this thread?

    I just said, i fully agree with that, and IMHO at this price you could get better sounding headphones, like for example ATH-TAD400 (better in my opinion), though they are open (if you care).
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