When it comes to high-quality headphones, Sennheiser has a special place in the Indian market. The company offers products in different price segments and has expanded its existing portfolio by launching the new HD 2 and HD 4 series in the Indian market. We got our hands on the Sennheiser HD 4.20S. Let’s see whether it lives up to its legacy.
The Sennheiser HD 4.20S looks just like any other over-the-head wired headphones. But the anatomy of the headphones is a little different than most headphones falling in this price bracket (Rs 5,990). The frame of the HD 4.20S is made up of plastic which makes it very light and portable. But even though it is made of plastic, these headphones are not like any other touch-me-not product and are quite sturdy, with padding on the inside of the top of the frame to ensure it does not “bite” into your cranium. The HD 4.20S are mostly black but have got a hint of gray on the headband. There is the Sennheiser logo on each side above the speaker on the headband while Sennheiser is also written with gray color on the outer side of the band.
The earpads on the headphones are made of “leatherette” (read “faux leather”) and are very well cushioned to provide a very comfortable listening experience. That said, the comfort did seem to fade away after a while in my case, and the earpads actually got a little painful (not because of their sound but because of their construction) – it could be because I am not very used to over the head earphones. But the cushioning is also very effective in keeping the ambient sound out.
Going back to the build quality of the headset, the HD 4.20S comes with a foldable headband, with hinges on the top band just above the ear cups. Using these hinges, the headphones can be folded inwards, making them very compact and easy to carry, which earns them marks for portability (over the head headphones can be bulky).
The headphones come with a cable with a one-button remote control with a microphone, which can play and pause music and can also help you receive and end calls. We did miss the volume buttons on the remote control which actually would have been a help as we had to take out our phone time and again to adjust the volume of the music. The headphones also have a manual adjusting feature through which one can adjust the earpads exactly on one’s ears by just simply lightly pulling the earpads downwards or by pushing them upwards – convenient!
On the tech side, the Sennheiser HD 4.20S come with an impedance of 18 Ohms and the frequency response ranges from 18- 20,000 Hz. The headphones also have a very high sensitivity rating which makes the sound very loud and clear. In simple English, the Sennheiser HD 4.20S get high points in terms of clarity. The vocals can be heard loud and clear and we could easily hear even the softest words spoken while watching TV series (we used them for transcribing interviews and they were perfect). The headphones also offered rich bass and treble performance. The thick padding makes the whole experience more immersive – once you put on the headphones, the world becomes a music video, as they say. The headphones are excellent at keeping external sounds where they belong – out. You can hardly hear a thing (apart from what’s playing on them, of course) once you put them on. We even missed our train station. Oh, and before you ask, using them is easy peasy apple squeezy – they will work with any device that has a 3.5 mm audio jack. No apps to download. Just plug and play.
All in all, at Rs 5,990, the Sennheiser HD 4.20S are easily one of the best picks when it comes to over-the-head headphones. The headphones offer great build quality and come with great sound performance. with a strong brand name. And in our books, all this definitely sounds like the recipe for a great product. It is perfect for those who want great sound but without busting their bank accounts by too much. We would say it is the perfect step that lies between the amateur listener and the audiophile. Just be ready to invest some time getting used to them.
Oh, and missing the odd Metro station on your travels.