Sennheiser HD1 Review: The Underrated Bluetooth Headphones.The Sennheiser HD1 has a great battery life and a comfortable fit. It also offers an excellent sound quality for Bluetooth headphones. These headphones are definitely worth looking at, particularly if you don't want to use the cables.
We like this
Excellent sound quality and codescs
Battery life is solid
Design that is tired and out of date
Low cost case with a cheap appearance
Sennheiser HD1 in-ear Bluetooth headphones are a top audio brand. They are a great choice for anyone looking to move wirelessly with their sturdy design, excellent sound quality, and long battery life.
The Sennheiser HD1 Free Bluetooth Headphones were purchased by us to allow our expert reviewer to thoroughly evaluate and test it. Continue reading to see our complete product review.
You might not choose the Sennheiser HD1 free Bluetooth headphones as your first choice for wireless headphones. There are many options available in consumer audio that have more attention than Sennheiser, such as Bose and Beats by Dre. Sennheiser's headphones offer a mix of professional-grade audio for professionals and consumer-facing sound. While the HD1 strikes a great balance between premium design and quality, it also maintains a high level of sound quality. However, they are not without faults. They don't look modern, and their build quality and case design are a little lacking. They were tested to find out what works well and which areas need improvement.
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It is clear that the HD1's design aims to emulate Beats by Dre's sporty look. It is divided along its length, with one half of it being red and the other half being black. This matches many workout-oriented headphones. Even though it's derivative, the cable looks striking and makes headphones stand out. Although the ultra-shiny gunmetal case on the headphones is a good idea, it feels a bit cheap. The Sennheiser logos in metallic texture on the exterior of the casing don't help.
The remote control and the matching battery case at the other end of the cable were also bulky. Although Sennheiser seems to have included NFC connectivity as well as many compatible Bluetooth codescs, it isn't very attractive from an aesthetic perspective. Although it's not as bulky as some Bluetooth headphones, such as the Bose QC30, the look isn’t exactly the most sleek.
Although the ultra-shiny gunmetal case on these earbuds is good in principle it feels a bit cheap.
The headphones have an unusual design feature: the plastic loop holding the wires apart from the earbuds gives them a unique look. The unique design of the earbud housing angle the wires towards your ears makes the headphones stand out. We'll discuss the functional implications of these design elements in detail later.
One of the most maddening things when searching for Bluetooth earbuds is finding ones that have an adequate fit—it needs to feel both comfortable and secure. Sennheiser HD1 fulfills both of these requirements. It is a lightweight, comfortable headset you can use for long periods without feeling tired. The HD1 comes with silicone eartips measuring approximately 0.5 inches. The set includes four eartips total, one more than most Bluetooth headsets. This gives you more options to find the perfect fit.
The driver housing is angled inwardly so that it should be easy for everyone. After securing a pair, we spent some time in NYC. We found that this angle is the most useful feature to ensure a great fit. This may vary for users depending on their specific angle.
Last, comfort should be considered when considering weight. These wireless Bluetooth headphones weigh in at 4.8 ounces, which is closer to 4.7 ounces according to our scales. It's surprising, considering the bulky electronics housings and remotes. But it's a sign that this design decision wasn't necessary. The HD1's comfort rating is a strong one. However, it is important to remember that every person has different needs and the HD1 might not be as snug in your ear canals.
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It is difficult to determine the Sennheiser HD1's durability. When we pulled the HD1 Free out of the box, there was a degree of cheapness—or at least the appearance of cheapness. It was difficult to remove the headphones from their bulky faux leather cases due to its finicky zipper. These headphones were made of plastic, which is evident by the metallic and shiny finish.
A matte rubber finish makes earbuds feel more expensive. The plastic housings that hold the cable's remotes have unpleasant, clicky buttons. These headphones are a highlight because the cable is thicker than most and doesn't get tangled as often.
These are the lightest Bluetooth headphones that we tested at 4.8 ounces, but they weigh more than 4.7 ounces.
Sennheiser added a plastic loop at the edge of every earbud as an interesting design detail that increases durability. The loop positions the cables so that if the cable is pulled out, it will not rip from the earbud. This is an unusual design feature that we've not seen in any Bluetooth earbuds.
One drawback on the durability front is there doesn't appear to be any level of water or sweat resistance—at least Sennheiser doesn't advertise it. These earbuds were tested at the gym, and we found no noticeable cosmetic side effects. However, the long-term effects of the earbuds are still unknown. We only used them at the gym for three to four days. It seemed fine, despite its somewhat cheap feel.
We were not surprised to hear Sennheiser offer a remarkable sonic response when using their Bluetooth headphones. Sennheiser is a well-known brand for its professional audio equipment. It's refreshing to see that the Sennheiser website is very specific. There are no marketing terms replacing real numbers.
