The HD 4.30 rather tidy dimensions make it seem like it could be either a larger 'on-ear' headphone or a small 'over-ear' can. Sennheiser officially calls it an over-ear style but it almost blurs the line between the two with its fully collapsible headband and extremely lightweight frame. The Sennheiser HD 4.30 is a headphone that is equally at home listening portably on the move, working at the office, hitting the streets or just jamming at home.
In every situation, the Sennheiser HD 4.30 is an amazingly comfortable headphone due in no small part to its oversize deep-well ear cushions that will softly envelop the entire earlobes on most wearers. For our Headphone.com reviewers, the Sennheiser HD4.30 ear cushions tended to rest on the outer part of the earlobes. The deep, soft pad material (did we say these are some really soft pads?!) nicely conformed to the shape of the ears and effectively minimized ambient noise intrusion, providing impressive isolation and listening privacy.
The Sennheiser HD 4.30 sound is well presented and even-toned with some mild emphasis heard on the bottom-end as is typical for most portable headphones looking to warm up smartphone music files. Fortunately, that rich bass tone doesn't mean the mids and treble ranges are muddied in any sense and the vocals/voice intelligibility seems particularly well-focused in the HD 4.30 overall presentation - a big plus for speech clarity on your phone calls.
Also as to be expected from Sennheiser, their signature smoothness is plainly audible in the slightly rolled-off HD 4.30 upper highs that trade sharpness for a more mellow, rounded tonality. The treble extension is still present and detailed but with just a hint of that mild reticence we sometimes hear even with much more pricey Sennheiser cans - i.e., the infamous Sennheiser "veil" as it is sometimes known.
However, our own take is that's likely something of an unfair criticism in this instance. Not only is the Sennheiser HD 4.30 easily among the best-sounding full size headphone headsets we've heard under $100 bucks, but we think it competes with many pricier non-microphone 'audio-only' headphones that have more limited features and less durable build quality.
As headphone geeks, we could not be more stoked to witness the reassertion of high-performance headphones at affordable prices that deliver real value to music lovers. The Sennheiser HD 4.30 is prepared to take on all comers from that tired Beat-y land of pricey craptastic headphones - and soundly beat 'em at their own game. Having said that, we also appreciate the understatedly workman-like yet sleek looks of the HD 430 which downplays trendy cosmetic flash in favor of what's actually under the hood.
The Sennheiser HD 4.30 over-ear headphones come with a 3-button mic'd cable that extends about 4.5ft and terminates to a straight 3.5mm mini-plug. The detachable cord allows for no fuss, no fuss user replacement if ever needed, a huge plus for extending the life of the headphones.
The HD 4 30 headband sizing is via a solid detented earcup slider that's a breeze to fit for a wide variety of heads. The headband frame neatly collapses down for storage or travel and the folding hinges appear beefy and built for a lifetime of headphone hauling. A storage pouch is included in the package.
The Sennheiser HD 4.30 headphones are rated at 18 Ohms and 120 dB sensitivity so they'll play loud & proud from any Apple/Android smartphone or other audio device without a headphone amp needed.
The 2-year manufacturer's 'repair or replace' warranty is free when purchased from authorized Sennheiser dealers - like us here at Headphone.com since 1995!
What's In The Box: