Originally published 3/13/21.
- 4/2/22. Article revisit.
Part of The Audiophile Rabbit Hole Series!
This series takes a look back on my experiences with headphones dating back to 2010. Enjoy!
Who is the HD25 for specifically? What about it stands out? How Will It Change YOUR Life? Is it worth a snap purchase? All of these answers and more, comin’ up…
Greetings Friend-0 bass head, Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions leading to a beautiful audio experience that will make you fall in love with music (NOT gear), all over again, so…
At A Glance
In The Box
Sennheiser HD 25 Monitor Headphones
Limited 2-Year Warranty
Shoutout to Crinacle for the graph! This is Crinacle’s graph. There are many like it, but this one is his. 🙂
- Price: Check Amazon! | Check Sweetwater! | Check B&H!
- Color: Black with some Red.
- Frequency Response: 16Hz-22kHz.
- Type: Closed-back. Closed back vs. Open back headphones.
- Fit: Supra-aural (On-ear).
- Plug: 3.5/6.35mm (1/4″) stereo.
- Weight: 140g.
- Impedance: 70 Ohm. What is Headphone Impedance?
- Sensitivity: 120dB. What is Sensitivity in Headphones?
- Load Rating: 200 mW.
Who is the HD25 for specifically?
If you’re a metalhead, look no further. Out of 100+ headphones demoed at the time of this writing, the HD25 is by far the best for metal and it’s not even close.
I firmly believe the folks at Sennheiser sat down one day and were like, “You know, we should make a metalhead homie headphone. Those headbanger bros don’t get enough love. We should make it so good in fact that they may need a neck brace after the track is over.”
Simply put, the HD25 is one of the most lively, exciting, and engaging sound signatures you’ll likely ever come across. I remember vividly the first time I put it on. I was visiting my Mom and Dad and sitting on the couch about to fire up a track.
Mom and I had just got back from Sam Ashe/Guitar Center, and, after a snap purchase without thinking, I had the HD25s in my possession. Finally. I could hardly contain my excitement because I had heard so many great things about them. In all honesty, I was a bit worried and skeptical that the sound would deliver on all the hype.
WORRY NO MORE!!!
I was floored and then some. My jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe how amazing they sounded, especially being that they are closed-back, on-ear headphones. Closed Back vs. Open Back Headphones
The closed-back sound is something I would say 99.9% of people will experience first in their headphone journey, but closed-backs are also incredibly difficult to recommend above the entry-level price range. There just aren’t that many out there that I’d personally invest in, but the HD25 is certainly an exception.
Listening to one is like the anticipation of dropping into the dunk tank, getting a bucket of water poured over your head, or getting hit with 50 water balloons in your face at once.
Oh yeah, give it to me!
It’s like a cold water splash in the morning if the water was 30 below zero.
The sound is crisp, detailed, lively, engaging, and exciting all at once.
To be honest, it can be overwhelming.
I remember thinking to myself “There’s no other headphone I’ve heard quite like this”, but I also knew that I would remember the moment for as long as I lived.
In other words, I was close to creaming myself.
Haha. Just kidding. But I’m kind of not. It excited me in ways that few headphones have ever been able to achieve.
It combines everything about a fun, bass-oriented headphone experience without sounding cheap or artificial in the slightest.
The treble can get hot and sizzly, but I think the “sibilant” claims are completely over-exaggerated, especially when looking at a really solid graph like the one pictured at the start. What does Sibilant mean?
Both the mid-bass and treble are surely emphasized, but it doesn’t really sound like the headphones are going out of their way to try and impress you. It also doesn’t suffer from any real mid-range recession aside from the slight dip around 200-400 Hz. If you think about it, that dip is necessary being that the mid-bass does stand out by about 5dB; to me, just about the perfect amount.
