Headphone Sessions 3/21/2012: Sennheiser HD 449 - A New Look To A Not-So-Old Favorite

Sennheiser recently discontinued their HD 448 model, a portable, closed-back, full-size headphone that has been a favorite at HeadRoom since its inception in the fall of 2009. The HD 449 ($119.95) has taken its place in the product line, and is one of many redesigned portable models Sennheiser is releasing this year.

The HD 448’s possessed a nicely balanced sonic presentation with good bass presence and smooth mid-range and highs that we expect from Sennheiser. In comparison, the HD 449 is a little more full and punchy in the low frequencies with a little added smoothness in the highs, lending itself toward long, fatigue-free listening sessions. The fuller bass presence also makes the HD 449 a great pair for iPod or iPad, providing engaging and impactful audio for movie viewing and gaming as well as listening to music.

[caption id="attachment_2402" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Sennheiser HD 449"]Sennheiser HD 449[/caption]

The visual aspects between the discontinued HD 448 and its successor, the HD 449, are very similar. The only difference is the silver band that ran the width of the ear-cup on the HD448 now runs diagonally across the ear cup on the HD 449. The full-size, around the ear fit, which is identical to that of the HD 448, provides great comfort and sound without being too bulky and without the finicky fit issues of an earpad design where the acoustic seal against the ear directly affects bass response. You can throw these cans on and the fit and sound will be the same every time.

For those seeking a closed headphone that will provide some isolation from ambient noise, keep your music from bothering the person next to you on the train or in the office, perform to its full potential without needing a dedicated headphone amplifier while providing a smooth, listenable presentation, the HD 449 will fit the bill completely. If you are looking for a closed headphone with a flatter, more detailed presentation you may consider the Shure SRH440 as an alternative with a more open soundstage and better clarity through the mids and highs. The SHR440 provides slightly more isolation than the HD 449 and is just as efficient, again not needing an amplifier. The longer, detachable cable on the Shure headphones were designed for studio use and can get cumbersome compared to the 4’ cable of the HD 449. The HD 449 also comes with a 5’ extension cable to give you more length when you need it. Kinda sounds like a late night TV commercial! For more information on the HD 449, Sennheiser, or any other headphones, call 800-828-8184. An obsessed headphone geek is standing by to answer any questions you have.

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