Sennheiser HD25 SE – not exactly closed back endgame, except maybe for me

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by wormcycle, Jan 12, 2021.

  1. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    I tried, first it was T5p, then TR-X00 MH, then TR-X00 Ebony, three days with Fostex TR900, ATH MSR7 (NO), V-Moda M100. I wanted a closed back, reasonably good sounding a bit bassy headphones I could take outside, or to bed and enjoy music from I would say less good sources.
    Using T5p and TR-X00 I was thinking more about the headphones then the music, TR900 was out of question in terms of taking outside, V-Moda was almost perfect but my ears were in pain after half an hour. The full size closed back was too big, too expensive, smaller over ears were on-ears for me and painful.

    So if it has to be on-ears, let’s get proper on-ears. It came down to: DT1350 or HD25.

    I listened to both, liked both. DT1350 fixed, one sided cable eliminated it from the competition. HD25 connector is like HD6xx and I have load of those cables, balanced and SE and I like the option of using balanced outs.
    Thomann UK had a deal on HD25 limited edition, I saved probably $20, comparing to Amazon.ca but the blue pads looked cute.

    I will not spend any time on the build etc, those are 30 years old headphones. So how they worked in my portable and desk setups?

    That’s how they looked when I got them,
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And that’s 30 minutes later after I watched Tyll’s video on HD25 cables. Black pads were in the package
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I have not run through my full playlist yet just tried HD25 with different devices:

    1. LG v30 stock SE cable. No other HPs from the list I mentioned happened to be as good right away from LG (Neutron) as HD25. For walking on the street all I need is good isolation, a bit of V shape but still with nice mids. HD25 added pretty nice timbre of string instrument so I forgot about the headphones, enjoyed the walk and the music. Tried the podcast as well, speech intelligibility is very good even on low volume. Good start.

    2. Kann Cube, stock HD650 cable terminated with 2.5 mm balanced. That was the most interesting experience. After listening for two mins and I knew what to compare HD25 with. I got my Vegas with balanced Super Litz and listened to the same piece. Both HD25 and Vega required Kann Cube high gain to get a good control of bass, and the same amplification.
    Hd25 presentation of music is like Vega, accents are in the same place, the sound is similar, except that not as good as Vega.
    Bass is elevated but, comparing to Vega’s precision, is slightly boomy, too much in 100-200Hz but that’s easy to fics. HD25 seem to a bid darker through the entire spectrum, unlike Vega, HD25 elevated bass is spilling to other frequencies. And of course resolution: HD25 are more than enough for casual listening but Vega is in a different league. Instrument separation is less precise.
    Well, think about the price of Vega vs HD25. HD25 looks better and better.

    3. Bryston BHA-1, same cable and adapter. An the EQ, flatter version of Inner Fidelity Harman.
    If you want Amir’s version of HD25 EQ just put +25dB everywhere below 500Hz.
    Filter 1: ON PK Fc 77 Hz Gain -2.3 dB Q 1.23
    Filter 2: ON PK Fc 159 Hz Gain -3.9 dB Q 1.88
    Filter 3: ON PK Fc 3913 Hz Gain -3.3 dB Q 0.38
    Filter 4: ON PK Fc 4195 Hz Gain 4.0 dB Q 1.21
    Filter 5: ON PK Fc 6635 Hz Gain .8 dB Q 3.51
    Filter 6: ON PK Fc 21 Hz Gain 1.5 dB Q 2.47
    Filter 7: ON PK Fc 377 Hz Gain 1.3 dB Q 2.72
    Filter 8: ON PK Fc 10596 Hz Gain -3.0 dB Q 2.18
    Filter 9: ON PK Fc 19619 Hz Gain 5.4 dB Q 0.38


    Much improved experience over Kann Cube without EQ. Bass is staying in its place, not as good as Vega but very acceptable. Clarity improved a lot, all parts of the spectrum are present and pretty clear sounding, resolution improved just enough that I am not missing something obvious. The results on Kann Cube with added EQ are similar but HD25 sounds more neutral with BHA-1.

    4. Comfort: way better than Vega or MSR7. There is pressure on ears but not in any particular spot that would cause pain.

