Comfortable, powerful, sublime.
The Sennheiser HD 429 is one of those standard all round daily usage headphones you can take everywhere and use with all of your modern devices without needing specialized equipment. Looking at it from the outside, it seems simple, but reassuring in its size and build quality. Indeed the experience, once you put them on your ears, is equally impressive, so let’s take a look at the HD 429 in more detail.
Taking a closer look, the Sennheiser HD 429 has an all black plastic body with leatherette cushioning on the headband and the circumaural ear cups. The headband itself has a respectable amount of extension, while the ear cups pivot on both the X and Y axis, allowing for an incredibly easy fit.
On the outside the ear cups have a rubber textured finish with the Sennheiser logo imprinted in bold white. Inside the leatherette cushioning easily sits over the ears to give you sound isolation from background noise.
And then there’s the 10 ft. cable that extends from the base of the left ear cup. In all honesty I wish that Sennheiser would have either allowed for dual cable options like on the HD 439 (4ft and 10ft.), or at least chopped off the length somewhat, perhaps to 6 ft. At 10 feet, the HD 429’s cable is uncomfortably long, especially if you’re planning to use it with your smartphone or any other MP3 player you’re going to keep in your pockets. And unless you bunch the cable with a rubber band or metal wire, they will likely get entangled into a messy puzzle which will take you a good 3 to 4 minutes to get rid of.
Putting on the HD 429 you do get some sound isolation, but not much, because the leatherette cushions are a bit too thin for such a heavy duty job. This means that if you’re planning to use the HD 429 in a public place, especially somewhere like the Metro, you really have to crank up the volume.
With a frequency response of 18 – 22k Hz, the Sennheiser HD 429 provide very clear and distortion free sound. The dynamic range from the highs to the mid-range is very clear and pleasant. The bass, however, surprisingly underperforms with a rather flat response. You honestly have to use an equalizer in your device of choice to be able to push the 40mm neodymium dynamic transducers to give you an adequate level of bass.
At the end of the day if you can live with the extra long cable and don’t mind the low bass response (unless you use an equalizer or external amp), the Sennheiser HD 429 provide exceptional audio quality for the money. They’re comfortable, easy to use and just a pleasure to listen to.