The most important features for headphones are the comfort
and audio quality. The cost of the headphones is another issue that needs to be
I would have to give Sennhesier full marks for the design of
the headphones. They are extremely comfortable! The headband is padded
and rests comfortably on top of the head. The earpads are a full cup design
that completely cover but don’t put pressure on the ears themselves but rather
right around them. The earpads are made with velour (a velvet type material),
which is amazingly smooth and comfortable. The only downside to them is that
they seemed to be a bit magnetic to dust, but which can be easily brushed off.
The whole set has a design which can make small adjustments around the joints
to twist, turn and move to comfortably fit onto the head and around the ears.
The headphones are also extremely light (210g) for their size and quality, and
do not cause neck aching after extended use. Also, I had no problems from the
headphones causing any headaches or pressure aches of any sort after extended
use, however they did end up making my ears feel somewhat warm after a while.
I tested the headphones on a CD stereo player, as well as a
computer CD ROM headphone out and SB Live 5.1 sound card analog out.
The main differences I noticed included an irritating amount
of hiss from the SB Live analog out (again) plus some static and slightly less
rich sound from my (cheap) CD stereo player.
I assume the word “Symphony” is to show that the headphones
were designed for the classical music lover, with Sennheiser promoting the
“transient response and vivid, smooth and warm sound reproduction” as well as
“harmonic and superbly transparent sound with absolute minimum distortion”.
While that is bordering on the edge of jargon to all but the well versed
audiophiles, what I can say is that I was very impressed with the distinct
reproduction of all the instruments and vocals within the audio tracks I tested
including classical, dance and pop/rock music. Instrumental clarity was
excellent and realistic, especially in the high end, as would be expected in a
system designed to perform for listening to classical music. The bass has a
pleasing punch with a slight exaggeration in the lower-midrange but not a
significant cost to overall tonal accuracy. This probably helps to reduce any “tinny” feeling that headphones are
generally assumed to have.
The audio quality of the HD570’s is also sufficiently high
enough to tell the difference between lower and higher end MP3’s. The “warbly”
output of 128kbps mp3’s can be discerned when compared to higher bitrate or CD
In terms of loudness standard audio equipment is sufficient
to power the headphones to a reasonable volume and without distortion. Any
louder and you’d probably go deaf very fast.
Having not being used to heavy use of headphones previously
I found my ears starting to feel “tired” after about half an hour of use due to
the close sound pressure from the headphones.
After more extended use I found that the pressure became less of a
I did find that the highs and lows were slightly reduced in
volume at the extreme ends, as well as slight occasional static noises in the
background from the headphones.
Games and DVD:
While the headphones were not designed specifically for this purpose, I found
that they produced as good a reproduction of sound effects and vocals as they
did with instrumentals with their bright and distinct sounds. The diffuse field
design also enables them to be used for Dolby Headphone or quad gaming where a
distinction between front and rear sound signals could be made. The fact that
the sound signal is coming out right next to the ears also produces a far more
accurate positional representation that speakers can give.
I never thought I would like using headphones prior to
trying out this set. Not only are they extremely comfortable for extended use,
the sound output is very rich and detailed with great audio quality.
For a regular user without ears tuned to finer details of
audio quality then a cheaper option may be a better alternative. For someone
who is looking for excellent sound quality for this price range then the
HD570’s is the best bet for comfort as well as audio quality.
These headphones are best used around the home with a PC or
stereo player system. They are usable with a portable player but could be
inconvenient mainly due to their size.
Zalman: ZM-DS4F Headphones
An affordable, ultra-portable headphone set.