Sennheiser HD 400 Professional skilled wired headphones evaluate

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The Sennheiser HD 400 Professional are a pair {of professional} mastering headphones. They’re the primary pair of open-back headphones within the firm’s Professional lineup, which has solely had closed-back headphones till now.

Sennheiser HD 400 Pro professional mastering headphones review

The HD 400 Professional are basically Sennheiser’s HD 560S with slight modifications, none of that are to the sound. In comparison with the 560S, the HD 400 Professional include a barely altered design and an additional cable within the field and for that, they price a bit extra.

Design

The design of the HD 400 Professional is sort of an identical to that of the HD 560S, which itself seems just like a number of different HD 500 collection headphones.

The variations between the HD 400 Professional and HD 560S come right down to the blacking out of sure particulars. The silver Sennheiser emblem on the aspect of the earcups has been painted black. Equally, the Sennheiser wordmark on high of the headscarf has additionally been turned black, though it’s a bit bigger now.

Sennheiser HD 400 Pro professional mastering headphones review

Apart from that, the 2 are basically the identical pair of headphones. The earcups have spacious earpads with sufficient depth and width to deal with all however the largest of ears. The again is roofed by a black grille and the headscarf has mushy foam padding.

Other than the grille, the remainder of the headphones are made totally out of plastic. That is the case with most Sennheiser headphones and though they do not really feel instantly premium, they’re recognized to final basically many years of use as they’re practically indestructible. The one factor that ought to require common substitute can be the earpads, as Sennheiser pads are inclined to flatten after a few years of use, which does have an effect on the sound.

Sennheiser HD 400 Pro professional mastering headphones review

The headphones haven’t got a ton of articulation. You possibly can regulate the headscarf for size and that is principally it. The earcups have a little or no swivel in both route. That is to not say they do not match securely in your head however if you happen to do really feel like taking them off and inserting them flat in your chest then that is not taking place. The headphones additionally do not fold, which is okay since they don’t seem to be meant for journey or out of doors use.

On the left earcup is the connector for attaching the cable. The enter jack has a 2.5mm measurement however extra importantly, a proprietary locking mechanism that makes it tough to make use of simply any cable that you’ve mendacity round.

Sennheiser HD 400 Pro professional mastering headphones review

Talking of cables, the HD 400 Professional comes with two, a 3m coiled cable and a 1.8m straight cable. Each of them have a 3.5mm plug and a 3.5mm to six.3mm adapter is supplied within the field. Compared, the HD 560S comes with a single 3m cable with a 6.3mm plug. The extra widespread 3.5mm plug on the HD 400 Professional cables must be handy for these plugging straight into a pc and the coiled cable helps transfer across the studio with out having to unplug the cable or have it get underneath your chair.

You aren’t getting a lot else within the field. There clearly is not a carry case or perhaps a pouch as they don’t seem to be meant for carrying round and strictly for indoor use.

Consolation

The HD 400 Professional are a cushty pair of headphones. There’s some clamping power but it surely by no means will get uncomfortable and helps preserve the headphones safe regardless of how a lot you progress your head round.

Sennheiser HD 400 Pro professional mastering headphones review

As talked about earlier than, the earpads are pretty giant and accommodating. The fabric is mushy and feels snug on the pores and skin. The froth padding on the headscarf is equally pliant.

Because of their plastic development, the headphones are additionally pretty light-weight and also you barely discover them in your head after a while. The straight cable can be fairly mild on account of being comparatively skinny and would not drag the headphones down. The coiled cable is clearly heavy however that’s to be anticipated.

Efficiency

The Sennheiser HD 400 Professional are exceptionally well-tuned headphones. The sound is so impartial and exact that you do not even really feel like you’re listening to a pair of audio system however simply the unique sound because it was recorded. It is like trying via a pair of tinted glasses all of your life and out of the blue having them go clear.

The bass response is extremely impartial and exact with good extension into the decrease registers. This is not usually the case as open-back headphones are inclined to lack low bass extension however the HD 400 Professional are in some way resistant to this to some extent.

The mid-range is totally superb. Vocals have an exquisite sense of transparency and intimacy to them. Devices have beautiful authenticity and timbral traits. Every instrument and sound supply is distinct with an important sense of depth and dimensionality within the combine.

Treble is the place issues get a bit spicy. For probably the most half, the treble response is simply as impressively correct and detailed as the remainder of the frequency spectrum. Nevertheless, the HD 400 Professional provides a bit of additional spice on the high, which might trigger sure sounds to have a sharper edge to them. The sound by no means will get sibilant however some already shiny recordings can flip barely harsh and trigger fatigue over the long run. It would not trouble me personally however your mileage could range. Just like the bass, the treble additionally has good extension into the higher registers.

Sennheiser HD 400 Pro professional mastering headphones review

By way of technicalities, the HD 400 Professional have a extremely detailed and resolving sound. The 2 40mm dynamic drivers can eke out all of the high quality element in your music and recordings with out being in your face about it. Imaging and soundstaging can be excellent, though not the perfect I’ve heard. Sounds have good positioning round your head and there’s respectable spaciousness within the combine. It isn’t fairly on the identical degree because the HD 800/HD 800 S however then once more, what’s?

The HD 400 Professional do want some amplification to get the perfect out of however I used to be stunned at how effectively they run off a laptop computer or perhaps a smartphone. It isn’t very best and if you happen to can it is best to put money into a funds DAC/amp just like the iFi Zen Air DAC or the Topping DX3Pro+ however you may get by on onboard audio simply high quality.

Being open-back headphones, you do not get a lot isolation from ambient sounds and also you additionally leak a good quantity of sound. This might not be very best for mixing or mastering functions so be sure you are utilizing the headphones in quiet environments throughout crucial listening.

Whereas I’m typically very impressed, I do have one criticism in regards to the sound of the HD 400 Professional. My evaluate unit appeared to have some channel imbalance occurring, the place the precise driver sounded louder in sure components of the frequency spectrum. It might be a factor with these headphones or it might be a one-off factor. That is exhausting to say however all I can do is report on the one unit that was particularly despatched to me for testing.

Verdict

The Sennheiser HD 400 Professional ($250) are a improbable pair of headphones, as are the HD 560S ($200) that they’re based mostly on. The selection of cables that the HD 400 Professional include makes them far more sensible and definitely worth the premium, not only for studio use but in addition for general-purpose listening.

Sennheiser HD 400 Pro professional mastering headphones review

That latter half, for me, is the place the HD 400 Professional excel at. I am not notably offered on the concept of utilizing headphones for mixing/mastering, not to mention an open-back pair. Nevertheless, the HD 400 Professional make for distinctive general-purpose headphones that you need to use for something from music, motion pictures, TV exhibits, video games, podcasts, YouTube movies, and no matter else you may throw at them. It is probably the most inexpensive approach so as to add reference high quality sound to your setup and one I’m going to suggest going ahead to anybody spending underneath $300.

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