Sennheiser first estimates that the frequency response is between 15Hz and 22kHz. This is quite impressive considering how small these earbuds are. To put this in perspective, human hearing can be limited to 20Hz or 22kHz. However, for many people that range is much narrower, so extra information is added beyond the actual range. We found the playback volume to be between 8-10 decibels, which is quite reasonable considering that the earbuds are well-insulated and do not require a lot of volume. The high-efficiency MEMS speaker is compact and offers great sound quality.
The codecs are also very impressive. Sennheiser offers both the highly lossy SBC profile and AAC profile, as well as Qualcomm's impressive, aptX. The compression Bluetooth uses to compress files in order to wirelessly send them will reduce the quality of the final playback.
Sennheiser estimates that the frequency response is between 15Hz and 22kHz. This is a remarkable figure for small earbuds.
In real life, these high-end specifications performed well. The secure fit mentioned previously proved to be extra useful on the sound quality side because it offered decent sound isolation even in the midst of the subway noises we encountered while we commuted. The eartips pointed directly at our ears, which was a unique feature in earbuds. All of this resulted in a good sound range, which was great for listening to podcasts and top 40. It felt more natural than the heavy emphasis on beats and tinniness of Apple EarPods. The HD1 will satisfy those who are looking for high quality sound.
Sennheiser claims that the HD1 will last for 6 hours. This is comparable to other premium Bluetooth headphones in the market. The best part is the fact that it lasts for 6 hours. Even more time was managed during the testing. It is undoubtedly one of the most crucial features consumers seek in an earbud pair. So it is nice to know that you will get exactly what you expect. This Bluetooth headset features a 85-mAh internal battery, which is comparable to many others.
Although the single-charge battery lasts for a long time, the charging process with the micro USB cable took us a bit longer than expected. It's not a major issue, but if your headphones need quick charging, they won't have fast-charging capability like some over-ear options like the Sony WH1000XM3. These headphones can be a great choice if you need to keep your phone charged up.
Bluetooth headphones are now capable of connecting to the internet with stability and reliability. This is something that's not often discussed. This is probably because Bluetooth technology seems to be at a level where everything works flawlessly. You'd be amazed at how finicky Bluetooth headphones can even be, even if they are premium.
Sennheiser HD1 is a great choice. They're actually quite good at this task. We only had one to two instances of Bluetooth interference during three days of testing, which included listening in the subway and at work. The HD1 headphones are Bluetooth 4.2. This means they are almost as current as other headphones. (The latest standard is 5.0). The HD1 has a 10 meter range, which is plenty for most applications. They also support the full set of protocols including A2DP, ACVRCP, 1.4, HSP, 1.2 and even HD Voice.
They were very stable even in large group settings with other Bluetooth devices. We also found their call quality to be excellent. The only problem is that turning the device on or off requires you to hold the button down for a bit longer than necessary. This leads to many false pressings, and sometimes even misinterpretation of the device's status. This is minor issue that can be easily overlooked with solid connectivity.
We were still disappointed that Sennheiser's audio control app wasn't available for the HD1 or other Bluetooth headphones. This is in addition to their new true wireless earbuds. Sennheiser says they will update the app for other models. However, the HD1's sound quality is excellent right out of the box so this shouldn't be a problem. It would be nice to see some app customization.
The fit and finish is one of the main reasons people will pay high prices for Apple and Bose products. Although the Sennheiser HD1 has a lot of features, their build quality leaves a little to be desired.
You can find great deals on HD1s, to be honest. They are currently $105 at Amazon as of writing. The list price of the HD1 is $199.98. It all depends on where it's purchased. The HD1's sound quality is so good that it can be gotten for as low as $100.
Apple AirPods While these don't compete because the AirPods have no wire, but we felt they were worthy of mention because they provide more connectivity and are a much nicer package. Their sound quality isn't as good as the Sennheisers.
Bose SoundSport The Bose SoundSport is one of the most popular Bluetooth earbuds within this price range. Bose has a better fit than Sennheisers and a superior build quality. The HD1 is sometimes cheaper than the Sennheisers, but you may be able to find better deals.
Sennheiser HD1 Headband Version: For roughly the same cost and with very similar features, the HD1 headband can be purchased. This allows a ring to rest around the neck. It is safer for those who are concerned that the HD1 Frees will fall on the ground.
Great sound quality, connectivity and build quality.
Our experience with HD1 gives a clear view of the specs. The Sennheiser HD1 Free is the best choice for those who want sound quality and high connectivity. They are not the best choice if you're looking for something with a great look, feel, and character. We recommend that you grab a deal for $100 or less. Consider other alternatives.