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Featured Review: Sennheiser HD 439 Over Ear Headphones

February 22, 2015 - Written By Jeremiah Nelson

Sennheiser makes a wide range of amazing sound products, including the HD line of headphones. There are a number of levels to the HD line, with 400 series being some of the more affordable options that they offer. That doesn’t mean these cans aren’t worth your time, though. The Sennheiser HD 439 headphones are mid-range cans with a closed circumaural design. They have a 17-22500 Hz frequency response range and 32 ohm impedance. They are not the highest quality or best sounding headphones that Sennheiser offers, but they also won’t break the bank.

I tested these with a variety of music genres. I’m a big metal fan, but I also listened to a bunch of rock, hip hop, and classical with these headphones in order to hear how they perform. I ran the headphones through a FiiO E11K amp, and I also used them plugged directly into my computer and my Sony Xperia Z2. They sound better with the amp, of course, but we’ll get into that later. Let’s dive in and take a look at the Sennheiser HD 439 headphones.

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Design

The Sennheiser HD 439 are made of matte black plastic that feels nice. The ear cups are closed and will cut down on outside noise, although they aren’t noise-cancelling. The left cup has a detachable cable. In the box with the headphones are two cables, one that is 4 and a half long and another one that is almost 10 feet. The plug is a standard 3.5mm jack and you also get a 6.3mm adaptor for using the headphones with an amp or other device that requires the larger size. I have to say that I was impressed that the headphones came with these extras, given their lower price point. The band on top has the Sennheiser logo printed on it and is plenty flexible. It should fit most sized heads. The ear pads and the padding on the headband are covered in the same black mesh. It’s not as soft and comfortable as the velour padding on the Sennheiser HD 598, but it’s still comfortable.

The adjustable pieces on the headphones are plastic instead of metal, but they should hold up fine to normal wear. They are also comfortable to wear. I had no issue wearing these for hours-long listening sessions. They are lightweight and comfortable to wear when you’re on the go as well. The overall style is slick, all black and silver with the Sennheiser name on the top of the headband and the company logo on the outside of the ear cups. The detachable cables are proprietary, so you won’t be able to just plug in any headphone cable that you want. This was a bit disappointing, but the fact that two cables are included offset this a little. Overall, the design is not flashy but the headphones look nice and feel well made.

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Sound Quality

The Sennheiser HD 439 are surprisingly good for their price range. Like most Sennheiser products, they offer a warm sound that is not too bass heavy. Being closed-back cans, they do offer more bass than some of the company’s open-back options. If you prefer bass in the range of Beats headphones, you’ll want to look elsewhere. These offer a good mix and decent soundscape that is evenly mixed. The bass is present, but it’s tight and not pushed forward. The mids are solid and the highs are clear. They are particularly good when listening to acoustic and classical music, with an overall warm sound. These present a good option for users who like to watch movies too, presenting clear dialog and handle volume changes well. They should also work well for gaming, although there’s no microphone included for talking to other players.

The HD 439 are marketed as a crossover headset that can be used on the go and at home. They worked well and sounded good plugged directly into my smartphone and my laptop. They sounded better when plugged into my headphone amp, but they work just fine when run directly into electronic devices. The low 32 ohm impedance means that you shouldn’t have any issues with volume and you don’t have to have a headphone amp to use them. To be honest, you should step up to a higher quality, more expensive headphone before investing in a headphone amp to use with the HD 439. That’s not where these particular cans are geared.

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Wrap-up

The Sennheiser HD 439 are great as entry-level over ear headphones. If you’re looking to step into the world of high-end audio, there are worse places you can start. The fact that the company includes two cables and a 6.3mm adapter speaks to the higher quality. They offer much better, more even sound than a similar offering from Beats Audio, and they do it at a far more reasonable price. They aren’t as nice as some of the more expensive options that Sennheiser and others offer, but if you’re looking to keep costs down and still get good sound, these are right up your ally. Sennheiser has them listed on their website for $75. You can pick them up on Amazon for about $55.