on 23 September 2012
I have Sennheiser HD205, Sennheiser HD419 and now these absolute beauties! By far the best headphones I have ever used with nearly all genres. They are perfect for me, fit my every need perfectly.
Design is absolutely fantastic
Build quality is top notch
Trebles and mids are spot on
Decent sound cancellation
Doesn't leak any sound
6.3mm Jack adapter
Bass seems a little weak
Cable isn't detachable
As you can see, there is a long list of advantages and a short amount of disadvantages. That is always a good way to go.
Unfortunately, people who listen to bass-heavy songs aren't going to make these there first choice. By no means is the bass bad, in actual fact, its much better on here than on HD205's and not far short of that on the HD419(a headphone designed with bass as the primary focus). I listen occasionally to bass heavy songs and it does cope very well. However, for this price you can find better bass in a headphone.
As I have mentioned, the cable isn't detachable. This, of course, isn't a major problem. However it might have been nice on headphones in this price range, as other headphones do have. I doubt whether this will affect your decision at all, but worth keeping in mind.
I will only touch on audio quality, as the rest of the advantages are pretty self-explanatory. I find the audio quality amazing. I think it delivers 'incredible sound detail and clarity' (as described in the product name). I works splendidly with rock, dance, indie, hip hop, classical, techno, drum and bass, rap and dubstep. Some of the latter genres don't work as well as the first, but still fine for the average listener.
In conclusion, a listener with an all-round genre liking with suit these headphones perfectly. They produce fantastic highs and mids and pretty good bass. All with an even balance, creating an all-round headphone. People who prefer more bass may want to look elsewhere, as they aren't specifically designed for that. Overall an incredible set of headphones. Would recommend to just about everyone!
These headphones are a very slight upgrade to the Sennheiser HD 448 (my wife has a pair of HD 448s, and thinks they're great). They're intended for use with MP3 players (including iPods, iPads and the like), and they are very good for this purpose. Compared with the tinny little in-ear phones supplied by Apple, these are an order of magnitude better. They are not completely neutral-sounding: they're a little bass-heavy. For use with MP3 source material, this isn't necessarily a disadvantage. Classical music through these headphones sounds good, but they're better with rock and jazz. The headphones have a low impedance, and MP3 players (I've tried Apple and Sony) have no trouble driving them.
The cable is short (1.4m) and quite thin, with a 3.5mm jack. An extension cable is provided, as is a 1/4" jack adapter, just in case you need it. The headphones would probably be a bit bulky to take out and about, especially as they don't fold up, but they are extremely comfortable, and they're great for long train journeys, for plugging in to my computer and just to use about the house for listening to music and audiobooks.
Note: I have previously used Sennheiser HD 485s, but they are too uncomfortable for prolonged use; the HD 449s are MUCH more comfortable. My daughter uses Sennheiser HD 215 DJ headphones, and she reckons they are much clearer than the 449s, but they are also much bigger, and come with an impractically long coiled lead for portable use.
Update, November 2012: These headphones were awarded Which? magazine's Best Buy status as best for Home Entertainment. Which? says they're a bit heavy, but very comfortable, ideal for watching long films.
One of the problems today is the huge choice of headphones and particularly Sennheisers. I have been trying for ages to find the 'perfect' pair. I am not saying I have found them in these but they are the best I have tried so far. Out of the box these headphones sound good although there was a bit too much bass at times which led to a muddy sound. I am very difficult to please with 'sound' so I was close to writing these off. However I left them playing in a spare room for 60 hours and it did make a difference. Much clearer sound and tighter bass and treble.
They are light and very comfortable. Look ok, nothing special (do looks matter?). I tested them with Apple iPod touch 64GB - Black - 4th Generation (Latest Model - Launched Sept 2010) and the volume was acceptable without the need to pair the IPOD with an amplifier. I also plugged them into my Cyrus amplification and I was happy with the result. The lead is the right length for on the move. There is an extension lead and jack plug adaptor supplied along with a storage pouch. The packaging, as others have mentioned, is rubbish!
