Choosing headphones is a tricky business if you’re an audiophile, the small percentage of people on this planet who (gasp!) care about the quality of the sound that goes into their ears from the equipment they paid money for. Other people just go to a shop and pick up whatever falls in their budget. Or the white ones. Audiophiles are the ones who adjust their budget according the equipment they want.
I’ve been using a pair of Audio Technica AD 700 for close to a year now. For those who aren’t aware, these are some of the most well respected pair of headphones around, known for their pristine clarity and a soundstage that extends three light years in either direction of your head. But as amazing as they sound, they have a flaw. They are not genre independent. The reason for this is the thin, lifeless bass response. Despite my hankering for a flat, neutral and uncolored sound, I do enjoy a bit of thump in my music, especially in genres that benefit from the aforementioned thump.
Any audiophile will tell you there is no such thing as a perfect pair of headphones. I’ve had the privilege of testing headphones that cost more than the GDP of several countries and although they are about as enjoyable as a unicorn ejaculating in your ears (I’m led to believe everything unicorns do is enjoyable) they only sound great with certain genres of music. Listening to hip-hop on a pair of audiophile quality headphones is like taking a yacht on land and expecting it to work just as well.
So the idea of a second, less expensive but more genre-independent or at least ‘fun’ pair of headphones has been going around in my mind for a while now. Headfonia seemed particularly fond of the Sennheiser HD 202 for this purpose. I’ve never heard these headphones in person but their description sounded close to what I was looking for. So I got the HD 202 II for myself. I’m not sure what’s the difference between these and the HD 202 but the older ones are no longer on sale and I’m guessing these are only better, if not worse (although they look identical).
I’m usually very wary of the audio equipment I purchase. I don’t trust anyone else’s opinion on the sound, other than my own. So I was hoping to not be disappointed with the sound after ordering these without any prior experience and based solely on online reviews. Fortunately, they turned out to be great. Continue reading “Sennheiser HD 202 II review”