Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Little bang for your buck, 23 Nov 2009
This review is from: Sennheiser HD 438 High Quality Closed Back Stereo Headphones (Electronics)
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After having tried this set of headphones for a while, I'm sad to say I'm very disappointed in them. Being Sennheiser and a bit on the pricey side, I wanted to like them, I really did; but they fell short of my expectations.

First off, although they may seem to be of flimsy construction, it has to be said that this is because of the way both cans are made to be able to move in various ways to achieve a better fit, and they succeed in that respect; they are, without a doubt, the snuggest, most comfortable headphones I've ever used. As long as you take care of them you should have no problem; and they can be worn for hours at a time without ever feeling uncomfortable! The padding on both cans and headband is real nice to wear.
Also, they come with a pair of detachable cables of different lengths so as to suit one's particular use. Nice!

But we don't buy a pair of headphones because they are comfortable or because they look good or because of the lenght of the cable, do we? We buy them to listen to our favourite music with them, and this is where the Sennheiser HD438 fall short, rather disappointingly.
The sound reproduction is very clear, it has to be said, but it's really heavy on mid-frequencies, rendering an overall "boxy" sound that I don't find pleasant at all. The potential is there because the bass has good definition and you can hear bass drums clearly "thump" rather than "boom", but the reproduction of low frequencies is too low in level to give any serious body to the music. Any record with balanced EQ will sound "boxy", while treble-heavy stuff like many modern mastering jobs gets on the nasty, unlistenable side of things.
I use NAD amplification on my home stereo system and both treble and bass knobs are flat 95% of my listening time; I had to turn the bass knob all the way up to get any juice out of these headphones, and they still didn't quite deliver.

It's very sad that headphones with such clear reproduction as these HD438 are so unbalanced, because they really could've been great stuff if only they yielded decent bass. These headphones are as disappointing and frustrating as a beautifully constructed and decorated table with one leg missing.
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