Sennheiser HD 25 Light Closed-Back Headphones
The sound of a classic at an accessible pricepoint, Sennheiser’s HD 25 Light proves its worth as more than just a DJ headphone.
Lightweight and unobtrusive, Sennheiser’s HD 25 on-ear headphones may not impress with their looks but effortlessly impress with their sound. Those little earcups deliver big sound and a thumping bottom end without sucking anywhere nearly as much amp juice as your reference open-backs. In fact Sennheiser boasts of the HD25’s ability to handle sky high SPLs without exploding, making it an ideal tool for audio monitoring in various applications – from a recording engineer to a cameraman to a DJ.
Sennheiser has long considered the HD25 a ‘DJ headphone’ because, besides the punchy bass, it has a rotatable ear cup and both earcups slide straight off the headband to allow for walkie-talkie style one ear listening. Newly added to the family at NAMM 2020 is the HD25 Light – the cheapest route to HD25 sound but with a simplified headband that still lets the earcups slide off, but not rotate.
I spent time listening to my favourite playlists through the HD25 Light and found them an easy listening headphone that left my desire for clarity satisfied. Sennheiser states it has the same driver as the original HD25 however a close look at the spec sheet reveals slight differences in impedance (60Ω rather than 70Ω), and frequency response (16Hz-22kHz compared to 16Hz-22kHz) – perhaps due to a variation in circuitry. While I didn’t have a ‘normal’ HD25 to A/B with the Light, there’s a definite shyness in the high end that I’d otherwise have put down to the closed back design. Rather than being open and spacious, the soundstage feels more enveloping and intimate. At times the blossoming bass presence was a touch excessive, especially in the low mids, but if you’re a DJ this is the last thing you’d complain about.
Comfort is average over long listening periods with a slightly tight fit on my head. If you care about comfort you can swap out the stock synthetic leather earpads for Sennheiser’s softer velour option. The skinny plastic headband feels flimsy when bent so I’d be wary of tossing the HD25s in a bag of cables or hardware, where they could get damaged.
Excellent isolation from surrounding noise combined with minimal audio bleed make the HD25 Light great for the tracking room or a drummer on a live stage — or even as a casual listening headphone on public transport. It’s a no frills, no fuss pair of cans. They might be pitched as DJ headphones but don’t let that turn you off. The Sennheiser HD25 Light is equally indispensable to an audio engineer.