This year Sennheiser has already pulled two wireless earphones out of their hat but they have one more up their sleeve before the end of the year. Their latest creation is a wireless earphone modeled after the great HD1 in-ear headphone. But unlike the first version of the HD1 wireless earphone this one is free from the neckband. So it’s no wonder they dubbed it the Sennheiser HD1 Free. The big question is… is it worth the hype? Let’s find out.
In The Box
- HD1 Free Wireless Headset
- USB charging cable
- Eartips (XS, S, M, L)
- Leather carrying case
- Safety guide and Quick user guide
The HD1 Free is the next generation of HD1 in-ear headphone and has some new and interesting features. Here’s just a few of the most noteworthy features.
- 6-hour battery life (1.5hr charging time)
- supports SBC, AAC, aptX & aptX LL (low latency) codecs
- Bluetooth 4.2
- connect to 2 devices simultaneously and 8 device memory
- wireless range up-to 10 meters
- frequency range of 15Hz to 22,000Hz
- supports Hands Free Profile (HFP) / Audio Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) / Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP)
- magnetic clasps in the housings keep the earphones secured around the neck
Download the manual: Sennheiser HD1 Free User Manual
Build / Durability / Fit
The HD1 Free follows in the tradition of the previous HD1 in-ear headphones. The housings are identical but the electronics are compacted into a much smaller space than the first HD1 wireless. The connecting wire with inline controls and battery are really light and I hardly notice it’s there.
As for durability, the HD1 Free is made of basically the same materials as the HD1 Wired in-ear headphone. From housings to cable it feels nice and sturdy.
The fit is exactly as you would expect. If you’ve ever had a pair of HD1 in-ear headphones you can expect the same ergonomic fit and excellent isolation.
There was one problem though. The magnets. The HD1 Free has magnets embedded in the back of the earphone that’s supposed to make them stick together around your neck when you’re not listening. But the magnets are pretty weak. Probably not a deal breaker but it’s definitely a small design flaw.
Connectivity and Range Test
The HD1 Free boasts a range of 10 meters (about 30 feet) but as always I like to test these things for myself. It was one of the best Bluetooth headphone results I’ve got so far. The range of the HD1 Free was easily 30 + feet.
How Does It Sound?
The HD1 in-ear headphone line has a specific reputation to maintain. Most importantly the sound signature. These earphones are well known for their exceptional clarity and great bass response. In fact, the HD1 wired in-ear headphones are some of the best for the price. But the HD1 Free is a different story. Bluetooth audio is usually not as good as wired and can often cause the listening experience to suffer for the convenience of going wireless. So how does the HD1 Free hold up? Here’s what I found.
The Bass in the HD1 Free is exquisite. It’s strong, full and totally robust. It’s the sound HD1 listeners have come to expect and with the added freedom of Bluetooth.
The mids were excellent. Crisp, clear, even tingly at times in some sort of oddly pleasant way.
The high end in the HD1 Free was great. It felt congruous with the full frequency range. I didn’t sense any crossover points or special dampening techniques. Instead it was smooth sailing high-frequencies that didn’t pierce my ears with harshness.
In conclusion, the Sennheiser HD1 Free wireless earphone is a step in the right direction. It’s light, fits well and literally gives you freedom. Priced at just under $200 I find the HD 1 Free is one of the best sounding Bluetooth earphones on the market. It’s incredibly easy to use and fun to listen to.
Get the Sennheiser HD1 Free for the best price at the following retailers:
Audio46 Headphone Store: Sennheiser HD1 Free Wireless In-Ear Headphone
Bluetooth Version: 4.2
Supported Profiles: A2DP 1.2 / AVRCP 1.4 / HSP 1.2 / HFP 1.6 – HD Voice
Frequency response: 15Hz – 22000Hz
Max. sound pressure level: 118dB (Passive: 1kHz/ 1Vrms) > Active
THD, total harmonic distortion: <0.5%
Ear coupling: In Ear
Transducer principle: Dynamic (SYS10)
Weight: < 40g
Audio input: Bluetooth
Range: up to 10 meters
Min. terminating impedance: 28 Ohm (Passive) / 480 Ohm (Active)
Operating voltage: (mains) 3.0-4.2V
Sensitivity as per 121 TR 9-5: – 44 dB V/Pa
Sending Loudness Rating (SLR): Wideband: 10dB +/- 5dB / Narrowband: 8dB +/- 5dB
Battery Specification: Built-in Rechargeable Lithium-ion Polymer (~85mAh) with more than 500 charges
Codecs: apt-X ® / apt-X ® LL /AAC/SBC
Personal fit: XS, S, M, L (4 sets)
Speaker type: MEMS
Voltage: 3.7V Nominal
Connection: 2 device simultaneously (HFP/A2DP) / 8 device in pairing list
Charging Current: 3.0-4.2V