Sennheiser HD 205-II Rotatable Ear Cup DJ Headphones Reviewed

Sennheiser HD 205-II Rotatable Ear Cup DJ Headphones Reviewed

These headsets are noise shielding but not noise cancelling but they represent a good value for those looking to upgrade over generic ear buds that come with most iPods without spending a lot of money. They are durable and can also be worn without putting them over your head so your hair can remain neat and sylish

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Headphones may represent the new frontier of high-end audio among today's iPod/iPhone generation. Where Baby Boomers have stereotypically been more grounded or "nested" in their living situations for the past few decades - a larger demographic, Generation Y, has currently been living in semi-permanent status and always on the go. Their time to enjoy music is on the go. Simply put - there isn't the room, the house or the money for Generation Y to be buying an audiophile system the way that Boomers did in years gone by. Enter the Sennheiser HD 205-II, DJ headphones with rotatable ear cups, perfect for the music lover with an active lifestyle who wants more out of their music than what your typical ear buds and/or budget cans can provide. Music for many is now powered first and foremost by computers and iPod/iPad/iPhones.

Additional Resources
Read dozens more audiophile headphone reviews from STAX, Grado, Autio-technica, Etyomic, Ultimate Ears and many others.

The Sennheiser HD 205-II an over the head, semi-enclosed ear design that retails for $79.95. They are not noise canceling, but instead noise shielding. The ear cups themselves feature hypoallergenic pads and can rotate, making them easier to use for single ear listening when mixing or sharing music with friends. The headphones themselves are made from pretty robust plastics yet are lightweight (less than one pound), making the Sennheiser HD 205-II an ideal headphone for long term listening on the go. The Sennheiser HD 205-II features a single 10-foot cable that is terminated with an eighth inch plug that has a quarter inch screw-on adaptor for larger headphone inputs, such as those found on most headphone amplifiers and preamps.

The Sennheiser HD 205-II has a frequency response of 14-20,000Hz with a nominal impedance of 32 Ohms. The Sennheiser HD 205-II can reach sound pressure levels in excess of 110dB (112db to be exact) with a total harmonic distortion of less than half of a percent. Great, but how do they sound?

The Sennheiser HD 205-II headphones sound surprisingly good. I say surprisingly because I originally purchased them (sight unseen, I might add) not for musical enjoyment, but for podcast recording/monitoring. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that behind their DJ credentials and looks beat an audiophile heart. I found the Sennheiser HD 205-II to be surprisingly balanced throughout, with an airy though slightly lean high end offsetting the deep, but tuneful bottom end. The bass won't rattle your brain the way other DJ and/or studio monitoring headphones will (*cough* Beats by Dre) but it's enough that you won't be left wanting for more or seeking medical attention for a concussion. The Sennheiser HD 205-II's midrange is rather nice, possessing a smooth demeanor that, like the high-end, is just a touch lean. Overall, the Sennheiser HD 205-II possesses excellent dynamics, detail and texture that, coupled with its semi enclosed design, makes for one hell of a personal two-channel performance.

Competition and Comparisons
The Sennheiser HD 205-II exist in a highly competitive marketplace that features players ranging from Skullcandy to Monster Cable. Skullcandy headphones are very popular among the Gen Y crowd for their form factor more than their sound quality, though they're competitively priced when compared to the Sennheiser HD 205-II. Monster Cable's Beats by Dre headphones are another DJ or "studio" inspired headphones that have taken the headphone market by storm-thanks in part to their numerous athletic and pop artist endorsements. While the Beats by Dre headphones cost more than three times as much as the Sennheiser HD 205-II and in my opinion sound worse but that hasn't stopped consumers from snatching them up in record numbers. For a more audiophile friendly or accepted headphone there's the Bowers & Wilkins P5, which like the HD 205-II's is a semi-enclosed design that can be worn for long periods of time without fatigue and sound exceptional for the money. While the P5's cost more you do get more in terms of style, luxury and sound quality-though doubt such things will appeal to a potential Sennheiser HD 205-II buyer as much as the HD 205-II's price.

For more information on which headphones are right for you please visit HomeTheaterReview.com's headphone page.

Read The High Points, Low Points and Conclusion on Page 2

High Points
• The Sennheiser HD 205-II headphones are an affordable solution to generic headphones or ear buds that come standard with most portable devices such as iPods.
• Sennheiser HD 205-IIs are designed to be used by DJs and recording artists; however they're quite enjoyable for everyday listening and are robust enough in their build quality to withstand a lot of day-to-day, real world punishment.
• The Sennheiser HD 205-II's fully padded, semi-enclosed design makes long term wear comfortable and fatigue-free.
• The Sennheiser HD 205-II's rotatable ear cups mean you don't have to listen with the headband always over head, preserving your hair style and/or your street cred.
• The Sennheiser HD 205-II lean slightly to the cool/lean side of the spectrum like a lot of budget cans; however unlike the competition, the HD 205-II's sound is far more forgiving, smooth and non fatiguing.
• The Sennheiser HD 205-II's bass is rock solid, taut and surprisingly deep without sounding obnoxious.
• The single cord design of the Sennheiser HD 205-II is a welcomed touch and remains tangle free for on-the-go listening.

Low Points
• The Sennheiser HD 205-IIs aren't as forgiving as some budget cans and can sound downright awful with poorly recorded music and/or lower resolution downloads like those found on iTunes.
• In a world where headphones have become their own fashion accessory, the Sennheiser HD 205-II aren't going to win any real style points, for their black and grey ensemble is vanilla in today's "look at me" Skull Candy world.
• Headphone enthusiasts with dedicated headphone amplifiers are probably going to look elsewhere in the Sennheiser lineup of products, for the HD 205-IIs, while good, lack a certain audiophile flare - which is a shame for they're truly capable performers.
• The Sennheiser HD 205-II are a bit stiff out of the box and take a bit of break-in both physically and audibly before performing at their very best.

Conclusion
For pennies under $80 the Sennheiser HD 205-II represent an awesome musical value for today's music lover on the go. While the Sennheiser HD 205-IIs aren't as garish, visually, as some nor quite audiophile enough for others, but I assure you for those of you who take the leap and buy a pair, you won't care - for they're nearly ideal for plugging into your iPod or iPhone, hitting play and getting on with life. The Sennheiser HD 205-II have been one knee-jerk audio purchase that I've yet to regret. Highly recommended.

Additional Resources
Read dozens more audiophile headphone reviews from STAX, Grado, Autio-technica, Etyomic, Ultimate Ears and many others.

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