*The opinions expressed in the blog in no way reflect the opinions of the Sennheiser company. Sennheiser is in no way affiliated with or sponsoring this blog post . Think of this as just another customer review.*
An audiophile I am not…however I do love my music, I’ll listen to anything from electronic to classical. I had a habit of trying to get the most bang for my buck, and often times I’d end up investing in headphones that over promised and under delivered.
I’ve seen everything from lack luster low ends and tinny off putting hi ends, to just straight up poor build quality. It was time to change things up.
Until now I had been using a Logitech headset which were great and got the job done, the sound was decent, they had an inline volume control and since they were Logitech they were pretty driver friendly.
What I really wanted was a pair of over the ear headphones (these were on ear) that used a 3.5mm audio jack as opposed to the USB driven headset I was using. I also wanted something new, as the Logitechs were a work place hand me down. It was time for me to elevate my listening experience.
Cost / Buying Process
While I wanted to elevate my listening experience, I didn’t want to shell out $100+ for my first set of “decent” headphones. A buddy of mine recommended Sennheiser, and told me that they had several products that would fit my price range. After looking at the HD 429, HD 439, and HD 449, I decided to go with the HD 429. They are normally priced at about $70 USD, but I was able to find them on Newegg for $45 USD, $36.99 for the headphones, and $8 for accident replacement (more on that in a bit).
They were listed on Newegg, by a seller by the name of Sonic Electronix Inc. While there were some issues involving the order and communication (or lack there of) between their customer support and myself, the product arrived fairly quickly…but enough about that, let’s talk about the headphones!
Photo from newegg.com
The plastic has been described as “cheap feeling” by other reviews, which left me a bit wary at first. However, the build quality of the HD 429 is quite nice considering the price point (by that I mean what I paid for them, not the MSRP on the Sennheiser website). The head band is flexible, I can bend them without feeling like I’m going to snap them in half and the ear cups are on a pivoting joint, providing a better fit. The plastic has a matte finish to it, with the exception of the back panel of the ear pieces, which has a grippy rubberized feel and sports the Sennheiser “S” logo.
Photo from newegg.com
The ear cups and head band provide padding with a leatherette material, which is very comfortable. I have pretty smalls ears, and ear buds have never been comfortable for long periods of time. I do a lot of video editing and these are replacing my primary work headphones. Since they go over the ear as opposed to on the ear like my last set, I find that I do not need to give my ears a break after hours of wearing them.
Photo from newegg.com
My one con about the build quality is the audio cable. One major issue I had pre-purchase, was the images on Newegg which depicted them as having a removable audio cable. This was an exciting prospect to me as it bolsters durability of headphones, if I damage the audio cable, I simply replace it.
I later came to realize that these images were not correct, and the audio cable is not removable. I attempted to reach out to Newegg, who referred me to the seller Sonic Electronix, to cancel my order. After e-mailing two different departments, I didn’t receive a response until my payment was already processed, and shipped to me. At this point I didn’t want to deal with return processes, so I just let it be, and took the product despite being misled.
The cable is 10 feet long, which isn’t really a problem for me. I don’t mind a long cable, any unused length I just coil up, with a rubber band. What gets me is the thickness of the cable…for such a large pair of headphones, I would expect it to be much much thicker. To be honest I’m pretty sure this cable in the same league as many ear bud cables I’ve seen. This was a bummer for me, as I feel like the cable renders them slightly less durable. So I ended up paying an extra $8 for accident replacement, as the standard warranty only covers defects (does an audio cable that’s way thinner than it should be count? Probably not).
The part everyone is probably interested in. Again, like I mentioned before, I’m not an audiophile by any means, so please pardon any misuse of technical terms. Although after experiencing these headphones, I may very well become one.
I will say one thing…if you are looking for a pair of headphones with loads of bass that “knocks” without using equalization, these may not be for you. However, I’ve seen many headphones that advertise their bass boosting qualities, and often times, the bass ends up losing quality and cracking at higher volumes.
I’ve listened to many genres of music through these headphones, electronica, hip-hop, rock, metal, classical. These headphones, do not have any fancy bass boosting mentioned previously, and instead provide a nice balanced sound. If anything, owning these has taught me to appreciate sound in a different way.
A lot of people (myself included) are concerned about having lots and lots of bass, some times to the point of it overpowering the mid and hi levels of sound. The HD429 allows me to hear parts of some of my favorite songs that I never would have otherwise due to me cranking up the bass. When and if I find the bass to be lacking, I simply make a few adjustments to my equalizer and all is good.
Photo from newegg.com
These look pretty great on my desk! Photo by: N3r0TheH3r0
For what I paid for this product, I’m satisfied. I wouldn’t have paid the 70 some-odd dollars listed on the official website. At that point, I would rather pony up the extra $30 for a pair of the Pro level headphones, which offer more features.
Despite some pre-purchase issues, an uncomfortably thin audio cable, and a few misleading images, my experience with the HD 429 has been satisfactory. I can safely say that I’m now a firm believer in Sennheiser as a manufacturer. The HD 429 is definitely on the lower-to-mid level of the Sennheiser product line, and I can easily recommend them for anyone looking to try out Sennheiser for the first time. I can only imagine what kind of sound the higher end models can put out. I’ll most likely end up purchasing a higher end set at some point, but I’ve also heard of Sennheisers are capable of having a very long life span.
The HD429 fits very well in my set up including the Blue Snowball USB Microphone, Logitech C920 HD Pro webcam and my latest addition, the Neewer Microphone Scissor Arm Stand (which I will also be doing write ups on in the near future).
I’m well on my way to elevating my content creation, and can easily recommend these to anyone who is interested in checking out Sennheiser for the first time. Long time audiophiles? Not so much.
All product Images (with the exception of the few that I took) came from newegg.com (I didn’t include the one showing the removable cable, because that would be mean)