Sennheiser HD 428 gaming headphones

These budget PC headphones have a nice design and produce decent sound

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Sennheiser HD 428
  • Sennheiser HD 428
  • Sennheiser HD 428
  • Sennheiser HD 428

Pros

  • Comfortable, cheap, stylish design, good bass response

Cons

  • Mediocre sound quality, flimsy build quality

Bottom Line

Sennheiser’s budget HD 428 PC headphones fill an important market niche – they’re cheap and don’t sound too bad. These headphones also have a nice design.

Would you buy this?

Sennheiser’s HD 428 budget PC/gaming headphones are equally suited to music listening, playing games and watching movies. As a jack of all trades, the HD 428 is a master of none. The overall mediocre sound quality is par for the course with budget headphones, but they look good and are comfortable to wear for a few hours at a time.

The Sennheiser HD 428 headphones have a slightly retro design. The ear-cups look mesh-covered from a distance but close examination reveals a rubberised finish. We’re not sure why the rubber was used, but it looks quite nice and should stand the test of time. While the overall chassis is slightly flimsy, the HD 428s are comfortable, with a leatherette finish on the ear-pads and headband. We found them a little uncomfortable after extended wearing — three hours or more — as the leatherette finish tends to get sweatier than suede or other fabrics.

The headphones are light, weighing only 208g despite being larger than the Sennheiser HD 238 Precision. Designed for sedentary PC use, the Sennheiser HD 428s use a 3m cable; with a rubber casing it seems sturdy and should survive being run over by roller chair wheels, as is inevitable.

A closed, circum-aural design means the headset blocks out a significant proportion of outside noise. The downside of this is noticeably "closed-in" sound, as if the Sennheiser HD 428’s headphone drivers aren’t able to displace enough air. Treble frequencies are strong and warm, uncovering a reasonable amount of detail in music and dialogue. Mid-range can be overpowering at higher volumes but generally tends to be accurate and not overly booming. Bass response is surprisingly strong yet controlled; if you listen to a lot of electronic or synth bass–heavy music these headphones may prove to be a worthy purchase. Positional audio is reasonably handled, and in our gaming tests we were able to distinguish the direction of footsteps with decent accuracy.

Coming in at just under $130, the Sennheiser HD 428 headphones face very stiff competition in a crowded market segment. We think they’re probably slightly more expensive than they deserve to be, but for the PC user who does a little bit of everything they might be the right choice.

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