- Value king
- Natural, well-balanced sound signature
- Good passive noise isolation
- Cheap materials
- Sub-par build quality
If you don’t have deep pockets, the HD 201 are probably the first headphones you should seriously consider. Why? Because they compromise in all the right places, thus preserving Sennheiser’s signature sound quality even when they cost less than a lunch for two.
The Sennheiser HD 201 are often recommended to people who need solid over-the-ear headphones and don’t want to spend too much money on them. This can be anyone from college students cramming for upcoming exams to gamers, office workers, commuters, and, of course, fans of music. But it goes without saying that some corners must always be cut to achieve a low price. Let’s find out what exactly Sennheiser had to do to create this king of the budget range of headphones.
Design and Build Quality
The design of the HD 201 follows Sennheiser’s more traditional aesthetic sensibilities and keeps things simple with a combination of black and gray. The advantages of this subtle appearance are twofold: first, you won’t stand out in the office or attract the attention of people around you when you take the headphones outside; second, the look of the headphones won’t get old anytime soon.
It would be foolish to expect a reinforced metal construction, considering the price of the headphones. Sennheiser had to stick with plastic materials, which means that the headphones are not nearly as durable as some more expensive models, and it also means that you encounter the occasional creek as you twist and stretch the material.
But the use of plastics doesn’t equate discomfort. The low weight of the HD 201 and the soft padding ensure that you can listen for hours at a time without being reminded that you are wearing relatively large over-the-ear headphones.
Even though the Sennheiser HD 201 are known for their bass capabilities, they are not bass headphones in the strict sense of the word. Instead, their sound signature is mostly neutral (with a very slight warmth added to the lows), but you can use an equalizer to adjust it to your liking.
This makes the headphones extremely versatile and capable of performing at a satisfactory level in most situations. Some people even use them for home recording, which should tell you a thing or two about their sound quality.
If you like to take your headphones outside and listen on the streets, you will surely appreciate their good attenuation of ambient noise. Any moderately noisy office space quickly fades into the background as you put the headphones on, allowing you to focus undisturbed on your music.
What’s in the Box
Since Sennheiser wanted to keep the price as low as possible, the packaging doesn’t include anything else apart from a 1/4″ (6.3mm) adapter.