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Sennheiser HD449 Review
Sennheiser enjoys a good reputation in the headphone market and their HD800 and HD650 headphones are known to be some of the best ones around. Of course, we’re talking of really high prices here - the HD800, for example sells for $1499 (roughly Rs.80,000 in India). There are, of course products by Sennheiser that are much cheaper than the HD800. The HD449 is among the newest cans from Sennheiser and they’re priced at Rs.4,990, i.e. fraction of the price of the HD800. Now, most people would consider this to be a great deal of money, in itself to be spent on a pair of headphones. But if you’re the kind of person who’s a music buff and don’t want to disturb others or be disturbed, while listening to music, then you’ll know very well that it’s not a lot. Going by the kinds of headphones that we’ve reviewed in the past, wherein some turned out to be very impressive and some just seemed to be a waste of money, we can conclude that not all expensive headphones mean audiophile class audio performance.
Design and build quality
The HD449 looks like most other basic headphones. There’s no sign of wood and the rear angled elongated cans are but standard Sennheiser design. The entire frame is made of plastic and there’s no sign of any metal or wood visible on the outside. There’s of course the Sennheiser branding on either sides - the person using these, obviously doesn’t see them, what they hear is of more importance. The cans have a soft padding covered by a really thin synthetic material that’s comfortable to wear, but are likely to tear off after a few months of use.
Large cups housing the drivers
Apart from looking a little shabby then, they shouldn’t cause any other problems. The top of the band has a pad that places the weight of the headphones on your head. Speaking of weight, the HD449 can be included in the list of some of the lightest headphones. They fit well and the wearer doesn’t feel tired even after prolonged use.
Branding on the simple, but comfy headband
The lightweight design comes from the plastic frame that feels light and fragile at first. Of course, if you take good care, they’ll last a while. If you’re going to carry them around without a case in some kind of back pack, they could snap under pressure.
The Sennheiser HD449 are a closed circumaural headphones. They are powered by two neodymium drivers that outputs a frequency spectrum that ranges from 16Hz to 24kHz. The headphones use a 3.5mm audio jack, but Sennheiser also bundles a 6.3mm audio convertor for those who want to use the headphones with larger amplifiers and receivers.
Variety of connections and extensions bundled with the headphones
These are 32Ohm impedance headphones, so driving them isn’t an issue. Most mainstream headphones have the same impedance and they can be driven easily with anything from netbooks and PMPs to desktops.
The HD449 are a pretty impressive set of headphones. They’re pretty well detailed in terms of performance and the sound tone, although a little bright makes them fun to listen to. The brightness comes from the slightly emphasized highs that make heavy distortion music and electronics related genres of music sound good. The bass is well detailed, but just not heavy. So, there’s no deep, rich sounding bass, but a layer that makes its presence known and is sufficient for most genres of music.
Soft earpads, but they're likely to lose their look
Heavy dubstep and techno music doesn’t sound as impressive. Sound separation is pretty decent and the sound stagings also easy. The closed design of the HD449 make them good for noise isolation. The isolation works well even without any music playing. You aren’t completely isolated from the surroundings, but the noise levels do drop. The sound and tone of the HD449 isn’t tiring - you won’t complain of headache and dizziness after long hours of listening, at least we didn’t.
There is no shortage of headphones in the market today and it’s hard to find a good performing one at an affordable price. The HD449 are actually a very decent set of headphones. Sure, they aren’t built with the best quality and most exotic materials, but they aren’t trying to be fancy.
Good performance, lightweight and good VFM!
They perform well and are priced at just Rs.4,990, which is very close in price to the U.S market. Most headphone enthusiasts import headphones and you pay a premium for it. Even value products end up being a little expensive. The HD449 are available in the Indian market and they’re a very good solution, if you’re into music, games and/or movies.