Product Type: Wired headphones | Manufacturer: Sennheiser | Price: £429.99 | Where to buy: John Lewis |
The Sennheiser HD630VB headphones are a solid addition to the renowned HD line which fall slightly short of stellar due to a subtle lack of energy on some material.
The Sennheieser HD series is one that is well-known for producing high quality, premium cans. The HD650 headphones are some of the most renowned reference headphones on the market, frequently used by studio and bedroom producers around the world. With such a name on their shoulders, any release which bears the HD badge should be nothing short of spectacular.
The HD630VB represent the first new launch in nearly 12 years for the line, which is a pretty pivotal occasion. Costing upwards of £400, these are not cheap headphones by any stretch of the imagination. Aimed at both audiophiles and casual listeners alike, they feature a variable bass (VB) control on the right earpiece.
If you’re an audiophile like myself, this could ring alarm bells. Typically, we want the purest sound possible… so there was a worry when using the HD630VB that things could lean towards bass heavy. Thankfully, that isn’t the case at all. Taking them out of the box, it’s immediately obvious of the quality that Sennheiser has employed. The presentation is second to none, with a rugged carry case and 1/4″ connector for home amplifiers. The non-removable cable will come as a scare for audiophiles and it’s something we were disappointed to see at this price-point.
That said, build quality is stellar. A brushed metal finish complemented with padding in all the right places ensures a comfortable fit. The size and weight is pretty substantial, coming in at over 400 grams. Sennheiser is marketing these as mobile headphones, with a low impedance rating of 23Ω which makes them easier to drive. For something billed as portable, we imagine they could be a little cumbersome to carry around during long commutes.
Sound quality from the Sennheiser HD630VB is very good, though it falls short of stellar.
Sound quality from the Sennheiser HD630VB is very good, though it falls short of stellar. Running them through the DiGiGrid Q, there’s a real openness to the soundstage which instantly captured our attention, though the overall attack fell short against leaders. Our test tracks beamed with life and scale but overall presentation felt a little soft. Dynamics were fantastic; each element felt suitably spaced and had plenty of room to breathe within a tight mix. For a closed back headphone, you’d be forgiven for thinking they’re open ears. We did notice things feeling slightly empty at times, almost as if the space was too great and there wasn’t enough richness to really grab attention.
Treble is controlled, with a smooth sound that sits back and doesn’t irritate. Midrange seems to depend entirely on the low-end weight applied by the variable bass setting, which we’ll get to below.
The variable bass is a cool feature that we found ourselves using more than expected. The adjustment is very subtle, with things only picking up about halfway. A 2/3 setting seemed to work best for most material, though the ability to adjust on the fly according to recordings meant that it was easy to dial in the preferred amount.