Over the years, Sennheiser has built a reputation for their ‘branded’ headphones that offer unparalleled quality, true-to-life sounds and stylish designs. These are headphones sought after by audiophiles, professionals, musicians, live sound engineers and even broadcasting companies. Their wide range of Sennheiser products includes both higher-end and mid-range headphones. The Sennheiser HD419 falls into the latter category.
Housing a large pair of drivers with neodymium magnets, the Sennheiser HD 419 delivers high quality stereo sound that packs a powerful punch in the bass. With a frequency range between 20Hz to 20,000 Hz, they nevertheless provide a full-range of acoustics, with clear percussive and bass-enhanced sounds for a lifelike listening experience.
Even with the boosted bass, the mids sound warm and natural. The highs are a little thin, but this can be remedied with an equalizer for a fuller, better-rounded sound with minimal distortion at high volumes.
The headphones have a low impedance of 32ohms so they are most suitable for portable media devices such as CD players, MP3s and smartphones. However, the volume does not seem to go very high so users might need an amplifier for enhanced performance. The HD419 can also be played with home hi-fi systems. They have a sensitivity rating of 108dB and are therefore not recommended for high output machines as these might blow out the headphones.
While the audio performance is decent for the price range, they are nowhere near higher-end headphones in terms of detailing – but for general use, they are definitely a step-up from earbud-style headphones. Sound imaging is fairly accurate, making them ideal for gaming since users will be able to pinpoint locations where sounds are coming from, such as enemy footfalls or gunfire direction.
The HD419 sports a circumaural or over-the-ear design that cups the ears completely. Although not noise cancelling, the headphones do a good job at dampening ambient noise, such as sounds in a flight cabin. While noise isolation is decent, users have reported that sound tends to escape at higher volumes, to the point where others on a commute are able to hear vocals on a soundtrack. This might pose a problem for those who intend to use these headphones outdoors – but they weren’t exactly made with portability in mind.
For one, they are large and bulky, making them unwieldy to bring around. For another, they don’t fold down at all like most other ‘portable’ headphones, and will be difficult to fit into bags or luggage. That being said, they are better suited for indoor use.
Despite their size, the headphones are quite lightweight at 7 ounces as they are made from a tough and durable plastic material. The hard shell is able to take a beating, and should not be worse for wear even after a few drops to the ground.
While the headband is flexible enough to fit different head shapes and sizes, it does not come with an adjustable mechanism for a truly customized fit.
Soft and plush ear cushions make them comfortable for long hours of wear. The material is fabric rather than the common ‘pleather’, which builds heat up over time. As the cups are very large, people with smaller faces might find their heads being ‘swallowed’ by the huge bulk.
When it comes to grip, these headphones are, again, lacking in the portability department. Grip is important for users who need their headphones to stay in place while at the gym, but we found that the HD419 does not sit well when the user subjects them to vigorous movement.
The headphones are only available in black. If you don’t mind the bulk, they do have a modern, technophile feel to them that mimics the look of headphones used by audio professionals.
There isn’t much to say about the HD419 in terms of additional features, as they are, in fact, quite a basic, entry-level pair of mid-range headphones.
There is no built-in mic or on-cord controls, but they do come with a non-detachable cable trailing out from one side of the ear cup.
Measuring about 1.4m, the cord allows users more freedom to move around and away from their devices. The length is just right for those who have the headphones plugged into their PC or laptops at the office, as they can push away from their desks without having to get up from their swiveling chairs. It is also not too long so as to make it difficult to carry around without tripping over the cord.
The cable ends in a gold plated, standard 3.5mm plug that is compatible with most devices: simply plug and start playing. However, many reviewers have commented that the cable is rather thin and flimsy, so care should be taken not to damage it.
The HD419 is covered by a global two-year warranty.
There are some hits and misses with the Sennheiser HD419, just like any other Sennheiser headphone like the RS 175. For their price, the sound quality is above average and they offer crystal clear audio with minimal distortion. They also score points in terms of comfort, being very easy on the ears even after long hours of wear. However, they are rather basic when it comes to other features – no mic, no cord controls, and flimsy cord.
Due to their mid-range specs, the HD419 probably won’t be making the cut for audiophiles looking for technical detail, but as a pair of basic headphones with high quality, they make a pretty good investment.