Not quite flamboyant, not quite reminiscent, and excellent in sound quality, the Sennheiser HD 1s are just perfect for music, gaming, and even talking on the phone.


The Characteristics

Sennheiser Electronic GmbH is a family-run German manufacturer of high-fidelity audio products such as wireless systems, headsets, and microphones. Favorites among consumers are its standout headphones, including the HD 1 wireless over-ears, which are great in every aspect in terms of quality. Their comfort level is high, with thick, marshmallowy cup pads sheathed in creamy dark leather; you adjust volume on one of the cup pads. The seamless Bluetooth, with one-touch pairing, extends over a remarkable range—walk an entire city block away from your phone, and you’ll remain connected. The battery lasts for almost 22 hours.


The Competition

In terms of appearance, there are a lot of options when it comes to wireless cans. If you like a gaudy, plastic look, you’ll choose Beats. If you prefer a vintage feel imbued with a slight air of supremacy, you’ll go for Master & Dynamic. And while the build quality is all over the map, there are seriously great sounding options from Bang & Olufsen, Bose, Bowers & Wilkins, and Sony. Decent headphones range from $120 to $500 or more—spend $200 and above for the best audio. At $499.95, the HD 1s are among the priciest.

The Case

The leather-wrapped headband asserts just the right grip on your skull, while the industrial-looking design is handsome but not too flashy The sound is balanced and rich; bass beats feel full and satisfyingly thunky, and middle notes are clear and sunny. Croaky sounds and whispers have a lucid texture. And the automatic noise-canceling is effective but not total—if you’re on the sidewalk, you won’t hear anyone around you, but you will hear an ambulance. Whether you’re tooling around town or trying to tune out your office colleagues, you’ll be thankful you made the investment.


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