We’ve already covered the HD 559, HD 579, and HD 599, but today we’re taking a look at the Sennheiser HD 569 – an oddball headphone in the new 5 Series lineup. With some features mirroring the higher end 579 and 599, though, just how different is this headphone? And, with a price of $179.95, is it right for you?
Sennheiser HD 569 Review
The HD 569 comes with two interchangeable cables – one terminating in a 1/4’’ stereo plug, and another one terminating in a 3.5 mm stereo plug. There’s also a warranty booklet inside the box.
Built almost entirely out of plastic, the rigid design of the 569 doesn’t feel cheap or uncomfortable. Thick pleather-and-foam padding on the headband and earcups embellish on the feeling of comfort.
Frequency Range: 10-28,000 Hz
Impedance: 23 ohms
Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 115 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): < 0.2%
As you can see from the specifications, the frequency range is fairly standard, but with a little more detail in the low end than you see on most headphones. The low impedance of just 23 ohms is an odd but welcome feature – this is only headphone in the new 5 Series to feature such a low impedance, making it the default recommendation for anyone using a smartphone or portable player. Volume, too is surprisingly loud for a 5 Series headphone, while the distortion is as low as that of the more expensive HD 579.
With good detail, strong bass impact, and ample control, the low end remains clean and accurate, but with just enough oomph to keep things fun. It’s probably not the bassiest of the newer Sennheiser models, but it’s just as detailed as the more expensive HD 579 and HD 599.
In the midrange, instrumentation and vocals present themselves with equal fidelity. Free of distortion or compression, this is an impressive sound that retains plenty of contrast and articulation.
There’s a tad bit of clipping at play in the high end of the HD 569. Losing some detail, the sound never gets too bright or piercing, but if you live for the sound of strings, you may be a little disappointed. Of course, on the other hand, if you’re a fan of a more relaxed high end, this headphone may be right up your alley.
A strong sense of depth and placement give one a real impression of soundstage. The HD 569 is probably helped along in this by the detailed low end, with an almost-tangible quality being imparted upon the music.
The impressive fit and compelling, relatively-flat sound of the HD 569 do much to recommend it. In addition, the fact that this headphone is designed to work with smartphones might put it a notch above the other headphones in the 5 Series. While it is definitely our cup of tea, it all hinges on your listening tastes.
Whether you’re looking for a less-expensive critical-listening headphone, or something a little more portable, the HD 569 demands serious attention. The lacking bass and clipped high end may not be ideal for rock music, but the excellent midrange and relatively flat sound are sure to impress plenty of audiophiles.
If you must have bass, you could always opt for the HD 559 or HD 599. Or, if you like the sound of the HD 569, but want something a little meatier, you could consider the HD 579.
The HD 569 does many things right while sporting a few shortcomings we’re more than willing to forgive. If you’re in the market for a new portable headphone – and one that offers tons of accuracy – this is the headphone for you.