Sennheiser HD201 Headphone Reviews

Manufacturer Sennheiser Model HD201
Headphone Type Closed Circumaural Headband Type Single
Weight (g) 165 Driver Type Dynamic
Enclosure Material Plastic Isolation (dB) 10
Impedance (ohms) 24 Cable Length (cm) 300
Frequency Response (Hz) 21 - 18000  
Connector 3.5mm with 6.5mm adaptor Street Price US$20
Buy from Amazon.com  
Average reviewer scores
Bass Extension 6.0 Bass Impact 4.0
Bass Quality 5.0 Mids Quality 5.0
Highs Quality 4.0 Soundstage 3.0
Detail 4.0 Portability 5.0
Isolation 2.0 Comfort 5.0
Durability 5.0 Improvement With Amplification 6.0
Value for Money 10.0    
Overall Score 5.0 Total Reviews 1

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Reviews by our members

Review by Senior Member Iron_Dreamer on 01 Jul 07  12:33
Individual review
Bass Extension6
Bass Impact4
Bass Quality5
Mids Quality5
Highs Quality4
Detail4
Comfort5
Durability5
Value10

The HD201 is amazing, considering the price and form factor. It has sound quality that one would never expect from $20 headphones, let alone closed headphones.

The bass is fairly deep and pretty clean, but is a bit lacking in oomph and kick, though good amplification helps a bit in that regard. It is the antithesis of the type of bass most cheap headphones have, namely huge and boomy. The quality of the bass is frankly shocking for the price.

The midrange is nothing particularly special, it avoids any serious resonances and manages to sound fairly natural, though there are a few peaks to the sound, reminiscent of cheap nearfield studio monitors. It is certainly no juggernaut of midrange, but it does nothing particularly offensive either.

The treble puts a slight emphasis on sibilance, which can be a minor annoyance from time to time, but is not a major problem. Extension and detail are pretty decent, but these are no electrostats, folks ;) Resultantly the soundstage is pretty typical of non-esoteric closed headphones, but again, this is far beyond what one would expect for the price.

The HD201 weighs very little for a circumaural closed headphone, and it is pretty compact and attractive looking. The cable is a bit long for portable use, but can be folded or wound up easily because it is thin and relatively supple. It is also much more well built than most cheap headphones I've ever used, and should last a good long while. Though the price may say "disposable" the headphones themselves are another story.

Comfort is helped by the low weight, so little pressure is put on the head. However, the headband tends to focus what weight there is onto a small patch on top of the skull. Also, the pads aren't that large for a circumaural, and can get sweaty fairly quickly. Isolation is also very low for a closed headphone. It's good for blocking out in-home sounds (if you're not listening to very quiet music), but utterly too little for most portable or commuting use.

The HD201 is not as easy to drive as its' sensitivity rating would outwardly seem to indicate, because Sennheiser (deceptively, IMO) rates them by dB/V instead of the more common dB/mW. The HD201's very low 24-ohm makes the dB/V rating much higher than the dB/mW rating. Its dB/mW is 92, as low as many hard to drive AKG's. That said, the HD201 gets to a high volume easily, but needs a lot of current (i.e. a strong headphone jack, or an amp) to sound its best, especially in the bass.

All in all, though, the complaints about the HD201 are relatively minor, and considering the price point, it's a miracle. If their features generally fit your needs, I heartily recommend these headphones. They are an audiophile sound signature shrunk down into a a relatively portable and well-built headphone on a very affordable budget.

My ratings:
Bass Extension: 6
Bass Impact: 4
Bass Quality: 5
Mids Quality: 5
Highs Quality: 4
Soundstage: 3
Detail: 4
Portability: 5
Isolation: 2
Comfort: 5
Durability: 5
Improvement with Amplification: 6
Value for the Money: 10

Sennheiser HD201
Sennheiser HD201