Speaking of the demand for headphones, I may not be the same as most users. First of all, as a music lover, I have higher requirements for the “music appreciation” of headphones. As a video UPer, in the post-processing of the sound, I hope to get a more accurate sound reproduction. In the past, these two things were two parallel lines, so I always had two earphones in my hand, one for listening to music and the other for audio and video post-production.
Until I met Sennheiser HD 400 PRO, the two parallel lines finally met.
Unboxing & Product details
Sennheiser HD 400 PRO is the flagship monitor earphone launched after HD 200 PRO and HD 300 PRO. The PRO suffix means that this series of headphones is more professional. In fact, from my personal experience, I prefer to understand PRO as “almighty”. As mentioned at the beginning of the article, it is not only a professional monitoring studio headset, it also has its own uniqueness in music appreciation.
Professional products tend to be more low-key, and this feeling has already begun to manifest from the packaging design. Elegant, calm, and simple, there are almost no bells and whistles. The items in the box are also relatively simple, a headset, two cables and a manual.
As early as a few years ago, professional monitor headphones did not pay too much attention to appearance in order to focus on durability. But Sennheiser HD 400 PRO has improved a lot in this regard, and the recording studio is not its only battlefield.
The single-ear wire is the standard design of monitor headphones, which is to prevent users from being disturbed by cables while working. Sennheiser HD 400 PRO is equipped with two kinds of cables, one is a telephone line, which has a short retraction time, but has good flexibility and is suitable for use in work situations. The other straight line can be used as a spare cable. The detachable design also reduces the cost for users to replace cables in the future.
Sennheiser HD 400 PRO is currently the first open-ended monitor earphone. There are countless small holes on its earmuffs, and when the internal dynamic driver vibrates, the sound can directly leak out of the earmuffs. This kind of open design is conducive to improving the scale and clarity of the sound field, which is too important for users who need to mix audio and video later.
In terms of headphone pads, Sennheiser HD 400 PRO uses a flannel material with a flexible sponge, which can form a perfect fit with the ears, and at the same time can bring a comfortable wearing experience.
Sennheiser HD 400 PRO uses an open dynamic system, and the unit placement also refers to the “emperor position” principle of the traditional 2.0 bookshelf box. If you touch the part of the sound unit with your fingers, you can feel that it is slightly protruding and has a certain angle of inclination. This has a lot to do with the direction of the ear’s sound. It allows the sound information to be more abundantly transmitted to the ear, thereby bringing more subtle details of expression.
The overall design style of the headset has a calm and low-key feeling, so low-key that even the LOGO on the head beam is looming. But actually in the hand, this headset will give people an inexplicable sense of trust. Its workmanship is quite reliable, and it is obviously stronger than traditional folk headphones.
Regarding the wearing comfort of Sennheiser HD 400 PRO, some have been mentioned in the previous article. But it should be noted that this headset is slightly tight when worn. If it is an ordinary headset, perhaps this is not a good thing. But this is a professional-grade studio monitor, and stability after wearing is very important. If you don’t wear it properly, there will be partial sound, which is fatal for the monitoring work during mixing. In actual experience, the weight is only 240g, and wearing it for a long time has not caused any trouble to me, so I can rest assured about the comfort of wearing.
Subjective hearing under the three front ends
When it comes to professional-grade monitor headphones, many audiophiles may feel that their sound is often very straightforward in pursuit of the ultimate restoration. But Sennheiser HD 400 PRO surprised me, it was pushed very full on QULOOS QA390. The sound has a very good stereoscopic effect, the vocals are relatively close, and at the same time it has a good degree of luster, which is very different from some of the monitor headphones I have come into contact with.
However, the overall style of the headset is still relatively straightforward, especially the high and low frequencies. The high frequency range of Sennheiser HD 400 PRO has enough brightness, the extension is very silky, and the tooth tone is well controlled. When listening to some instruments, it will not be over-stimulated, and the edges of the lines will be treated more “softly”, which will make it very comfortable to listen to.
In the low frequency range, I deliberately searched for Zhao Peng’s work, and wanted to see to what extent this headset can modify the vocal subwoofer. The specific song title is unknown, but it is obvious that the low frequency is restrained, especially the resonance of Zhao Peng’s voice near the bass and extreme bass, and he can feel the reverberation with relatively rich low frequency. When people like Zhao Peng’s voice are popular, the proportions of the music against the vocals are properly controlled, the overall sound will have a little vivid color, and the resolution will be moderate, but the main line is still straightforward and flat.
Strictly speaking, iRiver SR25 MKII is not a player that focuses on high power output. According to the actual measurement, the full frame volume of the player is 150. If you want Sennheiser HD 400 PRO to have a normal loudness, you need to turn it on to 110. The overall sound style is still more straightforward, but the edges of the line outline are obviously softer than QULOOS QA390.
The first song I played after I plugged in the headphones and turned it on was G.E.M’s “Foam”. The vocals were very clear, and the distance was also very close, still with a touch of moisturization. At the same time, the analysis is adequate, not stimulating, but just the right kind.
At first I thought that on iRiver SR25 MKII, it would cause unpleasant sound due to lack of driving force. In fact, it does not. It still has excellent fullness, no sense of weakness, and even the sense of connectivity is not compromised. It’s just that the separation between the frequency bands, or between the background music and the human voice is slightly weaker.
I have always wanted to know where the lower limit of Sennheiser HD 400 PRO is and what kind of front end will make it emit bad sound, so I tried it on LEBI W2. Portable decoding amps have relatively weak thrust due to the power supply being restricted by the mobile phone interface. The output power of LEBI W2 is a bit more impressive than other portable decoding amps. What surprised me was that there was still no bad sound. But at this time, I have turned the phone volume to the maximum to drive the normal loudness.
At this time, the resolution of Sennheiser HD 400 PRO is obviously not as good as the above two front ends, which can only be regarded as a qualified level. The mid-range is still a pleasant distance and smoothness, and the low-frequency extension is a bit less, but the quality is very good. Regardless of cohesion or bass reverberation, it is almost equal to iRiver SR25 MKII. The brightness of the high-frequency part is still relatively abundant, but has become a little more slender.
As a professional monitor headphone, the appearance of Sennheiser HD 400 PRO has become more acceptable. In terms of sound, under the premise of maintaining the most basic high-fidelity of the monitor headphones, it becomes more balanced, and it is not easy to make a bad noise even under some weakly-driven front ends. It shows that HD 400 PRO has reduced the requirements for various listening environments.
As for the disadvantages, the Sennheiser HD 400 PRO is the only headset in the series that cannot be folded. It seems that Sennheiser wants everyone to use it in the room.
Acoustic principle: dynamic, open
Wearing method: Over-Ear
Frequency response: 6Hz~38kHz
Total harmonic distortion:
Sound pressure level: 110 db (1000Hz, 1Vrms)
Plug: 3.5mm(1/8 inch) plug, 6.3mm(1/4 inch) plug
Weight: 240g (without cable)