Gear Review: Sennheiser HD-228 Headphones

Sennheiser HD-228 Mid-Size Portable Headphones
LIST PRICE: $99.95

Sennheiser’s HD headphone line spans three categories, from “Audiofile” and “Pro Music/DJ” to their “Mid-Size Portable” series. Earlier this year, we reviewed the HD-380 Pros, a pair from the middle bracket that are great for any level of studio work. In the same article on home recording, we talked about how headphones are used to “zero in on problem frequencies, spatial effects, and stereo imaging.”

If you can’t spring for the $299 price tag on the HD-380s, but you still want solid German engineering, you can go for a pair from Senn’s Mid-Size Portable line. The HD-228s, which will only run you $99, will be best for listeners who want a step up from ear buds. You’re likely to get the most out of the 228s on subway rides and home listening. While they’d work in a studio environment, they won’t put you in the same monitoring “head space” as a more professional pair like the 380s.

Specifically for this pair of headphones, Sennheiser targets hip-hop and dance listeners – promoting the 228’s “explosive bass” – but a good bass response is enjoyable for any style of music, really. In our tests, the bass was very good and the sealed, on-the-ear design worked well to cancel outside noises (which makes for a more enjoyable train ride, for sure.)

The HD-228s are comfortable and lightweight (just over three lbs. total), and the ear pads, which are cushiony and have a nice leather covering, rotate 90 degrees for easy storage. The ear cups and strap are plastic, and the headphones seem generally well constructed if not super-durable – but they do come with a two-year warranty. The connector is a 1/8” stereo input, which is standard for audio devices like iPods, and the shorter cable (4.5 feet) also lends itself to ease-of-use for commuters.

Recommended If You Are:
Sick of ear buds but not ready to splurge on serious studio headphones.

Want to learn more about headphones? See Our Picks for low cost dj headphones.

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