The packaging for these closed-back headphones features someone DJ-ing which should tell you the primary market at which these cans are aimed. In spite of the rugged and rigid plastic exterior the HD 200s feature Sennheiser's usual high build quality. The rubber spacers around the monitor cones attempt to cover almost any size of ear and unless you just stepped out of a fantasy movie with your Legolas-lookalike ears still attached, there's a high probability they'll fit.
The headband is strongly constructed rigid plastic and the adjustments are made by gently moving them up and down so the cones click into the most comfortable position. Sweat will also take longer to get to the inner pads over the cones thanks to the spacers. Even so every set of 'phones needs the occasional clean.
The HD 200s unleash a frightening amount of bass, almost drowning everything it touches with its low-end embrace. Sometimes this is made worse by the units' closed-back nature which leaves little room for the sound to escape and entertain the entire train carriage For under-produced music this is great, but most of the time you'll be lowering the volume to preserve your hearing. You'll be able to either hear low volumes when listening to music normally, or when DJ-ing you can screen out the other noise around you to cue in and cross/fade records effectively- Whichever way you use them we recommend cutting the extreme high and low frequencies of your amp or mixer- even if the HD200s could take them, your ears probably couldn't.
Cable length is a generous 3 metres. A 2.5mm jack fixes the wire to the left cone, with the other end is the customary 3.5mm with the larger converter for separates and mixers. The single wire has been the fashion for the past five years and is a godsend for not getting in the way.
While Sennheiser pushes the DJ angle, of course the HD 200s can be used for any listening pursuits such as music from your HiFi, PC or television. In fact the latter two sources may sport a lack of bass for which the headphones will provide the perfect counterbalance and not overwhelm the sound as can happen all too easily with music.
Looking at the £50 price tag there'd have to be another special detail to the proceedings and it arrives in the shape of a two-year warranty where the headphones will be replaced at least once dependent on the fault. If you lack the receipt because the HD200s were a gift or bought through a company, then basic service charges start from £17 (quoted 2003) but any further invoiced work would be guaranteed for three months afterwards in the absence of any other warranty. These are the entry level to the Master DJ range so don't bash them if you buy a pair. They can take the odd knock, but not deliberate dropping or throwing. They'd probably perform best in the hands of bedroom DJs up and down the country then or, as I've used them before, perfect for when you need clarity when listening to audio scripts at production level.
In short, Sennheiser and rival German counterpart Beyerdynamic really have to go out of their way to make bad headphones, with few misfires in the past decade. The warranty is a great idea for the price and recognises that should anyone use the 200s for DJ-ing, that they may get damaged in the long term and need replacement or repair.
The closest competition comes from the similarly priced and even better looking all-silver HD 497s, also by Sennheiser, which has all of the sound quality but a less certifiable amount of bass. However other headsets by Plantronics also compete with the 200s in the non-DJ arena and for PC users, also sport an excellent microphone for less money. If you're in the target market though there would be worse places to start.
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