0
  • Your Cart is Empty

A Review of Four ~$100 Sealed Headphones: Denon AH-D1001, Sennheiser HD 448, Shure SRH440, and Sony MDR-V6 - Part 1.

1 Comment

Fifteen years ago, I doubt there were more than a handful of headphones that would best the cans I review here. It really is amazing how far headphones have come in the last couple of decades. None the less, these cans are in a difficult price range where manufacturers have to be very careful about eeking out performance without blowing the budget. As a result all four headphones here suffer from a slight lack of refinement in one way or another. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="425" caption="Frequency response of the Denon AH-D1001, Sennheiser HD 448, Shure SRH440, and Sony MDR-V6."] Frequency response of the Denon AH-D1001, Sennheiser HD 448, Shure SRH440, and Sony MDR-V6.[/caption] Measurements show all these cans hovering in a good place, with Denon and Sony showing better bass extension, and all being slightly different in the highs. Let's have a listen and see how well the data holds up. The Denon AH-D1001
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="360" caption="The Denon AH-D1001S is the silver version of this can and is available cheap!"] The Denon AH-D1001S is the silver version of this can and is available cheap![/caption] The smallest and lightest of the four phones reviewed here, the Denon AH-D1001 is also the most expensive, and only making this review because the silver version is on sale for much less than normal, but it's such a good headphone that I just had to allow the D1001 to budge into the mix on the technicality.
As you can see from the frequency response measurement, these cans have good bass extension and reasonably even response up into the highs where it does wiggle around a bit ... but not excessively so. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="255" caption="Frequency Response of the Denon AH-D1001S"] Frequency Response of the Denon AH-D1001S[/caption]As I listen to the D1001 I find them pleasing, warm, and laid back. The bass does sound slightly woolly and soft, not quite having the impact and punch I'd like, but none really do at this price range.  The treble range is somewhat laid back and overly polite, as I mentioned before, but is resolving enough; certainly not dull or overly rounded. The mid-range fills in quite nicely, with nicely rendered vocals sans any undue tonal shading, though it does fall short of that liquid sense of mid-range bounce found in more expensive cans. These headphones are the lightest and smallest of the bunch reviewed here, but surprisingly feel the roomiest and most comfortable on my head. I worried a bit about the sturdiness of these cans until I had a look through our returns log and found not a single broken D1001 in the mix. They are also the most efficient of the cans here, making them a good choice for work as a portable headphone. All in all the D1001 is probably the most pleasant headphone of the bunch for me -- I rather like a laid back presentation --- but remember they're actually about $40 more expensive than the rest normally. The Sennheiser HD 448
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="360" caption="The Sennheiser HD 448 is an excellent general purpose can."] The Sennheiser HD 448 is an excellent general purpose can.[/caption] Like pretty much all of their products, the Sennheiser HD 448 is a masterful compromise of price and performance. This is the top headphone in their HD 4X8 series of sealed cans designed for general purpose home and portable use. They are all quite good, but the HD 448 is certainly the stand out in the line for sonic performance and worth stretching the budget for.
Bass lovers will find these cans a little weak in the lows, but the bass that is there is tight and punchy, and most folks will find the lows satisfying. The rest of the audio spectrum is nicely balanced with neutral mids and highs; altogether even, detailed and well behaved.[caption id="" align="alignright" width="255" caption="Though lacking somewhat in the lows, the response otherwise is well controlled."] Though lacking somewhat in the lows, the response otherwise is very well controlled.[/caption]You'll notice a little notch in the response around 5kHz; Sennheiser believes this is a good thing and helps to control a sense of harshness in their cans. I certainly hear nicely articulate highs without any sense of strident or aggressive artifact.The HD 448 is a light and well-built headphone that fits very securely on your head. The ear cups are slightly too small for my fairly average ears, but not uncomfortably so. And though they are the least efficient of the cans I review here, they are efficient enough to achieve solid listening levels on an iPod or other portable player.All in all, a very good general purpose headphone.
More in part 2 of this review ------>

1 Response

SKG
SKG

June 05, 2016

This page needs to be fixed.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Headphone News, Reviews & Research

Chord Mojo Amp/DAC Review
Chord Mojo Amp/DAC Review

The little Chord Mojo is the high-end traveling audiophile's full monty headphone amp/DAC unit from England. Expect superior high-resolution sound with any reference headphone or in-ears. There is some seriously hot-rodded musical performance lurking under the Mojo's slick bonnet.
Read More
Focal Utopia Headphone Review
Focal Utopia Headphone Review

4 Comments

No question about it. The Focal Utopia is one of best headphones ever made. It’s hard taking it off our head even to write this review. Like a headphone teleportation device from the future, the Focal Utopia beams you up and materializes you right into the inner reality of the music.
Read More
Fostex TH-610 Review
Fostex TH-610 Review

The Fostex TH-610 full-size closed headphone incorporates the new ‘Bio-Dyna’ diaphragm taken from the upscale Fostex TH-900 MkII, but at a way lower price than that flagship model. The Fostex TH-610 musical performance is just a notch below the pricey TH-900, making it a truly excellent bang-for-the-buck value.
Read More
News & Updates

Sign up to get the latest on sales, new releases and more …