Sennheiser HD630VB Review

Sennheiser HD630VB Review

Having been out for more than eight months, the Sennheiser HD630VB has been largely overlooked in favor of other Sennheiser models.   With that being said, where does this $499 high-end closed-back headphone fit in?  And how does it compete against similarly-priced models from other manufacturers?

Sennheiser HD630VB Review

Sennheiser HD630VB Review

The Sennheiser HD630VB is a thick, well-built headphone comprised of a lot of plastic and a small amount of metal (in the extenders).  With some thick padding on the headband and earcups, it’s pretty comfortable.

The right earpiece also features a dial that controls a bass-boost function.  Underneath the right earpiece, there’s also a switch marked “i/g” for switching the mic and remote controls between iOS and Galaxy devices.

Specs

Wearing style:  Headband
Ear coupling:  Circumaural
Jack plug:  3.5 mm (straight)
Cable length:  1.2 m
Transducer principle:  Dynamic Closed
Bass Boost:  +/- 5dB at 50 Hz
Impedance:  23 Ω
Frequency response:  10-42,000 Hz
Sound pressure level (SPL):  114dB (1 kHz/1Vrm)
THD, total harmonic distortion:  <0.08% (1kHz, 100dB)
Contact pressure:  5.5~6.8N
Weight w/o cable:  400g

These specs show us that the HD630VB has a pretty wide frequency range, a low impedance, and a decent level of volume, too.  Surprisingly, there also seems to a very low level of distortion at play here – something we wouldn’t  have guessed at, given the consumer-oriented appearance of the 630VB.

Low End

The low end on the HD630VB has ample detail, with a bass that can vary between underpowered or full and robust.  However, due to the bass boost function, the low end can get downright booming and wooly when the dial on the right earcup is set to max, resulting in a sound that I would describe as “not good.”  That being said, keep the bass boost in check gives you good control in the low end, leading to only minimal bleeding.

Mids

Pretty accurate, the mids are sometimes almost spot-on, with only the slightest bit of compression.  The resulting sound is pretty close to what it should be, though it might sound a little weak compared to higher-end studio models in this price range.

High End

The 630VB’s high end is characterized by a bright, sparkling quality that does much to accentuate female vocals and strings.  While a little edgy, it’s not so edgy that notes screech and grate on your ears.  Instead, the slightly-bright quality is tempered well by the bass-boost function.

Soundstage

Soundstage on the HD630VB is okay.  It’s not terrific, but it is somewhat better than other closed-back headphones.  Here, we found that the variable bass helped somewhat with the sensation of soundstage, where deeper notes could be more readily felt in contrast to the mids and highs.  Of course, like all headphones of this design, this model still suffers some depth- and space-related issues when it comes to soundstage, so don’t expect it to outpace anything with an open-back design.

Overall Impressions

The HD630VB isn’t you’re typical high-end closed-back headphone.  In fact, it seems almost downright weird.  But looks and build aside, these headphones offer a sound quality that is just as rare – one where a relatively high-quality bass can be dialed in at an amount suitable to the user.  With that in mind, the mids and highs aren’t terrible; in fact, they’re  really quite good.  For $499, it competes with the likes of the Shure SRH1540 and perhaps even the slightly smaller on-ear Audeze Sine.  Although both of these models boast more detail in the mids and the lows, they lack the flexibility in bass that would appeal to the HD630VB’s  customer.

Recommendations

If you need a headphone with tons of detail, the closed-back SRH1540 and Sine headphones might be a better option.  Or, if you can go with open-back headphones, there are even more options to choose from.  But if you’re a basshead – especially one who is looking to get into hifi sound – the HD630VB is an excellent choice that offers decent fidelity while keeping things fun.

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