Sennheiser HD 400 Pro – Hardware Review
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Developer: Sennheiser
Publisher: Sennheiser
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Sennheiser HD 400 Pro – Hardware Review

Good: Design, Quality, Coiled cable
Bad: Velours is harder to keep clean
User Score
9.5
(2 votes)
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Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)

As our platform is heavily catered towards gamers, we review a lot of gaming headsets. For those diving into this review thinking it’s another gaming headset review, we immediately have to warn that this premium-quality Sennheiser device is actually a professional pair of studio headphones. While we are sure you can also enjoy the audio of your favorite games, movies, and series with this one, the HD 400 Pro does direct itself towards a different audience, namely those mixing songs or just finetuning their own music. In all honesty, this is also still fairly new ground for us as well, but we were impressed by Sennheiser’s new headphones.

Design

Let’s start off by saying that the HD 400 Pro is a snazzy-looking pair of headphones. We loved the solid black design, the gridded exterior of the ear cups, and the subtle Sennheiser logo. Other than that, the velours ear pads stand out, as many other brands often opt for faux-leather ones or less quality foam-like ear pads. As a whole, we were given a high-quality impression from the get-go. Another standout feature here may be the coiled cable that is included in this package, which is also a very interesting design choice. A ‘normal’ standardized cable is also included for those who are not fond of the coiled design.

Comfort

As musicians can be somewhat enveloped by their studio work, having a comfortable set of headphones at your disposal is a basic necessity. Those who are used to gaming headsets will immediately notice a very distinct difference between the faux-leather ear pads of a gaming headset (to drown out environmental noises) and the velours ear pads of studio headphones such as the HD 400 Pro. Even though one might argue that drowning out environmental sounds is key for a great audio experience, it actually works differently for a studio experience. The musician is trying to replicate a real-life situation, and thus it’s up to them to create an authentic experience that the end-user can also enjoy. Also, being able to communicate with other members in the studio is also convenient if you don’t always want to take off your headphones.

Sennheiser’s headphones come with ample padding, both in the velours ear pads and in the adjustable headband. The device can be modified to your needs, by lengthening or shortening the frame via the aforementioned adjustable headband. The device does grip your head quite tightly, but it never gets annoying or uncomfortable. Thanks to the padding and the tight grip the device will stay neatly in place, even when you move around a lot, which is possible thanks to the lengthy 3m coiled cable. Those preferring to sit still and truly dig into their favorite mixing programs can opt to use the normal 1.8m straight cable. Which cable you use is just a matter of personal preference and does not change anything in terms of quality. As the cables are completely detachable, they are easy to replace in case one of them breaks. Perhaps, the only thing worth mentioning is that we found the velours slightly harder to keep clean, as more dirt gets attracted to the fabric, and it cannot be wiped clean as easily as the faux-leather ones. That being said, sweating too much during longer sessions isn’t much of an issue, as the velours does keep things relatively cool, even in hotter environments.

Specs

  • Impedance 120 Ω
  • Frequency response 6 Hz to 38 kHz (-10 dB)
  • Sound pressure level (SPL) 110 dB (1 kHz / 1 V RMS)
  • THD, total harmonic distortion < 0.05 % (1 kHz / 90 dB SPL)
  • Ear coupling circumaural
  • Jack plug 3.5 mm jack plug with 6.3 mm adapter
  • Weight 240 g
  • Storage temperature –55 °C to +70 °C (–67 °F to 158 °F)
  • Operating temperature –15 °C to +55 °C (5 °F to 131 °F)
  • Operating relative humidity ≤ 90 %
  • Acoustic principle dynamic, open
  • Ear pad material Velour

Overview

The HD 400 Pro can just be plugged into a device with its 3.5mm (or 6.3mm) jack, and you’re good to go. While it certainly gives you bragging rights to own a device such as this, it would somewhat defeat the purpose to just use this pair of headphones to just occasionally listen to music. This device is made for musicians who like to work on their craft, and are not afraid to spend some hours working in their studio, be it a professional one, or one at home. Of course, the audio quality is phenomenal and it also serves as a great device to just unwind and listen to music, but we do feel like this one’s made for truly getting your hands dirty and honing your craft. We realize specs are very important for items such as these, and Sennheiser is now trying to clarify what you’re getting with the ‘Pro’ in the product’s title. Some may immediately think of the HD 560S model when looking at this one, but the HD 400 Pro comes with the latest technology Sennheiser has to offer. If you still own a 560S and you’re very happy with it, an immediate upgrade may not be necessary, but if you’re still browsing, we recommend going with the HD 400 Pro.

As stated above, we are quite new when it comes to studio headphones and we can only say that our first steps were interesting with the HD 400 Pro in combination with the DearVR Mix plugin. Even though we are not pros at mixing music, the plugin is fairly straightforward in what it has to offer. You can select the HD 400 Pro out of a list of 40+ supported headphones, and after that, you can start messing around with the settings. You can start mixing in your virtual mixing rooms, decide what your speaker setup would be (we reckon stereo will be the most relevant option), and eventually, you can see what output you’re getting in different types of environments. You can opt to have your audio played in a digital emulation of a car, kitchen, mixing room(s), and so on. Even though the offset of this plugin is quite clear, you can go as far as you want with it. This is professional software, and combined with the HD 400 Pro, you’ll be able to mimic a proper studio experience.

Conclusion

Sennheiser’s HD 400 Pro is an amazing piece of (virtual) studio equipment. Even though this is a very nice device for those just wanting to enjoy music and other media, we do suggest other items for such purposes. These headphones are designed to be worked with, preferably for studio work, mixing your favorite music, or the music you produce yourself. We found our long sessions (of figuring out the plugin) very comfortable, we loved the inclusion of the old-school coiled cable, and we have grown quite the liking for velours ear pads now.

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Sennheiser HD 400 Pro - Hardware Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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