In-depth Review of Sennheiser HD 25, A Professional DJ Headphone

Throughout my carrier as an audio device reviewer, I have reviewed my fair share of sound systems and headphones. In fact, I’ve probably reviewed every other notable and hyped DJ headphones that came to the market before and after Sennheiser HD 25.

Let me tell you, none of those products impressed me enough, like Sennheiser HD 25, as it sets the benchmark through exemplary performance. First of all, this headphone has got all the flagship features to beat its competitors, but it’s nowhere near as bulky or thick as you think a DJ headphone will be.

Sennheiser originally released this product way back in 1988, and still, this product is equally popular with audiophiles for different applications, especially among studio owners and DJs. Just think about how ahead it was of its time! Over the years, this iconic product from Sennheiser went through some design and hardware refresh, giving tough competition to all modern-era DJ headphones available on the market.

So, back to 2021 again, does the Sennheiser HD 25 packs enough punch to beat other big players in the game? Stay with me as I try to find out the answer through this in-depth review of Sennheiser HD 25.

Sennheiser HD 25

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Contents

Sennheiser HD 25 Specification

Before we dive into the review, here is the complete product specification to understand the review better. The specifications might not be for everyone to understand fully, but if you are after full technical details, this section is for you.

  • Color: Black
  • Materials: Plastic, Faux Leather
  • Connector: 3.5mm Jack with 1/4″ Adapter
  • Frequency response (Headphones): 16 – 22000 Hz
  • THD, total harmonic distortion: < 0.3 %
  • Contact pressure: ~ 2.5 N
  • Ear coupling: Supra-aural
  • Jack plug: 3.5/6.3 mm stereo
  • Cable length: 1.5 m (HD 25 Plus: 1-3 m)
  • Transducer principle: Dynamic, Closed
  • Weight: Without cable, 140 g
  • Nominal impedance: 70 Ω
  • Load rating: 200 mW
  • Max. Sound pressure level (active): 120 dB

The Benefits & Drawbacks of the product

Now that you know the technical specifications let’s talk about the pros and cons for a bit. Regardless of how good a product Sennheiser HD 25 is, there are some minor drawbacks. This discussion will help you get your priorities straight, and the decision-making will be easier for you.

Related: SONY WH-1000XM3 Review

Benefits of Sennheiser HD 25

  • The sound quality is definitely the most obvious benefit of Sennheiser HD 25. This is easily one of the best studio headphones out there, with the perfect amount of loudness paired with sound isolation and good bass performance.
  • Working in the audio industry as a professional requires a good amount of sound isolation, and Sennheiser HD 25 also got that covered. No matter how much surround sound you have, you will hear every audio frequency separately and enjoy the best recording experience.
  • Sennheiser HD 25 is upper lightweight, in face one of the lightest in DJ headphone segment. With a weight of 140 grams without the cable, you’ll forget that you are even wearing these headphones.
  • Replaceable parts and their availability is another strong suit of Sennheiser HD 25. The build is the very reason why the parts are easily replaceable. Starting from cable to pads, everything can be swapped.

Drawbacks of Sennheiser HD 25

  • Though I previously mentioned that Sennheiser HD 25 is pretty lightweight, that doesn’t draw the complete picture in terms of comfort. As the sound isolation is excellent, that comes with the drawback of clamping force that keeps the headphone wrapped around tightly. Over time, it can get a bit tiring a sweaty.
  • As good as the durability is, the design of this age-old headphone is still pretty boring. Though the hardware and performance have improved significantly over the years, the design hasn’t changed much. Sennheiser marketed this as DJ headphones, but the design can be a big turnoff for professional DJs.

Sennheiser HD 25 Features and Ratings

In this part, I’ll talk about different aspects of Sennheiser HD 25 and rate them based on its performance. It’ll help you figure out the best suits of this headphone and the areas where there are some compromises.

Sound quality

For DJs and studio work, staying true to the sound is an important factor to consider. Listening to the actual sound gives you the proper idea about what you should change in your music. In that regard, Sennheiser HD 25 is a pretty balanced headphone that doesn’t overdo anything.

