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Sennheiser HD 228 review

Verdict:

Comfortable to wear with good audio output and very good value, the HD 228 would be £31 very well spent.

Review Date: 8 Sep 2009

Price when reviewed: (£26.95 ex VAT)

Reviewed By: Kenny Hemphill

Our Rating 4 stars out of 5

Sennheiser's HD 228 closed-back headphones are designed for those of us who commute on noisy trains or buses.

Closed-back headphones lack some of the fidelity of their open-back cousins, but compensate for that by excluding much of the background noise that leaks into their open-back counterparts.

These aren't noise-cancelling headphones, however. You'll have to pay a great deal more for a pair of those. And they don't do as good a job of eliminating ambient distractions as the earphones that fit snugly into your inner ear. However, if you prefer an over-the-head design, the HD 228s do a pretty good job.

The first thing we noticed on testing the HD 228s is that they're incredibly light and very comfortable to wear for long periods, thanks partly to the padding at the top of the headband. The earpieces are easily extended, although other adjustments are limited - for example, you can't fold them for easy portability. The ear pads are fixed to the headphones and can't be removed. This will be a blessing if you're fed up with removable foam ear pads that fall off in your bag, but does mean you can't switch them for different-sized pads as you can with Jays' cJays.

Audio quality was very good. Sennheiser describes the bass performance as 'explosive', but that rather depends on what you compare it to. If you're used to wearing in-ear headphones, then you'll wonder what the fuss is about, as the bass is much more noticeable on those. We also found that the light weight of the HD 228s put them at a disadvantage, as they didn't seem to clamp firmly enough onto our ears to fully immerse us in the audio. The result was that we felt compelled to up the volume on our test iPod - something that's not particularly good for the hearing.

That, however, is our only complaint. Bass is good for this type of headphone, there's plenty of treble and detail, and we appreciated how comfortable they were, particularly on extended commutes.

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