My main Christmas gift (see the post title) arrived in the post after I got back from visiting the family. Most of my other gifts were food, actually. Most of that was chocolate. Nice, but there's a lot left still and I'm sure it won't help my waistline (although maybe it needs it :-) I'm a slim 32/34 at the moment). Including a couple of boxes of Green & Black's too - good choice, folks. Thanks :-) The other non-edible items were Neuromancer, made rather famous now as inspiration-provider to the Wachowski brothers for The Matrix trilogy, and Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman - a collection of short tories. I've read one which was a little odd in some ways but I wanted to finish reading.
It was a usual Christmas with the family, nice to catch up with them again and speak to my brother in Canada as I haven't phoned since they moved out there.
The Sennheiser HD515 headphones arrived last Thursday, and of course as with any other new addition to the audio chain I wanted to hear how they sounded with the music I love and to find tracks to challenge and test them with. So I spent a couple of hours listening to favourite tracks, tracks with lots of or very deep bass, tracks with complex multiple layers to test separation (eg. some of my classical pieces or rock/electro-funk anthems that do the job well). They sound pretty good. Every speaker has it's own sound of course. They are "open" speakers but as they will mainly be used for in-bedroom listening late at night they don't need to be completely quiet on the outside. I've never heard "open" headphones before actually. I've only owned ear buds (from cheapo free ones to some better Sony's I had for a while til the cable got too stretched/twisted); a capable but unremarkable set of over-the-ear ones I had originally; and my last Panasonic's (£30 at the time) which I liked if only 'cos I'd not heard anything better.
They are better than I imagined. There's good detail, a warm and reverby bass sound that goes well with some music but may be a little too much for others. They certainly don't want for more bass. Having said that, I wonder if these 'phones are good enough that they need breaking in, like my Mission M74's (if I remember the model number rightly) that I have as my main stereo speakers in the room. Maybe I should wait longer before making my mind up as they've only had three or four hours play so far. The Missions are a lot more punchy without losing any delicacy and I like the sound very much, but I did spend a few hundred on them so they damn well ought to be good.
I've also tried a swap with a work colleague who has a nicer pair of Senn's, to see what even more money would have got me. It was then that I noticed the more even mid-range and his stuck out most by announcing an instrument in Vivaldi's 4 seasons that I didn't hear very clearly with mine. I enjoyed the sound of his (I forget the model no.), but I didn't particularly wish I'd had them instead of mine and the (list) price would probably have been edging towards twice what mine were.Tags: headphones audio Christmas reviews