For a headphone that’s been around for decades, you’ll be impressed when you use the headphone for the first time. With the amount of details this headphone offers, it’s no wonder it’s manufactured for studio use. In addition, this headphone can generate excellent flat audio ranging from 16 Hz to 22000 Hz with an impedance of 70 ohms.

This frequency response and imprudence allow the DJs to crank the volume up, never falling short of volume in a loud environment. The only drawback of this popular headphone is the old-school design, which might not be the most suitable one for a DJ.

Rating: 5/5

Design and build

Most of the construction of Sennheiser HD 25 is made using high-quality plastic, but surprisingly it has a pretty sturdy build quality. You can just throw it into your backpack and forget about it. Other than some scratches, I can assure you won’t notice any problems in terms of durability.

There are two headbands with these headphones, and I really appreciate the opportunity to change the size of the bands to get the perfect fit.  Another reason why this headphone is great for DJs is the one-ear swiveling option. It allows them to listen to the mix in one year and listen to the surrounding with others.

Rating: 4/5

Comfort

Comfort isn’t really a big plus of Sennheiser HD 25. Everything is just about decent, and there are a lot of scopes of improvement in the comfortability sector. There are other consumer headphones that provide great comfortability in the same category.

The ear cups are made of faux leather, and wearing them might not be the most pleasant experience if you plan to wear them for hours. Additionally, the reason why the noise cancellation performs so well can also be a reason for discomfort. As the headphone sits pretty tightly around your ears, your ears will feel sore after hours of usage.

Rating: 4/5

Noise Cancellation

Back in 1988, when Sennheiser HD 25 launched for the first time, it was manufactured targeting outside broadcasters, and they loved this headphone due to its superb noise cancellation performance. Since then, noise cancellation has been a key selling point of this product.

Even back then, British Airways provided these headphones for their passengers to use onboard for media consumption through the noise of supersonic flights. Noise cancellation is also one of the key reasons why this headphone is as popular among DJs as it allows them to listen through the high volume music in clubs and parties.

Rating: 5/5

Value for Money

Sennheiser HD 25 is incredibly cheap for the performance it provides. You are probably familiar with studio headphones costing hundreds of dollars, but that’s not the case with Sennheiser HD 25. Instead, with a price tag of just over a hundred dollars, you’ll be getting performance similar to any flagship studio headphone.

Another thing that makes it an excellent value for money product is its replaceable parts. Whether it’s the headband, cable, or cups, you buy and replace them separately on your own. This amazing reparability allows you to use these headphones for years without any problem.

Rating: 5/5

Related: Best Budget DJ Headphones

Sennheiser HD 25 Alternatives

Though the Sennheiser HD 25 is an easy recommendation for studio work, you can check some alternatives witha similar feature set. You’ll know what other popular options are offering, so comparing and making a decision will be easier. 

Pioneer HDJ X10

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Though the price is much higher than the Sennheiser HD 25, this is a flagship studio headphone that you should check out if you have the budget. The sound quality is always there, but what separates this headset is its superb comfortability for long music sessions. If you want the wide frequency response and modern audio profiling, this headphone is definitely worth buying.

Audio Technica ATH M50x

If you have done some research on studio headphones, there is a chance that you went through these headphones at least once. Audio Technica’s ATH M50x is arguably the world’s one of the most sold studio headphones, thanks to its durability, balanced sound, and outstanding audio separation capability. Additionally, the price is in the same ballpark as Sennheiser HD 25, too.

Final Verdict

This particular Sennheiser model has been around for more than 30 years now, and how it stayed relevant to the game all these years just proves the sheer quality of this headphone. With Sennheiser HD 25’s superb blend of durability, sound quality, and performance, it’s safe to say only a handful of options come close to this spectacular creation.

One thing I want to remind you again here is that this is not the best headphone in terms of comfort or home use. If you want that, there are tons of other options you’ll love according to your sound taste. But if you are looking for portable and robust headphones that you just throw into your backpack and get going for professional sound mixing or studio work, Sennheiser HD 25 is an excellent choice for you.

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