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Sennheiser HD 202 Headphones Review

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I bought these as both a replacement to the JVC phones yanked off my head when my duffle strap snapped and as a more efficient set of phones for the Cowon iAudio U5 media player I’m listening to right now.

Right out of the box, they sounded shrill for a few minutes until the started breaking in and the ear cups were a bit snug on my large head.

I snapped them over a pair of minimonitors to stretch the bands a bit and blasted them 2-3 nights at extra high volume (they could take it) on my home stereo.

They don’t seem quite as loud as their 113db rating suggests, but they sure do like playing bass! These are definitely phones you might want to consider if you want to listen to bass heavy pop. these go deeper than my 10+ year old Panasonics. I think $40, maybe $30, but TODAY & at only $35, I’m liking the 202s a lot.

The Panasonic’s biggest drawback is the inline volume control which eventually gets dirty and hard to get a good stereo setting out of. Otherwise, it was a nice sounding pair of phones.

I replaced them with a thinner sounding but more treble detailed pair of JVCs i bought for just $10. They weren’t bad, but uninspiring too AND the ear cups liked to come off the headband when pulled. (better than snapping a cord i guess) they eventually lost one of their “keys” needed to keep the cups on so I bought the 202s.

I’ve since glued the cups to the headband on those and use them at my PC. as a side note, sometime in the late 80s I bought a pair of JVCs that were really nice sounding and had tons of bass that I eventually stepped on one too many times.

I like good durable phones. they sound better and are more comfortable too.

The Sennheisers are a bit smaller than they look. think of them as “on ear” instead of over ear. unlike most over the ear designs, the HD 202s are sealed.

It was really apparent when they were new as they had a little bit of a plastic resonant sound to them that’s since faded. That’s probably where they get their 113dB efficiency.

Once the band is loosened, the phones are very comfortable and reasonably light.

They’re very sturdy feeling. I have mixed feelings about the one piece headband. I like its functionality, but the extra parts that hang below the pivot are a little fugly to me as is the giant logo it’s apparently there for. these are DJ phones though and made to be IDed from a distance, so that’s forgivable.

The bass is great on these… deep and tight, but the treble is even more surprising. they’re only rated to 18kHz, but to my ear, they sound more extended and detailed than the panasonics that were rated to something like 25kHz. If anything, they might have too much treble extension when I push the cowon too hard.

There’s really nothing to say about the midrange… it’s there, and it’s clear. overall, the phones have very nice transparency, but not quite as much as a good pair of open air cans.

Like good DJ headphones… these puppies can really take power without complaining. I broke them in for 3 nights wrapped around a pair of minimonitor playing so loud i could hear them in my bedroom! that’s serious eaar damage SPLs, but sitting near them, I could hear what song the radio was playing clearly.

I won’t say these are the best phones ever. They aren’t quite up to the level of SQ in Sennheiser’s own $100+ phones or the $150 Beyers I lusted after in the 80s, but they don’t disappoint either.

Everything I’ve read says that good sealed phones are hard to make. If that’s the case, then these are great. For just $35, I’m not complaining. These are good sturdy HQ cans. Now I really want some $150 AKGs.


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