Before we get into the Sennheiser HD 419 vs. HD 429 comparison, grab a snack, sit back and relax because…
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this review
Normally I would review both headphones separately. Given that these two are very similar, instead I’ll review the HD 419 and then outline the Similarities and Differences with the HD 429. For a rundown:
Who this headphone benefits?
Similarities and Differences
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!
Sennheiser HD 419
price: check amazon! | check ebay! type: closed back fit: circumaural impedance: 32 Ohm frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz material: plastic, cloth/fabric ear pads headband: cushion with fabric coating color:black
One thing that you should know right off the bat is that the chord on these headphones feels really cheap, and isn’t long enough. Almost a universal consensus with the HD 419, it’s an issue that stands out the most. As for comfort, these get very high praise, and it’s honestly the saving grace from an otherwise very mediocre offering from Sennheiser.
Some complained that they broke down anywhere from a week after purchase, to a few months. The construction is is a bit of a mixed bag. Some liked it, others didn’t. Another prominent complaint is that the “noise cancelling feature” is a bit misleading. They aren’t true noise cancelling headphones, so buyer be weary. The ear-cups on this model were another glaring complaint. A lot of people said they are way too small, and seem to be only meant for children or people with tiny ears/heads.
All in all, the sound is very good, but don’t expect jaw dropping clarity in this price range. They are cleaner at higher volumes than the Sennheiser HD 202 however, and do well with some EQ adjustments in bringing out the highs. It produces a more well rounded sound without that distortion. Ultimately, the HD 419 is geared towards the average consumer looking for a step up from earbuds. That being said, the 4xx series in many peoples minds don’t exactly live up to the brand name, and may be a disappointment to some.
Great for gaming. A few people said this, and it goes back to that good sound-stage. You will be able to discern more of what’s around you, as they kind of give off a 3-d effect. Don’t expect to be blown away or anything, but in this price range it’s impressive.
Good for audio books, and generally winding down at night in bed.
Good for people with glasses. A few mentioned this as well.
Portable. The short cable comes in handy here.
Pretty good sound isolation. NOT noise cancelling though 🙂
Chord is cheap, flimsy, and thin. This was the biggest complaint by far with the 419. It’s also very short, which many complained about. Lol, some guy on amazon said the cable is “about as thick as a piece of angel hair pasta.” I think that perfectly sums up the consensus on both pairs.
A bit too quiet. Some people were saying that you may have to squeeze them on your head to get optimal sound. Not always, but sometimes.
Some detail lost in treble range. The highs here are a bit recessed, meaning they can get drowned out or glossed over in the mix.
Ear cups peel after awhile.
Bass. Some said it was lacking, others said it was unnaturally boosted, and others said it was simply “big.” All in all, just know that it can get a bit jabby and punchy, or rattle down at low frequencies like 30Hz. This isn’t uncommon for models in this price range and below. The 202 had a big sound but also had a tendency to get muddy.
Consider what you will listen to them on. If you are using a good sound-card/interface, these may sound a lot better. For more on how your interface works, and how it sends/receives data, check out this article onBit depth vs. sample rate!
At 32 Ohms, none. I wouldn’t even bother with an amp in this price range, for this model especially.
A decent set of headphones in this price range, and a definite step up from ear buds. Chord is atrocious, ear-cups are a bit small, and overall the detail in the treble range is sub-par. They may be too quiet as well. The bass is a mixed bag, but their overall comfort is phenomenal.
Similarities & Differences
Both the 419 and 429 suffer from that awful chord. It’s fragile, cheap, and will fray over time. One guy on amazon said his chord on the 429’s was completely visible in about 4 places, meaning it started to come apart!
Both do well with sound isolation, but aren’t noise cancelling.
Both have a problem with breaking down completely after upwards of a few months use.
Both may have that problem with the headband adjustment. They may dance around on your head, or lose their grip after awhile.
Both have a good sound-stage at this price, and do well for gaming.
Both benefit from some EQ, and overall have a flat/neutral response.
Both have above average to phenomenal comfort.
Neither are very portable or fold in any way, making them clunky and bulky. The 419’s do have a shorter cable, and are therefore a bit more portable.
The cable on the HD 429 is significantly longer than the 419’s. 3m compared to 1.4.
The headband padding on the 419 is cloth/fabric, and of a much higher quality than the pleather on the 429.
The HD 429 reaches a little lower in the bass frequency range. 20Hz compared to 18 Hz.
The HD 429 also reaches a little higher in the treble range. 22 Khz compared to 20 Khz.
Weight. THe 419’s are 430 grams and the 429’s are 439 grams.
The HD 419 does not come with a 1/4″ adapter while the HD 429 does.
I would honestly just stay away from anything in this 4xx range. Called the runt of the litter, these aren’t what you’d come to expect from a brand like Sennheiser. In truth, it’s a little disappointing that they would even release a headphone of this caliber, with such a joke of a chord and sub-par build quality. That’s not to say that they don’t have their strong suits. Ultimately though, the positives don’t outweigh the negatives, even at this price point. They sit in that awkward price range, where there’s such an influx of bad gear. It becomes harder and harder to separate the good from the bad.
Honestly, you’d be better off just picking up a pair of V6’s and calling it a day. They are an industry standard, and remain a mixing/reference staple even now. The good part is that they can also be used for casual listening as well, and are light years better as far as construction and build. Interested in learning more about a headphone that’s been around since the mid 80’s?
Finally, are you looking for a good open back model that won’t break the bank? Look no further than the HD 558. It is an open back design, but the sound quality is exceptional, and with those velour pads it doesn’t get much better as far as comfort. This is what Sennheiser is all about, and I can’t recommend them enough. They do well with just about any genre of music, and also have that great sound-stage. Overall, their sound is more refined, with startling clarity in the mid-range.
Stu is determined to provide the truth about all things audio, and strives to deliver excellent content to you the reader! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, attend church, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His attention to detail and perfectionist attitude are what allow him to excel, but it can be both a blessing and a hindrance at times.