The Sennheiser HD 700 over-ear headphones are essentially the little brother of the beloved HD 800. Given that the HD 800 are what other over-ear headphones are often measured against, our expectations coming into this review were understandably high. It’s apparent the HD 700 and the HD 800 share similar technological design and execution, which brings up the question whether these could be the best headphones on the market for aspiring audiophiles.
Build and Design
It seems that product packaging follows a bell curve which depends on how expensive the product is. Cheap products ship in tacky boxes covered with hideous graphics and little to no accessories inside, boxes of mid-range products try to wow customers by highlighting various technical details and features, and high-end products seem to favor boxes with no graphics whatsoever and just as few accessories as you get on the opposite side of the price range.
The HD 700 are no exception to this, and their simple packaging leaves a lot to be desired. When you open the box, the headphones are presented to you in a foam cutout, which protects them during shipping and could be used for storage, if words like style and design mean nothing to you. Apart from the headphones, there’s nothing else worth mentioning—no storage bag or carrying case nor an adapter.
Compared to the HD 800, this more affordable member of Sennheiser’s HD family of open headphones relies much more on plastic materials. On the one hand, you might not like spending hundreds of dollars on plastic headphones, but on the other hand, this is the only way how Sennheiser could make the headphones as light as they did.
At only 272 grams, it’s easy to forget that the HD 700 are even on your head. The plush, microfiber earpads keep your ears cool in hot weather, and the earpad opening has an ergonomic shape that mimics the human ear. Because the earcups can swivel in all directions, the HD 700 provide a universal fit.
As already suggested by the last of a 3.5mm adapter, the Sennheiser HD 700 are not meant for portable sources. Instead, these puppies are for home listening, preferably attentive one. You can hook them to your audio source of choice using the included 3m 1/4” cable, or you can use an aftermarket cable of your choice.
We don’t even need to listen to the HD 700 to know that they’re unlike any other Sennheiser headphones. That’s because they are the only pair of headphones that uses the 40mm driver with an open-air acoustic chamber. What this combination produces is a tightly controlled sound with a soundstage so huge that it escapes from the headphones, placing you right in the center of the action.
During our testing, the headphones never produced harsh or fatiguing or otherwise unpleasant sound. Listening to both music and movies was an absolute joy, and the HD 700 accurately portrayed every single detail. Mids are definitely the highlight of the show, but bass and highs aren’t too far behind.
What’s in the Box?
Included in a padded box are the HD 700 and a long cable for home listening. Those who prefer the 3.5mm jack will need to purchase an adapter separately.