Honestly, you’re not going to give a crap about all that malarkey. This is a near-perfect headphone, and there is really only one thing to keep in mind:
- It will get pretty uncomfortable after about 45 min. – 1 hr. Adjust accordingly, but also plan to use this baby in short bursts when you really feel like you need to BANG YOUR MOTHER F’IN HEAD, YEAH!!!!
What sets it apart from other bass-head pretenders is the fact that, while it may be super intense, it still doesn’t feel out of control or overdone – like your mom’s meatloaf.
For metal, hip-hop, EDM, and generally harder genres, the HD25 is perhaps the best headphone you could ever invest in.
It’s built like a tank, it’s extremely fast, it’s very efficient (meaning it doesn’t need an amp), and it sits at an almost perfect price point. How to Choose a Headphone Amp [Definitive Guide]
When I say fast, I simply mean that the HD25 handles the fast-paced nature of the metal genre with absolute ease. Its transient response is simply perfect for crunchy guitars, and deep bass notes, and overall, it delivers incredible weight and impact without the bloat fly.
Imaging and Soundstage are also quite good; especially for a closed-back on-ear. It was astounding to me how “out of my head” the sound felt at times, another aspect of the experience that made me pop a stiffy. Just kidding again. xD
It’s an interesting headphone build-wise in that the headband actually splits in 2. I believe this helps to get a good fit depending on the size and shape of your head. I mostly don’t have issues with it in the sense that it always rests pretty comfortably on the top of my head.
The headphones aren’t really foldable per se, but they do move and contort rather freely like Mr. McFeely.
The headband adjustment is also quite interesting in that it’s a thin piece of plastic that slides through the earcup; a stark contrast to the vast majority of more traditional adjustment mechanisms like the one seen here on my HD600.
The real issue is the pads which we’ll discuss in a bit. It comes with a short, non-detachable cable that terminates in a 3.5mm jack and a supplied 1/4″ adapter.
If you remember my stress test, I really threw this one around quite a bit to see if it could take the abuse. The result?
It takes a lickin’, and keeps on tickin’!!
While I would take the 770 for comfort, I’d still rank the HD25 above both in terms of sound. It’s like V-shape for connoisseurs.
The HD25 is like a pinky-out type of headphone. It’s classy in the way it delivers the bass head experience. It knows it’s not neutral and flaunts it proudly and flamboyantly. The difference is that, unlike other headphones, the HD25 pulls it off with an understated elegance that’s hard to argue with.
This is in large part because Sennheiser really knows how to tune headphones properly. Not that Audio Technica and Beyer don’t, but I think the HD25 really nails what most people actually crave in that type of intense experience whether they’re aware of it or not.
In other words, people may think they like low-grade dog food such as Beats or some other no-name company that butchers the bass horribly, but in reality, they don’t actually like those things.
What they crave is what hte HD25 provides, much like you crave an actual relationship with a pretty lady and not a one-night stand with a disease-infested hooker.
Is it worth a snap purchase?
No, the hooker is not worth your cash.
Absolutely. This is the go-to headphone for Metal and a close second behind the DT990 when it comes to The Best Headphones For Hip-Hop.
There are absolutely no headphones out there (that I’ve tried) that represent the core of what Metal is about. It’s like the HD25 was made specifically for people who listen to Metal.
I don’t personally listen to it as much as other genres, but that’s the great thing about it; you can use the HD25 for a variety of music and it will likely sound excellent.
Comfort does hold this one back a bit, so plan accordingly. The on-ear fit means it will start to dig into your ear lobes after a while, and for that, some points will be docked.
Even so, this is a headphone I believe everyone should have in their cabinet. It’s rugged and durable, sounds amazing, and outclasses both the 770 and M5ox in my opinion. Comfort is better on the 770 so keep that in mind.
Ready to venture further down the rabbit hole?
Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Sennheiser HD25 Review & Discussion, and came away with some valuable insight.
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Would YOU purchase an HD25 for the genres outlined? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…
All the best and God bless,