Sennheiser HD471i Review

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Sennheiser HD471i Review

My boss has been after me for a couple days now to give the HD471i a listen and share my impressions.  And with a slump in my night job has a masked crusader for justice, as well as a drop in alligator-related sewer accidents, I was finally able to sit down and give these headphones my undivided attention.  I’m glad I finally did, because the sooner you listen to the HD471i, the better.

Sennheiser HD471i Review

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Normally, I find myself eschewing Sennheiser headphones in favor of other brands.  It’s nothing I personally have against Sennheiser, I just don’t fancy a lot of their headphones.  To Sennheiser’s credit, the HD650 and HD800 are some damn fine headphones.  And the relatively cheap HD280 and PX95’s have registered on my all-time-favorite-headphones list.  But then I regularly see people enthralled with the output of the HD598 and the Momentum series, and I wonder.

So I found myself a little hesitant to try the HD471i because, hey, I’m not really a fan of Sennheiser.  And when I popped open the box and took my first look at the headphone, it seemed as though all of my suspicions were turning out to be true.

The HD471i is a cheap, plastic headphone with two interchangeable cables.  One has a mic and remote, while the other doesn’t.  There is also a smallish pouch inside.  And that’s it.  The packaging is basic and utilitarian, cardboard and plastic and glue.

When I actually listened to the headphones, though, I was pleasantly surprised by how good they sounded.

The HD471i has a frequency range of 16-24,000 hertz and a nominal impedance of 32 ohms.  And yet, the sound is fairly balanced with some nice detail in the high and low ends of the frequency range.  So then, how does the 471i compare to other, similarly-priced models?  It’s about on par with the ATH-M40x, but with the nice addition of a mic and remote.  It isn’t as good as the HD280 when you pair the latter with an amp…so if you’re looking for something for the studio, you might be better off with the more expensive, more power-hungry 280s.  The same generally goes for the Sony MDR-7506 and the MDR-V6:  these headphones, with a decent amp, will blow the HD471 out of the water.  But, right out of the box, you may find this new Sennheiser to be easier to use with a better sound.

However, thanks to the remote, and the low impedance, and the fact that these headphones come in both iOS and Android flavors, the HD471i can be considered the portable, commuter-friendly alternative to more serious studio headphones.  They won’t necessarily behoove themselves to the most critical of listening situations (there’s something about the sound that doesn’t seem quite accurate enough), but they will offer a decent listening experience for a wide array of genres, while also offering some nice creature comforts.

Should you buy them?  If you’re in the market for a decent $100-esque headphone for commuting, and you want something fairly even that won’t suck with different types of music, definitely consider the HD471i (or the HD471g, if that’s your pleasure).

See more at the Sennheiser Store at Audio46!

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