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.
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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