Sennheiser HD 400S – Review
Sennheiser is one of the most consistent brands in terms of headphone quality. They have options for every style and price range, with one of their best-selling lines being the budget-friendly HD line. Today, I’m going to be looking at the HD 400S ($69.95), a pair of budget over-ear closed-back headphones designed to give that notorious Sennheiser quality at a reasonable price.
What’s in the Box
- HD 400S around-ear headphones
- RCS 400 detachable single-sided cable with 1-button remote and 3.5 mm angled plug
Look and Feel
The packaging and the build on the HD 400S is straightforward. You get everything you need and nothing you don’t need. The headphones are a simple, black matte finish with the Sennheiser logo tastefully added. The detachable cable has a small control unit standard on most modern headphones. The headphones are very comfortable and feel durable enough considering their price range. It also has R/L labeling, which is always greatly appreciated.
One of the main considerations Sennheiser had for the HD 400S was its context of use. These headphones have a very low impedance, making them perfect for mobile devices that might not have the power to drive more resistant headphones. The driver is still of Sennheiser’s own design and can balance clarity with power. The detachable cable features a control unit with a built-in mic of excellent quality, especially for calls.
The Sennheiser HD 400S has a frequency response of 18 Hz – 20 kHz and an impedance of 18 Ohms.
The HD 400S provides a reasonable amount of space and dimension. While it may not have the dimension and versatility of higher-priced models, it still has a great soundstage for something under $100. The isolation is also above average, which helps add to the immersion. The dynamics are very good as well, though it does get a little crowded the more you drive the headphones.
Sennheiser aimed to be balanced when designing the HD 400S. The bass range doesn’t leave me wanting more but also isn’t overpowering. It has a nice balance that works well with all genres. While bass parts tend to be more clear than warm, this is still very good for a headphone at this price. I was impressed by the lows and how well they were able to deliver clean and balanced bass.
The mids on the HD 400S can capture the bulk of the sound without altering it severely. There is some slight boosting in the upper mids, but this adds a nice sheen to the sound. Details from instruments still came through and felt separated enough to where I could pick them out. Elements like vocals have some emphasis, but not to the point where it feels egregious. Overall, the mids are clear and do justice to the mix.
The highs are what tie the balanced sound together. They give a nice crispness to the sound while avoiding unwanted resonances. Things like cymbals, sibilance, and attacks on notes are all treated with the same level of detail and care. The result is a high range that is smooth, present, and detailed.
Sennheiser has done it again. The HD 400S performs well beyond its price range and is one of the better budget model headphones I’ve tried. It has very few bells and whistles and offers a simple means of listening that still delivers amazing clarity and quality. If you need a good first pair of headphones or need something that you can take out of the house, then the HD 400S is definitely for you.