Sennheiser is one of the biggest names in premium audio and many of their products, from earphones to headphones, great value to premium performance,Â have always been highly regarded by the audiophile community. Today we’ll be having a look at the Sennheiser HD 219s, an evolution on the HD 219 but with a twist that makes it a more viable choice for mobile users.
Mobile users are typically relegated to using earphones if they want to listen to music and have a microphone and inline controls for answering calls, whether it be normal or in-ear earphones, and while some of the in-ear variants have some amazing sound quality, it can sometimes be hard to wear these for hours on end.Â I know I personally find that in-ear earphones can create some pressure in the ear that eventually gets uncomfortable after long listening sessions, so I very much prefer headphones, however there are so few options that also incorporate a microphone for mobile use; thankfully, the Sennheiser HD 219s is one such set of headphones, marrying the convenience of a mobile headset with the sound quality of its well-received HD 219 predecessor.
Out of the box, the HD 219s will have everything you need to get started: the headphones themselves and an adapter for specific Nokia or Sony Ericsson phones. The headphones themselves are made from a very light plastic, making them ideal for daily trips, but not quite durable enough for sporting or adventuring applications. And when I say light, I mean really light; they hardly feel like they’re on sometimes and the fit is loose, but not such that it will come off your ears easily, which will probably let you to wear them for hours.
Apart from the weight of the HD 219s, the leather-like earpads are very comfortable and thanks to its cushions, created a great fit over my ears. I’m not normally a fan of on-ear headphones because they almost always suffer some kind of noise leakage (both environmental noise leaking in and sound leaking out), but the HD 219s are very good at blocking out a lot of noise, which is obviously helped by the fact they are closed-back. The cushion at the top of the headband is minimal, but comfortable; even at ill-fitting situations, it does a good job of padding the space between the headphones and your head without discomfort.
The HD 219s also comes with 1 metre cable, which is perfect for the people who want to use it just as a set of travel headphones, however, it does make it a little prohibitive if you want to use it with your TV/computer without requiring an audio extension cable. The headphones themselves are extendable from the side booms and are well-made and solid enough not to lose your previous length setting when you throw them into your bag.
The sound quality is nothing less than you’d expect from Sennheiser; the headphones sound great and if you find yourself in a place where you can turn up the volume sufficiently high so you can get the best out of them, you won’t be disappointed. In terms of nitpicking, the headphones seem to lack a little in the bass range and the sound doesn’t feel as full or crisp as you might expect from some open-back over-ear headphones like the HD 518 (my personal headphones). But apart from the fact that set of headphones is more than twice as expensive, that is nitpicking, and if you are using the HD 219s on the move, or whatever listening you do, the sound quality is great.
The inline controls and microphone are obviously the characteristics that make the HD 219s particularly interesting to mobile users, though they are relatively frugal; the inline controls consist of a answer call/play/pause button and a music/call volume slider. The button acts as you’d expect, however the volume slider is a little bit fiddly and I found myself deafening myself on several occasions when I tried to increase the volume with only one hand. That said, it is much more convenient to have the volume and call controls there than not present at all.
The microphone looks a little better than most mobile headsets and is actually set quite a lot closer to the face than normal. This is good and bad as the microphone is for all intents and purposes unidirectional i.e. will only register sound when speaking directly into it; this is good as it stands a better chance than most headsets at capturing your voice at this higher position, however it is bad in that you will probably still need to do what I call the “hands-free whisper” where you hold the microphone to your mouth just to be heard. Again, this is not unlike any other mobile hands-free handset available, and the fact it is available on a set of great sounding on-ear headphones is a huge bonus.
And the price for all this? RRP $119.95 AUD, which is a very decent price for a pair of on-ear headphones with the HD 219s’ sound quality and the ability to be used with mobile devices. Overall, the Sennheiser HD 219s is a nifty set of headphones: you get the great Sennheiser audio quality in an on-ear, closed-back package and you also get the added convenience of receiving calls. If that fulfils your criteria, then the HD 219s is going to be one great choice.
For more information about the Sennheiser HD 219s or Sennheiser’s other products, visit their website at the links below:
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