At the same time as I was testing these I was also trying P5 Mobile Hi-Fi Concert for 1 Headphones - Black These look and feel fantastic but I am afraid sound is what counts. The P5's cost 3 times what the HD449's cost. So the P5's are going back and the HD449's are, for the moment anyway, my headphones of choice.
on 14 January 2013
Before I got to remove the product, to feel & assess them, as appears to be the norm with products like this, you have to cut your way through the sharp, rigid plastic to get to the product. I wish companies would package these better. These were a xmas gift, after I decided to replace my several year old Sony ones.I was looking for comfort, excellent sound quality, while keeping out as much outside noise interference as possible. I am 61 yrs old, so I did NOT buy them with the intention of using them outside my home. However, I have briefly connected them to my iPod, and they also produced better sound quality, than the Sony 'in-ear' ones I normally use. I do like the sound quality, the bass is not too heavy on the ears, although I have a 5 band Graphic Equalizer incorporated into my several year old Sony Hi-Fi system, so I could have moderated this if it had been a problem.They appear to have a good frequency range, which produces good sound clarity. What I have also found surprising, is the way they keep far more of the noise produced by my wife, daughter & TV, while I am 'up in the corner', listening to my music.
Comfort wise, I can wear them for 4-5 hrs, without no major discomfort. The only gripe I have with regards to the comfort aspect, is that I would prefer a tad more room around the ears. This does not make them uncomfortable to wear, but it does make me conscious that there could be a bit more room inside.
I seem to remember that some people complained about the frailty of the cable. I have no such concerns, as it is the same thickness as my old ones - no problems from them. I also like the carry pouch, and the short/long cable set-up,to assist both indoor & outdoor use.
Overall, a good buy so far - I am a happy bunny.
on 31 January 2012
I received my headphones in the mail today and I haven't taken them off since.I will try to keep myself composed and not be bias whilst writing this review. Before buying the HD449s I did a fair amount of research, and I looked at video reviews as well as written ones from forums, websites & magazines (such as Cnet, techradar, engadget and t3).
Build quality: They're plastic, with a little aluminium on the side. Nonetheless they don't look cheap and they don't feel cheap when holding them(=they do not creek). In addition, they are very lightweight for their size, they may be bulky but they make up for it in sound quality and style.
Comfortability and cable: Very comfortable, you do forget you are wearing them, but after long periods of use, your ears will start to sweat (but only a little, it won't become uncomfortable). As for the cable its fragile you need to take care of it as it is non-replaceable and you'll probably need to buy a new set of headphones if you damage it.
Sound Quality: Being a Sennheiser fan I wasn't let down with it, you get fantastic response from them and they are very well balanced. You get really clear sound reproduction and they get better if you download good quality tracks.Even when playing music at full blast, the sound doesn't get disrupted. The downside here is they leak noise when playing at full blast but I think that's small compromise.
In conclusion if you're looking for a good set of over-the-ear headphones for under £100 pounds without compromising sound quality and looks the HD449's are a great contender. Hope my review has been helpful to your decision. If you do have further questions please do not hesitate to comment.
on 16 January 2014
Having tried out much more expensive phones, These may not be cheap cheap, but they really deliver the goods on sound quality - jazz, fusion, rock, funk, folk, latin, afro, cuban, classical,vocals....whatever genre I listen to they sound fantastic - picking up the finest nuances of cymbals and guitar strings while retaining a lovely clear punch in the lower registers - cant praise them highly enough - theyre the best pair Ive ever used (in my opinion even better than some £300:00 studio ones I used for a while). Plus they are comfortable to wear.Highly recomend.
on 6 November 2015
I've had my HD-449s for almost 14 months now, so I feel I am qualified to give my views on these headphones - and also to justify my review title.
First, out of the box they sounded very uninspiring. I bought them to replace the Sennheiser HD-575s that had kept me roundly entertained for many years, but were falling to bits. I'd heard they (the HD-449s) needed a good period of running in, so connected them up to my amp and ran them continuously from a CD on repeat (with the phones muffled by a jumper to minimise leakage). After a few days of this (well, about 50 hours or so) they were nicely improved. You can't judge them on initial listening as this is not how they will sound when run in, so don't try it...!
Anyway, on to the bass. OK, so they're not (from what I've heard) in the Beats area for tons of bass, or for those who like loudness buttons pushed in - increasing the bass but muddying it severely. What bass there is goes deep if the track goes deep, but doesn't artificially boost it. A good test track is Elektro Kardiogramm from Kraftwerk's album Tour De France Soundtracks. The bass is very low, but the notes are well formed, not a splurge of 'booom' - I'm listening to this track as I type, a CD rip in FLAC, from my Fiio X3 2nd gen feeding my Audiolab Q-DAC via coaxial - both rather good pieces of kit.
My point is that there is good quality bass with these 'phones, but only if it is in the original piece of music. Switching to something rather more well known, I Hear You Now by Jon And Vangelis, and the bass is there, playing its part rather than dominating - if you want swamping bass press the loudness button or rotate the bass knob on your amp. All very well, you say, but what about the rest of the audio spectrum? Well, the Sabre chip in the Q-DAC is performing its digital magic on this 16-bit CD rip (again in FLAC), sweetening the treble, and the HD-449s are presenting this clearly, but without harshness.
OK, so the X3 and the Q-DAC are above the hi-fi level the HD-449s are aimed at, but my 'phones are not disgracing themselves at all in this company - yes, something like Lady Gaga's Bad Romance has incredible bass, and although the HD-449s reproduce it pretty well, they don't go deep enough in absolute terms to get the full impact of this powerful track - it needs 15" bass bins (or bigger) and lots of watts to really work! - and bassheads will need some bass boost to get their fix. Ironically, the track Dance In The Dark (from the same album The Fame Monster) has bass that the HD-449s DO reproduce well, almost shaking my skull (I'm using the Q-DAC's volume control at -15dB) with its insistant beat. Being a reggae fan I find no lacking of bass on tracks like (The) Buggles' Island, or Bonnie Pink's Tiger Lily - the kick of the bass drum is fine by me. Again, it's about quality and purity of the notes, not the loud and unfocused bloated things that too much bass enhancement produces. However, some people like this, so who am I to criticise...?
So, to sum up. Good headphones for the price, with a full range of neutral music on offer, not screetching treble or swamping bass. I refer you to other reviews by more knowledgable people on this site for more perceptive descriptions of the accuracy of the reproduction - I just know what I like, and I like these headphones.
on 13 January 2015
I bought these headphones at the end of Oct 2014, they were delivered on time and in pristine condition.
First impression is that they have a very basic 'plasticy' feel. Then you put them on and notice just how good the fit is, the earcups sit snugly around your ears without pressing on them and the headband holds them comfortably - aided by their light weight. They close out a lot of external noise, however these are not noise cancelling so don't blank everything out. They are very good in windy conditions, barely being effected and not creating that rushing air sound.
Oh my! I tend to listen to Alt-Metal, Alt-Rock, Nu-Metal and Vocal Dubstep/Chillstep. I almost bought the other version of these headphones designed to enhance the bass, however, I settled on these and am very pleased indeed. The sound quality is clearly where Sennheiser spent their budget on these headphones - they give a beautiful and clear sound, coping equally well across the full spectrum of notes.
Whilst they cope perfectly well with heavy and deep bass notes, they don't let it overwhelm the rest of the sounds. If you are a particular fan of a bass-focussed sound, I would suggest going for the slightly cheaper model that offers enhanced bass.
The headphones came with a little carry bag, which is actually quite good for when they are in my rucksack - keeping general detritus off them and out of the earcups. They also come with an extension lead, which is just plug-and-go into the existing cable. I haven't used it yet, but can see it being perfect for gaming.
The build quality feels and looks cheap, but the sound quality is utterly superb - making the headphones feel like a tool, designed for function over form. Superb.
on 31 December 2013
Bought these as a filler before I can afford something better and overall impressed.
Build quality is a bit plastic and nasty - but solid and reasonably comfortable. You will have to pay a lot more to get metal and leather so its a compromise that comes with the price range.
Sound is as strong as I could have hoped for. Exceptional soundstage, clear treble and mids. Bass is a bit washy but I hear that tightens up over time. Users of 0-50 quid headphones will notice a clear difference in quality of sound. They have quite a 'real' and natural sound compared to some more expensive headphones that are almost too 'clear' for my tastes. I would note that sometimes the separation can seem a little over the top with complex guitar music, though this isn't a deal breaker.
A changeable lead would be nice as I have had a cheaper set of Sennheisers fail me on this point. This one looks better made though.
Overall a good buy for 70 quid. Hope they last.
on 15 September 2013
Good sound for the money!
I have now had these for 5 and a half months without encountering any problems! I travel around a bit meaning that the headphones sometimes receive some abuse, but it doesn't seem to effect them.
Comfortable to wear for long periods of time and I have even gone running with them from time to time. They fit so well that working out and using them is not a problem!
I should point out that I have bought a Fiio E6 to get a bit more volume out of the headphones when I use them with my phone. Since the headphones are 32 ohms they will not go extremely loud if you use a phone so it is worth it. The 32ohms do however allow for great sound and unless you like to listen to music extremely loud you will not need an amp for your phone.
I can only recommend these headphones considering the price!