With a strong brand name and distribution network in India, Sennheiser is considered to be one of the most respected headphone makers in India. With products ranging in price from under Rs 1,000 to over Rs 100,000, Sennheiser has something for everyone. The latest products launched by the brand are the HD 4 and HD 2 series of headphones, with prices starting at Rs 3,990. Today, we’re reviewing the Sennheiser HD 4.20s, which is priced at Rs 5,990. We’ve put the headphones through the paces, and here’s our review.
Sennheiser HD 4.20s Design and Specifications
The Sennheiser HD 4.20s features an around-ear design, with an all-plastic build. The advantage of using plastic is that the weight of the headphones is kept low, and this makes it extremely comfortable to use. However, it doesn’t feel quite as solid and well-built as I’d have liked. What does work in favor of the HD 4.20s is its folding design, which makes storage easy.
The thick padding helps ensure not only comfort but also effective noise isolation, while the adjustment mechanism lets you get the right fit. While I do prefer the self-adjusting mechanism, this form of individual adjustment mechanism isn’t particularly bothersome and is quite easy to get used to.
The headphones also have an integrated remote and single-button microphone, although the cable isn’t detachable. Frequency response ranges from 18-20,000Hz, with impedance rated at 18 Ohms and sensitivity at a rather high 118dB.
Sennheiser HD 4.20s Performance
Thanks to the high sensitivity rating, the Sennheiser HD 4.20s can go extremely loud. However, the sonic signature is a bit skewed towards an increased sensitivity spike in the highs. This effectively subdues the bass a bit, which although thumping and powerful, doesn’t quite deliver the excitement it should. The mid-range is also fairly well represented here, making for a sonic signature that is somewhat neutral and different from what most lifestyle-centric products like this would hope to achieve.
Listening to Oliver Heldens’ Waiting, showcased some of this laid back sub-bass, which sounded clean and precise, yet lacked excitement. There’s more sparkle at the top than I’m used to with headphones in this price range, and the strong treble can certainly be felt. What impressed me most of all is the clean sound and attention to detail, and the ability of the headphones to play loudly without much distortion.
Switching to Gotye’s State of the Art, I realized that this focus on treble can eventually get fatiguing. A strong high-end can quickly give you a headache, although the Sennheiser HD 4.20s doesn’t quite do that. Imaging and soundstaging are fairly decent though, creating a realistic virtual listening zone with plenty of depth.
Sennheiser’s biggest advantage is its strong brand identity, built by its extensive dealer network, and the fact that you get warranty support for two years after your purchase. The HD 4.20s is part of the successful HD range, but with an increased focus on ease of use. It’s meant for on-the-go listening, with its loud volume capability and comfortable fit.
However, the neutral sonic signature might not suit everyone. While the sound is clean and precise, it isn’t quite as exciting as some might want, and indeed options such as the AKG Y50 and Shure SRH440 might be more capable in that regard. Nonetheless, it’s a decent pair of headphones that ticks the right boxes for comfort and ease of use.