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In the last few years, I've rediscovered a passion for playing piano, and as part of the therapeutic, artistic process, when the mood takes, I do like to energetically bash out those melodies to produce my very own wall of sound. Now my good lady wife on the other hand, whilst fully appreciating my efforts to develop my craft, always prefers to wait until I've actually learned a piece properly before hearing my impassioned often wrong-noted output. So rather than me continue to wreak havoc on my mother-in-laws upright piano, we compromised and invested in a Yamaha keyboard, on the firm understanding that we would also purchase a set of headphones.
Now this worked very well for a period, but then as preparations for our first baby started in earnest, the available keyboard "free time" dwindled rapidly, and before long it began to gather dust tucked under our old sofa bed. A few months back in the throws of moving house my bulky old head phones finally met their maker, as my clumsily placed right boot simply broke them in two. Without the headphones, it was no longer even a passing consideration, we simply bubble wrapped the keyboard and off it went into storage, looking for all the world a lost cause. But in October when we finally moved into the new house, got a toy / play room set up, and the quest for the music was reborn.
Sennheiser and sensibility
I'll be honest, I'm certainly no connoisseur of the world of electronic gadgets and gismos, but was pretty sure of what was required here. A lightweight, durable, reliable affordable (under £20) set of headphones that would do the job. And lo and behold the birthday fairy delivered me the Sennheiser HD 201.
So what do you get for your money? Now it turns out, the German based Sennheiser are a long established player in the headphone market place, claiming to have developed the world's first open headphones in 1968. Given my foot crunching previous, I was particularly pleased to see it comes with a 2 year warranty guarantee
Immediately upon taking the black and silver trimmed headphones out of the box could see that they offer a great combination of a light weight (weighing in at just 165g) yet well-constructed and robust design. The cushioned padding for the head band and the ear phones is very comfortable and there's an easy adjusting mechanism on either side to fit pretty much any headsize. After a moments panic, I scrabbled around in the box and found the separate gold-plated connection plug to enable it to fit the Yamaha, and we were back and running. Naturally my little boy wanted to make sure the headphones were properly road tested, so he nicked them off me almost immediately and started bashing the keyboard, looking every inch a superstar DJ in the process….
Once I'd wrestled them back from him, and was able to turn up the volume that bit louder was pleasantly surprised by the crisp sound quality. Admittedly, in the lower pitch range, the acoustics do seem to miss out some of the bassier sounds, but aside from that small failing it fitted the bill perfectly.
In terms of bits and bytes, decibels and puppy dogs tails, I'm assured that it can boast a reasonably impressive maximum output sensitivity (SPL - whatever that is - I'm assuming it's not Scottish Premier League) of 108dB!
The closed back headphones apparently provide "circumaural" ear coupling (the mind boggles!) offering a response bandwidth in the range if 21-18000Hz, whilst minimizing Total Harmonic Distortion to a paltry 0.7% - nice…
Hopefully that means something to someone out there, but for me the bottom line is it's a great entry level set of headphones and as noise attenuation is kept to a minimum its definitely good news for my missus and her long suffering ear drums!
Now, having rediscovered the opportunity to play some showy keyboard tunes, I quickly realised another usage for this fine pair of German engineered cans.
Having turned a corner of our garage into an exercise space, featuring a running machine and all sorts, I had already brought in an old portable stereo as a permanent addition to my sports zone. Highest ranked amongst my collection of upbeat tunes, naturally my best of Rocky album was getting a lot of playing. One unfortunate side effect, by all accounts, was that due to the higher volume levels I selected whilst exercising so close to our baba's bed time, the net result was that as he was enjoying the Three Bears, he was also being treated to the vibrating echoes of the mighty Survivor. On my good lady's advice, I decided to use my better judgement, and connect up my shiny new headphones, enabling me to get on with the business of "rising up the challenge of my rivals", whilst the little one could get on with drifting into slumberland in peace
In the process of delivering a spirit soaring burst of soft rock high energy melodrama for my ears only, I discovered another unexpected benefit. As garage temperatures around this time of year are flirting on the sub arctic, these beauties are also able to keep my poor little ears all toasty, making it a much more pleasant experience all round!!
Currently available from around £15 (inc packaging) on-line, these headphones will suit anyone who just needs a portable and decent quality set of personal sound surrounders for basic use around the home.
And for me the biggest bonus of all - frost bite prevention!!
Originally posted on dooyoo - account name there yabbadabbadoo