Home Closed Back Headphone Reviews Sennheiser HD 202 Review – Lost But Not Forgotten

Sennheiser HD 202 Review – Lost But Not Forgotten

The HD 202 was a decent headphone in its time, but is there a better option nowadays?

by Stuart Charles Black
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Hi friend and Welcome!

Before we get into the Sennheiser HD202 headphones review, grab a snack, sit back and relax because…

You’ve come to the right place!!

What I will bring you in this review

  1. Specifications and Summary
  2. Value
  3. Sound
  4. Comfort
  5. Build Quality/Longevity
  6. Features & Downsides
  7. Pros/Cons
  8. Amp/DAC requirements
  9. Who benefits?
  10. Who doesn’t?
  11. Consensus/Conclusion
  12. Final Word

Let’s get started!

Sennheiser HD 202

Price: Check Amazon! | Check eBay!


  • Type: Closed-back
  • Fit: Supra-Aural (On-Ear)
  • Impedance: 32 Ohm. What is Headphone Impedance?
  • Frequency response: 18 – 18,000 Hz
  • Material: Plastic, Faux Leather
  • Color: Black


They are pretty comfortable, but you get what you pay for.

Being supra-aural, the ear cups rest ON your ears rather than around (circumaural).

They will need an adjustment from time to time.

The headband padding is very nice, and though comfort is passable, you’ll feel them digging into your ears after about an hour or so.

That said, they are pretty lightweight which is definitely a plus.

Build Quality/Longevity

This is about as durable as it gets for this price range.

The headband adjustment is a little bit awkward but works well and is unique from other cheap models.

The adjustment is the ear cup. You simply pull or push them up or down.

What I really like about these is that there are minimal parts (really just the two ear cups and one piece of plastic as the entire headband).

In other words,

if you drop them they are less likely to break.

They can really take quite a bit of abuse as well.

I’ve slept with them on, slept ON them, dropped them, and gotten them stuck in weird places around my bed. They also get thrown into my backpack daily.

After all this, they still look and sound good as new.

This is likely due to the super rugged yet still malleable plastic.

It almost feels like you could bend it like Beckham and it would spring back into its original shape like a rubber band.


Earcup removal

Removable ear-cups

The ear cups can actually be removed from the headband.

Note: If you can’t remember which cup goes with which side, there’s an R and L indicator on each wire going into the cup.

Honestly, I don’t know why you would ever want to take the ear cups off. But today I did just so I could show my friends at work haha.

To me it contributes to their minimalist design, preventing damage to the unit.

Belt Clip

Belt clip

I also appreciate the fact that Sennheiser included a belt clip for the extra chord slack.

I can now use these at work with no problem.

The clip does tend to slip off if you’re moving around a lot, and the wire may come loose from the little grooves occasionally, but for the most part, it’s really convenient and gets the job done.

1/4″ adapter

It’s a bit odd that a headphone at this price range comes with a 1/4″ adapter.

I honestly have never seen that before, and I’ve bought and demoed a lot of headphones.

It’s convenient and smart, but we’ve come to expect that from Sennheiser, no?



The wire leaves a little to be desired. It honestly feels like a throwback to 1990.

I suppose I have been spoiled by my M50 chord.

That said, these do make great cans for those late-night Netflix sessions.

No case

Even after so many great features, they didn’t include a case.

Maybe they knew the headphones were so durable that they don’t need one. Lol.

In any case (no pun intended), I suppose it would only serve as the cherry on top.

Pad issues?

I will caution you that these are just the type of pads to flake and peel over time.

I never experienced that for myself as I only owned them for about a year +, but generally speaking, after the 2-year mark is when you’ll likely start experiencing issues.

I’ve had problems with the MDR-7506, M50, and PM-3 in this regard.


The Sennheiser HD 202 is a solid bang for your buck option that does well with most genres of music.

They are loud, have a deep, tight bass response, and are very lightweight but at the same time durable.

The chord can be a pain at times because it is so long, but it does come in handy if you’re sitting farther away from the source.

It also feels a bit cheap and throwback but functions fine. The wires come out of both the right and left ear cups.

Overall, there are a lot of features that come with this model that make them a lot more valuable than their price tag would indicate.


As far as value, the HD 202 is a pretty remarkable upgrade from your standard factory earbuds and any similar headphones that sound terrible.

The price vs. performance ratio is very solid.

You are definitely getting more for less here.

The overall sound of these is pretty big for such small headphones.

They are nice and loud, and the bass really pumps.

It can get slightly distorted at very low frequencies, and on certain tracks, you will find become muddled and somewhat fuzzy.

You will also find that at very high volumes the sound gets sort of confused.

They don’t really know how to handle it all at once.

They aren’t quite good enough to discern each individual sound and make it transparent, so the resolution isn’t quite up to snuff.

That’s the best way I can describe it.

Overall they are pretty clean and clear, just be aware of your sound source.

These are really the type of headphones that a casual listener would be impressed by.

Perhaps someone who hasn’t heard anything better than low-grade dog food.

