Sennheiser HD 238 Precision headphones

These small headphones are well made but need equalisation to get the most out of them

Sennheiser HD 238 Precision
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Good build quality, comfortable ear-cups and headband

Cons

  • Slightly distant mid-bass, "leaky" open nature

Bottom Line

Sennheiser's HD 238 Precision headphones are well made and comfortable. Sound quality is good, albeit with a flat frequency response that may be missing some of the musicality of other Sennheiser models. The headphones are nonetheless full of detail.

Would you buy this?

Sennheiser's HD 238 Precision headphones are made with good quality components and are comfortable to wear in almost all conditions. The headphones have detailed sound reproduction but we found they seemed flatter than other models, requiring some equaliser adjustment for rich audio.

The Sennheiser HD 238 Precision headphones are made from plastic, but the quality of construction is excellent. The headband only has a small amount of flex when twisted, and the ear-cups feel solid and dense. Adjusting the headphones to suit any size of head is a breeze — the headband has a telescopic action to ensure a perfect fit, while the ear-cups themselves have a small amount of vertical and horizontal swivel motion.

The ear-cups have a soft velvet finish, with leatherette on half the pad. Despite looking like the height of '80s fashion the ear-pads are very comfortable; even after protracted wearing we noticed no fatigue or discomfort. It helps that the headphones weigh a mere 286g, and the headband has a small fabric-lined cushion to distribute force evenly. A 1.4m cable is attached, so you can keep your portable media device in your pocket. A carrying case is included for long-term storage.

Since it's an open, on-ear pair of headphones, there is significant "bleeding" of sound. While this isn't a problem if you're alone or in an environment where those around you won't be annoyed, turning up the volume while on a train or in an office might raise the ire of anyone nearby.

Open headphones do have a significant advantage over their closed counterparts though — better acoustic capabilities and therefore generally better sound quality. The Sennheiser HD 238 Precision headphones offer good audio with significant depth and detail, but a relatively flat frequency response means they could benefit from some equalisation . Without any equalisation, treble is detailed and clear. Mid-range and bass sounds are equally detailed, but we found them a little recessed and lacking emphasis.

Sennheiser's HD 238 Precision headphones are relatively small and portable, offer good sound quality and musical detail, and are comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time without irritation. They need some audio adjustment to really come into their own.

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