Normally I tend to review new products fresh on the market. However, now and again, I like to return to an evergreen product that’s stood the test of time that still manages to sell in huge quantities. On this occasion, the classic product I’m reviewing is the Sennheiser HD 25 DJ headphones.

These headphones are such a good seller and such a professional piece of kit that Sennheiser held onto the product rather than passing it on as part of the recent deal to license Sennheiser’s consumer products to Sonova AG.

The Sennheiser HD 25 are supra-aural headphones with a split headband. One of the ear cups can swivel upwards so the user can hear when someone’s talking or just to get an idea of the sound levels in the room. Supra-aural is just a fancy way of saying these are headphones that perch on the listener’s ears rather than completely enclosing them.

The earpad cushions and pencil-thin headband pads are made of a synthetic material that can feel a bit sweaty at times, but these are hardwearing headphones with replaceable components that range from the earpads to the 1.5m single-sided cable, an essential feature for DJ use.

These headphones are designed to take a good deal of punishment even though they feel incredibly light. They’re built to last and can certainly handle long sessions at the decks. As well as being suited to DJing, the Sennheiser HD 25 are brilliant for broadcasting as well as for monitoring sound when filming on locations or for audio capture. They are direct competitors to V-MODA’s Crossfade M100s and Audio-Technica’s M50x. The great benefit with the HD 25 is the amount of isolation they provide given their weight and their unique signature sound.

In each of the HD 25 ear cups are aluminum voice coils that are incredibly sensitive. With an impedance of 70Ω, they can handle very high sound pressure levels. There are three variants available, starting with the HD 25 Light, a basic model with a single headband, no side cable and no swiveling ear cup. This variant is a great choice for occasional use but it’s probably worth spending a little more to get the next model up.

The next variant is the Standard HD 25. This version has a swiveling ear cup, single-sided cable plus split headband. This version is the perfect balance between the cheap Light model and the more expensive top-of-the-line HD 25 Plus. This deluxe version is identical to the middle model but comes with an extra cable, spare earpads and a pouch to store the headphones in. For most people, the middle variant probably offers the best value for money.

The sound produced by the HD 25 can best be described as lively. It’s a superbly open and accurate sound with a frequency range that starts at a wonderfully low 16Hz and goes all the way up to 22kHz. Unlike headphones designed for mixing, the HD 25 do not have a flat response thanks to a noticeable boost in the midrange that pushes the sound forward and gives it extra punch. The result is a superbly tight bass and a sound that feels much larger and more energetic than the compact drivers would suggest.

There’s a real energy about these headphones that’s not just clear but has a powerful drive that accentuates the rhythm of the music. I found I could listen to the HD 25 for lengthy periods without my ears feeling fatigued thanks to relatively low levels of distortion.

Verdict: The Classic Sennheiser HD 25 headphones are real workhorses. They’re ideal DJ headphones because they are robust and most of the parts are replaceable. The lightness of the fit is excellent, especially for long sessions, plus they’re a great pair of headphones for broadcasting or podcasting due to their closed-back design. Compared to the V-Moda Crossfade and the Audio-Technica M50x, the HD 25 are incredibly light, energetic and fun to listen to. Highly recommended.

Pricing & Availability: The Sennheiser HD 25 Standard headphones cost $149 / £125 / €149.

More info: sennheiser.com

Tech Specs:

  • Frequency response: 16 – 22,000Hz
  • Total harmonic distortion: < 0.3%
  • Ear coupling: Supra-aural
  • Jack connection: 3.5 / 6.3mm stereo
  • Cable length: 1.5m (HD 25 Plus: 1-3 m)
  • Transducer principle: Dynamic, closed
  • Weight (without cable): 140g
  • Nominal impedance: 70Ω
  • Load rating: 200mW
  • Max. sound pressure level (active): 120dB
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