In other words,

I think these are a step up from the trash you’d find in a drugstore, but not quite on the level of some entry-level audiophile-type stuff.

The mid-bass will most certainly excite you but doesn’t always sound good.

I think it really depends on the song but also keep in mind that it’s your typical boosted affair at roughly 100-200Hz.

Mid-Range & Treble

I like how Sennheiser handled the mid-range, as there’s a rise from 1-2kHz that our ears expect.

This is going to make most music sound good and “correct” in its portrayal of instruments and voices, but the treble can be hit and miss.

I like how it’s not overly bright, but at times it lacks some sparkle that you may desire.

It also seems to be a bit erratic in its peaks and dips from 3kHz onward.


  • Durable.
  • Great value.
  • Great features.


  • The cable can be a pain for on-the-go situations.
  • The sound may get muddy at times due to the mid-bass boost.
  • Some bass frequencies have trouble registering.
  • Comfort isn’t the best.
  • Pads may peel and malfunction over time.

Amp/DAC requirements

At 32 Ohm, none! How to choose a headphone amp!

Who do these headphones benefit?

  • Those looking for great value/bang for their buck.
  • Hip-hop heads on a budget.
  • Those looking for a loud sound, conducive to headbanging 😛
  • Netflix marathoners.

Who these headphones do not benefit?

  • Those looking to mix down a track, as the bass is a bit too heavy.
  • Those who value extreme comfort. These are comfortable, but only up to a certain degree. Occasional to frequent adjustments will have to be made.
  • Those who are looking for a neutral sound signature. These are anything but.


The HD 202 is a surprisingly decent set of headphones, but I think there are better options for your money nowadays.

Final Word

I used these every day from 2015-2016 at my old job.

They were reliable and sounded pretty good, but I think you can do better.

Interested in learning more about my top option in the budget category?

Learn More:


Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Sennheiser HD 202 headphones review.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please leave them down below or Contact me!!

If you love what I do here and want to support the blog and channel in a more personal way, check me out on Patreon and discover all the value I have to offer you.

What do you think about these bad boys? Are they still worth a purchase? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,





Can’t decide which headphones to purchase? Interested in a complete buyers guide outlining over 40 of the best options on the market? Click on over to the best audiophile headphones to learn more!!

Be sure to also check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!


Sennheiser HD 202











  • Durable
  • Good Bass Head sound
  • Great Value


  • Some very low frequencies hard to register
  • Thin and cheap feeling wire
  • No case
  • Potential pad issue
  • Sometimes muddy

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Jolie July 10, 2015 - 12:41 am

I have these headphones, and I couldn’t help but give a plug for them here! Yes, they are entry level, but great value for money at $23 (mine cost about $60 back in the day.. but I’ve had them for years now and they’re still going strong).
I actually prefer the longer cable (it’s seriously about 9 foot long), cause I can easily move around my bedroom without having to remove my headphones. The removable speakers mean that these have survived many crush incidents (read: been stepped on) unscathed – just reassemble and they’re good to go again! The only issue I have with them is that the padding on the top of the headset has started to peel a little bit with age, but that’s just a cosmetic issue and I have had them for at least 3-4 years now.

Stu July 10, 2015 - 2:48 pm

Hey Jolie!
Thanks for stopping by.. Yes these are really amazing especially for the price point. I was shocked when I found out I could systematically take them apart and the fact that the construction is so minimal is just a genius idea for people like me who always drop, step on, and generally abuse the crap out of headphones!!

I do agree with you on the cable being convenient to walk around with. I have 4 sets of headphones, and use these mainly for late night netflix watching.. I can chill with them laying down in my bed!! Lol they are great

I have had issues with slight cracking with my Audio Technica M50’s, but like you said, it’s mostly cosmetic and is to be expected with age (had mine over 2 years.)

Thanks again for stopping by!! Check out my other reviews if you’re in the market for some other models!


Tony August 28, 2022 - 11:37 am

A college radio station I worked at in the early 2010s had a bunch of these as studio monitors. When I was shopping for closed-back studio monitors recently, I remembered that I liked these and was sad to see that they’ve been discontinued. I was feeling nostalgic, so I’m glad I found this article.

Stuart Charles Black August 28, 2022 - 1:29 pm

Thanks for the comment, Tony! It is sad. A lot of stuff I liked in the past has been discontinued. Such is life I guess. I actually didn’t like these at first; it was only when I bought a pair again, was I able to appreciate “where they were coming from” if you will.

Dan November 2, 2022 - 2:42 pm

Hi Stuart, I’m not a big audiophile but I am a bass guitar player and I use these for playing with a digital amp on my PC. These are discontinued now so I’m probably on my final pair. You say you can do better for the same money these days, would you mind listing some pairs you would recommend in a similar price range? Thanks,

Stuart Charles Black November 3, 2022 - 2:22 pm

Hey man did you see my rec at the bottom of this article? I’d probably start there. KPH30i is fantastic and probably my #1 under $100 rec, but check out all the budget kings! You’ll see them when you click on the 30i.


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