    Overall I am keeping HD25, may even order the mod kit: https://customcans.co.uk/s/s/index....loading-uber-mods-mods-uber-damping-kits.html
    with HD25 I do not feel I need any better cans to walk on the street, listen to youtube music, or just listen when my furnace fan gets loud
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021
  2. Elmer Danilovich

    Elmer Danilovich MShenay trying to pretend to be an old man

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    I've had and enjoyed my HD 25-1 ii for a few years now, I use it pretty much exclusively with either my RockBoxed HM 602 or my LG v20 with Neutron as I feel EQ is really mandatory to get the best out of these. I use them pretty much exclusively when I'm exercising or when I'm flying. Their passive isolation is excellent and their build quality is too. I'm pretty rough on my pair BUT they've hold up astonishingly well over the years

    An yes as you've mentioned I to do not feel I need anything better when I'm out and about either at the gym or walking about a busy airport.
     
  3. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    HD25-II's were my second set of serious headphones after Grado SR80i I started out with. While I do feel like EQ is mandatory to make them somewhat neutral, the driver itself is showing age (soon to be 30). I found the ATH-M70x to be a nice alternative to these. As with almost all on-ears, getting a consistent seal is a challenge.
     
  4. Eric_C

    Eric_C Friend

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    I like these Yaxi pads for comfort. They don't seem to affect the sound much, though I think the seal is a little less isolating now. (Not an issue for me, I use them at home.)
     
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  5. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    I bought these last year but I switches them out for 600Ω drivers I got from Thomann UK. This means they are strictly for indoor use but they have some advantages.

    First I can use them with an OTL amp. I haven't tried this yet, but I got all the parts to build one.

    Second is that I have kids. Using these out of the regular 3.5mm output of a smartphone or computer is a way of volume limiting so they don't get hearing damage. Though you should still be vigilant
     
  6. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    I wanted to buy Yaxis type B or Alcantara pads, the cost is half of what I paid for HD25. But maybe it is worth it?
     
  7. Eric_C

    Eric_C Friend

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    Either you paid really little for HD25, or I'm reading the shipping costs wrong. The pads are 38-42 dollars, and shipping to Canada is 10 dollars, right?
     
  8. spoony

    spoony Spooky

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    What is the pad diameter, 70mm? If so, you could try sourcing urbanite replacement pads which are alcantara and should be cheaper. Also, in my testing with a bunch of headphones, the following chinese pads netted good results:

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000418489150.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.3e0e4c4dtfKs81
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000416185444.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.3e0e4c4dtfKs81

    The squishy ones should help with isolation and comfort, the leather ones should help with sweating.
     
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  9. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    Probably I paid too little for HD25 :). It was $100 US on Thomann Limited Edition $20 for shipping to Canada.
    So those pads would come close to half , not exactly. But I think I will buy those.

    70, thanks those are worth trying.
     
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  10. elsordo

    elsordo Acquaintance

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    I've always wondered how these sound compared to the Momentums. Have you heard those?
     
  11. rtaylor76

    rtaylor76 Can't wipe his tag

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    Momentums are slow/syrupy compared to these. I would not consider Momentums Pro headphones like I would consider the HD25. The Momentums are more of a consumer stylish headphone.
     
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  12. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    I have a bit of a franken-HD25: blue Amperior aluminum shells, 600 ohm HD25-13 drivers, and a whole ton of damping inside (similar to what customcans offers; we had actually communicated back and forth for a while on mods before he commercialized his kit).

    Getting those drivers is probably too expensive, but the mod kit is cheap and worth the experiment.
     
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  13. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    Any reasonable investment in HD25 is a good idea. I have not heard HP in this price range I would like so much. I am pretty happy that I sold V-Moda M100 to buy those.
     
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  14. elsordo

    elsordo Acquaintance

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    Definitely not a pro headphone. It wasn't bad for a portable headphone that could be easily driven by a phone though. I've always been curious about the HD25 so thanks for the reply!
     
  15. Koka

    Koka Friend

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    The alcantara pads of YAXI have slightly better isolation than the type b ones. B pads are softer on the ears, due to the contact surface (assuming protein leather.) Alcantara gives a more fur-like touch. Also the stock ones won't go with glasses for me, yaxi pads are good here.

    I like these comfy phones with Lyr 3, which is more laid-back and has more heft than Jot 2. Using the 600 O drivers with mass-loading damping. Oh and thanks for posting the EQ setting, they are real useful in cleaning up bass. @wormcycle
     
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  16. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    I was looking for the 600Ohms drivers, are they still available? Sennheiser does not have them in spare parts for any kind of HD25
     
  17. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    wormcycle likes this.
  18. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    Thanks, I was looking in a wrong place. $28 per site is not a bad price. I am ordering them but ..is it easy to install for someone with no skills who never moded any headphones?
     
  19. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    It's the entire capsule. You take the headband off and switch to the other capsules. You just need a screwdriver
     
  20. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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